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Adeboye and lessons in good leadership

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The subject of leadership has gained more traction in recent years compared with what obtained in the past. It is the greatest cry of our hearts in the 21st Century! Everybody craves for good leadership, as it is missing in homes, communities, nations and the global space.

Leadership has become a buzzword and leadership skills are more valued than ability to write good sermons and speaking impeccable grammar.

Many think of leadership as hard and difficult to understand, however, in reality, it is fluid and transient as human breath. It is usually clerics and motivational speakers, who tell the people truth about leadership. Politicians don’t and can’t. They are always filled with lies.

According to the leadership coach, John Maxwell, what is learnt from Apostle Paul is the same thing that Jesus taught: that character—not style, not technique, not methodology, but character—is the true biblical test of great leadership.

In Iconic Leader: Pastor E. A. Adeboye-Lessons in Leadership, Victoria Praise Abraham says, “as an author, I sought for a man or woman whose life depicted and qualified as a great leader or better still an iconic leader or a global leader? I searched for it for over three decades and after careful observation, I found that man in the person of Pastor E.A. Adeboye, a simple but powerful man whose love for God is obvious, genuine and pure.”

In this book published in 2019, Abraham shines light on 12 of Adeboye’s leadership attributes and also interview some outstanding men and women who are leaders in their own rights, whose lives and destinies have been positively impacted by the man simply called … ‘Daddy G. O. by most of his close associates and by those who have come to love this great man of God!

Most books on leadership today have only filled “ministerial toolbox with hiring advice from Wall Street, management tips from Fortune 500 CEOs, and growth programmes from business school professors,” said Owen Strachan.

For many people today, a pastor’s role should primarily concern leadership with the preaching of the word taking on a secondary role.

Writing to counter leadership models based in corporate ideology, MacArthur argues, “there are better models for Christian leaders to follow than Ben and Jerry. Surely our mentors in spiritual leadership ought to be spiritual people.”

MacArthur writes, “Scripture, not the corporate world or the political arena, is the authoritative source we need to turn to in order to learn the truth about spiritual leadership.”

A leader, MacArthur says, is dedicated, empathetic, and tender with his people. A leader will endure many attacks on his person, which means that a leader’s sufficiency for the task is in God, not in his own strength. As such, a pastor’s qualification amidst spiritual conflict comes from spiritual devotion, not physical or personal prowess.

This is what stands out Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer, the Redeem Christian Church of God worldwide.

The book is a classic, written to help up coming leaders all over the world. It is written in lucid , engaging, informative and enlightening language.

With its good-looking cover, the book is a valuable reference material for academic exercise and spiritual upliftment. Reading the book purely as a commentary will be rewarding in itself, with the principles of leadership serving as icing on the cake.

The book has 265 pages, 11 chapters, with addendum such as acknowledgement, foreword and introduction. Thirty nine pages are devoted to pictorials.

In those pages, the author reveals the secrets of an iconic leader. She also provides a masterful account of the power vision, integrity, discipline and selflessness that have defined Adeboye’s excellent leadership that transcends ethnic, geographic and religious boundaries.

The foreword by Prof. Debo Adeyewa, former Vice Chancellor, Redeemer’s University, entitled, ‘The Aroma of Grace’, captures the essence of the book. It is a compass to understanding what the author set out to achieve. “Indeed, many have written on this iconic leader focusing on some unique aspects of the quiet, yet engaging and passionate leader cum man of God. What makes this book quite unique are the interesting perspectives offered by close-up views of some of his top associates, who offer rather colourful insights.”

The book celebrates a man of courage, vision and unstoppable mission. Above all, “veritable example of excellence in leadership, character, humility, wisdom and exhibition of all-round grace in the face of the dearth of uncommon transformational leaders at the globe.”

In the introduction, the author lists the following 12 leadership attributes about Adeboye: Visionary, courage, integrity, strategic planning and organization, humility, wisdom, hardworking, empathy, discipline and diligence, great time keeper, effective communicator. However, the author says, Adeboye’s leadership skills will certainly fill many books, perhaps, in volumes one, two, three and four.

The first chapter, ‘The Quest For Global/Iconic Leaders’, begins the search for who is a leader. Listed among the 20th century iconic leaders are Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Mikhail Gorbachev, Princess Diana and others.

The aforementioned highly influential people became leaders not just because of their positions, but the peculiarity of their leadership styles. Thee author states Adeboye is not just a leader, but he is also an iconic leader, who is leading other leaders in their thousands.

Chapter two looks at the life of Adeboye from his village in Ifewara to his university days and eventually as lecturer in University of Lagos and the great call.

It is from chapter three that his role as a great leader begins to manifest. In the chapter, the author says Adeboye has been able to bring rapid growth to RCCG and from just 39 parishes in 1981, mainly in Southwest of Nigeria, to 200 countries of the world.

Chapter four looks at the role of the family in his success, concluding, “family can make or break our greatest resolves.”

In chapter six, the author looks at the milestones of the man of God. Entitled, ‘Milestones Achieved By The Person And Ministry Of Pastor Adeboye’, the author looks at the achievements of the Redeemer Church’s general overseer from 38, when he assumed that position. The book lists some of the achievements, most importantly, the raising of church leaders.

It is from Chapter seven that the author begins to look at people who Adeboye has affected. Each one affirms the man as an iconic leader, while chapter nine is devoted to an interview with Adeboye. Chapter is filled with inspiring quotes from Adeboye and chapter 11 is conclusion.
While the book does a respectable job of introducing principles that define leadership, good ones at that, its primary value is in serving as keen insight to Pastor Adeboye. His continuing influence in the lives of so many people gives ample proof of the effectiveness of his leadership to the very end.

The book brings to light tidbits of information that help to understand Adeboye’s commission. The citation of Biblical scriptures has been reduced so that it does not become a Christian treatise or manual for leadership.

What has helped the book is the use of emphasis and repetitions. But the words are not regurgitated verbatim. Phrases are just reechoed.

Some errors are glaring in the publication. ‘Owing a car on page 89 should have been owning, while on page 210, you get ‘she’s being able to set up three schools, instead of she’s been able to set up three schools’.

Be that as it may, the reader will benefit from leadership principles sprinkled throughout the book. I do recommend this book both as a guide to important qualities necessary for good, and as well, godly leadership.


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