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Sanya in Alphabets Of Leadership For Youths

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Alphabets Of Leadership for Young Minds

The target audience of the author of the Alphabets of Leadership For Young Minds is the youth of modern-day Nigeria. The author, Odunayo Sanya, is a mother of three, very passionate about youth empowerment, leadership, mentorship and nation-building. She belongs to the American John Maxwell school of leadership that believes leadership is a skill that can be acquired by training.

Alphabets of Leadership is in paperback and has 278 pages, 26 chapters and with 18 illustrations. Published in Dallas, Texas, USA in 2019 by Pyxidia House Publishers but printed in Nigeria, the book is a manual on leadership.

Why are some people and organisations more innovative, more influential and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty than others? And why is it that only a few people truly excel and realise their dreams? All these questions are answered in the book by the author. The future of nations and the world depend on the youth who are the next generation of leaders.

In this work, Sanya sets the stage to nurture, and equip young men and women with timeless leadership principles, for in the uncertain world of today, leadership requires skill-building around traits that are uniquely human.

With insight into the dynamics of leadership, Odunayo positions leadership as a skill to be learned and nurtured in young minds to enable them to reach their full potential. In her learnable and profound style, she presents these leadership traits under relatable letters of the alphabet, punctuating them with inspiring stories and quotations that provide templates that inspire and motivate the development of future leaders.

Alphabets of Leadership is an invaluable book for young men and women committed to building leadership skills for themselves and those they care about.

In the lifetime of every man, there comes a time when he is presented with an opportunity to do something great. Often, it never shows up as an opportunity. It comes clothed as challenges. It will be a tragedy if that moment finds you unprepared for the work, which would be a turning point in your life.

You must understand that the process for promoting anyone into a new opportunity does not begin the day the opportunity presents itself. Indeed, the world of opportunity begins to evaluate you long before the opportunity is conceived.

Thus, believe it or not, decisions about your opportunities in the future are based on how prepared you are today. It is for you to be prepared for your opportunity that Odunayo wrote this book. We need the book to fill two gaping holes in our national psyche. Nigeria has never had a visionary leader since independence. Secondly, we’re lacking in creativity, for compared with Israel with nine million people and more than 10 Nobel laureates, Nigeria with 200 million people has only one Nobel prize winner.

On the accomplishment of leadership in an uncertain world, the author quotes the former United States Defence Secretary, Colin Powell, thus: “Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.”

Here, Powell is simply saying you cannot accomplish great feats by being logical, and thus, afraid of the facts that scientific data present to you about your idea, so you have to tackle it head-on. Logic will convince you with facts that you cannot get it done.

On courage, the book has much to say. According to the great American novelist, Mark Twin, “Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.” Former South African president, Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest men of courage for spending 27 years in prison without a broken spirit, without the spirit of revenge. He describes courage perfectly: “I learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

The author’s ideas about Integrity are what I wish to close this review upon. She avers that is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, which you cannot compromise. It also means standards of doing business of practising your profession. You are determined not to lower those standards. Integrity evolved from the Latin word: Integer, which means whole or complete. Linked to honesty, wholeness means consistency of character. This means you must walk your talk. It is essential that what you say and do is aligned. My other synonym for integrity is sincerity. I see Nigerians pray to impress in public like Pharisees. They don’t follow what they are saying with what they are doing. The spate of crimes of violence compared our religiosity will convince a prospective leader that Nigerian Christians and Muslims aren’t abiding by the tenets of their faith.

Sanya, a motivational speaker, was groomed for leadership at the Lagos Business School, the Institute of Management Development, Switzerland, the Harvard Business School and Cornell University, USA. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria with her husband Oladele and her three daughters.


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