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Leadership for business and national development

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Lanre Olusola

In one of my weekly “Mind Transformation” Instagram Live Session chat, I hosted Dr. Sam Adeyemi, who is a Strategic Leadership Expert and Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Center. The current pandemic has burdened Leaders all over the world with daily making decisions that not just affects our lives, but business and national development.

“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.” John P. Kotter

One of the basic responsibilities of a leader is to create a blueprint for the future. Astute leaders understand that if they wait for the future to creep-up on them, chances are very high that they will be playing catch-ups for a longtime.

The ability to coordinate resources (human and material) in scenario planning and future probing is one that today’s leaders really need. Remember, the functional phrase here is – the ability to coordinate resources – this means the leader is not necessarily the one to do all the job. His greatest power is his level of influence with people. As John Maxwell, the world-renowned leadership guru once said, “leadership is influence”. Leaders cannot afford to wait for things to happen to them, they’ve got to learn to be proactive with everything. The greatest power a leader has is not power over people; it is rather, power with people. The thing is, if you don’t treat people well when things are normal when things like the COVID-19 pandemic happens, these same people will just focus on trying to survive personally. They get out of the system where they can contribute to social progress and just stick with personal survival.

We have, over the years, been plagued with a crop of leaders in Nigeria, bereft of these two needed capacities: to anticipate the future, and to manage resources (human resources in particular) in the direction of the future. We live in a nation where the system has failed repeatedly to engender trust in its citizenry. The kind of trust that would have allowed the people to contribute their genius in times like this.

The leadership landscape in the nation can at best be described as almost Monarchial – with political office holders living like lords while their constituents wallow in a whirlpool of hunger, disease and lack of basic amenities. This leadership style bothers on the edges of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy. These styles alienate trust and belief in the system.

The problem is, this same kind of leadership is also at work in the business terrain. Corporate leadership is also most times tainted with the toxic characteristics observed in the political space. The result is that employers of labor cannot really reap the most from the optimum intelligence, skill, expertise and genius of their workforce. They have a workforce that is practically disconnected from their vision and core ideology. And just like in the larger society, when things like these happen, the potentially powerful workforce will revert to survival mode. As they say, people cannot rise above their leadership.

It all goes to show that these negative and toxic leadership styles will have dire consequences on the nations – and organization’s – capacity to rise and thrive in trying times. Just at that moment when the demand should be on how they can unleash their genius, they shut up. Most times, they shut up because they had not been nurtured in preparation for times like these.

One of the best ways to get people to perform at their optimum is through Coaching. It is not a coincidence that outstanding performers – Athletes, Business People and Exceptional Politicians – have Coaches. Coaching is the one life intervention that helps people optimize their performance at an accelerated pace. Aside from the fact that it is currently the second-fastest industry globally, according to recent reports, it is also a sure fire-tool for getting people to future pace.

Every organization has a life cycle and when that life cycle expires, there comes that urgent need to rebuild. But then the best organizations are those who don’t have to wait for a life cycle to complete before they begin to rebuild – they put a system in place to keep the cycle rolling.

We might have achieved results based on being tough on our people in the past but as time progresses, we need to engage and prepare this very person for the future. And the easiest way to engage them is through Coaching.
Executive Coaching allows organizations to elongate their lifespan by continuously creating star players. As leaders rise up on the totem pole, they generally lose the 360-degree awareness and thus one of the reasons why they truly need a Coach. A Coach helps you see the gaps in your performance – gaps that you have become blinded to. A Coach helps you look at you – persona, performance and all – from the outside. He helps you get a proper perspective. They say smart leaders ask – and even pay – for advice.

Skill, talent and network can allow you to rise to the top but to stay on top, and become truly influential – you need coaching.

And as it is with corporate organizations, so it is with nations. We need to begin to engage in the next generation. And prepare them for the bold new world in which they will live. The leader needs to keep future pacing, describing what the future holds, and preparing his constituents to harness the opportunities of the future they see.

Technology is going to form the landscape of this new world, hence leaders should begin to train their people on how to work with this growing force of change, to begin to engage with their people on a deep level. They need to put in place empowerment machinery that would help these people thrive in this new world.

Every sector of modern society is swept up in this new tsunami – from education to health, to housing, to even the basics of feeding is undergoing radical change. Leadership needs to step in and stem the tides.
The world has changed and a new world would without a doubt needs a new kind of man. A man updated in skillset, mindset and toolset. It is the responsibility of leadership – corporate and political – to begin to engage the forces that will create this kind of man.

The propagation of our species depends on it.

Join me for my Mind Transformation sessions on Instagram live every day @lanreolusola; each guest and time for the day is announced on my feed and instastories.

Do you need an Executive and Leadership Coach to work with you as a Leader? Send an email to hello@thecatalystng.com.
Shalom,
Lanre Olusola
The Catalyst


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