Positive Leadership: We Can Do It
And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. (Genesis 11:6)
THE history of great nations and organisations is often the history of great leadership. We cannot discuss the great Mongol Empire without Genghis Khan or the Greek empire without Alexander the Great or the American nation without George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, to mention a few or Singapore without Lee Kuan Yew. It is in the same vein that organisations owe their successes to leaders who inspired them to lofty heights. “Everything rises and falls on leadership,” John Maxwell said. And Chinua Achebe, speaking about the tragedy of the Nigerian state said: “The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership.” Leadership is, indeed, vital, everything works if leadership works.” But the question is: is leadership a solitary endeavour? Does it depend entirely on the skill, competence and acumen of a single individual? While we may assume yes to be the case – the answer is no. Leadership is communal.
Some of the greatest demonstrations of leadership, from the civil rights movement to the demolition of apartheid, were the results of collective efforts; collaborations within leadership and between the leadership and the led developing a community of people assuming responsibility for the change they wanted to see. As John Coleman aptly put it: “Real change is community-driven and community- focused. Few great changes happen until and unless a critical mass of community members collectively decides to own and execute the solution.” Paul in the Bible puts it this way: “As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love,” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT).
So, leadership in the true sense hinges on the driving personality’s expertise and diligence on the one hand, and on the collaboration and contribution of every individual in the system on the other. We just have to come to terms with the fact that the world today thrives on the interdependence, connectivity and fluid collaboration of individuals and diverse groups fulfilling their aspirations by fusing their skills and assets to achieve a common goal. This is why Nigeria is uniquely positioned for greatness, because we are a great community of people. All we now need to do is rally behind the common goal of taking this nation out of the realm of “sleeping giant” into an active participant in the comity of nations. This will necessitate deliberate collaborations between the private and public sectors, the federal, state and local governments, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, and between the government and the governed. Every unit of the system benefits, when everybody jointly assumes responsibility for the viability and integrity of the system.
The situation, where hitherto individuals, local governments, and even states just sit and wait for handouts from the centre will become unfashionable, because everybody will have something to contribute and something to benefit. There is no magic wand to be waved anywhere anymore. Our future is in our hands and our destiny is in our choices. It is time to live up to our responsibilities. As our opening scripture implies, when the people are one and have one language, nothing they propose will be impossible for them. I believe nothing is impossible for Nigeria to accomplish. We can do it. Let us do it.
Nigeria Has A Great Future!
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