By Ethelbert Obinna Umeh
I have taken time severally to look at the problem with Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, and have discovered in clear terms that just like Chinua Achebe said many years ago, it is squarely failure of leadership.
Amazingly, many institutions of learning on leadership have sprung in recent times both online and offline. Each of them offering leadership courses to students and intending leaders. In view of this, I have decided to provide top 5 leadership qualities.
· Vision- the Holy Scripture made it clear that people perish for lack of wisdom. Vision is an important ingredient that gives the leader a specific direction. You can never reach your potential or achieve much if you are not a leader. A leader with vision will never die in the minds and hearts of people, because the vision will keep glowing centuries after their death. Few examples are the likes of Steve Jobs of Apple, Henry Ford of Ford motors, J.D Rockefeller of Standard oil and many more. Your vision should be lived out in words and deeds.
· Courage: this is the power house or motivating force of vision. A man who has vision, but lacks the mental capacity or determination to carry it out is doomed to fail. Think about the lives of many great men who died before the age of 40 and still made much impact. For example, Martin Luther King jr died at 39, and still left an amazing impact in the hearts of people. He did what many people will just dream of. Courage attracts and is contagious. Fear of failure or unknown is a crippler. Fear is capable of making you a perpetual dreamer. Nobody becomes great simply by procrastinating or daydreaming. Every great leader must take the necessary actions. Confront your fears and overcome them.
· Grit: it is simply defined as developing passion for long term goals or desired goals. A person with grit is said to have an indomitable spirit, firmness of character, great resolve, and lots more. Someone with grit have no option than achieving the set goals. It is good to have courage, but it is better to have grit. It is the ability to keep trying even in the face of hurricane forces or defeat. You will be a better person if you have grit. Make a point of duty to fulfil your dreams today. You have no reason to be a failure.
· Mentoring: if you ask me, mentoring doesn’t need a definition. It is the art of motivating someone preferably your disciple or follower. It involves carrying people along, making them better. Some leaders believe that their disciples shouldn’t be as successful as themselves. Therefore, they try to keep their leadership qualities protective or secretive. Such leaders try to guard their experience and knowledge jealously. People who do this, have not truly understand what it means to be a successful leader. To lead is a call to service, a call to inspire people, a clarion call to make people productive. Just like John C Maxwell says, a leader is one who shows the way. As a leader, resolve to share your knowledge and experience with your followers. Don’t be stingy with what you have.
· Empathy: it is the ability to feel the pains of your followers; it is the art of having compassion. You can’t be a great leader if you are finding it extremely difficult to put yourself in the position of others. It is only when you have done so, that you can beat your chest and said that you truly understand their true nature, and then be able to proffer your own solutions.