By Jonah Nyoni
AT times politics makes many people fail to define true leadership. Politics has polluted what true leadership is. Followers, because they are not well read and informed, they fall into the trap of following sheepishly without questioning the person they are following. In fact, followers are not meant to be subservient and subject to the leader, but they should hold their leaders accountable. In other terms, leaders are meant to influence and not control people. Leaders are not meant to subjugate, but serve people. We are in an election season and that poses a problem to our country. We see people who want to be elected into office, but have nothing to offer for the future.
We have people who promise things such as roads, jobs, but they don’t have a personal vision. We have leaders who only come during election time, but don’t have a vision for the next generation.
The future, as long as we don’t confront these leaders, is being stolen by beings who masquerade to be knowledgeable, yet in reality they have nothing to offer. We have to ask hard and fundamental questions to every politician:
l What is your personal vision? This answers to where they are headed as an individual before they attempt to lead us. Don’t be led by someone who doesn’t have direction for their personal life.
l What is your personal purpose? This answers to problems they are solving or they will solve even if they didn’t secure the political post
l What is the purpose for your village? This secures the future of their immediate surroundings.
l What’s your dream for the young people? This secures the future of our country.
Don’t follow someone who promises programmes such as building roads, dams, bridges, boreholes etc yet they don’t have a personal vision, and don’t know their vision. They are just lying and seeking nomination and political relevance, whilst they lack leadership clout.
We have a developed system and culture that destroys true leadership. We have well-clad leaders without morals. We have seemingly powerful leaders without purpose. We have leaders that have mastered control yet they can’t serve. We are in truly dangerous and perilous times. The lack of true leadership is the death of the future. We have famous leaders who have lost principles. Now, we should not measure a leader by the number of followers, but by the size of their library. The quality of a leader’s library determines the leader’s mental paradigm.
We are led by weak people, and they use their fear to instil fear in us. We are led by manipulative leaders and as such they dupe people. The weakness of a leader becomes his way to lead people. In other terms, powerful leaders are those that empower
Weak leaders oppress people. Poor leaders feel powerful if other people feel powerless and they abuse them so that other people become slaves under them. Weak leaders brainwash people and make people believe what is not true. This happens in companies, churches, organisations and different spheres. People are oppressed by weaklings and weak-minded leaders.
What is true leadership? John Maxwell said: “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Myles Munroe defines leadership as: “Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by a passion, generated by a vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose”.
True leadership seeks to make the best out of people. True leadership is respected, but not feared. True leadership loves. What we see around the world are leaders that abuse people, and instil fear in people for their own selfish gains.
Great leaders are those that have the ability to change the world, make it a better place by creating. The power to create comes from purpose. Purpose is the only thing that makes leaders lead effectively. Leaders are meant or have a purpose to solve problems around them. They have the creativity to use the delegative skill to have more people help them solve problems.
Great leaders have a vision and they communicate the vision. In fact people should stop following people, and start following a vision in a person. It’s not surprising that countries, churches and organisations lead people that don’t have a vision. People without a vision are blind. Then how can a blind person lead other people?
Great leaders have people at heart. They are moved by the pains of other human beings and give them a helping hand. Heartless leaders are autocratic, despotic and dangerous to humanity. The old adage goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Clarity of standards
Great leaders set high standards. They respect people who serve them. Great leaders are assertive, love the truth, and live by principles. Great leaders understand that they have power to fulfill their purpose-driven dreams.
Parting Point: Leaders need to be re-trained. What controls the thoughts of a leader controls that leader. If Africa is to change and transform, the thoughts of African leaders must change.
Leadership is not about technique or methodology and manipulative tools to overcome people. Leadership is about a heart to love people and help them transform their surroundings. Leadership is not accumulating material things and conquering people, but a regenerated mind.