LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Our leadership style in Nigeria is still following the oppressive foundation of traditional institutions, colonialism and dictatorial pattern of military rules and these make our leaders too powerful and no one dares question them. They are “do as I say leaders, not do as I do”.
There’s no gain saying the fact that we adapted to these kinds in the past and any departure from these was considered as weak or inefficient leadership. However, the gap between the leaders and the led is too much, the disparity between allowances, the comfort of the reservation areas they live and their general lifestyles are extremely opposite to those of the populace.
Oppressive tendencies pervade our societies and joining the oppressors is considered as “arrival” and sudden wealth is celebrated with funfair, even in religious settings. Though we were used to this background, the level of our awareness now surpasses these practices and the average Nigerian craves for a departure from colonialism and dictatorship.
Leading by example attract great followership, it’s easy to follow someone who is “doing it” (demonstrating) what should be done. Jesus said; “follow me and I will make you” and Apostle Paul said “follow me as I follow Christ”. What is demonstrated stick longer to the brain than what was barely instructed.
Fashola, is still the best example of public leader around here; demonstrating what he wanted, no sirens, didn’t drive on BRT lanes and his modest lifestyle was obvious to all. Yes, he was not perfect but he demonstrated it that it can be done and no reasonable man denies what has been demonstrated.
Buhari presidency too has tried to demonstrated chastity and even the opposition cannot fault that; the numerical strength of his entourage has reduced, his priorities are “cost-saving” driven and it’s easier to believe his anti corruption fight because he lives it. I am not his PR-man but I can’t fault him in what he has demonstrated.
Meanwhile in this same clime, we have leaders sacking staff on cases of theft but themselves live above their incomes, they screen workers’ credentials but themselves live fake lives, false identities and multiple citizenry. The followers might not be able to confront the leader but they know he’s lying.
Even in family setting, it’s difficult to prevent the children from repeating what they see the parents demonstrated, you can proclaim till eternity that “not for children” but they will only desire to imitate the adults and hate childhood; it see childhood as deprivation.
Our leaders are complaining of austerity but they live in opulence, they admit the fallen standard of education but their wards school abroad, we have banks of international standard in Nigeria but they stack money in foreign banks. Without making it public, the top civil servants too start sending their children abroad, (even public teachers send their wards to private schools), buying houses overseas and going about in sirens because that’s how it should be: “arrival status”.
Now, a serving governor has gone to marry off his daughter in foreign country, laying the precedence for such; leadership is not convenience, it’s sacrifice and you trade off your personal liberty, you stop doing things just because you feel like but because of the impressions the people get.
Leadership Quote: Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.
By Albert Schweitzer
Good morning, have a great day and beautiful weekend.