The topic above is Leading for Change; Towards Exploit and Impact. I found this topic absolutely interesting and contemporary because we are in a dispensation that requires an urgent reorientation of what leadership implies. Secondly, the world is waiting for people who will institute positive change, exert impact, and drive the development of our society. As young Africans, there is no better time to discuss this issue than now, and specifically as Nigerians, this is the perfect time for us to stress the importance of leadership and motivating everyone towards impact-making.
Studies, discussions, books, forums, debates, and so on have been done to define leadership. In fact, leadership experts from different climes have defined and propounded many theories and perceptions of what leadership is. I am sure as a reader you can also say one or two things about leadership or leading.
For instance, John C. Maxwell, says leadership is influence. Please take note of the word influence. Influence is the ability and the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something or the effect itself.
TD Jakes opines that leadership is the act of leading people or organizations towards the achievement of set goals. And to be honest with you, we will not come to an end if we continue to examine various definitions that have been postulated of leadership. However, a general consensus among all definitions of leadership is that leadership is a call to responsibilities, it’s a call to performance. Leadership is a call to work, and it’s a call to take people and organizations from where they are presently to where they ought to be.
Leadership is not just about position. It’s unfortunate that society has reduced the essence of leadership to position. I am not just talking about the Nigerian society alone. Leadership has been wrongly conceptualized in other parts of the world too and this is why breaking out from oppression, mischievousness, poverty, and other socioeconomic problems has remained herculean for several societies. Leadership is about identifying problems and creating sustainable solutions.
Truth be told, our communities, cities, and country can be better than what it is now if people who are leading piqued the true meaning of leadership. This is what I believe this initiative is striving to achieve. Everyone is a leader. One of my findings in terms of peoples’ perception of leadership in Nigeria is that many people believe that “some are leaders” while “others are followers”. We are all leaders. I am a leader. You are a leader. Everyone is a leader. The responsibilities and scope of leadership may be different, yet we are all leaders.
As a leader, your focus and priority must be towards initiating positive change. In a dysfunctional leadership environment, the solution is not raking of curses and abuses on the leaders. Rather, the solution is to get involved in the process of instituting good leadership. In a dysfunctional leadership environment, your priority must be to change the narratives. Are you developing the skillsets required to lead? Do you have a vision, strategy, and resources to take yourself and others to a better pedestal? The real measure of leadership is not in the size of the position or the number of years spent in the position, the real measure of leadership is, how many people did you influence positively?
Nothing can be compared to good leadership. It comes with exploit-making. What does that imply? A life of exploit is possible and easier to achieve when leadership is seen as a call to service. It is amazing that a lot of people in this generation are interested in quick wealth and overnight fortune. Leadership values are eroding and exploit-making is vast becoming a daydream for quite a lot of young people. What is the way out? Young people need to acquire leadership skills and strength. You can make exploit when you embrace leadership. To become that leader of positive influence and indelible impact, please start acting today. Be a mentor to someone out there. Use your media resources to your advantage. Go to that orphanage and give the little you have. Teach young ones for free and encourage everyone around you. Do not wait for the big platform before you make a positive impact. Start where you are with what you have.
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not represent the opinions or views of Osun Defender