Hello and welcome to the final edition of this series. Yes, today we draw the curtains on this topic. In my opinions, it’s been wonderful and before I dive into this last piece, I’d like to immensely thank all who’ve taken out time on a regular to read the different editions of this series. I appreciate your comments, suggestions, likes, broadcasts, recommendations etc. God bless you all. So guys, of all the past editions, this is the one that matters the most – it’s where you get to act on what we’ve learned the past 2 weeks. Do read, learn, enjoy and practice.
WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN FOR AND BEFORE EMBARKING ON YOUR LEADERSHIP JOURNEY
- Humility: This surely is a rock for leaders who apply it. You must realise that you aren’t only a leader, but also a servant to those you will lead – you are serving them as you lead them. The bible says of Jesus that He, leaving His majesty, glory and splendor, came to our world, making himself as low as a servant. A leader who leads from the point of a servant will know the heart and yearning of his followers. A leader who only leads from his throne, soonest will have no throne. If you’re humble, you’ll have more followers. The one who is proud has nothing, neither men nor things. Even the proud don’t like their kind, because they think they should be the only ones to have something they’re proud about.
Learning takes humility. Leading, which involves learning, takes twice as more – humility to lead and learn.
- Patience: There’s humility also in this fellow. It seems ‘Humility’ is having a party and invited all his close friends. The entirety of leadership needs humility. To be patient is “(adj.) Having the quality of enduring; physically able to suffer or bear. Long-suffering.” Patience involves ‘sobriety’ and vice versa. A leader who acts in haste in everything, without thoroughly thinking through his possible actions, will put many lives, including his, in jeopardy; incessant, unwarranted danger. Although there are times that call for immediate action, there are also times, more often than not, that require patience.
Furthermore, as a leader, you must know that there are things you will understand that your followers wouldn’t. Therefore, for want of clarity and sound communication, you need to patiently inform. Although, while am encouraging sound communication, there are some information certain people shouldn’t be given.
- Integrity: Before embarking and while on the leadership journey, your integrity (all round) should be kept intact. Many leaders who became great, tarnished their integrity and fell flat. They let affluence, fame and people destroy their integrity. People like Nelson Mandela had their integrity intact, irrespective of local standii. When you have integrity, you have principles – what you would and wouldn’t do. My grandfather (Prof. CIO Olaniyan),once in a discussion with my dad, told him his principle, “When you have your values in place, decision making is that easy.” What strong words. Values can be substituted with integrity and uprightness for integrity as well. Hence, integrity is defined as, “The state or quality of being entire or complete; wholeness; moral soundness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence or motive.”
- Fearlessness: The name Leonard means “brave lion”, derived from the Germanic elements levon “lion” and hard “brave, hardy”. A leader who is fearful is unfit for leadership. When I say fearful, I don’t just mean ‘scared-of-the-dark’ fearful. If you can’t take any risk, not to mention the right risks, you’re fearful. I define ‘fearful’ as being full of fear, meaning there’s no space for courage. Fearlessness, in my definition, is having less of fear and more of courage. You must war against your fear to win your courage.
Being a leader, everyone you’re leading is counting on you at all times. So, if you ‘freak out’ or seem perplexed, they will too. We say we don’t like change, but we change. When more people ‘catch the fire’, everywhere will be consumed (literally).
If you want to be a fearless leader, you must deliberately confront what you fear. Is it a phobia for clowns (like Sam Winchester in ‘Supernatural’)? Dogs, new things, or failure etc.? As is said, “Nothing is permanent”. If you can quench that fear, you’ve gotten rid of it. But just as nothing is permanent (even good times), things will come to test your courage, but if you could quench your fears before, you can do it again and again.
- Finally, we have ‘Maturity’. In certain countries, you don’t drive till eighteen. Likewise, there are assignments, duties, tasks that only the mature can handle efficiently. A subsection of maturity is initiative – you must be mature enough not to wait for instructions, but proactively take actions that are in your power to. Part of having initiative is thinking outside the box (your comfort zone or jurisdiction). Another subset of maturity is excellence. If you can’t handle tasks excellently, which you ought to, then you are immature! Maturity has many subsets, one very important is Enthusiasm. As a leader, there are times you’ll be demotivated, but during those times, it takes maturity not to whine or relent on your pursuits, rather pursue unrelentingly with enthusiasm.
- Don’t be afraid of change.
- Be open to, but also circumspect in, receiving advice from others: You can as well learn from both living and non-living creatures alike. Learn what you need to when you ought to, or you’ll learn what you need to the hard way.
- Whatever you desire to learn must be planned in details, and must meet the following criteria:
- It must be important and relevant to your positive development.
- It must be what you want; not influenced by anyone.
- It must be something not just for you; another should benefit from it.
- The hard way of learning are not punishments, but privileges, either learning for the adamant or those preparing for greatness.
- To enjoy the easy way of learning, discipline is important.
- The greatest thing to use learning for is LEADERSHIP.
- You never stop learning because life never stops teaching.
Well, after all these edition, one thing remains, which is, “Learning is the foundation of LEADERSHIP.” Thank you for your time these past 2 weeks. I hope it was worth your while. Feel free to contact me to share your thoughts on these series and other things. I’ll also like to inform all our readers that we’re in the market for Guest Columnists. So if interested, click here. Also, our LDsquare competition entry closes Nov 30th. Hurry now!