Why Proper Leadership is this Century’s Greatest Need.
A few years ago, the former late president Kibaki stood up to speak. His first statement was a kind of reprimand to the preceding speakers who had repeated themselves so much until the president felt ‘angered’ that the speakers thought he hadn’t heard whatever they were putting across.
This came to my mind after observing some meetings which take too long not because the matters under discussion are so important, nay but because there is a lack of leadership to offer the right guidance. People repeat themselves over and over again until before you know it, an entire day is over.
Leadership is a very wide discipline. It cuts across the different facets of life for both people as well as the animal kingdom. Without leadership, so many things would be out of order. Truth be told, some people were born to be led in as much as leadership is a skill that can be learned by anybody.
Let me go off-script a little bit. Kenya just came out of an election period. Besides the petitions filed, several political positions have been already filled including that of governors. In my observation, some of the governors will have a hard time handling the leadership cum administrative roles they have been entrusted with simply because of how they began their first day of governance.
Leadership, vision, and communication
One of the most vital responsibilities of a leader is to communicate the vision of an organization. Then, the leaders should demonstrate, by their daily activities, how they intend to ensure the organization honors that vision by attaining it.
Within the communication is embedded the objectives of answering the biggest question of why that vision and why it is important to achieve it. Back to the meeting scenario, most leaders have failed to take charge of meetings simply because they don’t have clear objectives in the first place and allow people to go out of the confines of goals that need to be attained in such meetings. The same is true with not keeping true to the vision.
We need people today more than ever who have a clear understanding of organizational needs and can make other people have the same understanding of those needs at their levels without force or dictatorship. That is why I am talking about leadership and not bossing.
Integrity, ethics, and motivation
To be honest, leadership has lost some charm with the dilution by social morass served on the leadership table by people of questionable integrity occupying those positions of leadership. The blame often is never these questionable characters but the ones who put them in leadership in the first place.
Social ethics has lost its value today maybe from the way we parent our children. It gets to the point where the neck has grown stiff and the so-called generation of tomorrow’s cream finds it very honorable to glorify mediocrity and folly.
Leaders are supposed to motivate those they lead into putting in their best effort to the tasks at hand. The monetary value becomes one of the awards for achieving a lot. The problem is that we usually have poor leadership chains that make the upfront money the only thing for motivation.
It turns out that this corrupt system has become the Modulus Operandi of doing things today. And such corruption has become the greatest thing that is taking some of our entire economies down to their knees. Corrupt leadership across the various areas of the divide is to blame by all means. Both the leadership and the led are corrupt which simply means that there is a shortage of leadership in so many areas of our lives.
Decision-making, growth, and focus
Leadership demands a lot of decision-making. One fact we need to know is that allowing others to speak first allows the leader to get the general mood of the meeting for example and thus the ability to devise the best decision and within the most reasonable possible.
As a leader, one will be expected to make a lot of decisions in the course of their tenure. It is this decision that will determine if the leadership, in general, is making progress to positive – growth or not. A leader often needs to be five steps ahead of the rest although this doesn’t mean not listening to them.
It is the leadership that ensures that the people in the organization remain on course and don’t lose focus. In the initial example of a meeting I was using, if the leader doesn’t keep the discussion focused on the theme and objectives of that seating, a lot of time gets wasted with people who go off course with their discussions.
In as much as a lot of people insist that everything is important, the leader knows that yes everything is important but other things are misplaced and out of context and should be kept at bay until the right time. Being able to keep the organization or meeting on course saves the organization a lot of time for creating more value.
Leadership is important also to ensure morale boosting is cultivated throughout the organization, creativity is encouraged and people are fired up as well as confident in their undertaking. The sum of all these aspects is what differentiates success from failure.
Someone should never lie to you that the leadership has no play with failure at the departmental level. It is the leadership that needs to be blamed by all means. So, today the world needs more leaders than bosses. Our county is even in dire need of proper leaders right from the political side to the very bottom of the chain – in our diverse organizations both the public and private sector.
If anything my reader, strive to be the best leader in a world that is short of this very important class of people. The good thing is that leadership can be learned. The ball now rests with you.