There is Shortage of Leaders

“Nigeria In Dire Need of Leaders That Understand The Moral Dimension of Leadership In Service Delivery”

Light I. Shedrack

“If you understand what sound leadership is all about, you’d know that the world, and indeed Nigeria have serious shortage of leaders in the truest meaning of leadership.  When I talk about leadership, I do not mean the politicians that mount the podium during campaign and brand themselves “tested and trusted” leaders. 

I am talking about leaders who understand the moral dimension of leadership in service delivery; leaders who have conquered selves, egos, and their ravenous appetite to steal from the treasury; leaders who understand the principle of stewardship; leaders who are followers and not bosses; leaders who understand how to optimize human, natural and other resources”.

The above were part of the opening address given by Light I. Shedrack in his talk to members of the Civil Society Organizations during its maiden edition of a two-day capacity building on Leadership/Basic ICT application training for civil society groups in Nigeria organized by Transparency Advocacy For Development Initiative (TADI) in conjunction with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Speaking on the topic “Leadership Capacity Building (Quality of Good Directive/Leadership Skill), Mr. Shedrack leveraged some legendary stories, including “Reformers of Selves Wanted in America’s Early History”, “The Sage Who Tied An Earthen Pot to His Waist” and “Mahatma Gandhi and The Woman Whose Son Had Sugar Addiction” to buttress the fact that leaders are first reformers who have reformed themselves.

“There is a silken thread of morality that holds great leaders together”. 

In Mr. Shedrack’s words “leaders are those who have reformed themselves.  Those who are selfless; Those who are driven by passion to serve and not to be served.  Those who inspire others and build them to succeed”.

“There is the moral dimension of leadership and unless it is present, no society moves in the right direction. Forget about those that brandish the name “Leaders”.  If they are truly leaders in the best definition of leadership, why have we not made any tangible progress since we got independence?  He described a true leader as an organizer, a mentor, a manager and someone who truly inspires others to succeed.  A leader is a Shepherd and not just a herder who only takes the sheep to the field.  A shepherd stays with the sheep in the face of danger.  He has emotive connection with the flock that he hurts when the flock hurts.

“Leaders always know the “Why”.  They know why they are saddled with the responsibilities they are saddled with.  They know why they need to deliver results. Mr. Shedrack reiterated the words of Raymond Smith, a USA business leader who said that leaders are in short supply and the society is not doing much to raise more. 

“A leader is visionary and he thinks SMART.  He is assertive.  He teaches and is teachable.  They are driven by passion to succeed and they do not only delegate authorities and responsibilities, they are part of the doing-team.

Mr Shedrack frowned at the system of leadership in Nigeria which sees others with bright ideas as a threat.  He said that Nigeria public office holders, including civil servants and those in private sectors do not feel comfortable when they have subordinates or staff who look and act brighter than them. 

“We only have managers and so-called leaders who will never allow those who exude more brilliance and intelligence to be promoted because they feel threatened that such brilliance and intelligence may take them out of business. It is called law of Injelitance”.

He encouraged the attendants to rejig their leadership consciousness towards promoting social cohesion, love, peace, intellectualism, merit and patriotism, among other virtues that build strong nationhood. He charged the attendants to begin to replace symbols of violence and divisions with symbols of peace, unity, love and creative engagements.

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