I was trying to help a small group of boys-all of them Liberians-that were into gospel music in Nigeria and then during one of their practice sessions I said to them that if they were determined they can surpass “Boyz 2 Men” and go places they have never dreamt of, and the leader of the group responded that it was impossible because there is no group that can surpass Boyz 2 Men. At another time while I was watching an English and Spanish Premier League games on satellite television in Monrovia, I said to a small group of guys that were standing with me outside of the hall when it was half time that Liberia can have stadia more than the ones we were looking at and almost all who heard me made the statement said I was day dreaming and in fact some threw insult at me. The above is exactly how many in Liberia thinks or sees things.
They do not have a vision bigger than themselves. They do not see a better picture of tomorrow for themselves, family, business and country. Many of course lacked the ability and drive to make things happen. Many are short sighted and do not long to take their leadership somewhere, break new grounds and conquering new worlds. Benefits and/or budgetary allocation will give one a sense of our leaders’ lack of vision, short sightedness and true heart for this country. What a pity for Mama Liberia.
Friend, I have had the privilege to speak with several Liberians including leaders on their vision for the future and you would be shock to know that many don’t have a clear mental picture of the future they want for themselves, family, business and country. Many have left it to chance, not having a definite plan and purpose. Friend, we need to put on a bigger vision in this country and we need to change our perspectives on the way we see things. We will not move this country forward if we do not change our mind set, the way we see things and on the way we think and do things.
At the just ended Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Conference held on last week at the Executive Pavilion on Broad Street, many of the speakers that were asked to speak at the three (3) days conference drew examples of the success of MSME from other countries such as Togo, Uganda, Senegal and Ghana, and think Liberia can follow suit. The conference was for the first time held in Liberia in over 165 years of her independence. And so fellow Liberians, where have we gone wrong? Why, as the first independent republic, and one that should have taken the lead is far behind others? Why have we not yet become a success story but is always learning from younger countries within our region when we are the first and oldest independent republic in Africa? Doesn’t this bother us and that we need to take a stand to doing something about it?
Don’t we think it is time we step out of the box so that we put on our creativity and imagination that could take us to worlds far beyond what we have ever dreamed? Don’t we think it’s about time Liberia take up her role as a leader and big brother within our region?
Robert Greenleaf in his book The Servant as a Leader, says, “Foresight is the lead that the leader has. Once he loses this lead and events start to force him to act, he is a leader in name only. He is not leading; he is reacting to immediate events and he probably will not remain the leader.”
Friend, people long for leaders to give them hope – a picture of where they should go. Vision is a picture held in your mind’s eye of the way things could or should be in the days ahead. Vision is a portrait of a preferred future. The picture is internal and personal. Eventually, you will have to paint this mental portrait inside others if you wish the vision to materialize in your business, organization or ministry.
Therefore, in order to have foresight, one must note the ingredients of a vision. A vision must have a clear picture. A clear picture serves as a sort of map on the inside. A vision must have a positive change. A positive change improves present conditions. A vision must have a future focus. A future focus furnishes direction to the unseen future. A vision is a gift from God. As a gift from God it is divinely inspired, not humanly manipulated. And lastly, a vision must have a chosen people and time. It is for a select leader and group at a given time.
Friend, the above ingredient of a vision applies to you as an individual and as you begin to have a clear mental picture about the future you want for yourself, family, business and country I promised you that sky will be your limit.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development; strategic planning, wealth creation and team building and management and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. He can be contacted through email at: email@example.com or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776-545-394)