Liberia is a country endowed with great talents and potentials but developing these talents remains to be seen. Realistic programs are not set in place for rising up visionary and focused leaders who will have a clear understanding of their mission, vision and purpose for life, family, business and country.
As it relates to leadership, many of our leaders in Liberia act alone. Consistent abuse of their offices and massive corruption in both public and private sectors are evidence of what I am saying. Our leaders are not secure in their identity and therefore, in most cases, eventually sabotage their leadership and become their own worst enemy. But above all Leaders in Liberia have not developed attitudes of total surrender, loyalty and patriotism to Liberia.
Friend, all successful leaders are driven by vision, but in our case greed drive most of our leaders as many lacked vision which is the basic element of leadership. Many are satisfied with the status quo and do not long to take their leadership somewhere, break new grounds and conquering new worlds.
Fellow Liberians, there is a clarion call for leaders in this country because there is a great dearth of effective and qualitative leadership in this country. There is a dire need for men and women, who will take charge, give direction and exert influence. Majority of the people in this country are content to stay at the bottom rung of the ladder of life. Many cannot be bothered about rising to any position of influence.
The painful truth is that many are too consumed with irking out a living that the thought of influencing others does not cross their minds. Very few venture to be leaders, very few dare to attempt or make a move to give direction. For many in Liberia the price of leadership is too high hence most people are content to be: paid rather than pay others; directed rather than give direction; led rather than lead and instructed rather than give instructions.
As a leader you are among the top echelon of people in your chosen field and in life. Leadership gives you a voice and you are to be a voice and not an echo. As a leader you are in charge, you are in a position of responsibility, you have influence, you are out to make a difference and you are to give direction.
There is a plethora of definitions about who a leader is and what leadership is but leadership can be summarized simply as influence. Leadership is also the ability to obtain followers. As a leader you will have to lead by example. Why? Because the people who followed you will do exactly what they see you do. But it is unfortunate that many of our leaders are not leading by example. Is such attitude worthy of emulation? Why are we turning this country into a laughing stock and are not learning from our mistakes since mistake is the best teacher? Friend, it is not experience that is the best teacher but mistake is. Know this.
Friend, to make an impact as a leader you must understand at least three components of leadership – 1) you have a God-given responsibility: HE has endowed you with gifts, talents, skills experience, special abilities, potentials, etc., and so you have something to offer. This therefore places a God-given responsibility to use HIS investments in you to influence others. You are head and not tail and so God expects you to discharge the responsibility of doing everything head does – Thinking (strategizing), Seeing (having vision), Hearing (perception) and Talking (being a voice).
2) You must have an identifiable group of people to influence: You must identify the scope and group of people you are called to influence. Understand this, not everybody will appreciate and accept your influence. If you try to influence (exercise leadership) over people who are not designed to be under the scope of your influence you are courting trouble. They will not respect you. They will not value you or your time.
3. Your leadership influence must have an aim: Leadership cannot be exercise in a vacuum. It must be for specific purposes, goals and aims. You are a leader because you are leading the people somewhere. As a leader you need to step out and take the challenge ahead of you. Multitudes are waiting for people who will step into leadership positions so they can be given direction. Millions of people are eagerly waiting to come under the umbrella of good leadership. The waiting list is endless and it includes individuals, groups, nations, companies, etc. Friend, step out and be the answer to their prayers. Step out and make a difference. Step out and lead with knowledge and understanding.
Fellow Liberians the ultimate purpose of a leader is to motivate people to discover themselves and their talents, to do their best, and to take responsibility and share recognition for achievement and failure. It is about helping people care about themselves, their work, and their treatment of others. Leadership is not about being charismatic, heroic, tough minded, making eloquent speeches, or skillful debate, etc. But in Liberia we are SO easily carried away by these things and think such person that possesses these characteristics or any one of them is a leader. You are making a mistake.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development; strategic planning, and team building. He also 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)