Leadership is about inspiring people not about managing people. So, if you are a manager, I will encourage you to become a leader-manager so that you will lead and inspire people and not manage them because people don’t want to be managed they want to be inspired to do better jobs. People want to be motivated.
Leaders need qualities that set them apart from others. Qualities that show they are leaders and has foresight. Friend, in every age there comes a time when a leader must come forward to meet the need of the hour. Therefore, there is no potential leader who does not have an opportunity to make a positive difference in society. Tragically, Liberia, our country has been a victim of leaders who are not making any positive difference in our society today. While it is true that we are making little progress there is still more work that needs to be done. Liberia truly needs leaders and not managers or dictators. Leaders who truly have a heart for this country and its people will make a positive difference and will take Liberia to higher heights.
Friend, why is it that when circumstances call for it, our leaders does not rise to that hour? Many times it is because people have not prepared their hearts to serve this country. It is important that leaders develop the “skills” in order to lead effectively. But in Liberia’s case, our leaders have not developed the skills needed to lead effectively and to move this country forward? And so, is Liberia a modeled country which other countries can emulate or is Liberia leading and setting examples for others to follow since she is the oldest independent republic in Africa? I would leave it for you.
However, there are several important qualities that every great leader should build into his or her life, first before they lead others and I want to encourage our leaders to see and use these as guide:
1) A leader must have a great purpose in life – Do you as a leader know your God-given purpose in life? What are your burdens? What are your gifts and/or natural talents? What are your desires and passions? What do others affirm about you? What are your dreams and visions? What opportunities are in front of you? 2) A leader must serve in attitude and action – The best way to accomplish your purpose is to serve people. Leaders naturally arise when someone determines to serve… it always starts with a need. That need sparks passion within a person. That person acts in respond to the need. This action moves others to cooperate. An example is Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil rights movement, Nelson Mandela and the ANC fight against apartheid and Mahatma Gandhi and his fight for liberation.
3) A leader must stir up the gifts in himself and others – Leaders naturally arise, when they find their gift and use it to serve. It usually follows this order: First, a leader identifies a primary gift. Second, they develop that gift. Third, they match that gift with a place of service. Fourth, that gift provides a platform for influence and fifth, the leader eventually flourishes because of their gift.
4) A leader is secure enough to empower others – Friend; leaders who are not secure in their own identity will eventually sabotage their leadership. Insecure leaders become their own worst enemy and this is what many of our leaders in this country are. They are insecure. And because they are insecure they lacked vision and do not long to take their leadership somewhere, break new grounds or conquering new world. Secure leaders draw strength from identity while insecure leaders draw strength from image. It is only secure leaders that give power to others. Note this.
5) A leader is the one who has chosen to be an example before he leads others – If you cannot lead yourself or developed a discipline habit, then you cannot lead others. Do it yourself because people learn what they see.
Friend, effective leaders are genuinely concerned with efficiency and productivity and they realize that the growth and development of people are absolute necessities. It is important to understand that for you as a leader to become great and effective you must have a goal (vision), diverse skills and contribution and a strong coaching and communication. Every leader must have a vision and how they are going to get there and if a leader is to achieve his dreams he/she ought to know this. It is important to also know that leaders exist to serve the needs. If there were no needs there will be no leaders. So, what needs are our leaders serving today in Liberia?
Friend, Liberia will not make progress if her leaders don’t have a vision that is bigger than self. And if Liberia should make progress its leaders must grow. It is our leader’s growth that determines Liberia’s growth. Leaders need to grow because life and society are constantly changing and they must be able to meet up with these changes. Know this; a leader cannot lead a follower beyond where they have personally grown. Leaders must improve in order for them to stay in front. And for Liberia to make progress its leaders must stay on the same page.
(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: firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776-545-394)