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The Downfall of Leadership: Ego and Supremacy

By: Austin S Fallah- Champion of Respectful Leadership of Inclusion and Respect for Superior:

I have extensive leadership experience, having served as a supervisor for eleven years, leading a continental-diverse government team, an assistant controller for one year, an assistant commissioner for eleven years, a team leader for many years, and a law enforcement officer for five years in both a foreign land and Liberia.

However, I continue to learn about leadership and recognition every day in the realm of academia and social environments.

Remember the story of Yeshua (Jesus) Christ when He washed the feet of His disciples and what He told them?  John 13:1-17.

We all need to be  SERVANT LEADERS.

Leadership, a vital element in the successful governance of any organization or country, is at its core about service, guidance, and the ability to unite people toward a common purpose.

However, in nations such as Liberia and within many Liberian organizations, there has been a visible erosion in the quality of leadership.

This decline can largely be attributed to the prevalence of ego and a desire to project superiority among leaders.

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When a person in a position of power insists on embodying the notion of “I am the boss and you cannot tell me what to do,” it is indicative of toxic leadership.

This approach is counterproductive, as it ignores the basic tenets of true leadership, compassion, inclusiveness, respect, tolerance, and commitment.

Such leaders are often more interested in affirming their authority than in fostering a constructive environment where every team member feels valued and acknowledged.

This issue is further exacerbated when leaders ignore the importance of being open to new ideas and fail to demonstrate care for those they are supposed to lead.

A true leader does not merely issue commands but rather seeks to inspire and uplift those around them.

It demands a delicate balance of confidence and humility, ensuring that leaders command respect without coercing it through intimidation.

When leadership is reduced to a power play, it undermines the very structure it is intended to uphold.

The leader becomes isolated, and the team is alienated, creating a divide that hampers productivity and motivation.

If the leaders in Liberia and within its organizations could reorient their focus on inclusiveness actively soliciting and valuing the contributions of all team members, regardless of their position in the hierarchy then governance and organizational management would greatly benefit.

The Challenge of Authority and Respect in Hierarchical Systems:

The aforementioned leadership flaws are further complicated by the lack of respect for authority exhibited by some subordinates.

In Liberia, a troubling trend has manifested where people do not respect their bosses, often basing this defiance on educational prowess or a perception of over-formality.

This issue cuts both ways,  employees need to recognize the authority of their bosses while also feeling that their knowledge and efforts are recognized.

Some may feel that their boss is no different from themselves, having been appointed by a leader or organizational board, leading to a mindset that undercuts the boss’s authority.

Yet, this perspective overlooks the necessity of having someone at the helm to coordinate and make decisions for the greater good of the group.

However, it is imperative that this person at the helm, the boss, maintains an attitude of inclusiveness and remains open to new ideas while showing respect and care for their subordinates.

A lack of respect for leadership can not only undermine a boss’s ability to lead effectively but can also create a toxic work environment where conflict and disarray thrive.

Moreover, when subordinates are more educated or possess a greater skill set than their boss, that boss must leverage their subordinates’ strengths and foster a culture of mutual learning and respect.

An educated workforce should not be viewed as a threat but as an asset to leadership.

It can inject fresh perspectives and innovation into the organization, propelling it towards success.

In essence, if leaders in Liberia, whether in governmental or organizational positions, can establish a culture of respect that flows in both directions, leadership will indeed garner a whole new, enriched meaning.

Redefining Leadership in Liberian Governance and Organizations:

For Liberia, it stands at a crossroads where the redefinition of leadership could significantly alter its trajectory.

If leaders within the country and its organizations embrace the philosophy of servant leadership, coupled with recognition of the diverse talents and skills present within their teams, a transformation in governance and organizational effectiveness can occur.

Servant leadership, wherein a leader’s primary role is to serve others, emphasizes the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.

It flips the traditional power dynamic, encouraging a more collaborative and empathetic approach.

To implement this leadership paradigm, bosses need to listen actively, communicate clearly, and establish a vision that resonates with all members of the organization.

Additionally, by recognizing their own limitations and being willing to learn from those under their leadership, high-ranking officials and managers can build a robust governance structure.

When leaders show humility and a genuine interest in the perspectives of their team, this not only fosters innovation but also engenders loyalty and a sense of collective purpose.

However, the burden of change does not solely rest on the shoulders of those in power.

Subordinates, too, must adopt a respectful stance, acknowledging the responsibilities and pressures that come with leadership roles while constructively engaging with superiors to share insights and suggestions.

If both leaders and followers in Liberia can embrace these values of mutual respect and commitment to a shared vision, the skills of leadership will no longer be undermined.

Instead, leadership will be synonymous with progress, unity, and the strength of collective effort in both governance and the fabric of Liberian organizations.

For Liberia’s advancement, both leaders and subordinates must reassess and redefine their roles.

Both must operate within a framework of mutual regard and shared objectives.

Liberian governance and organization stand to gain from this cultural shift toward a leadership model that embodies inclusiveness, respect, and servant leadership principles.

Through this transformation, leadership can be redeemed as a force for good, steering Liberia toward a future marked by collaborative success and national prosperity.

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