THE country’s leaders — and those aspiring to lead — have been under scrutiny since the elections held on July 30. The fight to earn the post of President has been fierce. Some say they know the will of the people and promise to fulfil it. Others say they have the experience to lead Zimbabwe to greener pastures?
SUCCESS LIFE: JONAH NYONI
But beyond the noise, we need to ask sobering questions. Are these leaders really convicted that they will lead Zimbabwe? Or it’s for their personal gain? Will they empower people or they just want power? Are they for the people or they are just for power? Are these leaders really concerned or convicted?
People have to ask these questions. One painful thing is that with politics at times the masses are led by foolish people. No qualification is needed. If a person can convince the masses that they will respond to their bread and butter issues, they can be voted into power.
In everyday corporate life, every leader has to be qualified enough either by merit or measurement. It looks like it’s only in politics that we take the risk of letting people lead us just by a promise. I would that every political leader in Zimbabwe has at least minimal training in leadership. Leaders must have the heart for people. We need enlightened leaders who are more concerned about the good of the people, leaders that are positive, progressive and people-driven. We need trained leaders. This is where leaders attend seminars purely on leadership so that they clear their mind from their political schemes and skirmishes.
I personally suggest that every leader in our country should read the book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell. We truly have educated people in this country, but we have a drought of learned people. We lack true enlightenment.
What is leadership? In the book, Transformative leadership (2018) I defined leadership as follows: “Leadership is the influence and motivation or drive to exploit individual latent abilities, improve one’s surroundings, fulfil obligations, purpose and the passion to help other people live their best lives. It is being active and impactful on the forefront of development.
“This development could be individually, intellectually, ideologically, and institutionally realised, and it may transcend the lifespan of that leader. True leadership offers hope, help, insight, foresight, and intuition through pioneering, modelling, mentoring, modifying, monitoring, motivating, mind development and influencing.”
The following are seven personal views and convictions about this critical subject of leadership.
- Many people have the ability to lead, hence the need for tools to coach, mentor and help them unleash their inherent potential to achieve great leadership. Some people might be endowed with instinctive traits, attributes and the charisma of being a leader more than others, but still they need to be empowered to realise that and release the potential.
- Leadership is the ability to influence others for transformation and positive change. As such, great leaders adapt and adjust their leadership repertoire to ensure that they remain effective in serving others.
- Leadership is the ability to see the bigger picture of the future; bigger than personal ambitions for self-enrichment. This picture becomes the motivation and reason to work harder as to put it in the realm of reality.
- The major role of every leader is not centred on power, but in the power to raise and empower more leaders. Hence, true leadership is not based on any position; anyone can lead without a title.
- The true measure of every leader is recognised in making themselves unnecessary to the people they lead because they would have spent much of their energies on improving them so much so the people they empowered are able to accomplish the leader’s dream or even more.
- Every true leader has to be a leader in their God-given purpose or intrinsic gifting. That is why they do not need a position or title to be leaders, but to use their gift to serve other people. Dr Myles Munroe (2008) said, “…each of us has an inherent gift and must serve that gift to the world. You are a leader. You have power. Your gift is your power. You are in charge in your area of your gifting, your domain. Your gift determines that spot and that function.”
- Every true leader has to discover and develop themselves first to lead others effectively. This includes allowing themselves to be vulnerable and open to criticism, as they search for answers.
As you embark on this adventure, the power of authentic leadership is far reaching and its results immeasurable as illustrated by characters such as Jesus Christ, Myles Monroe, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, just to name a few. We need to groom leaders that are ready to bring change in governments, corporates and societal settings. We need a generation of transformational and trans-generational thinkers that will develop and positively affect the future.