If you aren't a leader in your professional body, you will be a leader at your place of work - at least a leader over a team. If you aren't a leader at that level YET, you're definitely a leader in your family - at least over your wife and kids. And If you aren't a leader at that level still, I'm sure you're a leader in some sort of social club or religious organization. And finally if you're not a leader in any of these places yet, just be patient you will be a LEADER soon.
When we speak of LEADERSHIP, we all tend to think about the man occupying some lofty position. But is Leadership all about being the man in the arena? Aren't we all Leaders in some way and at some point in our lives? If you're a first son or first grandson, a first daughter or first grand daughter in an immediate or extended family aren't you a leader already? Are your siblings not supposed to look up to you for guidance and exemplary living?
A failure in LEADERSHIP at the level of the nuclear family will result in a failure in LEADERSHIP at the national level or wouldn't it? Well, I think that through a 'diffuse up' principle, a failure of leadership at any level will definitely affect leadership at all levels. Hence I advocate that we should all be prepared for leadership in such a way that we could give our best if only we could be given the opportunity. Furthermore I suggest we refrain from speaking of 'the corruption of those in power' rather I advocate that we see it in terms of 'the corruption in us all'. May I also propose that we should consider how in one way or another we have all contributed to the leadership deficit. Our success as a people is a shared honor and the failure of leadership is also a SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. In this write up my aim is to locate the relationship between all LEADERSHIP at all levels... To figure out why true LEADERSHIP hasn't come yet.
1. A fresh look at our Value System
What Values do we all share as a people? What Values do we actually hold dear?
A. Freedom: we are a people that love freedom and would willingly cast of restraint. We toiled relentlessly to rid ourselves of colonialism. Shall we then subject ourselves to neo colonialism - a situation in which we would rather be second rate citizens in another mans country instead of being first class citizens in our own nation? We who were one of the loudest voices in the world against apartheid in South Africa and the acceptance of supression and segregation as state policy. How shall we then accept to be treated as Second rate citizens in our own nation?
B. Peace: we are a peace loving people. When we cover up people in our communities who foment trouble and disturb the peace, aren't we betraying our own ideals and what exactly do we hope to gain? After turbulence has destroyed our communities and we have placed the blame at the door step of 'leadership' how shall the emotional scars caused by violence and destruction be healed? Shouldn't our community leaders sue for peace and expose all enemies of peace? Are all the religions we espouse not religions of peace? When the muslim says Asallah mu alay kum - doesn't he mean PEACE BE UNTO YOU ALL. He does. He is actually preaching peace.
C. Unity: our true LEADERS are those who are committed to unity at all costs. Those who warn us of an imminent dismemberment and who preach a disolution of the unity our fathers paid for with sweat and blood are pretenders at Leadership. Unity is one of our values as a nation - for we recite it in our national anthem. We shall not all speak the same language, wear the same outfit, think from the same perspectives for that is uniformity. Neither shall we accept one central Police Force or one central Civil Service for that is Unitary. But we shall sue for Unity or shall not we? The misdeeds of our past leaders are best forgotten. We choose forgiveness. Or shall we not forgive those who propped up one section of the nation up and against the others? We must agree that we are a multi tribal and multi lingual nation. We must resolve to co-operate with our brothers and sisters. Our tribes and tongues differ but you are my brother and sister still.
True Leadership hasn't come because we haven't embraced these values yet.
(To Be Continued)