There are many people who have studied and have abundant skills in construction and engineering. But why is it that we still have bridges that collapse at the passing of a bicycle, many buildings collapsing, roads that develop grave-deep potholes within 2 months of their construction, among others?
There are many people who have studied public administration and management more than ever before. But why is it that administration in public offices and management of public resources is still poor and a very enormous challenge in this century?
There are many people who have studied law. They are known by various names: lawyer, advocate, judge, chief justice, legal assistant, magistrate, and other names. But why is it that justice and fairness still elude us in our society today? Why do the guilty continue to be exonerated while the innocent are being victimized?
There are many people who have studied ethics and integrity. Some are doctors of ethics! Others sit on various ethics, integrity, and disciplinary committees and councils. But why is it that we’re still plagued with high levels of unethical living and immorality in our communities, from top to bottom? Why is it that even the supposed moral advocates are the ones becoming morally corrupted?
There are many management capacity building seminars and leadership development workshops that have been held all around us, now and again. There are many people who have studied leadership and related courses in management. There are many people who boast of many years of practice as leaders, managers, administrators, directors, officers, among others. But why is it still true that we have a seriously acute leadership deficiency in our institutions and organizations? Why is it that we have so many leaders but so little leadership?
One of the most realistic answers is that we have continued to have real leadership taking place in theoretical and imaginary arenas. We can speak out every leadership style and lecture people on how each one of them works. We can authoritatively boast of first class degrees in Leadership and Management. We can be called Professors of Leadership. We can even come from families that have always produced leaders in our communities over decades.
But until we start relaying good leadership practices in our daily work, all this is vanity for vanity! Until we remove real leadership from theory to practice, we’ll remain ineffective. Until we stop travelling with great and voluminous leadership manuals in our hands and start putting in practice what’s therein, we’ll never make an impact.
Until we work towards being transformational, active, and proactive leaders in our society, our titles won’t help anything. Until we can display practical expertise in our leadership positions, we won’t justify our occupancy of such positions of responsibility.
All our leadership endeavors will be for self aggrandizement and never helpful to those we assume we’re leading well, until we do the following:
- truly care,
- sincerely love,
- effectively communicate,
- strategically network with others,
- ably see and help others to see the big picture,
- set goals and pursue their achievement,
- mentor those to succeed us,
- restrain ourselves from being greedy,
- work with honesty and
- transact business with integrity,
We’d rather have so few leaders with a lot of leadership than having so many leaders with so little leadership. Remove real leadership from theory. Bring it into the real world. Let it do and/or address the real issues. Live the principles you’ve known. Only then shall our leadership create the real impact and justify its existence.