Challenge of leadership: The 3c approach as way forward (1)
I AM prompted to write this article following a personal experience. I was privileged to face a panel of two interviewers pursuant to an application for an internship with their company.
In the course of the encounter, the key panellist perused my curriculum vitae. However, while apparently appreciating, with a measure of delight, the segment of my achievements and honours, she was quick to express reservations in the event there was no inclusion of leadership experience in my resume.
It was rather fortunate for me that I had held some leadership positions while on campus, and to a reasonable extent acquired some cognate leadership experience. The interview went very well and if I may say, the experience was awesome and worthy to learn from.
My mindset was radically changed and the impression I left with was that most corporate organisations and establishments are in dire need of leaders. They want leaders. They want people with requisite leadership experience to take charge of affairs.
They are only willing to engage and retain the services of persons who can first lead themselves and then be capable of leading others. They need people who can be part and parcel of the leadership and managerial class of their organisation.
They do not just want people with certification from higher institutions but those who possess the requisite leadership skills, abilities and experience.
Now turning to my personal experience, I sensed a sigh of relief and delight in her when she heard that I have had reasonable leadership experience in school.
Away from the personal experience and focusing on the crux of this paper, it is apposite to examine the concept of leadership from the definitional perspective and then delve into the challenge of leadership noticeable in Nigeria today. Attention will then be paid to the leadership challenge in the various sectors of the economy, public and private.
Then, emphasis would be laid on the 3C approach on the way forward to be suggested in this paper as part of the many possible solutions to this present challenge with especial respect to youths.
The traditional concept of leadership from the definitional perspective is simply that it is the act of holding an office or position of a leader. Whenever the word leadership crops up, the basic orientation is to think it is the holding of a particular post or bearing a title.
The understanding is not erroneous but just too superficial. In a deep view of it, leadership transcends the concept of holding a position. John C. Maxwell has this to say, “Leadership is Influence.” Wikipedia defines leadership as “a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”
It went further to state that some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides and directs others while others define leadership as “motivating and organising a group of people to achieve a common goal.” To my mind, all the above definitions fit into the contextual understanding of leadership.
In my own understanding, leadership is the ability, skilfully acquired though could be innate, of a person to motivate, inspire and lead others towards the accomplishment of a set mission or targeted objectives as well as shaping, adjusting their pattern of behaviour towards the inculcation of a positive, progressive value system. The challenge of leadership is clearly evident in the Nigerian system.
Leadership lacuna exists in almost every facet of our life. There is a widespread clamour for credible, reliable leadership in every sector of the economy, for example. Both in the private and public sector, there are leadership gaps.
There is a vacuum of leadership in schools, in the church, public service, corporate organisations and political environment.
Schools are in need of students that can lead and influence their peers towards the accomplishment of the vision and mission of the institution. Churches are in need of Christian leaders who can recruit others into the army of Christ by inculcating in them the right Christian values through role modelling conforming to the image of Christ.
The public sector and the political environment require the service of people willing to sacrifice their time and resources in the running of the government affairs for the overall progress and advancement of the people.
Most indigenous and multinational corporations in our land are in dire need of competent leaders and employees who can freely lead and synergise with others within the corporate environment.
They will work with a view to promoting the corporate vision, mission and objectives, driving the corporate vehicle forward and significantly minimising the cost of operations.
All of these challenges seem herculean but they are surmountable. I have always believed in all my life in thinking and talking less about a problem and thinking more on how to offer practical solutions to it. To be continued. Viyon is a prospective lawyer in Lagos. viyonlawblog.wordpress.com.
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