Thursday, 1 December 2016

Are You Ready To Lead?

I was speaking at an event recently when a young man asked me a question I have often thought about myself. He asked how we can become relevant in the scheme of things seeing that the same leaders that ruled the country when we were kids are still doing the same decades after. Poignant question if you ask me. 

While I appreciated the fact that he asked, I took a very good look at him - sagging trousers, a triangular mound of hair on his head;
a shirt that bared his skinny chest; bad English. If anything, the young man looked like someone who needed to be shown the way. And therein lies my problem, the unpreparedness of today's young people for positions of responsibility. We want it badly, sometimes we act as if it is a birthright; we believe we are the change we seek but take one look at us and you'll know we don't know a thing about leadership.

If there's anything profound I learnt from Steven Covey, it's his concept of concern and influence. There are things we can directly influence, change or affect and there are those that while they bother us, we can do very little about. Your rent falls within your 'circle of influence', Boko Haram falls within your 'circle of concern.' You gerrit? The key to living a happy, stress free life lies in learning the difference between the two.

Since I couldn't proffer an immediate solution to his desire to be president, I told him, 'A lot of times, we see leadership as a destination, somewhere we will get to and automatically become effective. Unfortunately, leadership is anything but that. It' s a lifestyle, a character trait, a habit. It's principles, it's values. It's day to day, minute to minute decisions to aim higher and be better than we were before we went to bed; for us and for those around us. 

I have said this before about leadership, it's a pedestal, a platform that amplifies whatever is put on it. He who is unfaithful in little can not assume a position of authority and suddenly learn honesty. While the unfaithful one gets away with his little misdemeanours, the attention his office attracts exposes even the slightest of his flaws. 

So instead of waiting for our turn before we learn how to run an office, a good place to start will be with us, now, every day. So that when that day comes when time and chance collide to thrust us to a place of prominence, we won't be caught unprepared...

Have a fab week people.

©Naomi Lucas

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