When I was younger, my parents used to tell my siblings and I that we are the leaders of tomorrow, but with the way Nigeria is right now, it feels like we have to fast forward the time to our future and become these so-called leaders of tomorrow.
We all know that our leaders are not functioning well, and there is an adage that says “Whatsoever happens to head will affect other parts of the body.” The minds of many Nigerians are already corrupt. The solution to the problems of Nigeria lies within you and I. In this article I have used HEIR which means Humility, Empathy, Integrity and Resilience as solution to Nigerians problems.
It’s so sad that most leaders in Nigeria don’t know what leadership is all about! All they want as leaders is to enrich their pockets. Many young people are so corrupt to the point that they also want to do the same when they get to position of authority.
Nigerian leaders don’t know that leadership is influence.
There is no success without a good leadership trait. Nigerian leaders need to know that each of us influences at least ten thousand other people, during our lifetime! Successful leadership starts with raising your level of leadership. The higher your leadership the greater your effectiveness.
“We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.” Rabindranath Tagore.
Humility is the act of being reverential, submissive and modest. I’ve come to discover that most leaders in Nigeria are not submissive, modest nor reverential. They are not ready to serve; they forget that a leader is a servant!
Effective leading hangs on humility. Humility is the opposite of vanity, pride, aggression and arrogance. It has been said that “Power corrupts” but it is power without humility that corrupts. We all are leaders, so we all need humility to lead effectively. There’s always an opportunity for a humble person to improve, grow and reject society’s labels.
A humble person will always put his followers’ interests before his. It is not because he is weak-minded, lacking in self-esteem or inferior, but rather because he clearly understands that raising others helps one build his or her confidence.
Humility helps a leader to have a greater amount of influence over his followers’ behaviors. Humility requires a great deal of self-control, which all Nigerian leaders need.
As leaders, we need to understand that true success requires the help of others and encouragement. We all need to openly acknowledge our faults and weaknesses with the aim of helping to boost other people’s self-confidence and self-esteem. In other words, we need to lower ourselves in order to lift others.
Empathy is so important. It keeps relationships running smoothly. Empathy helps to create bonds of trust. It gives us insight of how others think and feel. It is very sad that most leaders in Nigeria and Africa as a whole lack empathy.
They are not bothered about how others feel. They are not ready to understand why and how others react to situations. Empathy gives us the ability to identify and understand feelings, motives and situations of others. Empathy is your capacity to recognize the needs of your followers, as a leader.
Empathy simply means “Putting yourself in the shoes of others.” Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in the position of others. To imagine how and what they are feeling, to know and understand what makes people sad or tick, to care for others and create relationships.
This is found wanting in Nigerian leaders. As leaders of tomorrow that we are ascribed as, empathy is a core part of leadership development that we all need to develop early in life, to become effective leaders. Leaders with empathy do more than sympathizing with their followers or people around them.
They use their knowledge to help others in important ways. They don’t try to please everybody, neither do they accept or agree with everyone’s views; but they thoughtfully consider their followers’ feelings.
Empathy is well worth cultivating. As leaders, we need to use our reasoning ability to understand other people’s thoughts, reactions, motives, and feelings. We need emotional capacity to care for the needs of others. As leaders, we need to start giving our listening ears – listen with our hearts, ears and eyes.
Encourage others and show some love. Let your personal interest in people increase, show them you love and care for them. The more we empathize, the more positive our lives become.
Integrity is the consistency between what a leader does and what a leader says. Integrity can also be seen in a person’s beliefs, words, values, and actions, as well as the point to which promises are kept. Integrity can also be perceived as honesty, trustworthiness and fairness to be a measure of good moral character. It is a disaster when a leader lacks good character.
A leader who practices what he or she teaches is a lover of all. It saddens my heart each time I think about the absence of integrity in our leadership. There’s no reliability, accountability, responsiveness, accessibility and transparency in our leadership.
Leaders who are reliable and can be counted on will attract more followers than they could ever imagine. Leaders are ready to sacrifice their lives to have their followers’ issues and problems solved.
High-integrity leaders takes responsibility for their lives and actions. They don’t blame others. High-integrity leaders don’t joke with their moral principles. They can be counted on to do the right thing. They do everything to pass their personal standards to their team members and their corporation.
High-integrity leaders are always ready to learn, even from their followers. They are always open, with respect for information, finances, business dealings and various operational transactions.
Their actions leads to trusting relationships when examined by others. No matter how a nation is well developed, unethical leadership behavior will bring it down. Confidence goes by the wayside and may never ever return when integrity is destroyed or trust is betrayed.
Resilience is one of the most important leadership traits. Leaders who create the intention to think and meditate on a regular basis are more resilient. Not all Nigerian leaders think.
Resilience can be seen as the ability to manage complexity, withstand disruptive shocks and recover from tough times. It implies long-term thinking, evolution and nimbleness. Resilient leaders must be able to build strong relationships with different constituencies and act effectively on a global stage.
Developing one’s self into a calm, compassionate, adaptable, mindful leader is the best way to become a resilient leader. Any leader who lacks the ability to motivate will equally lacks followers.
Meditation helps leaders not to forget important events and focus on significant issues with clarity. Creative ideas comes out of meditation and that’s why most Nigeria leaders are not creative. Being mindful makes you a great leader. It enables you to be more compassionate towards others. There is no cost to becoming resilient or mindful.
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