Leadership has been the bane of many societies across the world and across many generations. Leadership is everything and determines the direction of a people and a leader makes a difference whether at the micro or macro level.
The difficulties the world is going through and has gone through whether through slavery, wars of conquest, inquisitions or whatever tactics that has been deployed to dominate other humans are a result of leadership deficit.
What is leadership then?
Leadership according to Barney & Pratt, 2023 “is the ability of an individual or a group of people to influence and guide followers or members of an organization, society or team. Leadership often is an attribute tied to a person’s title, seniority or ranking in a hierarchy. However, it’s an attribute anyone can have or attain, even those without leadership positions. It’s a developable skill that can be improved over time.”
Nikhil Pandey, 2022 also avers that leadership is “The action of leading a group of people or an organisation” while Khadija Khartit, 2023 explains leadership as the art of motivating a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal. Kruse, 2013 on the other hand posits that “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”
Leadership therefore is about providing directions and putting in place measures required to help those you’re leading to achieve the desired end.
Incidentally, the above attributes and or descriptions of leadership connotes that such features must be exhibited by someone, thus the leader.
In my understanding, a leader is someone who leads a people to achieve their desired objective that is in tamdem with the cosmic laws and principles. The kinds of leaders the world has produced is why the world finds itlself in the quagmire it is today.
According to FP Mensah, there are three categories of leaders in the world. Thus, The Educated Leader, The Civilised Leader and The Enlightened Leader.
He argues that majority of leaders the world has had and have are Educated Leaders. They are normally people who become leaders with the preoccupation of making themselves, their family, friends and cronies better off at the expense of the masses.
This is what has bedevilled Africa and some other nations and why those nations find themselves in the mess they are in.
With respect to Civilised Leaders, the Founder of The Way Network, defines as anyone who becomes a leader and thinks about himself, family and the citizens at the expense of other nations survival.
This kind of leadership in the view of FP Mensah is very predominant in the Western part of the world. Europeans, especially have been at the forefront of war of conquest, have led in enslaving many nations of Africa and several years after slavery, they have put in place other mechanisms which keep those nations in a subservient state.
Enlightened Leaders are the third category. These are people who desire to lead with the sole preoccupation of helping their family, their citizens, their continent and all other continents. Their projects and intentions are for the collective good and well-being of all life in the universe. “They care for both animate and inanimate things of nature, Mensah, (2023).”
They are leaders who don’t only think about their countries but the entire world and how to liberate people and make their lives better.
He examplified this category by referencing Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as one of such leaders. He indicated that his mantra “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked to the total liberation of the African continent”, is a mark of an Enlightened Leader.
Way Forward for Africa
The Way Networks Founder explained that power and technology in the hands of educated people is deadly and in hands of civilized people is injurious but in the hands of Enlightened people is beneficial to collective good of all existence.
He suggested that, one sure way to improve the lot of the African, should be through deliberate coaching on how to lead. “When governments officials are elected into office, all appointees must be taken through self discovery and personal development leadership orientation. This would help them look at issues from the perspective of the national and intercontinental view point rather than normally looking at things from their parochial and often not too altruistic perspectives”, he emphasised.
African countries must have specialized training centers for government appointees if we are to make any meanful progress on the stage of international politics.
There are very few Enlightened Leaders who have come and gone. For Africa to be able to make a difference and be able to elevate majority of their masses from the current state of penury to a place of comfort befiting humans, then, we need to raise a lot more Enlightened Leaders.