Being a leader is a responsibility, and it involves living on the edge, as they say. While it may be tempting to view leadership as purely inspiring, decisive, and rewarding, it actually requires taking risks that can potentially harm your career and personal life. It entails putting yourself at stake, challenging the established norms, and uncovering hidden conflicts.
When leading, it is important to avoid being driven by emotions and ego. Instead, stay determined, focused, and, above all, lead while being guided. Preside over situations rather than making unilateral decisions!
In the grand scheme of things, a hundred years from now, insignificant details like the clothes you wore, the food you ate, or the class of degree you graduated with won’t matter. What truly matters is how you have influenced the lives of the people you lead and the community you reside in. As a leader, you must communicate with honesty, act with integrity, and think with sincerity. Learn to overlook and disregard many things, for regardless of your life circumstances, people will always have something to say about you. Minding your own business won’t shield you from others’ opinions.
To achieve success as a leader, you need:
1) God: Without God, your path will lead nowhere. Remember the case of the Brazilian President-Elect who believed he was superior to God.
2) Confronters: If you lack individuals who will confront you with the truth, you are destined to fail right from the start. You surely remember the story of the Students’ Union President who won the position but failed to govern effectively.
3) Comforters/Collaborators/Contributors: You cannot achieve success alone. When the selfish ‘I’ is replaced by the selfless ‘we,’ illness turns into wellness. The strength of any organization lies within its members. When a group of followers is led by a capable leader, they will fight with the same tenacity. It is not just about quality, but also about quantity, as the Hausa people say, “sarkin yawa yafi sarkin qarfi” (a multitude of followers is more influential than a single influential person).
4) Coach: Your past experiences alone are insufficient and will always be so. Seek guidance from those who came before you and learn from their wealth of experience.
5) Respect for your followers: The essence of respect lies in a leader giving it first, without demanding it from their followers. If you are leading a group of ten people and you want them to sweep the floor, start by sweeping the floor yourself.
With these being said, we hope you all take to our words and act by them. We wish you success, as we also watch your backs.
Hayatullahi Folorunsho Mudathir (Abu Lubabah)
Editor-in-Chief of PEN PRESS UDUS