Leaders

What is a world without law? A haven for the delinquent—a world where true prosperity, based on sincerity and aptness is non-existent; where justice is overshadowed by felony, and the livid flames of offenders are fanned. Chaos is all that can arise from lawlessness, with true happiness completely exhilarated.  The world is a field with diversity among cattle as we have the sheep, the goats, the cows; we have the predators, the prey and the crops. Therefore, we imagine that as our ‘food chain’ is complete, that we are complete. However, we must all take into consideration that the law is useless, without a party to enforce it. As a result, we do not need any more subservient parties but, among our prosperous flock, we need shepherds.

Leadership is neither a burden nor a prison, as it is often misconceived. However, it is the basic ability to guide, direct and influence people in order to achieve a certain goal. Therefore, one can easily observe that a world without leaders is a world coming to a certain end. It is easy to deem a leadership role as tasking or stressful, and to distort its significance. Therefore, our leaders are outrageously outnumbered by their followers and appointed an absurd amount of responsibility. I put it to you that leaders are not born, but are made through hard work, perseverance, and a passion that pushes them to unimaginable heights. Take for example, the fact that Barack Obama was not born in the white house, but was groomed to live there. The same way an architect is trained in the art of technical drawing, a leader must be taught to perfection. Therefore, I stand strong on the grounds that anybody can become a leader, with the appropriate mentoring. I urge you to remember to handle leadership carefully, not fearfully.

I believe the most difficult part of leadership is the transition in the early stages. The need to change one’s lifestyle is unarguably difficult, but also worthwhile. The vast majority would advise one to turn deaf ears to negative criticism and gossip but I believe that criticism is a factor which can greatly improve one’s leadership skills as a lifestyle which leaves no room for any true criticism is one which we can deem perfect. To further buttress, living a life which the Bible describes as ‘blameless’ and ‘pure’, is the fundamental to leadership. In addition, a leader needs some sort of ‘drive’ in order for to make any significant changes. This should be a passion, an interest and/or a factor in the environment which needs to be changed. After all, when one is determined, nobody can stop them. In Physics, when we describe motion, we often use the word ‘thrust’ to describe this drive, with the opposing force often being friction. When the thrust on a body is greater than the friction, the object begins to accelerate. In the same vein, when one’s passion is genuine, no amount of gossip and discouragement will stop them from making progress. All in all, a leader must have an appropriate lifestyle, a passion and a purpose.

One must consider the fact that becoming a leader is barely the beginning of the path to excellence. True leadership follows. In my opinion, what defines a true leader is their ability to influence their followers and convert them into leaders as well. For example, there is no point in building a house if nobody is going to live in it. In the same vein, there is no reason why one should impose any trend on society—even if it is positive, just to have it abandoned in their absence. Therefore, it is best to find a way to integrate the changes one must into the followers’ lifestyles as making a change to one’s way of life can be rather disorienting and uncomfortable. Furthermore, the way in which a leader interacts with their followers is also important as one must fully understand the people they are leading, in order to draw up a plan to improve the society. For example, it would be absurd to work towards buying a cradle if one does not have a baby! In addition, authority and all the perks of leadership should not be the main goal of a leader—unity, peace and progress must be prioritized. I am certain that if true leadership is established in a community, its path to excellence will become obvious.

What we all dream of is true satisfaction and I am certain that with the right leaders in the right places, we all can achieve it. Countries like the United States of America have found the balance in their leadership and the obvious fact that Nigeria has not, saddens me. However, I can confidently say that although the students of West Mills can become superior to any contemporary leading force within the next decade, if they are willing. Therefore, I urge you to stop complaining, and start leading.

-Similoluwa Aluko.

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