The challenges of the 21st Century – By Dr. Foloki E. Tony
The greatest problem facing humanity today is the problem of leadership both globally and nationally has emitted the fear of total collapse of the world in the nearest future – because the youth who automatically is leaders of the next generation have not properly been nurtured for such responsibilities and in most cases have refused to respond. This has become a dilemma to be sorted out before further destruction could be made.
There are leaders and there are leadership positions. The ideal thing is for the real leaders to be in leadership positions but unfortunately, wrong people are in leadership positions especially in Governance. This perhaps informs the reasons for bad governance in our generation. The situation is made worse when political party heads imposed, their candidates on the people to be governed even in Democratic governance where the electorates are supposed to be kings and not to be at the mercy of political office holders.
In this situation, how do we hold political office holders both at local, state and federal levels accountable? They therefore do what they like and go unpunished. In some cases, the governments try to fool the citizens by attempting crocodile arrest.
According to the late Jules Masserman, an American Psychoanalyst, “Leaders must fulfill three functions: to provide for the wellbeing of the led, to provide a social organization in which people feel relatively secured and be able to provide a set to beliefs”.
But have our leaders being able to provide for well being of Africans? Do they care about what happens to the common people? Is our health and security of any importance to them? Do they have believed that the prudent management of the nation resources will serve as a good example for the coming generation to emulate? Your answers to these questions will form the basis of your conclusion. We have no Leaders; we only have wrong people in Leadership in positions.
Who are a leader and what is leadership? W.H Prentice defines “Leadership as that discipline which deliberately exerts special influence on a group in order to move the group towards achieving permanent benefits that fulfils the group’s real and ideal needs”.
True Leaders carry out three functions highlighted by Masserman by applying their Leadership attributes such as beliefs, values, ethics, characters, knowledge and skill. Note that, your position as manager or supervisor in your work place gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in your organization; this power does not make you the boss. Leadership differs in that; it makes the follower of the Leader want to achieve higher goals.
Rather than simply bossing people around. Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight and boldness. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in the people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. Visionary leaders eyes are on the Horizon, not just on the near at hand. They are social innovators and change agents, seeing the big picture and thinking strategically. There is profound interconnectedness between the Leaders and the whole, and the true visionary leaders serve the good of the whole society.
A visionary leader may dream wonderful visions of the future and articulate them with great inspiration. A visionary is good with words. But a visionary leader with actions as well as words, and so bring his/her vision into being in the world, thus transforming it in some ways. More than words are needed for a vision to take from in today’s world. It requires leadership and heart felt commitment. A visionary leader is effective manifesting his or her vision because he/she creates specific achievable goals, initiates actions and enlists the participation of others.
The qualification and abilities of true visionary characteristic of all visionary leaders, Visionary leaders follow an inner of direction and lead from the inside out as exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi said “I must first be the change I want to see in my world” he was a prime minister in India-an epitome of commitment to values as he freed his mother country India by appealing to the moral conscience of Britain and using “Satyagraha” or no violence action to reveal the immorality of the British empire. Rather than being corrupted by power, visionary leaders are elevated by power and exercise moral leadership.
A Clear Inspirational Vision
Visioneers who are successful at manifesting their visions based on their leadership in an inspirational, positive picture of the future as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there.
Nelson Mandela clearly held a positive vision of a radically harmonious South Africa during his twenty eight years (28 years) in jail and helped to bring it into reality peacefully to the amazement of the world.
The best visionary leaders move energy to a higher level by offering a clear vision of what is possible. They inspire people to be better than they already are and help them identify with what Lincoln called “The Angle of their better nature”.
Visionary leaders often have the ability to see higher spiritual forces at work behind the scene of events, and they align with the vision of these redemptive forces. Both George Washington and Winston Churchill Spoke about the help they received from a “guiding hard”. Churchill said we have a guardian because we serve a great cause and we shall have that guardian as we serve that cause faithfully.
Visionary Leaders transmit energy to people giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving the vision. Television host Opra Winfrey helps her guests believe in themselves and work to create a better world. Visionary leaders work to unite rather than divide people. They confront for avoid conflict and learn how to transform conflict into useable energy. Visionary leaders are noted especially for transforming old mental marks, they embody a balance of right brains. A visionary leader anticipates changes and is proactive rather than reactive to events; their focus is on opportunity not on problems. They emphasis win rather than win loose approaches. Every Visionary leader should be able to transform his society or organization.
Transformational is a leadership style that is defines as leadership that creates valuable and positive change in the followers. A transformational leader focuses on “Transforming other to help each other, to be encouraging and other to look harmonious, and to look out for the Organization as a whole. Transformational Leadership is a form of leadership that occurs when leaders “broaden and elevate the interest of the followers. When they generate awareness and acceptance of the group and the mission of the group and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group” (Bernard Bass 1990)
Transformational leaders have a clear collective vision and most importantly, they manage to communicate it effectively to all concerned. By acting as role models, they inspire employees to be more innovative. And they themselves take personal risks and are not afraid to use unconventional (but always ethical) Methods in order to achieve the collective vision.
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