Thursday, 4 December 2014

Leadership: A General Perspective.

We often talk and think about leadership in our daily lives because it is an important aspect that cannot be ignored at all costs. But most people’s thinking is that they associate leadership with politics. From my own viewpoint, leadership entails a number of facets beginning at a personal level to more complex levels such as the military and sophisticated levels like managing tech firms that are in involved in constant and continuous innovation.

Leadership should be first exhibited at a personal level. If we desire to attain all the success and accomplish all the goals that we set at a personal level, then we undoubtedly need to refocus on how well we are in charge of ourselves. To be properly organized at a personal level then an aura of leadership should surround us. Personal organization is depicted in the manner in which we effectively manage our time, how we manage our finances, how we dress, how we communicate, how we relate with others and so on. In any case, if you desire to hold a very senior leadership position sooner or in the near future, then carry out an audit of how you are fairing on at a personal level. The bitter truth is that if you are incapable of leading your own self, then you should have dim if not dimmer hopes of leading others.

At the family level, leadership is imperative as the family is the tit bit of all forms of social organization. The father or husband in a household needs to give direction to his family. The children usually look up to their fathers and mothers to provide leadership at any given time. Lack of effective leadership  at the family level is the root cause for broken homes. Nevertheless, the spiraling number of single women can be attributed to some men who have failed to take up on their responsibilities. Irresponsibility is a clear indication and manifestation of the lack of leadership. There is no leadership if there is no responsibility period! Having successful relationships and marriages is an absolute function of strong and effective leadership and responsibility amidst all the challenges that exist.

That weak leadership translates to weak results is a factual statement that cannot otherwise be subjected to debate. Countries, entities and other organizational forms that have once been victims of weak leadership have at one point of time paid for the incompetence of the leadership. Uganda under the rule of Idi Amin had to bear the consequences of poor leadership. South Sudan I believe is grappling with weak leadership that has consequentially led to the re-emergence of civil and tribal wars. Weak leadership at the Interior and Coordination of National Government Ministry formerly led by Joseph ole Lenku could be largely blamed for the spate of insecurity attacks in Kenya.

For corporates that are in constant competition, innovation is the bottomline of leadership. Corporates that fail to carry out innovation in whatever business segment they operate in risk having low sales and eventually exit the business environment. In general, lack of innovation by corporates signals a lack of leadership. This is the main reason why electronic firms like Panasonic and Phillips have arguably struggled to maintain and cut out a market niche for themselves. Innovation is what the late CEO of Apples, Steve Jobs used to propel his firm to be a leader in the production of electronic devices. Lack of innovation is what forced Eveready to close one of its branches in Nakuru, Kenya. Profit-based firms’ leadership is judged on how well they carry out innovation to have diversified goods and services in order to maintain relatively higher profit margins. Safaricom Company is a good example of this as they resorted to have several services other than just relying on voice call revenues for their profits. This is the main reason why it is the leading communications entity in Kenya.

On a general scale, one does not need an office, a title or a position to be a leader. Note that once a leader, always a leader. This is a philosophical statement that I strongly agree with. However, when in charge of a certain group, organization, entity or even oneself, remember that leadership comes with a great sense of RESPONSIBILITY. Therefore, any aspect of life at a personal, family, organizational or national level demands that we exercise leadership at its fullest.

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