• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Think character and attitude when choosing your next leader

Leadership and Celebrity Culture

Even from primary school days, our teachers chose the class captain based on the character and attitude of the particular student. The class captain was seen as the neatest, the most punctual, and most definitely the best student in terms of academic performance.

The above makes us understand that the word ‘leader’ is used at levels asides politics and government. As long as there is a setting of two or more people gathered for a purpose, there must be a leader.
In defining who a leader is, I love to go with one of John Maxwell’s definitions which say that “a great leader is someone who has genuine willingness and a true commitment to lead others to achieve a common vision and goal through positive influence.”

It therefore means that the basis for choosing your next leader at any level lies in their character and attitude. My mentor, Ibukun Awosika, the first female and current Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria said “the things we choose to look at before choosing our leaders are not rocket science, it is revealed in their attitudes, words, diligence, and commitments.”

The norm most of us are used to is making leadership choices based on sentiments or who the public has accepted as the right choice. To ensure that we choose leaders who will serve us aright, we need to start looking beyond public persona and diligently interrogate the character and attitude of whom we want to choose.

Read also: PIB: National Assembly leadership meets minister, NNPC boss Monday

The truth is, the points here go both ways. What I mean is that it is one thing to look for good virtues in our leaders but it is another thing to develop our own character and attitude to emerge as good followers and maybe leaders some day.

One important step in the interrogation of the character and attitude of your next leadership choice is to see how trustworthy they are and how well they have diligently kept to their commitments in time past.
In the words of my mentor “do not give a man credit for being popular, make sure that you find the substance to justify whether he has earned your trust.” The public persona of a person should not be taken at face value, choose your next leader after you have properly interrogated their persona.

The next step if possible is to go back in time to look at the life, work and relationship history of the person. When you follow their life trail you will find their mistakes, but look further to see how they built themselves from their mistakes. In past leadership positions they held, what was their attitude to work and how did they relate with their follower? These are questions that need answers as who your leader really is plays a crucial role in your life as a follower.

Ensure that you find out their guiding principles and what they are known for by digging deep into their lifestyle. If a person does not uphold integrity even if he/she took an oath or a covenant in the church or court, then it just shows that this person cannot keep to a contract.
Choose a leader who shows empathy to the people he leads and ensure that he/she is someone you are willing to work with. Some leaders forget the place of service and are instead driven by the arrogation of power.

How the person you want to choose as your leader treats the people serving him/her will reflect their leadership style. This is because if you do not treat the people serving you well you would always look at the people you serve with disdain.

In conclusion, you might be saying you do not have the time to properly interrogate the character and attitude of your next leadership choice. If you are in this category, it only means that you want to continue to see things deteriorate around you and not ensure that you put the right persons in positions to fix issues.
The leaders we choose at all levels, in our schools, offices, communities and nation at large are very important to us. So do not continue with the lazy approach to selecting leaders that we are used to. Make a choice today to diligently approach your next leadership choice.

Short Bio

Oluwafadekemi Areo is an Economics and Markets Analyst at BusinessDay Media Nigeria. Asides speaking to and writing about economic and financial issues, she has a knack for exploring and explaining matters surrounding the human mind and psychology. She strongly believes that in a world where everyone puts themselves in other people’s shoes, win-win solutions will always be created to every problem.