In April 2019, I wrote an article titled the job is for Asiwaju Tinubu, where I admonished the APC national leader to establish the Generational Leadership Transition Scheme (GLTS).
The GLTS will be a centre of leadership excellence where people who have shown leadership traces in careers or businesses are trained to transit into public office leaders with Nigeria’s prosperity as the core objective of the initiative. My motive is to encourage more technocrats to be involved in public affairs rather than sitting on the side chasing personal comfort at the cost of general progress.
Last month, I made a promise to my esteem readers and followers to revise my 2019 article calling for Tinubu to deepen his leadership influence based on recent development amid his intention to be the president of Nigeria.
A leader who takes responsibility for his people get advanced. It is a law of leadership. The more you invest in people, the more your influence increases
Why should anyone be led by Tinubu?
As a leadership coach and consultant, leaders who had transformed their societies had done so developing people, creating enabling environments and, above all is, the determination to be selfless in approach. The leader, the led and the leadership environment must align for any leader to be effective. Leadership anywhere in the world is simply about the result and the relationship developed while achieving the outcome.
No one can over flogged the impacts on generational leaders like Harry Lee Kuan Yew, Nelson Mandela, Roosevelt Franklin and Mahatma Gandhi, to mention a few. The difference between Nigeria and Singapore if you analyse their histories and records of progress is Lee Kuan Yew. He discovered leaders, invested in people’s capacity. He created the enabling environment that transformed his country and continued the transformation after his death. He created a culture of continuous progress with his leadership approach.
Whenever I speak on leadership and institutional development anywhere in the world, I make a profound but controversial statement that at first seems to be illogical. I have caused uproars in different top-level engagements whenever I unequivocally tell my audience that leaders are not primarily responsible for the result they produce. Leaders are accountable for the outcome they are expected to deliver.
However, leaders’ primary responsibility isn’t to create the result. They are to ensure those who produce results are identified, equipped, motivated, enabled and rewarded for the outcome. Take a football coach as an example. He is not likely to score goals and defend the goalkeeper. Howbeit, his forte ensures the players do what is expected to deliver results based on the agreed pattern of play and with an unwavering commitment to the team. Let’s put logic before emotion and not emotions before logic, as our subconscious mind is conditioned to behave.
Why should you be led by Tinubu?
Ahmed Tinubu became the governor of Lagos State in 1999. That is equivalent to being the governor of Nigeria. No state in Nigeria is more cosmopolitan than Lagos. There is no place in the world with the highest concentration and representation of Nigerians in her different ethnicity and religious composition than Lagos. Being a governor of Lagos State should be a platform for leadership advancement saves for our tenacious inclination for ethnic affiliation. Suppose you can succeed in Lagos as a political leader or governor. In that case, you should have built the required governance capacity for a complex Nigeria.
What did Tinubu do with Lagos, a rare platform to showcase leadership in a multi-ethnic society like Nigeria? I will limit my submission to people (identifying and developing others) leaving the environment and other factors for another day.
Let’s take a clue from Tinubu’s team as a governor and focus on how diversified the group was and why leaders that focused on people that can deliver value will consistently outperform those with a bias for ethnicity above competence.
In Tinubu’s eight-year reign as the governor of Lagos, he identified and developed people like Rauf Aregbesola, Yemi Osinbajo, Wale Edun, Lai Mohammed, Arthur Worrey, Dele Alake, Ben Akabueze, and many others. The names I have mentioned are not indigenes of Lagos State before and after they made it to Tinubu’s cabinets as commissioners.
Arthur Worrey, the first commissioner for lands, is from Delta State. The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, once claimed he never met with Tinubu before being appointed a commissioner for justice and the Lagos State’s attorney general. Under Tinubu, many justices were appointed as judges of Lagos State’s court without considering their states of origin. As long as you can do the job and have a profile that can achieve results, Tinubu doesn’t have a problem with where you come from. After all, they are Nigerians.
The above paragraph resonates with my position that leaders are responsible for people that are directly responsible for producing results. A situation where leaders cannot riffle themselves of religious and ethnicity bias will undermine their primary responsibility and effectiveness.
Aside from creating multiple local council development areas, deepening the revenue base of the states and fighting for true federalism, Ahmed Tinubu, without any iota of patronisation, had behaved gifted and transformational in the art of people’s management, especially in a diverse society like Lagos. He showed how diversity could be used as an advantage rather than a divisive tool in building societies and organisations.
If you doubt my following statement, I will want you to compare the political trajectory of Asiwaju who advanced others with his contemporaries. If the first call of any leader is the advancement of their people, Tinubu had passed the litmus test of leadership. He had advanced his political protégées, mostly technocrats in their professions, before being lured to public offices to give what they have.
A leader who takes responsibility for his people get advanced. It is a law of leadership. The more you invest in people, the more your influence increases. No one was a governor during Tinubu’s era that could match his political credentials, especially in producing political technocrats like Raji Fashola, Rauf Aregbesola, Abike Dabiri, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Ben Akabueze, and Yemi Osinbajo. They are examples of Asiwaju’s progressive nurturing and leadership mindset. This is without being mindful that Nigeria is still far from being a model country due to her leadership selection gimmick, political environment and ideology. However, a trace of light is hope amid darkness.
In conclusion, if leaders are responsible for people who are responsible for producing results and other leaders. Why shouldn’t anyone be led by Tinubu?