Behind every growing economy globally is a dynamic leader, who is busy harnessing both natural and human resources to the advantage of the citizens. The correctness of the law of the lid is an indisputable fact that an organisation/society cannot outgrow her leaders, is evident all over Africa. A continent blessed with natural resources in abundance yet so poor; points to no other factor than ineffective leadership. Africans upon stepping out of their continent go about breaking records/creating new landmarks in their endeavors, which is another pointer to the fact that, we are not just blessed with natural resources, but with human resources also, and with the right leadership in place to harness this two factors to the advantage of the continent, African nations will be placed at the echelon of nations.
Certain illusions about leadership have hindered the emergence of dynamic leaders in Africa. Among them are:
Leadership is about post/office you are occupying: leadership is a chain system, which start with an individual leading himself to contribute his quota towards the “big picture” of an organisation. It advances through to teams being steered by an individual who may or may not be having title. Systems begin to fail when each of its elements fails to deliver its contributing quota of the global success. For example, the education system of a nation will start failing when a teacher refuses to discharge his/her duties as a teacher.
Leadership is about accruing wealth and benefits to one’s advantage: with leadership comes certain benefits meant to compensate for the enormous task of leading the organisation, but when the primary focus of leadership shifts from growth and development of the organisation to growth of the leaders bank account, corruption definitely must creep in, causing the organisation to suffer instead of benefiting from such leaders.
3) Leaders are all knowing and indefatigable, therefore needs no training: the assumption that performance comes automatically with titles, as such, less emphasis should be placed on grooming/preparing the emerging leaders is a gross error. Also, asking no question about the journey of life (curriculum vitae) of persons aspiring for leadership roles, is synonymous to saying that the growth of such organisation is not of importance to the people committing such error. This has resulted in entrusting the destiny of many in the hands of ill prepared leaders. Many of us will not risk being driven by amateur drivers, but we keep ignoring ineptitudeness of ill prepared leaders.
Other than the illusions about leadership, another stop gap in the leadership system of Africa is little or no access to focused trainings on leadership. In the monarchical system of government, princes were enrolled in an informal leadership class for years, to prepare them as good successors to King. Structured leadership classes is a must for all emerging leaders. The disadvantage of less access to focused training on leadership in the past has been eroded with the advent of online learning classes, and by the increasing number of organisations dedicated to raising leaders (e.g. TOLD). This gives hope about the unfolding future. The earlier the mirage of positional leadership is demystified, the better it will be for Africa. Emerging leaders must make conscious efforts to acquire both the training and experiences needed to lead in this 21st century