I was reading an article about Obama today morning. He has been asking voters all over the country why he should run for presidency again. He said he has been trying to be a great leader and lead the American people well, yet he gets opposition from all sides, from the Republican Party, from people who believe he is not a bona fide American and many others. Yet there is no doubt that Obama has been a great leader. Sure he has his failings as all humans do but all in all he has worked to be a great CEO of the United States of America.
I have been reading a lot about great leaders. Those on my twitter timeline will attest that I tweet or retweet a lot of articles on being a great leader. It got me thinking about Kenyan leaders. I realized that we get the leaders we deserve. Why? Because we choose based on other things apart from their leadership ability. Below are the thoughts I posted on twitter.
Before we point fingers at MP’s for all their misdeeds can we also plead guilty? Who gave MP’s their god complex? We did!
We made our MP’s gods in exchange for favors, money, and jobs. That’s why they have an entitlement complex.
When our tribal politicians do wrong we say our people are being targeted. We encourage our leaders to be bad leaders.
We keep those corrupt, greedy politicians in power with our consent, compliance, or silence.
So before we point fingers at our bad leadership ask yourself have I been their cheering squad, their critic, or a collaborator?
I admit I have been a cheerleader defending some, a critic accusing some & a collaborator by looking away or keeping silent
I am responsible for the bad leaders in this country. But I have decided never again. I am going to be a better person with better leaders.
The leader I choose is a reflection of me and therefore society. So if I want better leaders I have to be a better person.
If I embrace nepotism, corruption, tribalism and all those other vices I should not expect my leaders to be a better version of me.
If I embrace Justice, Fairness, Equality & Ethics among other virtues then I will look for a leader who embraces those values & lives them.
I am a leader. You are a leader. Let us lead by example. Then we can choose great leaders who lead by example. That is my challenge and your Challenge. Let me know what you think.
Quotes about Great leadership.
To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves! -Lao-Tsu
The price of greatness is responsibility. – Winston Churchill
I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? – Benjamin Disraeli
Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. – Albert Schweitzer
I think leadership comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity. -Scott Berkun
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.- Bill Gates
“If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch.” — Jesus Christ
“Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.”— Winston Churchill
“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”— John Kenneth Galbraith
“Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and of tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.” — Admiral James B. Stockdale
“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”— Harry Truman
“The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers. … Leaders, followers and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership.” — Gary Wills Certain Trumpets: The Call of Leaders
“Now there are five matters to which a general must pay strict heed. The first of these is administration; the second, preparedness; the third, determination; the fourth, prudence; and the fifth, economy.”— Wu Ch’i (430-381 BC)
“You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.”– Sam Rayburn
“Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others may receive your orders without being humiliated.” — Dag Hammarskjöld
“Humans will probably always need the help of especially gifted moral leaders in order to extend the bonds of caring and trust beyond the easy range of the family and the face-to-face community. Such bonds have become essential to the future of humanity.” —Paul R. Lawrence, Driven To Lead
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”— Max DePree
“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.”— Ken Kesey
“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter F. Drucker
“Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.” — Lance Secretan, Industry Week, October 12, 1998
“Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil – the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be.”— William George Jordan
“My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” — General Montgomery
“High sentiments always win in the end, The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”— George Orwell
“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”— St. Francis of Assisi
“In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.” — Wangari Maathai
“I think leadership comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity.” — Scott Berkun
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” — Harold S. Geneen
“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” — John Maxwell
“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” — Norman Schwarzkopf
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” — Harvey S. Firestone
“Leader in its most important sense means being the agent of your own life, influencing the things you care about most in the world to make it a richer life. ” — Stewart Friedman, Total Leadership