“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” John Wooden
“The city is lying on garbage!”
“The sewage routes are blocked!”
“Don’t come to my county to do small things!”
“You are corrupt!”
These are the kind of cries heard from those seeking political positions in most of the African Countries. Nothing new, just the same speech upgraded over and over. Does it mean that the campaigner will make the changes if elected into the desired position?
From experience, I doubt.
Why then would anyone call for a press conference, arrive at the well prepared venue armed with supporters who will do anything to get the tune right in praise of the campaigner just to listen to this kind of talk? They all squeeze beside and behind the speaker of the day just to ensure that their faces are captured by the paparazzi till the rehearsed speech is done. All this is done in the name of being named supporters of the speaker. Is this a profession or a calling? I wonder.
In my opinion which is not so humble, I would rather have such press conference held to give reports or to call the mass to get involved in making the country better.
Why would the city be lying in garbage while a campaigner can mobilize the mass to ensure that it is clean? Having one Saturday in a month set aside to clean up the estates would go a long way to ensuring that what today looks like a city in garbage is a glorious castle that draws many to herself.
Surely, if one can have a speech so captivating as to keep thousands standing in the blazing sun for hours, then I don’t see how the same fellow would fail to get the same team of followers engaging in something as beneficial as keeping their city clean. After all, the same team of followers adheres to each one of the speaker’s instruction like they would to the call of death!
If the leadership position the campaigner seeks for is anything to go by, then the emptiness seen years after the campaign should not be witnessed. Criticizing an existing leader while sitting on the same pile of dirt and crying foul is pathetic and it is a clear demonstration of inability to lead a nation.
Before anyone in Africa decides to campaign for any political position, they should to say the least address the ills they see in the land, not by cheap political words but by action. Campaigning for a political position is not a decision to be made overnight; leadership is not as easy as boiling water for a cup of coffee, a thought many campaigners seem to take for granted. Every one of those positions sought after have human souls attached to them, a matter to be deeply embraced.
So then, who should campaign for political position?
Here is a short chronicle that should act as a guide to anyone who thinks that they have what it takes to tell tales to the masses in exchange for a vote:
An international organization (whose name I will not disclose) was seeking to fill in a very critical position; ‘Head of Network Coordination and Development’. Bearing in mind the sensitivity of the position, the organization did not ask for applicants to have specific academic competency.
However, the organization expected that applicants would have experience in successfully developing network and or innovative partnerships, proven fund-raising skills, proven ability to positively influence donors, experience in humanitarian and development issues in the Africa region as well as proven experience in development and implementation of relevant strategies. That is absolute practicality!
That far, you could tell that the organization was not looking for complainers but result- oriented people who must be team players. It is not about the academic qualification; though that may be necessary, but the ability of the person to produce above-the-scale results in situations that may be undesirable with a whole pint of their suitability in a team. This should be a person who can round up masses and positively change the fate of a nation. That is a leader, undeniably.
Having known that therefore dear campaigner, here are a set of questions that should guide you while making that crucial decision of being your people’s leader.
Forget the screams of blood-thirsty, power-hungry, ‘my-family-must-win hang-about; people’s lives are at stake here.
- Am I financially independent and a self-driven hard worker?
- Am I able to rally people around a worthy course such as progressive volunteerism?
- Are there people whom I have worked with to eradicate uncomfortable situations and in return they are able to do the same for others?
- Are there projects that I have started and I’m overseeing their progress while the benefactors are actually people I am not related to by blood, tribe or marriage?
- Would I be willing to establish similar projects in other areas in the world for the sake of caring for humanity- regardless of the age?
- Can I mobilize funds from people for their own benefits and the benefit of others who are in delicate situations?
- Is my relationship with my immediate relatives and neighbors desirable?
- Do I have proven mediating skills?
- Do I embrace people of a different believe as equal humans?
- What is my inner most conviction as to why I am the most suitable person for the position?
Once you have evaluated yourself against the questions above, have at least 10 honest people read your answers so as to help you know if you are honest with yourself hence the ability to lead. Remember, the worst of lies told, are the ones we tell to ourselves for in the end we are entangled in mesh of our self-deceit and there is no truth in us.