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THE GHANAIAN LEADERSHIP DEFICIT

Author:
SOPHISM
Date:
2011-07-01 10:59:16


THE LEADERSHIP DEFICIT

The major problem confronting Ghanaians is not resource deficit, but leadership deficit. We don’t need money, expertise, or natural resources from outside our country to develop, for we have and have had enough of these resources. What we have not had are great leaders. There are many characteristics that make presidents or leaders successful or unsuccessful as history judges them in retrospect. In this piece, I intend to deal with one of the most important qualities of presidential greatness—visionary leadership.

Most political and presidential historians, as well as political psychologists agree that great presidents and great leaders have had visions, insights, understanding or clear idea of where they wished to lead their nations or their people in their quest for a better future. Great leaders and presidents were concerned with big ideas and challenges, and sought to communicate these ideas in a way that allowed their people to understand their dreams and to develop confidence in those ideas.

By great leaders, I mean leaders who have fresh thinking, vision, and touch of leadership. Great leaders do dreams and are easily inspired by new ideas and change. Such leaders are conceptualist, and have time to think about forces that affect the destiny of their people. Further, such leaders unite and do not divide their people along political, ethnic, and religious lines. Such leaders are not only intelligent but also of good character.

One of the highest priorities in politics has been how to bring the wisest people into positions of power, and how to keep wrong people from getting into power and going unchecked. It is believed that the personal characteristics of leaders determine success. Intelligent leaders create intelligent government. Intelligent government goes beyond simple efficiency or effective governance. Intelligent government involves creativity, good judgment, and wisdom in dealing with important national issues.

In his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” Luther had a vision that one day America will rise and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." He had a dream that one day the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

Clarity of vision is not only important for leaders and their teams, but also important to galvanize the people around the presidents’ or leaders’ great ideas. These great leaders seizes the initiative to take the people where they need to go, but do not want to go by themselves. Leaders with vision paint a positive picture of the future, as well as a clear sense of direction about how to get there. They continue to preach about their vision until they bring their vision to reality.

On 12th June 1949, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah gave a moving speech in which he declared his vision for the people of Ghana. He said, “We demanded full self-government now from the British. We prefer self-government with danger to servitude in tranquility" Nkrumah then began his philosophy of Positive Action that was based on the principle of nonviolence adopted by both Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. before him.

One expert on Winston Churchill recently comments, “But without Churchill’s firm vision of a united nation, rooted in his understanding of his country’s history, the British people, as a people, will quite assuredly perish.” The great book says, “Without a vision the people perish.

Visionary leaders are committed to moral and intellectual discipline. They embody a sense of personal integrity, and radiate a sense of energy, vitality and will. Visionary presidents and leaders have self-awareness and reflective than others. They follow an inner sense of direction, and lead from the inside out as typified by Mahatma Gandhi. He once said, “I must first be the change I want to see in my world.” He was a prime example of a visionary leader with a commitment to values, as he freed India by appealing to the moral conscience of Britain and using “satyagraha” or nonviolent action. Rather than being corrupted by power, visionary leaders are lifted by the power and exercise moral leadership.

Most of these great leaders did not live to enjoy the benefits of their labor or dreams, but they pressed on towards the mark. Nkrumah once said, “Long after I am dead and gone, the torch which I have borne will be held aloft to give light and hope to the people.” Luther also compared himself to Moses. He lamented that in the same way that Moses didn’t get to the Promised Land after delivering his people from slavery, he might not also live to see the fruits of his dream. These visionary leaders led their people by faith. By faith these leaders refused to identify themselves with the elites and the exploiters, instead they suffered affliction with the people than to enjoy the passing pleasures of the moments, esteeming the reproaches of their people greater than the treasures in this world. May the Lord bless us with the leaders we lack and the Leaders we need! And Also Remember That Character Counts!

[This is an authentic posting from SOPHISM (Registered User)]
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