Omoremi E. Oladotun – Nigeria

  • March 23, 2020 at 10:15 am #2315
    Huong Nguyen

    Name: Omoremi E. Oladotun
    Country: Nigeria

    Comparative Examples of Positive & Negative Leaders
    Write Your Own Funeral Speech
    Organize a Peer Panel to Discuss the Kectil 10 Points of Leadership

    Leadership is the ability to successfully fulfil goals through appropriate motivation and inspiration of one’s team. A leader explores the strengths and manipulates the weaknesses of his team to achieve set goals. Leadership cuts across all facets of human existence, including politics, religion, science and entrepreneurship.

    This is the background inspiration that drives leaders to accomplish their set goals. It is the enthusiasm and motivation that is transmitted by leaders to the entire team, and allows all members to pursue the team goals.
    Positive Example – Obafemi Awolowo was a renowned Nigerian nationalist who played a vital role in Nigeria’s Independence, the first and second republics and the Nigerian Civil war. He obtained his Law degree at the University of London in 1947, and had the mission of driving his home nation towards independence and stability, through several social legislative actions.
    Negative Example – General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian military general who became Head of State between 1993 and 1998. His mission to amass power made him rise through the ranks, until he became a Head of State, in a regime characterised by ruthlessness and gross human rights abuses.
    This comprises of palpable emotion and drive that leaders possess in their quest for achieving team goals. It is a combination of vision, energy, excitement and enthusiasm showcased by a leader and impressed upon team members. Passion drives leaders to fully engage themselves as well as others for the success of the entire team.
    Positive Example – During Obafemi Awolowo’s struggle for Nigerian independence, he wrote his first book, Path to Nigerian Freedom in 1945. He wrote to promote indigenous rule, federalism and civil governance.
    Negative Example – The passion that General Abacha had for power and autocratic rule drove him to be involved in all the coup d’état in Nigeria, until he gained utmost power in 1994. During his tenure, he decreed that his government be placed above the jurisdiction of the courts, thereby acquiring absolute power.
    Vision is a vivid mental picture of the futuristic goals of a team or organization. Leaders need to have a clear roadmap towards the accomplishment of the team goals, and this mental picture must be decrypted to the members of the team for maximum efficiency.
    Positive Example – Awolowo, in his Path to Nigerian Freedom (1947) preached federalism as the only basis for equitable national integration. During the period he was Premier of the Western Nigeria up until Independence, he laid out a solid and enduring sociocultural and political legacy through visionary leadership.
    Negative Example – General Sani Abacha’s vision of absolute power made him to impose an authoritarian police state. He was ruthless on criminals and dissidents and acquired a personal security force of 3,000 men, in a tenure marked by gross corruption.
    This is an important leadership trait which is centered on respect for the various individual beliefs, values, dignity and rights of others. An ethical leader shows respect for the cultural and ideological diversities of his team members, and places value on their various points of view on matters involving the whole team.
    Positive Example – Awolowo’s was known to be a man of integrity. His concern for the welfare of the people and the vision for a prosperous nation built on federalism and ethnocultural diversity served as the basis of his pro-independence contributions.
    Negative Example – Abacha’s tenure as Nigerian Head of State was marked by human rights abuses, with mass killing of opposition activists, which afterwards made Nigeria to be suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations and his government suffered from external pro-democracy opposition.
    This is simply the act of being kind to others. It combines sympathy, empathy, thoughtfulness and a deep sense of understanding. Compassionate leadership focuses on the ideal that every team member is not only a significant individual, but also an integral part of the entire organization. This virtue creates a positive environment and a deep sense of belonging for all members of the team.
    Positive Example – Chief Obafemi Awolowo had generous compassion towards the masses. During his tenure as the Premier of the Western Region, he introduced free primary education and free health care for children in the Western Region. This was made possible by a strong regional economy built on the highly lucrative cocoa industry of the Western region. These programs improved the living conditions of the poor and provided good education for several poor children, many of which later became prominent Nigerian citizens.
    Negative Example – Abacha was known for ruthlessness and maleficience. He dissolved Nigeria’s democratic institutions (including the national assembly), banned political parties, replaced state governors with military commanders and dealt ruthlessly with opposition activists and parties during his tenure.
    Equality & Respect
    These are highly essential values in leadership. A sense of equality makes the leader to recognise every member as an important entity of the team. This mentality therefore breeds mutual respect, fosters excellent internal and external relations, and leads to better team performance. Great leaders value people equally, treat people equitably and set up each individual for success according to his or her skill, talent, role and potential.
    Positive Example – Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. His vision of Africapitalism has made him to raise great financial and economic leaders on the continent. He has also empowered over 800 vibrant young African entrepreneurs through his foundation.
    Negative Example – General Ibrahim Babangida served as military President of Nigeria from 1985 to 1993. He was said to be responsible for the killing of Dele Giwa, a magazine editor & strong critic of his administration, as well as other opposition activists.
    Good Governance/Management
    Good governance entails leadership based on justice, peace and protection of individual’s human rights and civil liberties. It is the ability to successfully bring to full potential all the available human and socioeconomic resources in the team.
    Positive Example – Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), through heavy investstment in young and vibrant African entrepreneurs has helped to expand the frontiers of economic development in Nigeria, as well as Africa.
    Negative Example – Gen. Sanni Abacha’s tenure was marked by enormous fear among the populace. He brutally suppressed democratic organs of government and dealt ruthlessly with opposition voices.
    Personal Presentation
    This is one’s personal image being conveyed to team members. It includes personal appearance, non-verbal communication, verbal communication, behavior, self-esteem and self-confidence. It is important for leaders to consciously portray themselves in good light, as a good image helps to create follower-trust and further promote team success.
    Positive Example – Tony Elumelu is one of Africa’s top economists, and is known for humility, philanthropy and investment in the younger generation. He has a mindset of possibilities, which he has consistently transmitted to his employees, as well as the upcoming generation.
    Negative Example – Abacha was recognized as a tough and narcissistic individual, and this reflected in his various anti-democratic policies and actions while in power.
    Team Building
    This is the sum-total of all the efforts and actions taken by members of a team to increase their motivation and strengthen cooperation. It involves several moves directed at fostering internal unity, developing strengths, and addressing weaknesses within the team which is made possible through proper communication, interdependence and trust.
    Positive Example – Chief Obafemi Awolowo was said to have founded many organizations, including Egbe-Omo-Oduduwa, the Trade Unions Congress of Nigeria and the Action Group political party, before he rose to being a prominent nationalist. His core principle was nation building through democracy and federalism.
    Negative Example – General Sani Abacha palpable inability to create obligations, to inspire loyalty, respect and commitment from the Nigeria citizenry made his tenure as Head of State one of the most brutal regimes Nigeria has ever had.
    Measurable Accomplishments
    It is important for a leader to periodically quantify both individual and team ahievements. The truth is that every role can be measured. The evaluation of accomplished goals and milestones further inspires the team and helps to aim for more far-reaching goals.
    Positive Example – Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s tenure as Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria was marked by unprecedented success. He built the first stadium in West Africa, created the first television station in Africa. He also ran the best civil service in Africa at the time, providing free health care till the age of 18 in the Western Region, and introducing free and mandatory primary education in Western Nigeria. While serving as the Federal Minister of Finance under General Yakubu Gowon’s military government, he ensured a stable economy before, during and after the civil war, and also coined the name Naira for Nigeria’s currency.
    Negative Example – General Sani Abacha’s regime as Head of State was marked by ruthless autocraticsm. He dissolved all democratic structures, existing political parties, and the National Electoral Commission. This made the famous Time Magazine to vote him as “Thug of the Year” in 1995.
    John C. Maxwell defines a leader as one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. Therefore, a deep understanding of the virtues dicussed above, and a retrospective study of great leaders of the past, remain germane for a lifetime of successful leadership.

    With each passing day, I wondered what my tale in this world would be, and what would be said about me after my demise. I’m sure I won’t be remembered as the man who made a plethora of friends, neither would it be said that I always put up a smile. It’s not because I’ve got a mean personality or an anti-social character, but because life handed me its fair share of travail and sorrow. I’ve grown up to witness utter injustice being meted to myself as well as fellow humans, and I’ve lived my entire life battling to change this status quo, with more than a few notable breakthroughs in that regard.
    As a stellar elementary school pupil, with an enormous belief and a mentality that anything is possible, I was loved by my teachers and respected by my equals, but became a victim of a morally decadent society. I lost the prizes in my 4th grade to a classmate whose parents ‘took care’ of our teacher, and who enjoyed the follow-up benefit of being given better grades in our exams. As small as I was at the time, I was introduced to a reality that would become a more glaring and recurring theme, and one which I was destined to fight at every phase of my existence.
    As I was rounding up my high-school days, I also lost out on the prestigious Valedictory Prize for English Language, which I had dreamed of since my freshman year. This was also because I wasn’t financially privileged to pay my teacher for ‘private lessons’ where exam questions were usually revealed. While in the University, after a magnificent service as the Public Relations Officer of the Students’ Association, I ran for Presidency upon a pedestal of unparalleled credibility, but was once again placed at the center of conspiracy and prejudice, which cost me victory at the polls.
    After all the scenario emanating from the first quarter of my existence, I learnt tough life lessons about life being grossly unfair to the under-privileged, and to help liberate others, we need to be liberated first. I was therefore determined to pursue relevance in my society by seeking financial freedom, engaging in various leadership roles, capacity building networks, fellowships and academic scholarships. As I gradually moved close to self-actualization, I was strongly motivated to stand up and resist this prejudice by acting as a voice to the voiceless, and an advocate for the underprivileged. This I did with sheer aggression, as I worked with several organizations and government agencies to promote human rights, and later started my foundation which was saddled with the responsibility of advocating for the rights of women and children, providing scholarships for underprivileged children in Africa, and raising young leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
    Although I was blessed with a lovely household, comprised of amazing parents, special siblings, a darling wife, wonderful children and grandchildren; and was privileged to have earned multiple degrees and over a hundred national and international honors, I would be remembered as a man who felt deep concern for the poor and needy, was beneficent to those who like my young self, were victims of prejudice, and shaped an army of leaders of the next generation. My entire life was somewhat wrapped up in a timeless quote from the great Nelson Mandela – To be free is not merely to cast of one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
    I remain grateful to the creator of the universe and every special individual (living or passed) that I met throughout my journey of impact.
    Your brother & friend,
    Omoremi E. Oladotun

    My online peer panel was created on Thursday, 27th February, 2020, and included four (4) friends and myself. Here is a summary of our one-hour discourse:
    Mission – A leader must be goal-oriented and target-driven. Lack of mission makes one unfit for a leadership position; also, having a mission that is not in line with the overall goal of the team/organization one is leading renders one unfit for a leadership role in that organization.
    Passion – This is the energy one is able to put into the goal of a team. It is the positive drive invested to achieve a common team goal.
    Vision – These are achievable plans which serve as the means to the team goal. A leader needs to make realistic and workable plans towards an organizational goal.
    Ethics – These are written or unwritten statutes that guide human relationships and character in a team or organization. It is essential because it guides the conduct of an individual who takes the role of leadership.
    Compassion – It is important for a leader to show empathy and kindness to everyone, including members of the team. It involves active listening and appropriate response to situations that affect others.
    Equality & Respect – The old saying, Respect is reciprocal, remains germane in leadership. For a leader to earn the full support of his team, he must learn to respect his team members. A leader must avoid discrimination and preferential treatment which would serve as obstacles to unity and progress.
    Good Governance/Management – A leader must govern his followers rightly. This includes performing his duties accordingly, and managing both human and other resources well enough for maximum benefit of the team. A leader must be strategic, and he must learn to manage the little resources he has in his disposition.
    Personal Presentation – A leader must present himself appropriately and carry himself with an aura of dignity, respect and calmness. He must be of good character, worthy of emulation. A leader must be a role-model to his team.
    Team Building – This is very vital in leadership. A leader must work hard to foster unity and strategically explore the diverse capabilities of his team members in order to achieve the team goals and objectives.
    Measurable Accomplishments – It is important for a leader to regularly evaluate the team goals and how much it has been accomplished. This can be done in several ways, ranging from profit numbers, performance charts and so on. This helps the team stay focused and motivated towards the vision, as well as setting new targets.
    Kindly note that all masculine pronouns include feminine. Thank you.

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