March 11, 2020 at 1:26 pm #2275Huong NguyenKeymaster
1. Comparative Examples of Real Positive and Negative Leaders
A good leader needs to have a specific goal or objective that he or she is working towards achieving. This is what a mission stands for. One cannot be a leader if he or she is working in a void and has no purpose. A leader needs to comprehensively know and understand what he or she plans on accomplishing. A good mission is one that is positive and is meant for personal of global wellbeing and not destruction.
Positive example: Professor Wangari Muta Maathai, the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize, had the mission of ensuring that the environment is conserved especially by championing and pushing for the planting of trees.
Negative example: Idi Amin Dada, former Ugandan president, was a power hungry dictator whose mission was to amass wealth and remain in power by persecuting certain ethnic groups and executing political opposers among many other atrocities.
This is a strong feeling or conviction towards something. It is what gives a leader the strength to keep pushing/ persevere hardship when striving towards achieving his or her mission.
Positive example: Wangari Maathai was very passionate about environmental conservation. In 1989, she took it upon herself to fight for Uhuru Park, a recreational public park in Nairobi, which was about to be grabbed by power hungry men who wanted to build a 60 storey complex for their own financial gain. She was so passionate about protecting this green peace of land, she put her life on the line.
Negative example: John Kiriamiti, a famous former hardcore Kenyan bank robber, was passionate about crime and amassing wealth that he would do the most extreme stunts to carry out his robberies and escape capture. For instance, he feigned madness and was admitted to Mathari Hospital, a mental health facility in Nairobi, to escape a jail sentence.
A leader with a vision is one who is able to see beyond immediate needs or goals and is able to picture/ imagine a desirable future that most people fail to see or think is impossible to achieve. A visionary leader is creative, imaginative and innovative.
Positive example: Former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, had a vision of a more united, more innovative, more creative America and worked diligently to achieve this vision.
Negative example: Pablo Emilio Escobar, former Colombian drug load and leader of the Medellin Cartel, did not have a good vision for America. He was the leading cocaine trader in U.S.A in the 80’s and 90’s, who only cared about the money he made and not about the negative effects his drugs had on those who used his products.
An ethical leader is one who has good morals. He or she has a moral code that guides his or her actions and enables him or her to distinguish between right and wrong.
Positive example: When Fred Matiang’i, the current Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Coordination of National Security in Kenya, was the Cabinet Secretary of Education, he made multiple radical reforms to the education sector in an effort to reduce ethical issues faced in said sector. For instance, he reduced the time it took to release the Kenya National Secondary Education examination results from 3 month to 1 month. This in turn ensured that the results were not altered by corrupt officials and students got their true and fair results.
Negative example: The Kenyan traffic police men and women in general are corrupt leaders who are constantly taking and accepting bribes from traffic offenders especially public service vehicles like matatus, instead of ensuring that the traffic laws are followed and offenders are punished in the right way.
A compassionate leader is one who is thoughtful, empathetic, kind, loving and always ready to help or assist others. He or she is s humane leader.
Positive example: Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionaries of Charity, was a compassionate leader who cared about the poor and sick in society. She took care of people with HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Leprosy, and ran orphanages that helped children.
Negative example: Idi Amin Dada, known as the ‘Butcher of Uganda’, was not a compassionate leader and during his reign as president of Uganda, he was responsible for mass inhumane killings of an estimated 500,000 people.
f) Equality and respect
Equality is the treatment of different races, religions, sexes etc. with fairness (without discrimination) and ensuring that everyone gets access to the same opportunities.
Respect is the treatment of someone or something with the care and honour they deserve and ensuring that you behave in a way that does not cross any line and cause offense.
Positive example: Njoki Ndung’u, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Kenya, is a fair woman who really advocates for equality and respect especially towards women in the work place. She has taken part in the amendment of the Employment Act and has ensured that it provides for paid maternity and paternity leave.
Negative example: Harvey Weinstein, an American film producer, is a man who has shown great disrespect for the women he works with. He has been convicted of sexually assaulting his young women colleagues which is completely revolting.
g) Good Government/ Management
This is the formulation and implementation of rules, regulations and policies that ensure smooth, efficient and effective running of operations to ensure that objectives are met. It includes policies that ensure no fraud or corruption takes place.
Positive example: The late Bob Collymore, former CEO of Safaricom Ltd, had great management skills and ensured that Safaricom was always top in the telecommunications industry. He ensured Safaricom implemented the most innovative ideas like mpesa in good time, in an efficient and safe safe manner while still ensuring that the company gave back to society through various initiatives like the mpesa foundation.
Negative example: The late Abdulamek Jonmohamed, former Managing Director of Imperial Bank, was a leader with poor management skills. The bank closed down in 2015 after he and other top officials in Central Bank of Kenya conspired to carry out fraud and steal from depositors upto $380 Million.
h) Personal Presentation
This is how one portrays himself or herself to others. It’s a personal brand. It includes how one dresses, talks and behaves ie. his/ her actions.
Positive example: Barack Obama is an eloquent, well dressed and philanthropic individual who is well respected all over the world.
Negative example: The current governor of Nairobi, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, has poor personal presentation. He is known as the ‘King of Bling’ because of all the bling he wears, even when attending high end meetings with delegates. This makes it hard for people to take him seriously.
i) Team Building
This is the ability to bring people together to achieve a common goal.
Positive example: Professor Wangari Maathai had great team building skills. She was able to assemble people together to form the Green Belt Movement that fights for Environmental Conservation.
Negative example: In the time that Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has been in leadership, he has erratically hired, fired and reshuffled Nairobi County executives and other staff members as he pleases causing high destabilization of County operations and general frustration and confusion among the people of Nairobi County.
j) Measurable Accomplishment
These are results of leadership that can be qualitatively or quantitatively ascertained. It shows that the goals of leadership have been achieved.
Positive example: Professor Wangari Maathai fought for the conservation of Uhuru Park and it still stands to date. She also ensured environmental conservation by planting of trees and has a Nobel Peace Prize as proof of her efforts in ensuring sustainable development.
Negative example: President Uhuru Kenyatta, the current president of Kenya, promised that he would fight corruption but so far his efforts have not borne any fruits and corruption is still rampant especially among the officials that he himself has endorsed and appointed to power.
It never ceases to amaze me how death is able to jolt you and give you such a clear perspective on life. It makes you see and understand the things that truly matter in life. As we reflect on the life of Penina Mukami Kamau, I will not focus on how much worldly possessions she amassed and left behind, but rather on the lives she touched with her good deeds and the positive impact she created in each and every soul that she touched.
Penina was the first born in a family of three. She was a graduate from Kenyatta University, where she pursued a Bachelor of Commerce. She was a model daughter and sister, always obedient and considerate and led by example. She was a great role model to her siblings. She ensured that she put family first in everything, no matter what she was doing. If ever there was any family issue/ emergency, she would drop everything and be there to support her family. She was the embodiment of the saying ‘Blood is thicker than water’. She was very dependable and her family would readily entrust her with duties like baby sitting and planning events like birthdays.
A more generous and kind person I have not met. Penina was a generous giver and would give to the point of self-deprivation to aid someone in need. Above and beyond helping her family, she was instrumental in giving back to society. She organized fundraisers for the less fortunate, participated in numerous volunteer programs and even sponsored a couple of needy children, regardless of the fact that she was young and did not earn much. She found so much fulfillment and joy in giving and would do so without expecting much in return.
Penina was a hardworking, ambitious and vibrant individual who had a ready smile for everyone she met and would light up any room she walked into. She loved music and had a great sense of humor. She had a knack for lifting people’s spirits when they were down and was really great with kids. We will surely miss her.
3. Peer Panel Discussion
A mission is a definite, smart goal that a leader is working towards achieving.
President Paul Kagame is a Rwandan leader whose mission is to help his people recover from the genocide and ensure prosperity of his country.
Passion is a strong emotion or attraction that one feels towards a certain cause or goal.
Peter Tabichi is a Kenyan science teacher who won the 2019 Global Teacher Prize, due to his passion of helping his poor but talented students
A vision is a long term goal or position in which a leader envisions for his team, and also encompasses the wider community.
Bob Collymore, the late Safaricom Ltd CEO, had the vision of transforming and contributing to the sustainable living of Kenyans through various Safaricom initiatives.
Ethics is the ability to do the right thing.
Former President of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, was an ethical leader who worked very hard to eradicate corruption on his country.
Compassion is having a heart to genuinely care without expecting anything in return.
Sister Irene Stefani is an Italian Missionary nun who unsparingly gave herself to the mission of helping the sick in Kenya and Tanzania.
Equality is the giving of equal access to opportunities and resources to everyone without discrimination.
Respect is the treatment of someone with the decency and dignity they deserve.
Nelson Mandela was a leader who championed and supported the anti-apartheid war.
Good Government is the ability to come up with and apply good public policies for public good.
Dr Patrick Njoroge, current Governor of the Central Bank Of Kenya, has ensured prudent monetary policy management of the Kenyan economy through good governance of the Central Bank.
Personal Presentation is how one comes out in public eg. dressing, speech, actions etc.
Michelle Obama is an eloquent, well dressed and big hearted woman.
Team Building is the ability to push for collaboration among people with a common goal.
Sir Alexander Ferguson, former Manchester United football manager, was a leader with great team building skills who led his team to multiple victories.
Measurable Accomplishment is the achievement of goals that are visible and felt by the public for an extended period of time.
Former President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, ensured the economic growth of Kenya by ensuring access to basic education, good roads, electricity and many more.
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