We are counting days towards our crucial elections. Why do I say crucial? It’s because that is when we will have the first legitimate leader after former President Robert Mugabe’s rule. Have you taken time to think of what kind of a leader we need after these elections? As Zimbabweans, we have gone through inexplicable vicissitudes politically and economically and we don’t want to walk that dark path again.
By JONAH NYONI
Someone is going to be the leader of Zimbabwe and we must not leave everything to chance. The leader must lead. In reality, I have crafted seven crucial things they should do if ever that want this country to stop retrogression or stagnation.
A leader must have advisors and right advisors for that matter. These are not just friends who will not tell you the truth. During the Mugabe regime, I always asked myself strong questions: Who is advising our President? Doesn’t he see that he is now old and even tired to lead effectively? Probably the greatest problem wasn’t the President himself, but the people that surrounded him, they did not tell him the truth.
As a scholar of executive and leadership coaching, I have found coaching to be an effective tool in creatively enabling a leader. So the advisor could come in the form of a professional and certified coach. Secondly, the leader can employ a mentor. This mentor could be experienced an president from another country.
The Harvard Business Review in the article The Art Of Giving And Receiving Advice says:
“Those who are truly open to guidance (and not just looking for validation) develop better solutions to problems than they would have on their own. They add nuance and texture to their thinking — and, research shows, they can overcome cognitive biases, self-serving rationales, and other flaws in their logic. Those who give advice effectively wield soft influence—they shape important decisions while empowering others to act”
A think-tank is generally a body of experts, giving advice or ideas on specific economic, social, technological or political issues. Think-tanks give advice based on research findings in a specific field. The next leader should be willing to invest in that. Most of our economic actions have been based on political grounds, but if this country was to progress, our decisions should not be based on what a specific political party wants and what it could benefit from it.
The reason why I say a right team it’s because I have seen great leaders who had employed a wrong team to their demise. Teamwork means working in your different capacities and gifting towards a singular goal. The purpose of the leader is to share a vision with team players and then team members find means of fulfilling that goal. The misnomer with some leaders is that they think a good team is the one that does the bidding of the leaders. A good team sees from different perspectives, bring its suggestions to the table and the best options are chosen by the team in agreement.
In the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patric Lencioni (2002: pg 97) gives us reasons why leaders fail in teamwork:
Absence of trust — this leads to invulnerability
Fear of conflict — resulting in artificial harmony
Lack of commitment — resulting in ambiguity
Avoidable of accountability — resulting in low standards
Inattention to results — resulting in status and ego
Listen to the gut power
Our gut or inner man is usually right, but we at times go against it. Your gut could be defined at the intuition. Some say it’s the sixth sense. It’s the God Power! It is this invisible force from within a being. A good example is what made Steve Jobs believe that Apple will be a leader in the technology business.
That was not only based on predictions or his rational, but a powerful force within gave him instructions, hence the strength of faith in what the world had not experienced. This is when your vibrations are in sync with cosmic realities.
The next leader needs wisdom more than anything else. Wisdom is different from just the accumulation of information. That’s why a country like Zimbabwe is ranked highly academically but lowly economically. What we need is not just information, but wisdom.
Proverbs 4 vs 7 says, “Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And with your wisdom, develop common sense and good judgment” (New Living Translation)
Prayer is when one taps from a higher source than you can think or imagine. This is one force that increases faith. Faith is a higher dimension propelled by prayer. A human being can only achieve this much, but with God all things are possible. If you think of the current stake as our nation, people have lost hope, severely traumatised and they can’t see any hope at all.
Talking of Jesus Christ himself, it is said time and again he secluded himself from people so as to have quiet time with God. The only mistake, the greatest mistake, is to take God out of the equation.
The next leader has to learn from the mistakes that we have made. And also learn what must be done to progress this country. Learning opens our mind. Dr. John Tibane in my book Transformative Leadership says, “Every leader must have the intuitive, creative, cognitive and emotional intelligence to steer people or an organisation to optimal levels.
Leaders must mentor, monitor, measure, manage, multiply and maximise available resources. Leaders must be malleable in face of change and not only adapt and adopt new technological twists and trends, but adore and blend them into their systems”. This does not just come, it’s based on leaders that are willing to learn.
Learning is just as important as water is to a fish. As you develop yourself as a leader; you grow your personal capacity to improve those around you and you in turn increase results. Most problems in economic, social and political spheres can be averted and avoided if we have leaders that are willing to grow themselves first.
lJonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and certified leadership/business trainer. He is the author of Inspiration for Success and Success Within Reach. Contact details: Tel: 0772 581 918. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter@jonahnyoni.