Throughout history, leadership has stood as a cornerstone shaping societies and determining their paths. It’s the linchpin that steers the destiny of a people, and a leader’s actions can create profound impacts, be it on a micro or macro scale. The challenges faced by humanity, whether through historical atrocities like slavery, conquests, or manipulative tactics aiming for dominance, can be largely attributed to a dearth of effective leadership.
What exactly constitutes leadership?
Barney & Pratt (2023) define leadership as the capability of an individual or a group to influence and guide members of an organization, society, or team. While often associated with one’s title or seniority, leadership is a skill open to all and is inherently developmental.
Nikhil Pandey (2022) defines leadership as the act of guiding a group or organization, while Khadija Khartit (2023) sees it as the art of motivating individuals toward shared goals. Kruse (2013) describes leadership as a social influence process aimed at maximizing others’ efforts toward goal achievement.
Essentially, leadership revolves around providing direction and implementing strategies to aid those being led in achieving common objectives.
These descriptions imply that these attributes should be embodied by an individual—the leader. In my perspective, a true leader guides people toward objectives aligned with cosmic laws and principles. However, the leaders produced by the world have contributed to the present-day global dilemmas.
FP Mensah categorizes leaders into three types: The Educated Leader, The Civilised Leader, and The Enlightened Leader.
Educated Leaders are mostly self-centered, aiming to benefit themselves, their circles, and neglecting the masses, leading to the dire situations in many nations, especially in Africa.
Civilised Leaders prioritize their well-being, their nation, and sometimes their citizens at the expense of other nations’ progress—a prevalent characteristic in Western leadership, often manifesting in exploitative actions.
Enlightened Leaders, the third category, aspire to lead for the collective good of all—caring not just for their country but the entire world. They endeavor to liberate and uplift people’s lives globally. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah exemplifies this category with his vision for African unity and liberation.
The Way Network’s Founder emphasizes that power in the hands of educated or civilized leaders can be perilous or detrimental, respectively, but in the hands of enlightened individuals, it fosters collective well-being.
The way forward for Africa, according to The Way Network’s Founder, lies in deliberate coaching on leadership for government officials. Introducing self-discovery and personal development programs would shift their perspectives from parochial to more altruistic viewpoints, benefiting national and global interests.
African nations must establish specialized leadership training centers for government appointees to achieve substantial progress on the international stage.
In conclusion, history has seen few Enlightened Leaders. To elevate Africa and improve the lives of the majority, fostering more Enlightened Leaders becomes imperative. Their enlightened leadership can pave the way for the continent’s advancement, lifting masses out of poverty and into a state befitting humanity.