AN OPEN LETTER TO NIGERIAN YOUTH.
THE NEW FACE OF LEADERSHIP.
Ndubuisi Precious Umebei
After a thorough study, observation and detailed analysis of major contributing factors to the less inclusion of young people in Nigerian leadership and Governance, top on the list from my findings however revealed there are fundamentally three major misconceptions the youth of Nigeria have about leadership.
I will like us to wall through these major misconceptions.
These three misconceptions are: Leaders are born, Leadership is age, and Leadership is title. Worthy noting that each is dangerous in their own way. Thus, the constant restiveness of youth of nowadays for involvement in leadership when we are already leaders.
As against the overview, I am set to expose and correct such wrong beliefs. Hop in, let me give you a ride of self realization.
Last week Monday, I was opportune to rub minds with youths double my age in my local vicinity. In the course of the conversation, their view on leadership was centered on the fact that once you are not of an influential family, you are not qualified to lead. Therefore, they were proponents of the the cliché, “Leaders are born.” I played the opposing role in the dialogue and the result? They realised that leadership has nothing to do with where, when, how or in whose family you were born. Thus, the leading spark for this letter to fellow Nigerian youths.
I am not denying the fact that some individuals show early signs of leadership. May I state here that such are not as a result of family ties nor genetics. Noteworthy, if such skills are not nurtured adequately, it flames off!
Becoming a leader is not something some people are just born with like it is in their D. N. A. Your parents did not occupied political and leadership positions, so you can not be a leader; absolutely wrong! You do not have to be born and bred by an influential leader for you to be a leader. Leadership is a skill we inculcate through several training and having a specific goal that will change things for good. I believe anyone can be a true leader.
Furthermore, it is so unfortunate that this common belief of “Leaders are born” has kept the idea of leadership seemingly separate and unavailable to many in Nigeria specifically the youths.
Nigerian youth must come to the understanding that leadership roles are not reserved for generations of present and past leaders and leadership does not entirely mean obtaining a leadership role. Learning, practising, and executing the proper principles of leadership and producing the desired result makes you a leader.
The major determinant factor of leadership is not age nor authority but influence and capacity. I beg to correct the notion that leadership is age. I tend to go nuts whenever I hear the cliche, “Youths are leaders of tomorrow”. If we, the youths are too young and immature to lead this country, then which category of people are ready? I am not centering on political leadership alone. A cursory study will enlighten you that youths have been denied leadership roles in virtually all sectors.
It leads me to ask, “These old men fencing off the youths, how old were they when they got into leadership limelight?” The earlier we youth recognises and embrace the glaring fact that “leadership is not age”, the brighter and better our future.
Often, people with titles are not leaders, and people without titles have the greatest leadership skills. Leadership is more of a person than the position he or she occupies. Leadership has little to do with positions of authority. You must not be appointed before you be a leader.
Leadership is all about influencing others to act. Leadership is the desire to effect a change. It is the passion to make a difference.
Dear Nigerian Youth, leadership is not something we get from birth or family ties. It is not determined by age, title and it is never something we purchase. Leadership in realistic terms refers to people who can influence others’ opinions and actions for good. No certificate makes you a leader. Leadership constitutes the actions taken to bring about change; it is not office or politics oriented.
I invite you to ponder on these words of wisdom from Isrealmore Ayivor. He said and I quote, “A young child is a leader to an elderly person once his purpose has a faithful, sincere, and trustworthy influence on people. Leadership is not restricted to position and age; it is self-made and influential. Everyone has this self leadership quality.”
In your little community, what change are you instituting? What differences are you making? I believe we all have ingenuity and potentials. I hope this letter goes a long way to help us see reality and unlock door to our greater future.
I invite us to save the day. Set out today, effect a positive change and ignite the burning passion to make a difference, beat existing records and change the status quo. It would not be easy but it can be achieved.
You are a leader. I am a leader. We are the leaders we clamour for. We are the new faces of leadership.
I am Ndubuisi Precious Umebei and I am a young emerging leader.
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