- Lifestyle

Over the years, we have seen the display of various leadership styles, and have given them names ranging from charismatic to authoritarian. But what exactly is true leadership?

As with most things, leadership is a divisive topic. One that has divided people, and continuing to do so whether at home, work, and constitutionally.  For instance, our decisions on whom to marry, submit to at work and constitutionally are largely based on our understanding of leadership, and in some cases, how the society would react to them.

Thus, what does leadership stand for? The word ‘leadership’ contains two standalone words, ‘leader’ and ‘ship’.  A ‘leader’ is a person in control of a ‘ship’. A ‘ship’ is a large boat for making a journey across the sea. This means that leadership entails controlling a large boat on sea to bring it to safety.  We can therefore use an example of a ‘Captain or Shipmaster’ in this context to help us understand true leadership.

Let’s look at the role of the sea captain.  The sea captain is like your everyday CEO, President or Prime Minister or anyone regarded as a Leader. The Captain doesn’t drive the ship, instead, they oversee everything onboard including the people, systems and processes. And when the ship is docking, the Captain takes control of the ship, placing his hands on the control to bring into the dock.  The Captain therefore not only controls the ‘ship’ but also brings the ‘ship’ to safety.

Sometimes, the Captain delegates tasks to the staff Captain or another Senior Officer in order to develop them (of course with close supervision); preparing them for the future.   Does true leadership therefore involves developing other people so they can grow into the same confidence and aspiration? And by so doing, are we developing true leaders?

Again, the Captain must carry the other crew members along before, in the middle and after the journey to ensure rules are understood and followed adequately. Failure to do so could be devastating. Is this what we see in our politics today?  Are we seeing a situation where the leaders are no longer carrying people along, consequently, leading to disaster? Today, the opinions of the leaders are because of their own decisions, and do not reflect the opinions of the people.

Because the Sea Captain must take care of the different operational matters and navigation, they work closely with these various areas of expertise to gain some understanding of their work and continue to learn and keep abreast of new developments. Without which, it will be difficult for the Sea Captain to bond with the crew and keep them motivated. The Sea Captain knows already that they have talented and skilled team who are integral to the success of their leadership; as such, the need to keep them motivated and show they can relate to their needs, concerns and worries.

Next, the display of emotions in leadership, should this be regarded as weakness?  Absolutely not! Isn’t this why most of our leaders today are hard hearted? We made them so; we did so by saying they’re not allowed to display emotions, when in fact, their display of emotions show greater strength and understanding of people’s needs.  I doubt a Sea Captain will hide from displaying emotions in a sinking ship, knowing that they have the responsibility for the crews and the people on the ship.  The fact that they can be helpless at times isn’t a show of weakness, but that they’re human.  And like every other human, need help and support to take the next step. This also applies to when the ship docks.  An overwhelming emotion of relief.  Who wouldn’t? And who wants hard-hearted leaders?

This takes me nicely to another leadership quality displayed by the Sea Captain, the heart to serve. In case you didn’t know, the Sea Captain must be the last person to leave a ship in difficulties. Morally, they have the responsibility for everyone on the ship; and legally, to ensure their safety comes first. Therefore, the Sea Captain remains until the last person’s left.  In this humane sense, the charm of their leadership continues.  Unfortunately, the preferred leadership style today comes with self sacrificial lambs. The leader is the first to be saved, and thereafter, the people beneath them.

Hence, true leadership isn’t only about charisma, authority etc.  it’s about serving the people, ensuring their safety, welfare, and creating opportunities for them to reach their full potential.

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Isn’t interesting that we all want a fair, transparent and honest environment? We all want people to be honest with us – but do we truly appreciate honesty? And what exactly does it mean to be honest?

Let’s take the definitions of honesty in both the Oxford and Cambridge dictionary, they both emphasised, ‘trust’. This means that an honest person is one that can be trusted.  But, trusted to do what? Trusted to be reliable, to be true, and just say it as it is.  But then again, how many of us like to hear it as it is?

Not too many I presume. We want people to be honest with us; and get upset when they are.  We want to be honest with people, but we find it hard to accept their honesty.  So, why are we so much after honesty? Why do we ask of people what we aren’t ourselves?

Why do we find it hard to receive honesty?  We want to feedback honesty and openness but react when others feed the same back to us. We emphasise transparency; when we aren’t transparent ourselves.  If the truth be told, none of us is honest, and the only one that’s honest is the one that’s happy to accept honesty in whatever shape or form.  One that approaches honesty with clear mind, most especially, if they have been honest with other people.

So, if truly, we want people to be honest with us, then we need to earn it.  We need to do more than just ask for it; we need to show the willingness to accept honesty from them in return.

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What’s interesting is that some of these countries have wealth of resources and potentials to drive economic growth in all its forms – and still, are being regarded as undeveloped. This is mainly because they’ve failed to maximise the resources and potentials at their disposal efficiently. They have leaders who are more interested in the display of wealth than creating economic opportunities or developing potentials. The implication being a declining economy, generation that cannot compete on the world’s stage, confuse and lost.

But are these leaders at fault? Not at all, because they were put in the position of power by their own people.  Even though, they’ve become bad realities to them, the people are still happy to keep them on.  Even when, they can see so much failure in strategy, economy recovery, employment and provision of basic amenities, which are leading to loss of future generations, they still vote for them. And, these leaders continue to do nothing about the potentials leaving their countries every day in search for what they’ve failed to provide; in search for how they could explore their potentials. These are generations of these countries now lost in other parts of the world.  It’s a big shame indeed!

What these leaders fail to understand is the importance of identifying and developing their potentials.  The fact that developed countries are seeking out these potentials and developing them, is in fact what make them developed countries.  Their abilities to see and explore potentials in all its form is what make their wealth sustainable.  So, if undeveloped countries are less interested in their own potentials, they are virtually saying they’re happy to remain undeveloped.  They’re happy to lose their future generations.

But are people going to continue to fold their hands, and allow their future generations to be lost again?  To be lost like the ones in the past in circumstances of servitude. Is it time for people to innovate other ways, seek new leadership with potentials for integrity, passion, courage, good judgement and empathy for the people.  A leader that would put the future generations back on the level playing ground. A leader that listens and work with the people to reduce marginalisation, poverty and imbalance in the justice system. A leader that’s interested in untapped potentials and would create opportunities to ensure these potentials are fully maximised.  A leader that truly cares, knows how to pray and not ashamed of weeping…

If these countries would like to avoid the risk of losing their generations and missed opportunities, then, the people must be willing to try new ways, new people, without which, things remain the same.  A little bit of risk is required to drive any change. They can’t continue to throw away potentials because of wrong leaders who couldn’t care less.

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We were wonderfully created as one human race to expand and fill the earth.  But what did we do? We built walls and reclassified ourselves by race.  We coined out the word ‘race’ to put our stamps on different landmasses, and then created a distinct group of human races based on physical and behavioural transformations.  The distinction that gave rise to racism – the belief in the inferiority and superiority of races.

Whether we accept it or not, there’s only one human race; otherwise, animal race.  A race that continues to expand into different areas of the earth’s landmasses, as they move along them.  In order to live successfully on these landmasses, they would have to learn the relevant adaptation skills and put in place certain practices that differ from landmass to landmass. And for every time they move along the earth, in search of a better life, love and many more, they’ll take with them their learned practices and also try to learn new ones depending on the landmass they settle in.

Unfortunately, some of us see these movements as threats to our existing associations. We prefer our own associations and would not welcome any new ones. We’d do anything to stop the movements including being hostile and racists towards them. What we fail to understand, however, is that we cannot stop people moving along the earth, as that would also have an impact on us. It would mean stopping holidays, explorations, adventures, employments and many more, as we would not be justified entering other people’s landmasses if we’ve prevented them from doing the same.

But this is not who we are. We are freeborn; and enjoy the opportunity to be able to see the world and interact with it. We were so created and that’s why everytime we push people away, other people feel drawn towards them. The reasons for our hostilities, are the reasons other people want to know more about the new associations. Hence, the reason the world is becoming smaller. We are discovering a lot more about the human race and our similarities and anyone who remains a racist soon find themselves living in the gullibility of the past, which is dying out, as each day progresses.

People are finding love around the world, they are looking for new opportunities wherever they can find them, and establishing new friendships that stick closer than their existing ones. These are all signs of a world moving away from the gullibility of the past. So why remain unhappy and isolate ourselves from the beauty of diversity of the human race?

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Our society has created two ends of a social spectrum: the high and low. The high social spectrum, people regarded as having certain benefits confer on them such as good jobs, homes, houses and cars, to name but a few.  And the low spectrum, characterised by poverty, unemployment and homelessness etc. 

Sadly, this is what our society has become. We’ve lost every respect for humanity and the value in it; and have replaced it with social class. A concept that’s having significant impact on people’s access to basic things of life, and direct consequence of increase in crime rate in our society today.

Whilst I am of the opinion that anyone can change their spectrum through hard work and determination; I still believe the concept is not necessary at all. Our wealth should influence other people’s prospects of access to jobs, food, education and many more; and not be a basis for segregation.

We should aim for a society where we all can dwell together in harmony; a classless one.  One that we can use our wealth to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.  To transform other people’s lives and access to the basic things of life. 

Measuring people’s existent based on social class is very belittling.  Whether we group them under high, middle and low and for whatever reasons, clearly hasn’t helped situation at all. Rather, its creating more divide.  Where someone feels they can’t be themselves because of their financial or educational situation is not good for our society.  We ought to give people the opportunity to be able to change their situation, and not feel they do not belong.

If we set our standard of existence based on class, then we’re not encouraging hard work.  The reason why we see a lot of people getting involved in activities that have potentials to make them rich quickly.  In most cases, these activities aren’t through hard work, as we’d expect.  But at least, they get them on to the ‘social’ ladder.

Must we continue to create situations that relegate people to the background. Situations that create unnecessary tensions, all because we want to satisfy our selfish intentions.  It’s a great thing to be wealthy; and even greater to use the wealth positively. What’s more beautiful is if we all have access to change our situations. To be ourselves whilst we do so. Looking down on people because of their ‘social’ situation is causing negative and unhelpful.

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Is education what we have at present? Have we made things a little bit complicated by structuring our education the way it is now? Have we end up widening the segregation gap?

Personally, I’m in support of education because it is a powerful tool for refinement.  Through education, we receive both simple and technical guidance that adds wider perspective to our thoughts. Unfortunately, what we call education in our society today is a far cry from this.  Our educational system today is not only confining; but also creates inequality.

The system has imposed its own thinking on people, so much so, that a lot of people are lost.  People are not able to unlock their talents – because they haven’t received the right education.  A lot of us  are forced down the paths that aren’t ours; and could forever be confined to these paths. Unless, we are lucky to have the opportunity to change things, which is often not the case for most people.

We keep forcing people to learn subjects that are irrelevant for fulfilling their potentials. Won’t it be wonderful, if we’re able to unlock people’s talent at a very young age, and move them in that direction? By so doing, the educational system would have successfully created a world of diverse potentials in action. Rather than, limited potentials creating wealth.  Others, living in poverty!

Parents are not left out of the wiles of the educational system. The system has so conditioned most parents that they’re more concerned about their children passing the forced subjects, without which, the children are not able to gain admissions or find work etc.  Only the wealthy ones are able to call the bluff of the system, and establish their children in the right path.  Unfortunately, not all parents have the resources to do so.

We therefore need a proportional educational system that offers wider variety of subjects – delivered in a formal or informal setting, as appropriate to the needs of individuals.  You’ll find that some individuals do better in practical approach than theoretical one.  Realising this in individuals will help us in developing their potentials. 

Yes, there are subjects like Maths and languages that we need in order to be confident in discussing matters relating to our finances, and establishing social interaction. And therefore, should be made compulsory, but not a tool for measuring individual potential.  More emphasis, however, on other areas such as arts, music, public speaking, training, writing, games development, software development, entrepreneurship, athletics etc would be great. The more choices people have, the more likely they’d explore and fulfil their potentials.

We want a society that make people feel they have the potential to be successful. Not one that continues to create wealth imbalance – the direct consequence of unlocked talents and skills. If our system continue to provide educational opportunities for certain category of people, then we are locking out other people with abilities to be successful too. The risk therefore to our society, an increase in poverty level, consequence of crime and many more.

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Are we naively assuming the identity of other ancestry in order to fit in? Do we not feel the need to feel like we belong the way we are?  Must we cut our nose to spite our face, all because we ache to fit in? Why are we failing future generations?

If the truth be told, our ancestry define our identities.  Without which, we become non-existent. And if we’re non-existent, then there will be no next generation.

But thankfully, with the existent of our ancestry, we all now can say we belong somewhere. Somewhere we feel comfortable being ourselves and can enjoy a stress-free connection.  This somewhere, isn’t necessarily our place of birth, as it is more to do with our heritage. It is this heritage that gives us a better understanding of our uniqueness and helps us to feel a greater sense of connection to ourselves.  Not accepting our heritage, therefore, means gradual decline of a generation.

We are who we are for a purpose.  Our ancestry is full of exciting exploits. Unless, we open ourselves up to understanding our ancestry, we will continue to feel less connection with our ancestors, and therefore, less connection with ourselves. 

Knowing about our ancestors drives our values and beliefs.  We come to appreciate the awesomeness of God and our connection with him.  In return, this connection prepares us for the tasks ahead of us.  It sets the strong foundation for fulfilling our purposes, understanding our weaknesses and strengths and initiating the change that’s right for us and the next generation. 

Unfortunately, a lot of us have spent our lives assuming other ancestries because we feel they are better than ours. On the contrary, our real power comes from accepting us and getting other people to accept us for who we are.  Trying to assume another ancestry because we feel they are better than ours is like trading our birth right for a pot of porridge.

Without our ancestors, we would not have existed.  That’s how powerful the connection is.  It’s what makes our identities. Even if our birthplace is different from our ancestry, our identities remain unchanged.  We may be able to change our speech, eat and act in a certain way in conformance to our place of birth; our identities are unaffected by these changes.  Isn’t this the reason why we still get awkward questions about our who we are?

No ancestry is perfect.  Yes, some ancestries have been sold to us in such a way that we feel more aligned to them. When in fact they are not.  They are like every other ancestry yet to tell their own stories.  If we are not telling stories of our own ancestry, there’s no way we can give an insight that would inspire compassion and love for them.  By showcasing them, people can see their challenges and how they overcame them.  Their strengths in creating a generation in an imperfect world.  Their battles, the wars they fought, their endurances and perseverance.  The pain they went through and yet didn’t give.  That’s how much recognition we can give to our ancestry to save a declining generation.

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I thought it would be nice to write about Mapes next.  This is because of how much we have associated Mapes to humans, and how we’ve even gone as far as saying humans evolve from Mapes. I am not sure how that’s possible though, and how such unintelligible reference have been accepted by people.

Anyways, in case you were wondering, Mapes stands for Monkeys and Apes, and in this write up, I will showcase their differences and similarities to humans.  However, what’s worthy of note is that a lot of other animals share the same similarities and differences with humans.

So, firstly, no person or culture evolve from Mapes.  Mapes are all around us.  If it helps to put a place to their origin, then I would almost likely say, their origins lie in the same origin as humans.  Just as humans were created, Mapes were too.  If we still struggle scientifically to make sense of humans, why then do we spend a lot of time trying to unravel the mystery behind Mapes.  Just like humans, they come from the same creator. 

What’s interesting about Mapes is that they can walk straight up like humans. Isn’t God wonderful!  And if you wonder about where they live and how they survive.  Mapes live in jungles, forest across the world.  Some now live with us humans in our homes!

They come in different colours like us: white, black, brown, orange etc.  But that’s not all there’s to Mapes, they are diversified in their shapes and sizes. They are omnivores: they eat meats and plants, not just bananas, as we were made to believe. And domesticated ones can drink milk too…

If you didn’t know, Mapes are social beings.  They enjoy hanging out too.  They’d love to be taken to parties, if you will do them the honour.  I see we humans love to hang out with them too.  They are very particular about their children and work together to care for them in their troop.  They enjoy playing, cuddling and protecting each other.  Isn’t this exactly what ALL humans do? Exciting!

Just as we have the men as Heads of our homes, guess what, they do too.  The largest male Mapes are the Heads of their homes. What you also need to know is that they practice polygyny – male mating with more than one female. Ha ha! just as we practice polygamy, male marrying more than one wife; mating with more than one female. And in the home, a baby Mape is cared for by the mother.  In monogamous homes, they are cared for by both parents.

I must mention that a baby Mape is treated as an adult between 4-5 years. Ok, humans, are we beginning to turn our children into Mapes when we expect so much from them at that age too?

But what makes them different from us is our ability to reason at a higher level.  If we also take ourselves back to creation, we would see that we were created to manage the whole earth including the animals that reside in it.  Hence, why we can train Mapes for instance to become domesticated, build and invent stuff they can’t.  So how could we have even come up with the idea that we evolved from Mapes!

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How many times have we heard the sayings that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks?  Countless times, I can imagine.  Those words that come out of our mouth are from our hearts’ storage.  For our hearts would only give what’s been stored in it.  Consequently, if we retain malicious thoughts, they will be exposed soon enough because that’s what’s in our hearts. If we are lucky, we would catch the rawness of the information and process them before they come out of our mouth. 

I know sometimes, we feel we have good reasons for our emotional state; and they often cloud our thoughts. Then, stored up in our hearts, adding more to their workloads.  Just in case you didn’t know, our hearts are the organs that help us react to different demands from our bodies including the brain by providing feedback signals, which affect the state of our emotions. For instance, if we feed our brains with reasons to retain our hurtful emotions, our hearts receive and store them raw for when we need them. And as our hearts were created to act unconsciously, our first utterances usually come out raw; unless, we are well contained and can process them before spoken.  Regrettably, in most cases, we’re not. That’s why we hear people say they never meant to. 

Our hearts are therefore very important and a special place too; not for storing up negative thoughts but for creating behaviours that reduces the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol etc.  If we take a moment to consider the importance of our hearts to the functions of other parts of our bodies, then, we will do more to reduce the impact of retaining unhealthy emotions in them.  This will include in bias, reprisal, hates and many more.  For every time, we keep them, we become stressed; and our bodies release hormones that causes our breathing and heart rate to speed up abnormally. We know what happens next… 

So, why do we keep storing unhealthy emotions in our hearts? Emotions that fill us with so much hurts – exposing our hearts to continuous levels of thoughts, which eventually trigger our adrenaline hormones. Isn’t it time we realised that we bear the consequences of what happen to our hearts?  We not only live with the outcome of the state of our hearts, we also live with the consequences of the words that come out of our mouth, as a result of the abundance of our hearts.

Thankfully, we have the power to control our thoughts; to remove the ones that are not of benefits to our hearts and interaction with the world.  So, lets wipe out the thoughts that are destructive and fill our hearts with the right ones.

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Isn’t it wonderful that we can express ourselves freely? I, like you, think it is great that we can be free with one another, as it gives us a feeling of oneness with all things. 

However, just as our freedom of speech can give us the feeling of oneness, it can also divide us. This is because our words are powerful. So powerful that they can build up or rip apart; and can leave a long-lasting negative impression of who we aren’t.

Shouldn’t we therefore thrive our free speech in a considerate manner? A manner that’s truly truthful if we’re truly trying to speak the truth.  But in most cases, are we speaking the truth?  Are we using our free speech in a healthy or destructive way? Are we sometimes caught up in our own hurts that we don’t realise that we are hurting other people?

If we are going to be using our freedom of speech to speak the truth, then what’s the truth?  Is our truth based on any grounding at all, in which case, it is fair? Is our truth based on our bias, in which case, is not the truth? Truth and bias are not the same thing. Truth is based on evidence and fairness; bias on the other hand, is based on our own personal opinions, which makes our speech unfair.

The impact of free speech can be remarkably permanent.  We should therefore use it in a manner that bring about positive change for us and for our society.  Tearing ourselves apart is not the way to go. If we’ve been hurt deeply, it is okay for us to share our experiences so we can be free. Unfortunately, if in sharing our experiences, we attack a whole community for the wrong of some; we lose all empathy and only get apathy.  No one ever want to be in a place where people stop being interested in them because of their bias.  We all want to be heard, and be spoken to, and be made to feel fair in our outlook – not the other way around, as it deepens our hurts.

I am not saying lose your free speech.  All I’m suggesting here is that we direct them more towards the right issues.  Issues that create positivity and not further lead to disintegration and bitterness.  If being hurt could create a monster in us; why do want to continue creating more monsters.  And what happens when we all become monstrous in our views? Is this the world we want to see? Yet, we are continuing to trade, travel to explore and find survival in some cases. How would we be able to sustain them if we all continue to use our freedom of speech to attack one another?

Let’s therefore show consideration in our free speech and be respectful of one another. There are more important issues that would benefit from our free speech.  We can either use our free speech as a powerful force to change those issues or continue to use our free speech to isolate us from the rest of the world, who feel differently.   

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