Author: Rev. Dr. Solomon Nkesiag, Kampala, Uganda
Category: Leadership Development
A perspective on forming leaders
There are different perspectives of approaching the subject: “The qualities of a leader”. For a start of many series on the topic in this paper, I will assume a leader from the not common perspective. You or self as a leader of yourself. My argument as you will discover is that if you win it at the individual and private levels chances are that you might be a productive leader in public as well. You might remember how we often try to piece together the childhood times of public leaders. Because they seem to suddenly appear in public to lead us. The question we often ask is “where did they learn the skills of being leaders?” Think of any leader, presidents of notable performance , Mandela, Museveni, Obama, and many others. What were their childhoods like? It is as if such childhood were to be discovered and studied carefully, then we will have the formula of creating leaders just like the ones that have made a leadership mark in our times.
Think of the story of Jesus Christ. He is a leader of divine character. We have scanty stories of his formative years. Many books outside the canon of scripture, that is the rule that determined the books of the bible which have sufficient information for our salvation, claim to have the childhood story of Jesus Christ. This is the yarning of humanity trying to look for what can work easily for us. In active public life we meet Jesus once at age 12 and later when he is 30 years old. It would then be argued that his childhood was as normal as that of any other child in his village of Nazareth. There is, however no doubt that when we meet him especially at his Baptism he is already focused to the purpose of his life and even his father our God acknowledged it.
I will have an accession to discuss some leaders of our time but for now let me suggest to you that what we see in Jesus Christ at 30 he was already a leader of self during his childhood. The difference is in the magnitude of performance a manifestation of ever increasing areas of responsibility.
If you win the battle of self leadership, the rest is orientation in specific skills and positioning for, your success and then public responsibility. So, what makes you a successful president as the same as what make a successful man or woman as a leader of yourself. The difference is in the magnitude of responsibility. My perspective therefore is that the qualities of a leader are the same for “self”, because it is the “self” who eventually becomes the president and anything in between self in private and the public leaders that we know.
Let us look at these initial qualities that we need to be successful leaders of ourselves? These qualities include but not limited to: Love, hope, faith, having a vision, imbuing ones’ discipline, communication and action with integrity. I will here below explain what each one of these qualities mean. I will give briefs on each quality. Remember we are focusing on the individual as leader for him/her self.
All these qualities above are learnt. They are not inborn lest we think that some people are born leaders. Do not let life happen to you. Make life bear a mark of your creative contribution as a leader of yourself. Wake up and make the best use of your time because Christ’s light has shown on you. Live as a wise person. Make use of positive opportunities because these are tough days (Para. Eph.5: 14b-16). You are a leader of yourself by God’s arrangement so get up and lead starting with yourself.