Character is an essential ingredient in leadership which must not be taken for granted. Your character is your pass port to greatness and your visa to success in life.
Character is very important in leadership, the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Had always encouraged his followers not to judge people by their appearance , but by the content of their character. A famous Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once said ‘ A man’s character is his fate’.
My late father Chief Augustine Abi, who was a seasoned administrator and leader per excellence always hammered on a good name. In his words, ‘ my son, a good name is better than gold, a good name is more desirable than riches’. Many fallen leaders can affirm that a good name is better than silver and gold.
A man of character is one who inspires others with his/her good leadership traits. As a young man, what attracts me to People, especially leaders is the character of the individual and not the wealth he/she has accumulated. Leaders must be persons of impeccable character, persons of charismatic personality and not persons known for dubiousness and exploiting others and stealing from others.
A leader who is not a man of character will fall in no distant time. Christ said, let your life be a shining light for others to emulate. Your life is your passport to greatness. It saddens me that most of our young men who are suppose to be future leaders have sold their integrity on the altar of desperation and poverty of the mind. Greed and doing too much of everything will not take you far rather it will destroy the trust People have in you and reduce the confidence People have in you.
The world is in dire need of strong and successful leaders who will shape and contribute and impact on their generation. A nation like ours is experiencing a lot of myriad of complicated issues and crises and needs leaders of influence and power to shape the ills we are experiencing today. This is a critical time where we need great leaders to shape and nurture the future of Nigerians and Cross Riverians.
In our world today, leaders are struggling to acquire personal security system but the truth is; a good character is like a personal security system for your life. You must install character for yourself as a leader or an aspiring leader. You must build a good character by developing good morals and ethics that will alert you on the negative ills of life. When i was growing up, i was not brought up with plenty but i was brought up with plenty of morals because of the kind of father i had. One of the oldest principals in the history of Cross River State. A school administrator for about 27 years. He mentored and brought up men, to be men and women of content and character.
My friends, I want us to understand that once you lose the trust of others, it is difficult to win it back. So why burn your fingers because of things that will not last? Why give yourself a bad name? A bad reputation? In our nation today, we have a lot of fallen leaders. Do we want to take after them? We must tread with care and build a formidable and strong integrity for ourselves for others to emulate from. Authentic leaders lead from strong, personal, moral value that have a profound effect on our society.
As a leader, you must be an individual of content and character,purpose and vision, potentials and the ability to create wealth, you must be an individual driven by morals, ethics and values. True leaders do not compel people to follow them but people align with them naturally because of what they carry. They align with them because of their charismatic personality. Winston Churchill, once said, ‘The price of greatness is responsibility’.
Character is the most powerful force a leader can possess because it protects his life, his leadership and integrity. Your character is your manifesto. Without character your leadership is at risk. For you to be a good leader you must preserve your character. Most times I cry in my closet because of the charlatans we have today as leaders.
Start living and leading for others to emulate from you.
Prince Thomas Abi is a Public Commentator and wrote from Abuja.
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