“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” – [Matt. 10:16, NLT]
Today, I write as one not with all the answers in the world; neither as one who is the best of all human beings on earth. I am a young Nigerian and I am not happy about the quality of our leadership. The spate of corruption tugs at my heart – stabs it even, and I feel weak and tired. This should be short.
Many have condemned corruption several times over, only to be caught months later red-handed – with filthy hands and stolen dollars. They fought hard against the rule of a treacherous generation before them; uber-talented orators they were, articulating the zillion faults of their forefathers. The tides soon changed and we all thought that the final change had come. They were offered the chance to nail the coffin of old rogues and young underachievers who had sold their souls to the god-fathers. Alas! Nothing would change, because the veil soon gave way to the true colours below the surface of deception.
I believe in God. I believe that He is still in the business of selecting leaders. Every appointment that God gives a man is fully dependent on his faithfulness at his present place of assignment. He does not become qualified for the highest level of leadership when he gets there, it starts from now. Remember the saying, “the future is now!”? Many have been misled and imbued with a false perception of eternity such that they idle away their lives and become irrelevant here on earth. Others decide to make impact in life and are positioned on the path of greatness. They are entrusted with the responsibility to make gains for the community. Not a few fear that politics and faith do not mix well. However, we ought to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves; this balancing act requires courage and God’s leading.
Lastly, one wonders why so many falter on along the way in leadership, usually after brilliant beginnings. Many reasons abound. Perhaps they did not clearly define who they are and what they stand for right from the start; maybe they did not figure clearly what they ought to pursue in the place of assignment; also, they might have been misled, somewhere, somehow. I emphasize the danger of the wrong association. Money and power are great intoxicants – someone even said that you only truly know a man when he becomes rich. There is always the tendency to for one to drift away from childhood/long-term friends and familiar people as one grows in influence and power. No doubt, twenty boys cannot grow together for twenty years, and many associations will have to give way to more promising and strategic alliances, but what we often fail to realise is that there is the need for us to maintain a nucleus of strong friendships and relationships with trusted individuals in the faith who would not fail to tell us the truth and nudge us back on track when we make mistakes in leadership. There is that need for ‘accountability partners’ who help to keep a check on our excesses.
I am a work in progress and I encourage you to consider these things too. Ensure you belong to a critical mass of great leaders who are truly selfless and will not compromise standards for pecuniary gains. This is an enormous task, but you can be a worthy man at the gates of good leadership. I would love to know your thoughts on this matter.