Leadership protocol: Both to do and teach
On the condition that you do not understand the core area of leadership that I want to briefly and momentarily touch on in this piece, you would never be an effective leader. It is the ignorance and unawareness of this fundamental area of leadership that makes our entirepolitical leaders struggle—when it comes to proficiently leading the citizens of Nigeria. Even most of our religious leaders do not understand this leadership protocol is all about.
True and lasting influence in leadership comes from understanding this protocol. Take for instance, you are invited to a place, but you do not understand the protocol of the place in question, the truth is; you are going to mess up big time. The only way out isfor you to find out the protocol of the place and submit yourself to it. It is the same thing when it comes to leadership.
The first thing I want to speedily debunk isthe wrong school of thought that says that leadership is only taught and vocalized.This is why we are having too many people—who teach leadership in Nigeria, but who are not leaders at all. They teach one thing while they do something else. They tell those under the sound of their voice to follow what they teach, not what they do. You’d hear something like: listen to the message, not the messenger. When it comes to real leadership, you cannot separate the leader from the message.
Why are we having too many hypocrites in every sphere of leadership today? It is because they are yet to understand this leadership protocol. There are too many people in leadership today whose mouths and legs do not match. They correct their followers on areas that they themselves are still struggling with. They tell their followers not to be lawless, but they themselves are very lawless. They tell their followers to pay taxes, but they evade taxes in the noontime. They tell their followers to be patriotic, but they are not. They tell their followers to go northward, but they are traveling westward!
For the umpteenth time, teaching is the lowest level of leadership. Africa is not in want of teachers, what the continent of Africa is lacking are leaders—who know their onions. Over the years, I have found out that when you are overwhelminglyand profoundly teaching leadership skills, people will be attracted to you, but after a while, when they realize that you only teach what you do not do, they will go back to where they are coming from. What makes people stick to you is not what you say to them, it is what you do for them!
The finest leader in the history of mankind is the man Jesus. He understands perfectly what this leadership protocol is all about. When he sends people on errands, he does so, not to use and later dumb them, but he sends people on errands—within the context of purpose. There is no time he sends people on errands for selfish reasons.
Also, there is no gap between what he says and what he does, because he does not say what he does not have the capacity to do. Saying does not come before doing in leadership when it comes to the man Jesus. When it comes to the man Jesus, doing comes before saying. This generation does not want to hear what I am teaching you right now. They do not have the patience to walk out in shoe-leather—what they believe they have been sent to teach, so their mouth and legs are always contradicting themselves. This generation is always in a hurry to happen. But when it comes to leadership, you cannot afford to be impatient about it.
Once again, true and effective leadership is not taught, it is either deliberately done or lived. Leaders are doers, not mere speakers. Another person who understood perfect this leadership protocol is Mahatma Gandhi. His words were weighty because he would not say what he did not have the capacity to do. Hear this story: one day, a woman took her boy to Mahatma of this world. At the time in question, the boy was consuming too much of sugar, so for him to stop, she took him toGandhi to help her talk to the boy, so he could stop eating sugar because it was not good for his health. After meeting with Mahatma, she told him what was happening. Mahatma said to the woman to bring the boy back to him some months after. The woman was a little offended, because she needed to travel from a far distance to see him. She was expecting Gandhi to unveil a great secret to the boy, so he could stop.
She took the boy home and as instructed, she brought the boy back to Mahatma. When she met with Gandhi the second time, he held the boy’s hands and knelt before the boy, saying, “please, do not eat too much of sugar, because it is not good for your health.” After that, Gandhi stood and handed the boy over to his mother. The mother was amazed at what he did. She was surprised that if that was all he wanted to do, why did he tell her to bring the boy back, months after she first met with him? She later asked Gandhi on why he decided to waste her time and money, sending her back home, knowing that he only wanted to tell him not to eat too much of sugar? To which Gandhi said to her, “When you first bring your boy, I too was still struggling with sugar, so I would be a hypocrite to tell him not to eat sugar. Today, I have overcome it, which is why I could implore him to stop eating sugar.” Mahatma’s words were weighty because he understood this leadership protocol. He was a leader, whose mouth and legs matched themselves!
Today, how many political leaders are eating ‘sugar,’ but daily screaming on national television stations that the citizens of Nigeria should not eat‘sugar’? No wonder their words are as light as paper. For your words to become weighty in leadership, make sure you are not doing what you are telling people not to do. In 2019 and beyond, you need to understand this leadership protocol, so you can take your leadership to the next level. See you where leaders of true integrity are found.
See you where great leaders are found.