Leaders are lifelong learners: Not a mere slogan

Each time I look at most of those leading us in Nigeria at the highest level in the realm of governance, it is very easy to see that they are not relevant to the Nigeria of today. They could have been relevant to either 18th or 19th century Nigeria! It is clear as water that they stopped learning a long time ago! And when you stop learning, you actually stop leading! You may be occupying a leadership position, but it does not mean you are leading. This is neither debatable nor contentious.

Many people are occupying varied leadership positions without actually leading in our clime. When people—who are occupying varied leadership positions speak, you would know. And when folks—who are both occupying leadership positions and are leaders speak, you will know also. When a true leader speaks, everyone listens and does what he says! How many people listen today when our political leaders speak let alone do what they say?

The reason leaders learn everyday is not because they want to impress anyone with how much they know, but it is because they care so much about those they are leading. It is the love they have for those they are leading that make them consistently pant after knowledge as a deer pants after water. They know that when they stop learning that they will lead their followers into the bush.

For the umpteenth time, leaders are lifelong learners. Remember, lifelong learning is the minimum requirement for success in your field, or in any field of leadership. With knowledge and information doubling every three to five years, your personal knowledge about your field of leadership must be doubling every three to five years as well, just to stay even and relevant.

Each time I go to speak to would be leaders in “Ajegun,” the most notorious slum in Africa, I always teach them to set up their own functional libraries, making them to buy at least a book a month and read through it all, because it is of no use to buy good books and not read through them. Over the years, they have built good functional libraries, because no one can truly lead without having the tool of relevant knowledge.

Your goal in this day and time as both leader and would be leader should be to join the top 10 per cent in your field of leadership. You should do an analysis of your field and determine what the people in the top 10 per cent today are earning. You should then find out what it is they are doing to earn that kind of money. You can ask them directly if you do have a relationship with them and they will probably tell you. Whatever answer you get, follow up. Read the books they read. Listen to the audio programs and take the same courses they take. Do what they do until you get the same results they get!

What I am writing on here is very imperative and important—because our clime is a very religious one, very godless though. Most of our people—who desire to become successful detest buying and reading through the books that those who are successful are reading. They wrongly think praying on mountains alone is enough to birth success. What reading through good books (and doing what you glean from them) will do, prayer will not do it!

Hear me, no one is better than you and no one is smarter than you. If someone is doing better than you at the moment, it is because they have learned and applied knowledge and information faster than you are. And anything that anyone else has done, you can do as well, if you know what he knows. This understanding has helped me a great deal in life and purpose.

I do not look at anyone, who is doing fine and well and envy him or her. No! The reason is because I believe I can do what he or she is doing, (especially if he or she is laboring in the same field I am also laboring in) on the condition that I do know what he or she knows. Instead of envying him, I will try all my best possible to get to know what he knows and keep practicing till I can do what he or she can do.

It is ignorance that makes us envy ourselves on this continent. You will stop envying people once you know you can do what they are doing if you know what they know. I challenge you today to stop envying successful people and start finding out what they know and get busy learning what they know. Take for instance; I am too busy learning to have time to envy anyone!

As I coast home this Monday, leaders are lifelong learners is not a mere slogan, it is what you need to consistently work out in shoe leather. Do not forget these words as long as you respire: it is easy to greatly lead once, but it takes a lifelong learner to keep leading greatly. It is easy to make a great presentation once, but it takes a lifelong learner to keep making great presentations.

Lastly, to keep leading, you have to keep learning. You cannot lead today with the knowledge of yesterday. The day you stop learning is the day you start losing relevance as both a leader and would be leader. Till I come your way again next week, see you where lifelong leaders are found!

 

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