Institutionalise process that will develop leadership traits in people — Expert

In developmental efforts to make the country great, a call has been made to the Federal Government on the need for institutionalising a process that will help inculcate and develop leadership traits in people.

Dr. Jummy Toyese Olagunju, CEO, Leadership and Relationship Limited, made the call to governments at all levels.

He said the government needs to be intentional in making sure that leadership traits are being inculcated in the young ones as they are growing up to have a better Nigeria.

Olagunju made the call in an interview with Arise TV in commemoration of Nigeria @ 63 celebration.

He posited that the definition of leadership on this side of the world (Africa) is wrongly defined, thus bringing about the saying that the major problem of African countries, Nigeria especially, is lack of good leadership.

According to him: “Leadership is what we refer to today as Followership and not someone in position wearing an agbada, a suit, or putting on a country flag tag.

“Leadership is when every individual has the right, moral values, ethic and the right thing developed in them in terms of conscience, compassion, being considerate, being compassionate, being honest, fairness, which really in the Western world are focused on developing in the average child before the age of seven, which is when the personality of every individual is developed.

“Then they make sure that the design is such that by the time they become a teenager, there are some things they can handle responsibly and you will see the leadership in every individual.

“When you ask an average kid out there growing up: What do you want to become? 

“You hear things like I want to become a firefighter, a policeman, and when you press further, they will tell you it is because I want to save a soul or a life.

“The attachment is about being humane, which is very structured and institutionalised. 

“By the time you bring such a person growing with that mentality, with that leadership traits to hold a government position anywhere and they meet fellow human beings that they are expected to administer service to, you will see the humanity in them coming to play.

“Nigeria is a great country with great potential in us and our recents population analysis shows that 70 percent of us are youths and 42 percent are below 15 years of age. 

“That means that we can get it right by making sure that this teeming youth grows old with leadership traits in them.

“Nigeria’s future is already secured and guaranteed if we succeed. 

“But if we fail to develop these traits in the average child growing up, our story will be like the same story of how we used to be better 30 years ago.”

Responding to the question of Nigerians that grow up here but have much better impact when given positions overseas and likely to fumble if given that position here, Olagunju noted that it is due to environmental effects.

He explained that Africans are gifted with leadership traits naturally even before independence, so when an African gets to places abroad, they thrive because the environment is enabling them to thrive and build on what they have.

Speaking on the ways to address leadership issues in Nigeria, Olagunju said: “We need to be intentional, institutionalise a process that will develop leadership traits in people so that the lone star that gets to governance will not be alone. 

“You will see people rallying round and being able to work together.

“It is like you have a basket full of good apple and any apple you pick from the basket to be presented will be good, but if you have a pool of people that don’t have leadership traits, if you like get the best economist in the world, get the right structuring in the world, do the right fragmentation in the world, if the people that will be  in each sector do not have leadership traits it will not last.

“If we have 20 percent of people in this country having this orientation of leadership traits you will start to see a better Nigeria.”

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