Leading Is In Serving!

Article / Leadership

Leading Is In Serving!
Alabamarjara Itama , Entrepreneur, Nigeria

Best Leadership Is Good Service- Driven in LOVE.

I come from a very large family in a typical village in Africa. (Which is why I tell my friends that if I fail, it is not for want of adequate prior lessons, because, given my very junior or low position is a very extensive but closely knitted family, I can 'boast' of all kinds of senior relatives, with all kinds of lessons I can learn from) . Two of my cousins: One, qualifies as a peer...older by about 3 years, the other, the eldest brother in that branch of the family, Sir OD. This younger cousin, like most boys our age then, was 'naughty' and recalcitrant. No participation in domestic chores...going to stream or farm or peeling cassava etc. The eldest brother, to put it mildly, was and still is almost a 'god'. Reverered by all, such that, I can not remember any one calling him by name. We all called him 'Sir'. A few years ago he was knighted by The Methodist Church, and the official title is 'Sir'. At the reception we held for him, I asked, Sir, we have always called you Sir, now, what do we we do? Can't they give you another title? Everyone roared in laughter!
Many years (may be 45) back, he visited the village from his work location, and later went to sit out with the mom in her hut. The mom was peeling cassava, and then casually mentioned how the younger one was not helping out in the chores, including the work at hand - peeling the cassava. Sir OD, reached for a knife and started peeling the cassava to help the mom. My younger cousin was not reprimanded, was not scolded...nothing. When he saw Sir OD peeling cassava, his manners, attitude, perspectives changed from that day till today. By the way...he immediately took over the peeling of the cassava, and had remained the most eagar to help and make sacrifice in the family till today!

This incident happened over 45 years ago, and we have not forgotten it. Recently, the younger person and I, were discussing Leadership, and we agreed that the best leadership is serving. We remembered the incident, and likened it to what Jesus did when He washed His Disciples feet. I read a book, The Servant, few years back and the 'anchor man' , Len Hoffman, a retired Boardroom guru, said his role model on Leadership was Jesus Christ, and He LOVED. Without Love, we can not serve, and without services, there is no Leadership. And Sir OD is a little over 70 years now. At barely 28 years old, his father died, and left for him a clan of three (3) mothers and twenty-four (24) children to LEAD. He Loved them, served them, and today, from that stock, he had churned out: 4 Engineers (One with a Ph.D), 1 Lawyer, 2 medical Doctors, 1 Accountant, 1 Agric Economist etc from among the siblings. This particular younger brother, in a family of 24 children, is Sir OD's most level headed Brother, and he is the one with the Ph.D.
I quote Len:The reward for loving leadership, is happiness, inner satisfaction and the conviction of being in harmony with the deepest and most permanent principles of life. Serving others frees us from the shackles of the ego and the self-centered focus on ourselves that destroy the joy of living'.

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