True Leadership (Day 7)

By on August 17, 2016

While some people insist that leaders are born not made, there are others who argue that you can be born a half wit of a human but turn out to become the greatest leader there ever lived. Personally, I sit on the fence about issues like this because I know a number of people who have been leading since they popped out of their mothers’ wombs and I know many others who have only become leaders owing to circumstances around them.

The one thing that we can all agree on is that leaders are supposed to work for the good of those they lead or those who follow them. When you are a young fella joining school there is an ideal situation that lingers in your mind. Schools often have the school administrative leadership in form of the Principal / Headmaster and his staff  followed closely by the student leadership. The student leadership is supposed to be the bridge between the teachers and the students.

Some student leaders go on to become leaders later in life while others tend to take the back seat for various reasons. Personally, I was thrust into the pit of leadership because of circumstances. As a person who comes from a family where I am the first born, the leadership bug bit me a little earlier than most and therefore when it came to being class monitor, group leader, class representative, English Prefect, class councilor or debating club chairman , I always offered myself. I might not have submitted my name for the biggest office in the land, seeing as it would take away a lot of my freedom and ability to be myself but I knew deep down that on some level I was comfortable being a leader.

My mum made sure she reminded me everyday that I was a born leader. And I was not about to argue with the woman who also doubled as the best custodian of my life.

Right from the time I was in charge of middle class in Kindergarten up until the time I left Makerere University having been the General Secretary of the Nkrumah Hall Elders bench, it seemed apparent that leadership was something that was justly given to someone. I rarely encountered instances where leaders were installed against the will of the people or students for that matter. Once or twice it happened but on a whole, there was a sense fairness in picking and installing leaders.

When I left the University I was hit in the face by a rather strange fact – leadership is not necessarily a neat and clean place. It can be very muddy, rough and extremely filthy . Today, there are so many leaders who are not necessarily the people needed or supported by the general populace.

Every day that passes, there is a story in the news about a Ugandan Member of Parliament who has lost his / her seat because of one reason or another. While there is the general assumption that leaders are voted into power by the people they are supposed to lead, it seems quite apparent that a good number of our leaders are either not voted into power rightly or they somehow force their way to the top.

Some of these things are the things that make one wonder whether there is purpose in teaching school going children the values of honesty, truth and openness when they are going to need entirely different underhanded tactics to get ahead of everyone. And this begs the question – did school teach us the wrong principles about life? Did we waste all those years in school just to come out and follow different paths? And if so, why are we still wasting time teaching values in school knowing that our children will not need them? If we did not waste time in school, can we then remodel our society to focus on inculcating the values of honesty, truth and openness so that our children won’t rise up some day and start doubting whether or not schools made them any better?

Finally and most importantly, is there some way we can teach children to understand that it is important to be truthful, just and open no matter what your personal desires and ambitions are?

Every day that passes, I feel like school made me no better because while it set out to make me an honest and upright person, there are many people who are making it big in life through the most crooked means.

This is the seventh and final blog post under the theme ‘Schools Made Me No Better’ as part of the #UGBlogWeek Challenge – a brain child of the Uganda Blogging Community. Feel free to drop a comment, take part in the challenge or share your opinion(s) on the blog or anything you feel like.

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” ― Dolly Parton

a.k.a Beewol
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