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 “The pessimist complaints about the wind, the optimist expects it to change and both envisage a leader to adjust the sail”

A leader is a dealer in hope. He should be primed to cast vision of his people, nurture their dreams, fondle their expectations, rub their ego, do their thinking and must be right at all times to be scored alright. A leader must be a problem solver and much more.

Oh, there is a funny caveat added by Napoleon Bonaparte, which I think is instructive here, ‘a leader is he who must HAPPILY carry the burden of his responsibility. See the stress on the word “happily”.

All the foregoing only extrapolate who a leader is, it’s even dirt cheap to be a leader than to be a good leader, let alone being a great one. Only a cynical person will doubt the fact that Engr Oluseyi Makinde, the Oyo State  Governor-elect is a great leader. He is even light miles ahead a good leader. He doesn’t merely chart vision as innovative leaders, he sparkles hope and works strenuously to translate the vision to a reality. 

At a dinner organised in his honour yesterday at Jogor Center, he left no one in doubt of a true mark of a leader who is willing to make a mark. He portrays himself as a leader who is not ready to entertain complaints or bogged down by the apparent landmines laid on his path by the incumbents. He must have read and internalised that golden advice of Ralph Wado Emerson “Do not follow where the path may lead, go where there is no path and leave a trail’. That’s a leader and a Pathfinder and a nobody’s soft touch. An original, not a photo copy, The GSM.

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But what about this high expectations from the electorates who wants a change at a dizzying speed?  Even at the event, the visceral reactions of the people and a common denominator is wanting a change, wanting it fast.
The students body are pining for a new government that will  “properly fund EDUCATION”, the HEALTH sector managers want good remuneration that will ginger improved service delivery, the people want to be sleeping with their two eyes closed, yearn for better INFRASTRUCTURE, a boon in AGRICULTURE and much more

Yet, throughout the session of the interface with the governor-elect, nobody touched on the crippling cost of running a good government nor mooted idea on how IGR will be boosted concomitantly. If my guess is right, quite a few attendees spared a thought on the part every individual must play for the state to flourish, but all eyes are on GSM to “happily carry the burden of his and their responsibilities. That’s the sordid aspect of leadership. Is it not better for individuals themselves that they suffer and the State flourish than for them to flourish and the State suffer? That’s the question once raised by Pericles. Your answer is as good as mine, May GSM succeed.

A leader’s burden starts with putting aside his or her own pursuit of happiness for common good. Sometimes, common good concept is misunderstood for satisfaction of personal or group’s interest, it is not.

GSM, the Governor-elect,  happens to be a simple man with a simple need. He is a man who likes to keep his  head low and keep his Ship  in a save harbour. That he loathes flamboyant lifestyle and always cut a figure of a modest leader is too obvious for a new emphasis. Does that mean anything to the teeming followership? They are wont to quip  like Aristotle that ‘ modesty is not a virtue. That is the burden of leadership. It’s not always about how you want the public to perceive you, it’s how they want you to be perceived.

On a lighter mood, the soon to be sworn in governor  took his time  at the event to respond to People’s comments with a fine toothed comb and said in a modest tone that belies his current position that “I am not good at multi tasking myself, I will answer your questions one after the other, that’s why I have one wife”.  People clapped. This particular period , modesty seemed to be accepted as a virtue.

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Imagine a Governor with one wife and a brief nuclear family deliberately structured for effective economic  planning now expected to carry the weight of a follower with, say for instance, one with seven wives, uncountable children and concubines, yet in an unholy tryst? Yes, he must, as that man who never designed his own life is still part of the larger society whose responsibility a prudent Governor must  bear   like a mythical Atlas without squawking. However, a leader must always remember; the key to failure as Cosby says “is not to try, but trying to please everybody.

A true leader must have the capacity to carry the burden of others and as I mentioned in the first phase of the article, “must carry the responsibility happily”. In addition, he  must lead people well and manage things effectively without any margin for error. I find it confounding just like Scott Fitzgerald who says ‘while the rich gets richer ,the poor gets children’. That’s the society we are.

A leader may be burden with rhetorics, to pick the tonics from the rhetorics in the nervous quiet of his inner sanctum define his type of leadership.  From my personal assessment of GSM at the event, he is not prepared for a short haul flight. Yes, it’s good to furlough a prisoner, that is not what freedom is about. GSM is all out to perform meritably in the four cardinal Goal he has set to achieve- Health, Education, Economic development and Security.  A good leader must not only chart a vision, he must build consensus to translate the vision to a reality.  He must see things invisible to ordinary eyes without using a microscope.

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More importantly, a good leader must enlist the services of broad minded people to craft his government’. People always support what they create. It’s riveting that GSM during the event has promised to keep a large heart and will establish a government that will be people -owned.  He said ” Some people started well during the campaign period and veered off along the line ,while others fell by the way side , that is not what is important now, the time for electioneering is over, it’s time for governnance”.

I sincerely do not have a glimmer of doubt that GSM will build an all inclusive governnance system that will be moderate and balanced. He will coruscate his resounding  victory to become  an unforgettable history.  That’s why Tacitus sees  Politics as the most flagrant of all passion. 

May your road be rough Your Excellency.

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