What does ‘The Good Shepherd Sunday’ mean to you?
Good Shepherd Sunday is a day that reminds me of what is required of me as a wife, a mother, a member of the society and presently, as a Leader in the Archdiocese of Lagos. It reminds me of how I should help and nurture my Children, my husband, people I meet in my dayto-day activities and my duties as the President of the Laity Council of the Archdiocese of Lagos.
What lessons does the Gospel of Good Shepherd Sunday offer to Lay Leaders to enhance their leadership skills?
The lesson to learn from the Gospel of the Good Shepherd Sunday is to see leadership as a selfless service. This means that emotionally and especially, spiritually, we should strive each day to learn and enhance our knowledge of the Church’s teachings. The hardest part is putting it into practice in order to fulfill what Christ requires of us and also not to mislead others. Lay Leaders should look up to the examples shown by our Lord Jesus Christ. This will help us to live the Christian life in its entirety, to accept all as children of God and to understand that everyone that we lead also have struggles in their journey through this life. That Christ looks for any lost sheep is one lesson Leaders should not forget. Bear no malice but show compassion and empathy to others.
What makes a leader a ‘good leader’?
A good leader is one who listens, speaks less but acts more, shows no discrimination, sees both rich or poor, educated or uneducated, active or inactive in the group as a child of God. A leader must always show emotional maturity when handling issues and even when provoked. A good Leader carries everyone along and tries to educate others when there is need for that instead of looking down on them as not worth being there. A good leader allows each person to use their talent and resources for the benefit of all. A good leader should read the mood of his group and know what action to take given the circumstance at that moment. Most of all, the leader must be a team player to avoid selective leadership and be prayerful.
Please share your experiences of lay leadership in the Catholic Lagos Archdiocese?
It has been a very tasking period, but I am enjoying using my time to serve God and His people. It is not easy working with people of different temperaments, educational backgrounds, attitudes and outlooks to life. I have met people who have pushed me to the limit, people who have encouraged me spiritually and otherwise but that is to be expected. I take each in its stride. Coming this far has been by the special grace of God and the intercession of our Mother Mary. I pray that they continue to send me Angels to help me as I do my best in the service that I render.
How would you rate lay leadership in the Archdiocese of Lagos?
I know that we have made progress but also know that much needs to be done. Most dioceses look up to Lagos Archdiocese as a role model, so I believe we are doing our best.
What are the most important values you have demonstrated as a leader?
It is difficult for me to access myself, but I have tried to be honest, open minded and dedicated. How do you get other lay leaders in the laity council to accept your ideas? I believe in dialogue and modification of ideas. I may have a good idea but another person may have the best way to approach it, we then look at the issue from everyone’s perspective and come up with the best for all. So town hall meeting style usually works for me.
How can a leader fail? Please give an instance.
A leader who believes he knows it all, is more enlightened, more educated, sophisticated, shows he has it all and needs nobody, lacks emotional intelligence and is dishonest is bound to fail. A good example is when people think that because they feel they are smarter or richer nobody talks or suggests anything to them. They dish out commands to the team as if they are nonentities. Time will come when nobody would like to be led by them and the leader will become overwhelmed.