The position of leadership is one that attracts attention, honour, dignity and respect. I have no doubt in my mind that every human being desires a bit of all these and would do anything to be recognized, be it culturally, socially, politically and even religiously. We live in a society where position and authority gain prominence and attention, but it is sad to say that it is all for the wrong reasons. In other words, the values that define leadership are no longer sought after, as leadership itself has become a commodity that can be bought by the highest bidder. Perhaps this explains why we continually pray that God grants us leaders after His own heart, leaders who understand that the position they occupy is only a share from that which belongs to God alone.
Consequently, to aspire to such a position in any form, be it from the cultural perspective as Chiefs and Kings, from the social setting as CEOs and GMs, from the political angle as Ministers, Governors or Senators, and most importantly from the religious setting as Presidents or Chairpersons of Societies and Organisations, one must align to that which is divine because God, who is the creator of heaven and earth, can never be dispensed with in matters of leadership. A leader must be a man or woman of honour, integrity, vision, humility and simplicity. This is true, particularly when such leader is seen to be the product of the Church. In other words, the Church’s mission in the world is one that gives light to overshadow darkness and conquer evil; hence, the Church is looked up to as an institution that produces men and women groomed with the necessary tools for service as leaders.
Moreover, with the height of injustice in our world today and the daily growing gaps between the rich and the poor, one wonders if we still have leaders that care anymore. In search of that leader, who can bring succour to the needy and stability to the human society, can one really say the Church is where to look to? A leader must always remember that: Honour : “Honour is better than honours” – Abraham Lincoln. Integrity: “Integrity is the integration of one’s life around one’s core values” – William D. Lawrence. Vision: “Vision requires hindsight, insight and foresight” – William H. Tailor. Humility: “Humility is the fairest and rarest of Christian graces” – John Scott. Simplicity: “We must simplify, simplify, simplify” – Henry David Thoreau Let us always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the model of leadership as He says to us always in His words:
• I have come not to be served but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many (Matt 20:28).
• He who wishes to follow me, must pick up his cross and follow (Matt 16:24).
• Do unto others just as you would have them do unto you (Matt 7: 12).
• A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends (Jn 15: 13)
• I did not come to do my will but the will of Him who sent me (Jn 6:38).
To be continued next week.
• Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.