If there is anything the world needs urgently and which is in short supply, it is leadership. Leadership at every level is a major challenge. At home, school, association, organization level, people keep looking for a leader. It is culmination of this leadership which affects the national level (governance, Politics) and continental level. Unfortunately, we have been ‘blessed’ with leaders who seem clueless about the reality of time. They give excuses for what they should take responsibility for.
Most of our leaders at these different levels we have identified above, will rather tell of their woes and lack of capacity, helplessness to forge ahead in the face of daunting challenges. But it is obvious to us all, real leaders do not just tell a story, leaders make the story better. It is at this level that we noticed many leaders keep repeating the mistakes of the past and jeopardizing the future of the whole nation.
For those who follow the trend, it is obvious there is need for a complete overhaul of the governance structure everywhere and especially in Africa. Militancy, terrorism has been on the increase than what it used to be. Governance now demands a level a change management. Come to think of change management, an online writer defines it as ‘systematic diagnosis of the current situation in order to determine both the need for change and the capability to change’. To effectively make a change today, there are several things to consider.
This will require a process which includes a creative marketing strategy that employs great communication between audience (citizens in this case) as well as deep social understanding of leadership styles and other associated dynamics. Now that the dynamics of leadership, governance is fast changing in Africa landscape, it is essential African leaders must first recognize these changes and master all the perspective if they will win. Also, there is need for necessary adjustment to policy, constitutional issues, training of relevant workforce as well as getting their support through persuasive strategy to the present approach to governance.
With this basic understanding, leaders must also develop their personal capacity, competence and solid character. Many get to the top before they recognize they have a shortfall of competency. For some, they lack the right capacity to face headlong the issues of governance. Unfortunately some have chances of doing crash programme to make up for this but pride, arrogance and lack of willingness to learn will not allow some.
Even when you are initially ill-equipped, there is always a chance for crash programme. Though the ideal situation is to prepare for the position. For the young African, a lesson here is that they should always consider law of time perspectives. If you see and think long term, some of your actions for now will change as you can better put things in perspective. The last C here is character. This is fundamental. With capacity, competence and no character the fall is usually a catastrophe.
In closing, let us examine change management principles they need to consider
Need assessment: it is obvious leaders have to critically assess the situation they are facing. Find and develop customized situation that can work.
Appropriate planning: nothing succeeds without planning. Effective leaders who will create change must be a great planner or engage technocrats who can help in this area,
Tools: with great planning, there must be available tools which can aid the achievement of the plan. Change management is not going to be easy step for the leaders and the led. Someone must be ready to stand for something if he/she wants to be remembered eternally. Those who bring the change see beyond the now and what they want to gain. They operate with law of time perspective and will not care who gets the benefits or accompanying praise. But what is so clear is that their memories last beyond their generations.
Processes and operational procedures: There must also be a commitment to the process required. This will include action steps. Without a strong commitment to execution, the change management benefits will be flawed.