Firstly, There’s no such thing as a great leader, they are all flawed. Every one of them, there are memoirs on top of memoirs spilling secrets and scandals and if they haven’t been published yet then you wait and see. As the old adage goes the truth will always come out.
I always believe a good dose of realism like a shot of tequila opens everyone up very well and preps you for the on-slaught ahead. Leaders like all people are ideally meant to make all the difficult decisions on your behalf, they are meant to stand there and take the blame for a whole bunch of things that they were not even responsible for. Yes its absolutely mental.
So after much deliberation, I thought I write a list of a few things you need to spot before you go to the polling box and elect the person you’re about to elect to represent you, make all the important decisions for you and to lead you and your nation to greatness…. Make (Insert your African Country name here) Great Again!
1. Look at the candidate’s history
Actions speak louder than words, your candidate’s agenda for the last 5 years or preferably 10 years is the agenda they will continue to carry when they get in office. So has your candidate been a strong advocate for education? Great! What have they been doing for the last 5 to 10 years to show this? Does your candidate believe in health? Are they healthy? Do they have an exercise routine? As the saying goes never trust a skinny chef to deliver a delicious meal.
2. No man is an island
Do they have friends? Yes, every candidate is popular and is going to be surrounded by people but the question, is do they really have friends? People that can voucher for them without having to charge them a thing? Also how well travelled are they? Do they have enough life experience that is gained by mixing and learning from other cultures? This is essential because travelling teaches you about the world and how to be tolerant. Also, remember that this leader will be representing you on a global scale. Is this the person you want to send off to the world to speak on your behalf?
3. How do they take criticism?
Real leaders take criticism on the chin, they listen and evaluate the information and process it. They are not afraid to engage in dialogue, in debates. They are open-minded and are prepared to have their opinions challenged in fact they enjoy differences in opinions. So next time you get a chance to ask a question or throw a criticism, make sure you throw a difficult one at the candidate and see how they respond.
4. Do they understand the Job Description?
Most leaders forget that to lead is to serve. It means your Public civil servant number 1. You are basically a servant of the people. Most people do not understand this and suddenly turn into overnight kings. A publicly elected person is meant to push the agenda on behalf of the people and not his personal agenda. When they generate wealth it belongs to the nation and not theirs for the spending. Remember they will give you the “I’m here to serve you” speech but once in office, this will change. So refer to my first point what has been their agenda for the last 5 – 10 years if they have never done anything for the public best believes they won’t when they are in office. It’s that simple.
5. What credential’s do they have?
You go to the dentist to see a dentist, not a mechanic. More so you expect that dentist to have some kind of qualifications before you open your mouth and let them explore. When you elect a leader you expect a leader. The bitter truth is not everyone was born to lead and yes that’s sad but that’s the harsh realities of life. We continuously make the mistake of electing people that cant even lead their own household. We need to ask ourselves a few questions, what qualifications does this person have in order to lead? Have they used said qualifications in their career? By qualifications, I do not mean academic achievements. Yes, they are great to have but we have people with no academic experience who have achieved great things and that quantifies as a qualification. As we currently enjoy the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, let us remember that each one of those players earned their positions by training extensively, they are fit and qualified. Now ask yourself, Is the person you’re electing fit and qualified?