“We are the leaders of tomorrow’’, that’s the most referenced cliché on leadership in Nigeria often targeted at the youths. However, whenever the youth are referred to as the leaders of tomorrow, it is rarely emphasized that tomorrow is not vague but simply the result of today in intangible form.
Leadership always begins with self-discovery and a desire to explore the inherent potential in oneself, therefore as often as youths are reminded that they are the leaders of tomorrow, they must also be reminded of the fact that “today is the tomorrow you were waiting for yesterday”.
Leadership will continue to be an idealized concept in the minds of youths in Nigeria because of the misconception that leadership needs to be experienced and expressed someday later in the future instead of a daily experience and expression. Leadership is not only expressed in a political office, every day brings opportunity for effective leadership, and therefore the youth should prepare themselves at all times to fill this gap in every sphere of life
Leadership isn’t positional nor a title or a designation. It is an attitude of accountability and responsibility. It’s about Impact, Influence and Inspiration.
John Quincy Adams said,’’ if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and become more, you are a leader’’
This definition gives leadership a very realistic and relational disposition. It is impossible to express externally what is not present internally and that is why the perception about leadership being a tomorrow possibility weakens the very pillar on which the concept is supposed to be built upon. In order to spur the creative leadership tendencies in Nigerian youths, they must realize that it is important to prepare themselves for leadership responsibilities.
Consequently, Nigerian youths must be conditioned to see themselves as leaders today and lead their lives with the same zeal that they will lead others if someday; they are opportune to do so.
Leadership is a garment that must be worn on a daily basis and not a coat that is pulled out from a closet and put on when needed.
Credits: Edidiong Asikpo