THE failure of any country or organisation is from its leaders. Our success and the lack of it is mainly from leaders. What do we need to do to become better as a country? The system is entangled in retrogressive principles that hurt the majority and benefit the few. The pain is we lack leaders that are going to lead from the heart.
As long as we have leaders that are not touched by plights, problems and the pains of a homeless child, and a helpless grandmother, we are not ready to lead. We are just leading for our selfish interests. This allegory trickles down to companies, church, family, and all forms of leadership in the country.
Leading from a place of purpose
When you lead knowing there is a bigger and a better cause, you lead differently. Leadership is all about significance and influence. When we lead knowing that we want to leave this world a better place, we lead differently.
We have people who are in a position of leadership but can’t take their position to lead. The heart of leadership is pushing the masses to a place of purpose. As you lead people, everyone works harder as long as they know that there is a greater purpose to fulfil.
Leadership needs people that are selfless
Caring is one ingredient that makes a leader very effective. Those that work under you are not machines with no feelings. First, learn to touch the heart before you ask for a hand. Yes, you can coerce people to do what you want through threats, but you do it even better when you lead from a point of love, humility and care. When people feel loved, they are willing to contribute and collaborate with the leader. The true power of a leader is the ability to influence to do positive things in your absence for the great good of your vision.
Great leaders honour humanity
There is nothing so soothing to an employee, like knowing that your efforts are honoured by the leader. Team players need to be honoured. If you honour people, they are willing to give you more in turn. People don’t just work for a salary, they work for a greater good. In this life, I have since realised that leaders are very quick to point the worst things you do, than the good you do. When you honour people, you move their hearts, and it becomes easy to ask for their helping hand.
Encouragement ignites a greater purpose
You can ignite people to do more by encouraging them. If you encourage people as their leader, you are simply telling them that they matter to you. If people know that they matter, they give you the best respect and efforts you deserve. People are willing to do more, as long as they know that they matter. The people of Zimbabwe are willing to give more, as long as leaders know that we matter. Incite, ignite and inspire people to do more by encouraging them.
Walk with the people
Generally, leadership has turned into something else. You check churches, where we should be getting archetypes of great leadership it’s where we see the worst. You see pastors guarded by heavy bodyguards and wonder what they are afraid of. They don’t want to walk and work with people, but they want to remain condescending and loftily powerful. Leaders should not be untouchable celebrities, but warm servants. What we see in government and companies are bosses that are up there, and are not willing to come down and eat with you at the table. These are heartless leaders, and when they fall instead of people sympathising with them, people laugh at them because they never empathised and cared at all.
When the leader lacks honesty, their brand is at stake. People don’t trust dishonest leaders. If you are not trusted as a leader, people in your team are not comfortable being around you. The leader-follower marriage is glued together using honesty.
The heart is the centre of our feelings. That’s why you hear people say, ‘I’m heartbroken.’ If a leader does not use the heart to lead, they lose touch with people’s feeling. If they can’t feel anything for people, they are prone to abusing people. We need to be an example of the world we want to see around us as leaders. William Hazlitt once said, “The seat of knowledge is in the head, of wisdom, in the heart.” Lead from the heart.
Jonah Nyoni is an author, speaker and leadership trainer. Twitter@jonahnyoni. Whattsapp: +263 772 581 918