If Liberia was a company; let’s say a multinational entity with thousands of people to pay every month, give the strategic direction for its future, do its corporate social responsibility and make enough profit for its shareholders; what caliber of persons would she appoint as chief executive officer(s) (CEO), or the Director(s) of the company? Will George Weah (now President), make the cut for the number one office, or others persons?
Leadership is difficult. Leadership is complex. Managing people with competing interest is not as simple as some might think. Drawing up the strategic direction of a company or a Nation and keeping to principles and ethics has proven a daunting task for Leaders in Africa and Liberia in particular. Two things are essential. The capacity (competence or ability) as well as the character (integrity) are essential to govern well. Commitment is also very crucial. Does the current Liberian leadership led by President Weah, have these qualities? Judge for yourselves from the evidence available.
Before the 1980s’, Liberia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. What accounted for that? The answer: LEADERSHIP. After the 1980’s, Liberia spiraled down the path of a sinking economy, rampant corruption and civil wars in the 90’s and early 2000s’. What accounted for this? The answer: LEADERSHIP. Take leadership for granted, and the entire system will be one of lawlessness, disorder and gross stealing of resources.
One does not need to think too far to determine what the policy direction for Liberia should be given its post war status. Above all else, Liberia need “right thinking” men and women to lead it. These synonyms will help put it across: wisdom, integrity, knowledgeable, visionary, eloquence, patriotic, hungry for transformation, humility, leadership experience and the likes.
If you want to know the state of any Country, just do a quick google search on that country and checkup CIA Fact file or a Wikipedia search to get the general idea of the state of a country. Liberia is described as “one of the poorest countries in the world”. Appalling statistics that should give the political leadership sleepless nights. How on earth can you read these heartbreaking account of your country and still do so little to turn this around. Shameful.
Leadership is about value addition. Creating a better future for the majority of the citizenry. The ability to bring the best minds and best characters together to transform society. Looking at best practices in your sub region and around the world that can be modeled
to fit your current situation. Leaving your nation so much better than you met it when you took office. Giving the youth a platform, a helping hand, the opportunity to lift themselves up and blast the nation into a glorious future.
Any society that does not build the minds of its people through education is going nowhere. Read, Read, Read, Books, Books, Books; Yes. That is the way to get to some place in life. A powerful tool to transform any generation. A sure measure to cure dullness, backwardness and underdevelopment. But read what? Read everything you can get your hands on. Read about leaders; Biographies and auto biographies, successful leaders and unsuccessful ones. Read about your history, your Country and discover why you ought to be patriotic. Read about other societies and how they’ve built up over time. Get into the minds of others through the written words. It does something special to any human being. Reading ignites a fire in the soul that can only bring out the best in a person.
Leaders who do not read have nothing to offer this ever changing and dynamic world. They can only live in the past and feel intimidated by others who have an abundance of information to share. The love for learning will put Liberia and Africa on a pedestal that the world can only admire.
“Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.” Aldous Huxley
“It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds…..In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and makes us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are true levelers. They give to all, who will faithfully use them, the spiritual presence, of the best and greatest of our race.” William Ellery Channing
It is Not for nothing that in ancient Greece, Plato the philosopher advocated that the state should be led and ruled by philosopher Kings. That leadership at the highest level cannot be just for every one; but for a selected few who have been trained and prepared from infancy to govern. That there is a place for everyone; everyone needs to discover their area and become the best at it. Leaders take the lead in their areas of expertise. If leaders are wrongly paced, they become square pegs in round holes. That is so disappointing and frustrating to leader himself. Plato argues that a ruler must possesses both love of wisdom, as well as intelligence, reliability, and a willingness to live a simple life. He emphasized the need for specialization in one’s field. With the vision and competence to govern well.
Liberia must put her best foot forward to turn around her fortunes. The Nation deserves better. The leadership must sit up and deal with the current challenges of alleged fraud, misappropriation of donor support, missing printed notes saga, unemployment, and much more. Another write up will narrow down on the nitty gritty issues on governance, the economy, and security matters.
References and works cited
https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/liberia/overview retrieved on 28th Sept. 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Liberia retrieved on 28th Sept, 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosopher_king retrieved on 28th Sept, 2019