At all costs, good leadership promotes education, agriculture, ensure stability of power, construct good roads for safe and easy transportation and make the cost of transportation affordable especially for people in rural areas, provide good water, good security system, and make the cost of living affordable for the masses. Ensure peace, unity and maintain transparency. May I say that most leadership in Africa has disappointed us and betrayed our trust because of what I call “poor leadership training and orientation”. Lack of or little knowledge of transformational leadership required for quality leadership coupled with the attitude of selfishness, inordinate ambition, hunger for power and a drive for money. It is not unusual to see African political leaders sacrifice with human blood, bribe their ways into power, and even kill their opponents. .
When aspiring for the position, they make so many promises to the masses, come to their local communities, dine and wine with them, compel them to give maximum support, promise the masses good roads, stable flow of water, job opportunities, free education and all that. But when they become leaders, they will surround themselves with security men, go on cars with tinted glasses blowing siren, forget the masses that gave them support, live their promises unfulfilled, scare people away with security men, send tugs to kill any person who they discover is against their governance. In this kind of leadership, money laundering and embezzlement is always rampant, no job is created as promised, no light, no water, no good road and youths are not empowered. .
This is when young people run away from their country and go to another country looking for greener pastures, workers don’t get paid when due and some are owed three to six months salaries, if not more. It is also in this kind of leadership and governance that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, violence is everywhere, there are limited or no proper medical facilities and therefore people die as the result of lack of proper medication. In the history of leadership, only few people broke the jinx of good leadership. People of great determination, who said: I must make an indelible land mark so that when I cease to live, my name shall live and still better people’s life. Here, I am talking about people like Martin Luther King Junior, who broke the bond of segregation between the white and the blacks and made a positive change of unity, equal right and opportunity justice, after many years of struggle, during which he was jailed 20 times. He was ready to die for this positive change. .
Worthy of mentioning in the history of good governance and leadership in Africa is the great legend Nelson Mandela of South Africa, who fought with passion for the freedom of his country, and was even jailed for 26years. I cannot forget to mention, the great President Jerry Rawlings of the Republic of Ghana- who with wisdom, silenced all other voices in Ghana and brought Ghana to where it is today- and Late Koffi Anan former secretary of the UN. You will never influence the world by thinking the same way people do. You need to think differently. There are two kinds of people in the world, the reasonable one who adapt himself to his environment and unreasonable man who seek to adapt his environment to his own vision of how the world should be. Nigeria needs transformational entrepreneur and leaders. .
Youth unemployment is being recognised as one of the problems that could grow into global proportions in the coming years causing social and economic problems for the societies. Youth entrepreneurship is being look at as an alternative besides other methods of creating employment opportunities. However, there is a need for global recognition and promotion of youth entrepreneurship on sustained long term basis for this field certainly holds a promising future. Economies which are not growing are grappling with huge unemployment problems and this is affecting the youth too. When the economy is down and the business is not doing well, there will be no opportunities for small entrepreneurs to provide services to support the economy and business. .
Political will and focus to focus on youth in the country and to create a positive environment that encourages youth to dream and work towards realising their dream is very much necessary in any society. It is the political will that can spearhead the youth revolution. Absence of stability in the political situation of the country and the political party’s outlook towards this area can make or break the youth entrepreneurship’s growth. Government policy and framework in the country helps identify and build the base for youth entrepreneurship. The policies need to encourage and provide opportunities as well as assistance and environment to give impetus to youth entrepreneurship and leadership and have got to be implemented at national, regional and local levels. Policy directives will need to engage the business, banking, educational and other sectors to be able to deliver definitive steps to encouraging and aiding youth entrepreneurship and leadership. Lack of such policy framework can hinder the growth and initiative in the youth. .
In most of the countries today the education system is geared to enabling the youth to pass out with their qualifications based on academic knowledge and prepare for seeking a job. There is little or no focus on building and equipping the students with leadership, building awareness and giving them training for entrepreneurship. Of late there is a trend to introduce specialised courses and training modules on entrepreneurship in many of the tertiary institutions. In most cases the students do not attempt to think out of the box as they are not equipped with the necessary skills. .
An entrepreneur is not a person who starts a company but he is the person who actually solves a problem. It's all about execution and it is a state of mind. A person who sees a problem is a Human Being, person who finds a solution is Visionary and the person who goes out and does something about it is an Entrepreneur. .
Entrepreneurs and leaders each have their place in the business world as well as in government. It's the entrepreneur that forges the path and the leader that turns it into a highway. Even rarer, is the transformational leader that changes our world. .
In entrepreneurship, every step towards development and growth is inspired by great vision and ambition for innovation. The world needs quality leadership to create and build products and services that bring value to our lives and solve important problems. Entrepreneurs must know the value of strong leadership and must aim to becoming charismatic, visionary and entrepreneurial (transformational leaders). Charismatic leaders lead by personality and charm instead of relying on any external power or authority, they seek to fulfill organisational goals by instilling devotion. Visionary leaders predict the future trends and are able to plan and act accordingly to these predictions. They tend to dream about the future and translate such dreams into specific, achievable goals and inspire people to instill commitment in them. Transformational leaders bring about revolutionary change in organizations or nations by way of commitment to the organizations’ or nation’s vision. .
Entrepreneurs must use their entrepreneurial skills to create innovative products that actually bring specific value to the customers. They know how to see the opportunity in situations in which others see nothing, or worse, a disaster. People with vision for the future and deep understanding of the present problems are the ones who actually can bring change to the world by embracing disparate ideas and thinking out of the box. Having a vision doesn’t mean that the person knows exactly and for sure what is going to happen. In fact, nobody can do this, because the business world is famous with its uncertainty. It means that visionary entrepreneurs have an idea in their mind, backed with the fearless plan for the execution of the idea. Entrepreneurs are doers; they don’t sit around and talk about how great something can be. They actually work hard to make it happen. .
Visionary entrepreneurs manage to achieve more with less, to inspire others and lead them to creating extraordinary services and products by concentrating on growth before concentrating on profit. The business world needs good leaders and entrepreneurship often creates and shapes visionary leaders who are ready to change the world. If we have to make things work, if we have to impact hundreds and millions of people we have to do things differently. If we look at the problem as an infrastructural problem we cannot impact it because it requires a lot of effort. When we convert this problem into a knowledge problem we experience a lot of changes thereby starting to impact the environment on a positive perspective .
Now, a good president or governor will not disappoint his followers, he must have the interest of his people at heart, he must be passionate, feel the pains of the poor, hear the cry of the helpless and come for help, create job opportunities for jobless people. A good leader must be able to render selfless service and desist from selfishness, he must make provision for training and empowering his people and encourage self-employment, he must be serious with issues that concerns the youths as they are the future leaders and should not look down on the adults. .
Success is essentially the result of successful leadership. Contrary to the popular myth, leaders are not just born. Leadership skills can be learnt and developed, hence, the establishment of Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Project (YELEAP). A nation or an organisation is a distinct reflection of the leader. A firm or nation is never successful despite the leader; it is always successful or otherwise because of the leader. .
At YELEAP our approach to leadership is to championing the notion that it is important for leaders to create shared vision, develop and coach future leaders, encourage innovation in others, and act with high levels of integrity and ethics. .
We encourage everyone to look within themselves and around their environment and seek out opportunities for positive transformational change. Ask the entrepreneurs you know how the company they are starting is transformational. Ask the political leaders you know how the society they are leading is transformational. Ask students and job seekers what transformational problem they want to solve. Ask everyone else what transformational ideas, projects and companies they are excited about. Get people talking, reading, writing, researching and creating in the spirit of transformational entrepreneurship and leadership — because it is our best hope for reviving socio-economic and political progress of Nigeria. .