Thursday, 11 October 2012

Youths are not "Leaders of Tomorrow"

Yes! You read the title correctly, we (the youths) are not leaders of tomorrow. However often have we heard this line together with its variant, "youths are the future generation", that we have come to accept it as truth. It has become the sign-on tone of every old politician/leader whenever they are privileged to address a gathering of youths be it in a social, religious or political gathering. We were told that when I was in primary school, and were subsequently encouraged to study hard so as to assume that leadership tomorrow. The same message was peddled around during my secondary school and university days and here am I, years after, still being told the same jargon. I still find it hard to believe that for all these decades, Nigeria as a nation is still being led by the same crop of leaders who have been there right from my childhood days. So annoying is the fact that they still serve us the same jargon of youths being leaders of tomorrow while still holding sway. In fact PDP, the other day, took this insult (of telling us that we are the future generation or leaders of tomorrow) when they appointed a man in his sixties as their party youth leader.

The question then is: When will the youths assume this phantom leadership they have been promised ever since they knew how to spell their names? My take is that, it is either the youths are being deceived by our current leaders or that the long awaited tomorrow is an illusion and would never arrive. I have since refused to buy into that philosophy any more. Youths are the leaders of today! Until the youths understand leadership as not being all about position, they will continue to wait for tomorrow which will never be to assume leadership. Stop waiting for tomorrow!

Leadership is primarily influence. Its about impacting lives. Truth is, you don't need position/office or tittle to begin to live a life of influence and impact. The Lord Jesus was never titled, and yet HE had such tremendous influence and impact that even the Pharisees, Scribes, Sadducees, High Priestand and Levites who occupied exalted positions could only wish for. And that's the kind of life HE has called us to live- a life of influence and impact. Be impact minded wherever you are. Make such you presence is positively impacting lives. "Ye are the salt of the earth...let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works (i.e. feel your impact) and glorify your Father which is in heaven". Don't wait until you are ordained a pastor before you using your talents, gifts and resaources to impact lives.

Leadership is initiating and coordinating (positive) changes. "Be the change you desire to see", a wise man once said. The Lord Jesus didn't wait for the Pharisee and Sadducees to come and tidy up the temple, driving out those buying and selling therein. HE being a leader initiated and coordinated it. HE didn't need a position or tittle to do that. That's the kind of life HE has called us to live- to be change agents. Don't wait until you become the president or governor before you start leading (influencing and impacting lives and your environment). There are little changes that are due within your immediate environment. Receive grace to effect them in Jesus' name. Amen! 
While it may be true that certain changes could only be effected by those in positions of authority, it is also true that most of such changes require the collaboration of "leaders" within the rank and file of the masses/populace etc to be effective. Think about it for a while. No matter how good a leader (one in position of authority) is, his efforts could be thwarted if he lacks leaders-people who understand their roles-within his followers.

It is generally believed that our problem as a nation is a that of leadership. I think this is due in part to our position-minded leadership. Position-mindedness incapacitates. It makes a man postpone what he should do for others, or his environment until such a time when he is elected. The result is that people without track records suddenly find themselves in positions of authority. Truth is, great leaders have been leading even before they assume offices. Check their profiles and you will see that they have been influencing and impacting lives and their environments.You are already a leader, start leading (influencing and impacting lives and your environment) one day, one person, one action at a time. Tomorrow may never be yours!

Youths are the leaders of today not tomorrow, all though some may become officers tomorrow-Prince 'Oma