LIWDOL — Lesson #6: It’s Beyond Position

24 Jul

Top of the Thursday morning to you!

I’m so glad to have you back on “Leadership Insights With David O. Lawal” (#LIWDOL), because today we’re considering leadership as it applies to us, young people. And this is how you and I are going to do it: I’ll share a lesson with you, then you’ll read it, note areas that ring out a bell to you and respond to my closing question, and we’ll strike a conversation.

You get the picture?

Smart you!

And here we go:


Over these three years I’ve been consciously into youngsters’ leadership, I’ve found something so startling. I’ve discovered that young people hardly think about leadership. It’s just as if leadership is the last thing on the minds of most young people I’ve talked to—and this has been my greatest challenge.

Many young people want to remain kids. They constantly want someone to dish the food and serve them with it. They just want to sit at the dinning, crack jokes and expect the meal. They demand, demand and keep demanding. If you test-run their minds on a computer screen, I can bet you’ll find the word “entitlement” neatly spelt out over the screen.

And that’s a problem. Life doesn’t work that way, at least for people whose desire is to live their lives at the top.

To prepare for leadership isn’t to prepare for a position. It’s far more than that. It’s not to think like a campus politician:

“This semester I’ll be vying for the position of the SUG President. What would my strategy look like? Hmmm… Aha! I must tell dad I need some cool, fat amount of money to complete an important academic project in school. When I get the money, I’ll get 8 sets of nice clothing. 5 starchables. 2 suits. 1 more native wear specially for Fridays. Then I must show a great deal of kindness too. In fact, for every campus shuttle I board, I’ll pay up for all the fellow students . . .” and so on. Then when they get elected into office, they cease all the dress-and-care drama. Why? Because to them, to attain leadership is to get into a position.

You see, my friend, leadership is beyond the position. Yes, it remains true that the symbol of leadership is its position. But the heart of leadership, reason with me, I think, is far more necessary than a mere symbol.

The heart of leadership is this: To prepare for leadership is to prepare for a life—a life of responsibility, which is absolutely sold out to the service of people. Here’s why:

• Leadership Is A Journey

Like every other kind of journey, you never see the entire part of the road—the smooths and the potholes—until you get moving. The further you go, the clearer you see. But you have a direction. That too is true about leadership when we look at it as a journey.

But there’s a slight difference between travels and the leadership journey. For a travel, you have a destination, which when reached you could text mum and dad and siblings, “Praise God, I’ve arrived!” For leadership, however, sorry to say, that day shall never come. Leadership is an endless series of life journeys in succession; some adventurous, some not so pleasant.

• Leadership Is A Process

You don’t begin today and master a game, but you have to begin anyway. There’s only one way to reach expertise: Begin practicing.

And I must inform you that it’s a slow process. You aim, you miss; you then set your finger on the trigger again and squeeze it, you hit your target. That’s what the process looks like. So I encourage you to be patient with the process, enjoy the journey, and watch what a great individual you shall evolve into if thou faint not.

• Leadership Is A Lifestyle

Let’s face this. Leadership spans beyond a mere interest for the process, it demands for consistent will. I’m talking about commitment—and leadership does have a high demand for devotion.

Commitment to a continual personal development.
Commitment to an unrepentant process for people development.
And that passion will do a lot in you, to you and through you. It will keep you late into the night; it will wake you early in the morning. It will inspire you to give your time to stimulating greatness in others, particularly your team players. It will affect you in many ways and make you a better person.

Do you now see that leadership is much more beyond the position?

Go out and live out leadership today:

Value the evolution process of leadership beyond its empowering position, because it’s the process that really sets you up for success in a leadership position. While the position might add to you charisma, it’s the process that helps you build character—the Sustainer. And excellent leaders are people of an exceptional character. Value the process: build character.

So, let’s get talking:

Do you think leadership is beyond position? How do you picture leadership?

Leave a COMMENT below and let’s discuss. We’ll treasure the privilege.

God bless you.

Today’s lesson features in KiST! Plus under #UnleashingExcellence.

I invite you to join the conversation here:

Looking forward to learning about your thoughts on lesson 6.

Have a terrific Thursday, buddy 


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