The Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu wednesday stressed the need for an improvement in the quality of leadership in Nigeria and other countries in Africa, in order to tackle poverty and engender prosperity.
Elumelu said this when he delivered a lecture titled ‘Leadership: Private Sector Perspective’, to two hundred senior officers at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna, as guest speaker.
The participants included the senior military officers from the rank of Major and equivalent, of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Airforce, and their instructors.
Elumelu noted that: “Every opportunity to discuss and examine leadership is a welcome opportunity to me. Like me, most people who want to see development are excited to discuss leadership. It is the reason one country is successful and another country is failing. It is the difference between poverty and prosperity.”
The guest speaker went on to ask a series of critical questions to the attentive audience: “Do you wonder why a country that is not endowed enjoys prosperity, while the one that is greatly endowed lives in poverty? The reason is leadership.”
“Leaders are made and not born. Although certain factors shape whether a leader succeeds, these factors are not necessarily destiny-driven factors. Those who succeed are driven by a mission, they prepare for leadership.”
Ascribing his success to clarity of purpose, Elumelu explained: “Great leaders set the purpose and define it clearly. They break it down so that everyone in the chain of command not only understands this purpose, but buys into it.”
Continuing, he called on leaders in both private and public sectors to consider legacy.
“Leaders who succeed are those who think about legacy, who are concerned about how history would judge them. They understand that leadership opportunities don’t last forever. As a continent endowed with so much we must raise the standard of living of our people through conscientious leadership.
“You must get the people equation right. Leadership is about instilling confidence in people. You work and deliver results through people.”