In every organization, the leader has a great role to play in ensuring that the organization’s operations go smoothly. Targets and timelines would have to met, the staff would always have to be sufficiently motivated and customer’s satisfaction prioritized.
There are several scholarly qualities that are required to run the affairs of any organization. However, in Nigeria several individuals who honed these qualities and rose to the helm of their respective organizations haven’t always been successful leaders.
No wonder one of the electorates at the just concluded Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Nigeria asserted that the basic requirement of a good leader wasn’t necessarily his academic background or experience but the right moral qualification.
This can also be called the ability to know what is right and stick to it without considering the odds against you or the gratification that could be derived when you compromise.
Everyone who intends to lead an organization must have a clear vision of what he or she wants to achieve, this is because a leader without focus or a clear plan on what has to be done is already doomed for failure. Although this has been one of the shortcomings of Nigerian leaders, most recently, the lack of political will, greed, nepotism, among other vices have been able to ridicule even the finest professionals and the most experienced practitioners in various sectors and leadership positions.
Every leader should be a morally upright person. Unfortunately humanity has not yet figured out how to make it happen all the time and for every leadership position. There are lots of reasons for this.
To start with, morality is a subjective definition. What seems morally upright to one may not seem so to someone else. If we don’t agree on what “morally upright” means, how could we appoint a suitable leader?
Humans aren’t very famous for being completely consistent. They may be morally upright one moment but not the next. They may be morally upright in the small issues but not in the major ones or vice versa. So even if we agree on a definition of “morally upright”, the answer is not simple.
Thirdly, leaders are appointed by human beings, and those human beings make mistakes. They may not be good judges of character.
Once you have a morally upright leader installed in any important position, it could some take time to see the leader for what he or she is. A true morally upright person will make some decisions that on first blush seem wrong or stupid, but over time, it becomes clearer that the decision was guided by honorable principles – that he or she did the only right thing.
This problem of not having the right personnel driving the affairs of an organization is not only limited to the political office holders as private individual, groups and associations are faced with the problem of managerial skills to effectively run their organizations.
Nigeria for example is a country endowed with both human and natural resources, that if well harnessed through good and quality management will reap it full benefit of it resources.
The issue of corruption in Nigeria has contributed to falling standard of leadership as it has become a norm for people to constantly engage in obtaining power, influence and affluence through illegitimate means. Corruption in Nigeria might be due to some reason such as poverty, week government institutions, greed, poor education and illiteracy, but a morally upright person has the tendency to look beyond these and only do what is right.