“In my over 20 years in Unilever, I was in charge of talent development and saw a lot of you coming with tall CVs meanwhile you knew not Jack”.
Stop going for positions because you want to enrich your CVs.
“If I may ask, why do you call yourselves honourables?” Is it because you are leaders? Leadership isn’t in titles. Leadership connotes service. Aspire to leave a legacy and if this becomes your aspiration, you become a leader in action. Stop dressing good, shaking dignitaries and uploading your pictures on social media, and work hard with credibility. “Be honourable in action not an honourable on the lips”
This was said by Mr. Sam Dontoh (Ex HR Director for Unilever West Africa and now the C.E.O of ServAid) in a “2 leadership workshop” organized by New Era Africa (NERA) in partnership with Private Universities Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG) with the theme “Leave a legacy” at Knustford University College, East Legon, Accra.
Leadership means servanthood. “Leaders serve (leaders are not lords or smaller gods) and the earlier we realized this the better for the future of this continent”. Mr. Dontoh added.
Touching on credible leadership, Patrick Stephenson (Director of Research of Imani, the fmr. President of University of Ghana Business School and an Activist) recounted his student leadership experience with tears. He said student activism is dead because we as students have sold our conscience and strength. Political parties bought student activism when we sheepishly surrendered on a silver platter to them. “If we need to regain trust as student leaders, we must individually work on ourselves; stop the grandiose promises, stop that partisan nonsense, aspire to be there for your constituents and eschew all forms of corruption.”
Taking his turn, Dr. David Padi (an IT. guru UN, New York) said there is power in diversity. “Out of diversity arises energy. Tap into the diverse talents you are endowed with, build a strong team and work collectively with your team to achieve your target.”
Olufemi Murona country manager for Global solutions stressed the need for leaders to be IT savvy.
“In this 21st century information and knowledge is the greatest resource.” Social media has tremendous results so exploit it to your advantage. Great leaders are good negotiators. You cannot be a good negotiator when you are limited in knowledge. It is unfortunate but unsurprising to know that student leaders in this country may not have correct database tracking the number of students who complete yearly and the percentage of them who get jobs. How can you intelligently contribute to ameliorate the crisis of unemployment? How can you challenge the curricular? How will government take you serious? Young leaders like you must aspire to change the status-quo. “I dare you to go out there and make an impact.”
Adams Sukparu Mohammed; national president of PUSAG said S.R.C must eschew the habit of complaining when they inherit offices. Leaders solve problems, they don’t complain. Fix your eyes on the bigger picture, team up with credible stakeholders and you will get the results you want. Adding to the statement above, Richard Odame; the PUSAG international relations officer and immediate past Students Council President of Ashesi University College said “I was able to raise $100,000 during my tenure year as president to construct on ultra-modern pitch for my school. I did this not thinking about what I will get but a benefit the facility will bring to my constituency.”
In his closing remark Bernard Owusu, the founding president of NERA, thanked all participants from the eleven private universities. He entreated PUSAG to help in pushing the new African agenda. An agenda NERA stands for. Again he petitioned them to think of ethics, values, track record and competence as they settle to elect new leaders in September.
This leadership workshop was organized for newly elected executives from all the Private Universities in Ghana. Over fifteen universities were in attendance.
They included Valley View, Evangelical Presbyterian, Ho, Christian Services University, Kumasi, Islamic University, Kaaf University, Kings University, Zenith College, Knustford University College, Wisconsin just to mention but few.