One of the challenges of writing an article that covers economic issues is that it has include the individual unit (micro) and reconcile it to the aggregate/big picture (macro).
The micro is a subset of the macro, in itself, the micro is incomplete and yet without it, the macro too is incomplete. Let us talk about Vision 2020.
Consider the following illustration: There was a group of six blind men who had heard a lot about elephants and wanted to know what an elephant looks like. One day, someone took them to see an elephant.
The first blind man held the trunk and exclaimed, ‘”an elephant is like a big snake”. “No”, said the second, touching one of the tusks. “It is like a bone or a big horn”.”
It is like a tree”, screamed the third. He had held the leg. The fourth confidently declared that the elephant is like a wall because he held the tummy.
The fifth could not understand all the fuss because the elephant was really just a rope; he was holding the tail. But the most surprised was the sixth, “it is really just a big flap, but a flat all the same”. He touched the ears. They could not agree on what the elephant was like.
We, like the blind men, have different images of the elephant- the big picture of vision 2020. Our images are not wrong.
They are just incomplete and need to be pieced together and coordinated. To achieve this vision there are some qualities the country demands of us in our different roles.
First is leadership. Leadership is action not position. And the leader’s main job is to develop more leaders. It is much easier leading leaders. We have some really good leaders but are we leaders in our respective fields? Are you the ‘go to’ person in your field?
Do you serve? Leadership is service. We each must take the elephant’s various parts and put together our different versions of the elephant, so that we have a complete picture and each knows, nay, understands what his/her role is. Everyone should be a leader in one way or another.
Instead of standing in shock and awe, as true leaders do their thing, they need to emulate the examples they see. If you can’t be a pine in the forest, be a shrub, but be the best shrub you can be.
More can be done in the different sectors to improve the overall leadership. Be focused and appreciative of the big picture. Enable your subordinates do things without you (give yourself a break). Think beyond mere delegation. Make them make things happen, make them be better than you.
I am convinced that the public and business leaders in Rwanda, East Africa and Africa in general would do us great service if they wrote about their leadership experiences. Aspiring leaders need not re-invent the wheel.
Are you a leader? Wole Soyinka says, ‘a tiger does not proclaim its tigritude…it leaps’. Don’t tell us. Show us!
Sam Kabongo is a Consultant at Serian Ltd.