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The 5th National Leadership Dialogue Series (NLDS), hosted by Nigerian Prize for Leadership and Partners, held via Zoom on Friday September 25th, 2020, with the theme, Rethinking Leadership: Role Modelling, Mentoring, and Prospects for Raising Transformational Replacement Leaders for Nigeria

The webinar was well attended by partners and participants from within and outside Nigeria, with Prof. Akin Oyebode, Pioneer Vice Chancelor of University of Ado Ekiti, and Member NPL Governing Board; Dr. Mrs Dere J. Awosika, EPSN, MFR, mni, Chairman Access Bank Plc and Member NPL Governing Board: Mr John Momoh, OON,
Chairman Channels Media Group and Member NPL Technical Team of Experts; Prof. Abdullahi M. Ashafa, DVC Kaduna State University and Representative of Historical Society of Nigeria; Chimdi Neliaku, World Economic Forum global Sharper & Convener, National Youth Leadership Conference; Ms. Rukayya Ibrahim Iyayi, Student Affairs Manager, Baze University, Abuja, Brig. Gen. Sani K. Usman (rtd) fnipr, fapra, Former
Director of Public Relations, Nigerian Army, as panellists.

The edition was moderated by Mrs Mercy Eluemunor, MD, Minepace Limited – Advertising and Public Relations Consultant. Arising from submissions by the Panellists and contributions from the Partners and Participants at the Webinar, the following conclusions and resolutions were adopted as part of measures to institutionalise role modelling, mentoring, as a critical pathway for raising transformational replacement leaders for Nigeria.

1. Leadership is the ability to hold the torch high enough to show directions, and to inculcate positive values to successor generations to emulate. People get the leadership they deserve, and not everyone in leadership authority is a leader
2. Transformational leadership is a product of visionary leadership that empowers the followers to imbibe values and principles that encourages social transformation and development.
3. Transformational leaders are sensitive to the needs of the community they lead. They consciously serve to entrench sustainable human and social development of their community.
4. Nigerians urgently need to articulate the prerequisite of raising transformational leaders and put in place standards for mentoring successor leaders towards social transformation mindset.
5. NPL should initiate responsible leadership grooming strategies and processes of preparing next generational leaders to assume a leadership role.
6. Leaders at all level should upscale their role of agenda-setting, and they must be ready to create a paradigm shift; and radical sensitization towards society change.
7. Leaders should be open to educating the next generation of leaders. Young leaders should be taught that Leadership is never an entitlement, it is not hereditary or by genealogy.
8. Transformational leadership and transactional leadership are mutually exclusive, and the bottom line is that we need leaders that take initiative to impact people and the society positively.
9. The core ingredients of transformational leadership are service, sacrifice and selflessness and the transformational leader must be exemplary, and consistent in producing results which the society can easily relate to and identify.
10.The exemplary and transformational leader is he/she who has a buy-in of the citizens, whose programmes, guided by transparency and accountability, directly addresses the needs of the people.
11.Transformational leadership should draw from the principles of sacrifice and selflessness, leadership positions should be seen as a calling that requires self-denials in the execution of assigned service responsibilities to the people.
12.Nigeria’s worst leadership failures are an absence of good role models and the inability of her successive leaders to produce successor generations. Nigeria needs conscious leaders’ role models who are deliberate about grooming and
bequeathing the right values to followers and mentees.
13.Leaders must carry themselves with the understanding that there are people looking up to them, hence, they must be conscious of what they say, and what they do, as they are reflections of the society.
14.Giving the failure of leadership over the years; Nigeria urgently needs to adopt a taskforce approach, which may include declaring a state of emergency on raising a successful replacement generation. This move would make leaders at all levels to see themselves as mentors, whose responsibility is to mentor and groom the younger ones under their leadership directions.
15.Role modelling and mentoring are two important ingredients of transformational leadership and leaders must be at the forefront in stimulating visionary ideas that mentees can learn from, and setting good standards for mentees to emulate.
16.We must collectively define who a role model is, and what is expected of mentees in order to get the best of the process of raising successor generation.
17.Nigeria has enormous leadership potentials that lay untapped, there is an urgent need to be intentional in addressing the inhibiting factors undermining the emergence of new leaders in the country, this change is possible.
18.Nigeria’s leadership journey can be likened to plane with a pilot who hasn’t attended the aviation training school. Leadership curriculum and schools need to be created to teach proper leadership values to aspiring leaders.
19.Transformational Leaders lead against injustice, and they should in fact set the people free from albatross of injustice.
20.Leaders should help people to discover themselves, they should work on behalf of the people and help the people rise to their full potential.
21.Transformational Leaders make changes happen, they don’t wait and beg for change; they cause change.
22.Transformational Leaders do not measure their worth by the number of people serving them, but rather by the number of people they are serving.
23.Transformational leaders learn from people, they strive to be better and provide higher values and resources.
24.Transformational leaders do not seek followers, followers are naturally attracted to them and their change agenda.
25.Nations that reward mediocrity against hard-work only risk enthroning mediocrity in positions of powers.
26.Leaders who sees leadership positions primarily as a source of amassing wealth and not a purposeful privilege to serve others lack the transformative approach to leadership and have failed in the leadership learning process.
27.Nigeria urgently need to establish and sustained collaboration and interface between the elder statement and women and young people as a crucial step in raising cross-generational leaders at all levels.

In conclusion, the Nigerian Prize for Leadership is worried that the concept of leadership role modelling, mentoring and the prospect of transformational replacement leaders has remained a theory in Nigeria, despite evidence-based progress in this effort in other countries. NPL therefore, advocates for urgent reforms of Nigeria’s educational system and its curriculum to include learning principles and values that consider role modelling, mentoring and transformative replacement leaders as a critical legacy. NPL believes that transformative Leaders do not just emerge and they are never an accident. They emerge through a process of deliberate mentoring, unlearning and relearning the leadership ropes from leaders who have been successful in their various leadership positions. We, therefore call on every individual currently occupying public leadership positions, and our elder statesmen and women to consciously plan to mentor and groom the younger generation of Nigerians under their sphere of influence to become leadership successors for the entrustment of the future of our great republic, without any cause to worry.

Dr Ike Neliaku, fnipr, ficmc
Executive Secretary, NPL
September 27, 2020

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