Five things that destroy a leader

AS a leader rises up the ladder, he gets susceptible to enticement. There is always an easy access to most things like networks, people and property. Going up the ladder is a process that could take some time.

As one is on the crest, some may try to drop the ladder. Some are those who want to be with you up the ladder. Others want to be identified or attached with you because they know that there are privileges that come with leadership. Today let’s zoom our focus on five things that destroy a leader:

Ignorance
Someone once said: “your mind is like a parachute, it functions well when it is open”. In other terms, the mind is also like a muscle; it bulges or grows with exercise. A leader’s mind is the core engine that keeps the whole structure in motion or where most things are generated. To keep the engine functioning, it should be constantly fuelled, cheeked, cleaned, and upgraded. The contrary leads to malfunction.

Oliver Wendell Holmes had a famous saying that I have adopted over years. He once said: “Once a mind has been stretched by a new idea, it never returns to its original state”. It’s easy to flee ignorance; simply ask questions, read books, learn from mentor, attend seminars, listen to DVDs and CDs. All in all, you are a sum total of what you feed your mind with!

Carrot/ Corruption
When everyone started they thought no one knew. When they continued to enjoy, they thought they will never be caught. When they were caught they told those that knew that it was just once. You could be asking, Jonah what are you talking about? Give it a guess, it’s a bribe or corruption! A bribe is not as good as it tastes! Strive Masiyiwa in his Facebook articles (6 November 2013), gave us a great motivation applicable even to the leader.

He said: “Corruption will end in Africa, when some of us, say “enough! I don’t care, that I have to walk to work, I am not getting on a taxi that pays a policeman, a bribe at a checkpoint whilst I watch. I am not going to give my cousin a job, in government, because he is my cousin.

“I am not going to take a bribe when I am a judge in a court case. I am not going to pay a customs official. I am not going to pay anyone a cut for a contract, even if it means I am out of business.” And when we do this, one morning we will wake up and find there is no corruption in our society, and there are no corrupt leaders, because if there are corrupt leaders, they come from our societies.”

Infidelity
The image of most leaders has been marred by sexual immorality. Leadership always brings with it more money in one’s life. Money has a tendency to amplify who one is and it this case, money comes, especially to males, with women of all shapes, sizes and status. Don’t allow your hormones detect your head because you have easy access. You can do all the good that there is, but if you want that to be forgotten and be remembered only because of wrong motives, be a pimp or prostitute.

Snobbery
Wise words say: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before destruction” (Proverbs 16: 18). In life one lesson I have leant is to value anyone despite their financial standing or their level of education. You never know, what becomes of the person that you belittle today. They might be cleaning your office today, but tomorrow they might be your leader.

An American scientist, inventor and educator, George Washington Carver has a fine saying which goes: “How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the week and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these”. With pride you can’t do that!

Wrong company
The people that you stick with determine how high you go in life. Some people have negative attitudes, motives and mindsets. As a common idiom says, attitude determines our altitude. We might be skilled in doing a specific task, but our attitude has an underlining factor as to how well we will do the task.

Wrong friends give us a wrong attitude. A demeaning and disparaging crop of people is also a bad. One of my favourite writers, Mark Twain, tells us frankly: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.”

Parting Point: We are as strong as our weakest point. Intelligent, skilled, and intuitive leaders have succumbed to the above baits. They built a strong empire, only to ruin it in a split second. Building is always tiring and time consuming, but to bring that down takes no much time. We have been taught how to drive forward, but little have been we taught how to check blind spots.

Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and motivational speaker.
Tel: 0772 581 918. Email: jonah@classicmail.co.za
Web: www.jonahnyoni.wordpress.com

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