August 31, 2020

Visionary leaders needed for sustainable growth — Experts

By Josephine Agbonkhese

Leadership experts have said for the sustainability of future generations and economic growth, society must seek responsible and visionary leaders, who are willing to nurture others, take the lonely path and act differently.

They made this call at the Leadership Guardian virtual summit on the theme “Preserving the Future of Humanity through effective leadership”.

The summit was a pre-launch event to a new book entitled “The Leadership Guardian – How to Develop Visionary Leaders at Home, Work and in Nations; An essential blueprint for developing visionary leadership.”

According to the convener and author who doubles as a leadership development expert and founder of Rellies Works, Kemi Ogunkoya, “nations are already overwhelmed by accidental, incidental and theoretical leaders.

ALSO READ: Mali: African leaders leave leprosy to cure scabies

“They have failed to offer substance and genuinely transform lives. Homes are destroyed under the dictates of deficient parenting, while business leaders would do anything to get ahead.

“However, there are still leaders who have sworn to stand firm and do right and have sworn to be genuine custodians of leadership, who are able to transcend from our present world into the future.”

While delivering his keynote address, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola(SAN), said: “Leadership is not a title, but a responsibility those who seek must come to terms with, while acquiring adequate skills to discharge such duties.”

He said to deliver the future from leadership challenges, leaders need to recruit others to maintain longevity.

He, however, lamented the conundrum on the eligibility of women to lead due to society’s disparity in place of birth and marriage, which has been heightened by the diversity of religion, gender and age.

Fashola, who stressed the importance of education as a method of institutionalising leadership, noted that from cradle through primary, secondary and tertiary levels, education is vital for future leadership which has shaped generations.

He said the home is a major leadership production centre that builds and shapes values, character and integrity.

On his part, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, represented by The President/CEO of Transcorp Plc, Mrs. Owen Omogiafo, spoke on building a business that reaches the future through visionary leadership.

He noted that a key quality of a visionary leader is one who has a clear idea of what the future holds and sets visions and goals to achieve.

“He must be resilient, be able to take intelligent risks, be a skilled communicator and organise people with levels of expertise,” he added.

At the end of the summit, Ogunkoya urged participants to be awakened to the call of leadership, noting that leadership, like water, is shapeless and will take the form of whatever container it is given.