For the sake of this write up where I am restricted not to mention thename of the leader in question, please permit me to refer him as Mr. X. From a humble beginning, theGhanaian business man hails from Bososo, a remote village in the eastern partof Ghana.
He was born in 1952 to a famer and a cacao purchasing officer. He graduatedfrom University of Ghana, Legon, with a bachelor’s degree in businessAdministration (Accounting). He was then recruited in to the Military Academyin Accra and was commissioned as a Lieutenant after his studies in Cost andManagement Accountancy with Winchester. He left the Army 1982 to follow hisdreams to become a business man and a consultant. He started with a woodprocessing factory but today he can boost of a Bank and other several financialinstitutions.
As a founder and Chief executive officer of a conglomerate, who was proneto the sting of complacency, he still was stuck to his unique basic leadershipqualities that chalked him several local and international awards such as, LifetimeAchievement for Innovation in Africa, 2013, Johnnie Walker Giant, 2012. Aglobal “Walk with Giants” campaign, Overall Best Entrepreneur in the MaidenGhana Entrepreneurs Award (2011), One of two Ghanaians profiled in Moky Makura’sbook on Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs which profiles 16 of Africa’s topentrepreneurs, Three times running Ghana’s Most Respected CEO for2008/2010/2012, National Honors for an Order of the Star of the Volta-Officer’sDivision presented by the President of Ghana in 2008 and also the Marketing Manof the Year 2006. – Wikipedia. The following are some of the leadership qualities that I most associatewith Mr. X.· Commitment or Passion· Respect for time· Institutionalize relationship· Recognized the difference between”Talented Person” and a “Trained Person”· Charismatic Passion:Donald Trump said, “Without passion youdon’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.
” I believe that what really makes anything happen is the passion youhave for it. Passion is the fuel that drives the “now” to achieve the “future’.Mr.X understood that to have passion is to love and the love came in two formsas a business man; love for the product/service that he offered and love forthe people (customers and prospective customers) he offered to. His passionsprouted when he was refused a loan facility as a lecturer, a charteredaccountant and an ex-military officer, because he did not have collateral.There, he saw a need, developed passion for it, pursued it and today it’s asuccess. He loved and respected people and wanted to see them develop.
A great leader is also one whosepassion sparkles off him and ignites that of his followers and influences themto go where he is heading to. Mr. X infected his followers with his passion, inthat, even in his absence, his ideologies and principles stirred the affairs ofthe organization. This move by him, I believe has been the bedrock of the organizationsustenance. Passion, as a quality of good leaders, wean on a combination ofpersonality, temperament, talent, experience and emotional inclinations. Onecannot be thought how to sprout passion, as it emanate, from within the confinesor the intersection of the love for a product/service and the love for a people(customers/prospective customers). However, a leader may rally his followersaround his passion to achieve a common goal but the source of the passion isthe leader.
Vision: “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision,passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion,” saysJack Welch in an interview with Harvard Business Review in 1989. DeborahAncona in her book “In Praise of theIncomplete Leader” describe visioning as “the leaders ability to createcredible and compelling images of a desired future that people in the organizationwant to create together”. Mr.
X understood that a vision provides a hinge on which a leaderrevolves his attention on even as he deals with the realities of today. He hada dream of owning a bank, which was the big picture but started with a wood processingfactory. He later veered into other ventures such oil and Gas and importationof building materials. Nevertheless, he always held on to the dream, pursued itand today the dream of a Bank is a reality. It’s one thing having a vision and another being able to hold on to thevision and bringing it to reality.
I believe that the ability to have vision ordream is innate could not be thought to a person but the ability to sustain thevision and make it happen could come by training, practice and experience overtime. Respect for Time:Time has progressively become one of the most important resources in anybusiness engagement and hence, the management of time, is imperative to any Businessleader. The leader must understand that every activity of the organization mustbe time bond.
To respect any human is to respect their time. Customers nowadays are notonly about their convenience but highly particular about the amount of timethey waited, regardless of how long they truly waited. “Smart businessesleaders strive to minimize not only actual wait time, butalso perceived wait time”. Julie Lamski, 2015. Mr. X by thisleadership quality understood how important it is to respect customers’ time andtherefore made loans available to customers in 48 hours when it actually tookother banks three to four weeks to do it.
He, by way of leadership proved beyond doubt, that “respect for time” isonly as a result of inheritance of certain qualities or traits but by training,observation and in enabling environment, one could pick up such leadershipquality. For instance, whenever he called for a meeting, he would always showup on time and as soon as he got to the meeting room, regardless of the numberpersons present, the meeting commenced. This got every member of his team to suddenlydevelop respect for time. Consequently, one can easily infer that “respect fortime” is a leadership quality that can be thought to an individual and be borninto an individual. Integrity: Thequality of being honest and having strong moral principles.