If I am to list 3 key things I have learnt about leadership from the best leader I have had the privilege of serving with, His Excellency Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, I would say:
1. Leadership is mentorship. While following you must be learning all that your leader is teaching or your followership is wasted. There may be no special mentorship session but your leader leads and if you are wise, you follow and learn.
2. Followers become leaders. To lead well you must first follow well, so your leadership starts when you commit to a leader and follow through. Jesus’ disciples became his apostles by following Him to the end. Your leader gives you the cover you need to make mistakes, learn and grow. The apostles’ greatness came by loyally advancing their leader’s legacies long after He physically left the scene.
3. You become a great leader by leading. Leading is when you are given assignments while following so you can start putting your training to work. If you do well, the reins might even be handed to you in due season. The mark of good followership is never to supplant your leader or subvert his legacy.
Only when you have activated these 3 keys can you say you are truly set for leadership.
As the search for the next Governor of Kogi State heats up, I am bold to say that I have learnt these 3 keys from my years working for and with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
Beyond the 3 keys which come to him effortlessly, His Excellency displays 4 value-adding characteristics which I have imbibed from him:
Courage – displayed during COVID 19 and #EndSARS when he supported the right thing.
Listening – displayed during the North-South blockade when he brokered peace.
Standing up for the Voiceless – displayed during the recent Naira Redesign & Currency confiscation saga.
Unifying Spirit – displayed in his ability to deploy equity, fairness and justice to unite a diverse society like Kogi.
I believe I am ready to accelerate the leadership legacies of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello because I have been groomed by him to SERVE.