Every revolution in human history has always been a product of one form of ideology or the other. However, in this end time, a revolution can only hit the earth not through an ideology but through Leaders ready to give valuable contributions that change humanity. In fact the greatest irony of Leadership is that the more you give the more you get. And when all is said and done, the highest and most enduring value that you will ever be able to give as a Leader is the value of what you leave behind. In other words, your legacy to the generations that follow will be seen in how much value you have added to your organization or where you serve and how many lives you have improved.
It is the life–touching, value adding, life transforming that matters most in this world. You know that every water-bearing pipe is free from thirst. When you are a channel through which contributions are blessing people in this country, you are a blessed and successful leader.
Last year I was told of a story about an elephant in one of the wildlife conservation parks that consumes 63 Kilograms of straw per day but at the same time discharges 45 Kilograms of manure per day. On simple arithmetic, I noted that it is not safe for the Elephant to retain beyond 35% of its intake. So for you to become a human elephant (a great leader), you cannot afford to keep all you have. I thought for a while and I said,’’Oh, so this is what makes it an Elephant that is discharging to enrich the Earth!’’
So it is by all of those discharges by the elephant that grass in the wild are kept green and that it is the only way they can find something else to eat. If there is no discharge, there will be no manure, so the grass will run dry and they will also die.
The moral of this story is that for you to be of value as a leader, you must contribute and not take, as an Elephant contributes through discharge to make the grass green in a wild place. Do not make your organization dry by taking through unfair means but instead give great ideas to bring a change. Be like Isaac in the Bible who said to himself, “My Father dug wells to water his cattle, I can also dig wells to water my crops, instead of waiting forever for the rains to fall.’’ And Isaac became the first irrigation farmer. While other Philistines were waiting for the rains to fall, Isaac was busy watering his crops from wells he dug. This made him the biggest farmer of his times, causing the Philistines to envy him. What a great valuable contribution! What a great leader Isaac was!
I have been reading about the life of Gandhi, a man whom I believe to have been one of the greatest all around leaders ever to have graced the Earth through his valuable contribution. He had the wisdom to lead his people in the direction that would benefit them. He had also the courage to lead himself and live with great character. He is a model of enlightened and effective leadership through his sacrifice to give to change humanity. One day he was getting off a train when one of his shoes slipped off and onto the track. As the train started to move, he could not retrieve it, so he did something that startled his companions. He removed his other shoe and threw it where the first one sat. His companions immediately asked for an explanation. As he walked shoeless down the platform, he smiled gently and replied,’ “now the poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track will have a pair he can use!’’
Gandhi was a selfless leader but many leaders, save for a few, in the contemporary world are quite selfish. They are given organizations to lead but instead they take everything and destroy it in the end. Wesley Huber said, “there is nothing quite so dead as a self-centered man, a man who holds himself up as a self made success and measures himself by himself and is pleased with the results. “Every person given a position of leadership should remember that even postage stamps become useless when they get stuck on themselves!
Norman Vincent Peale observed ‘’the man who lives for himself is a failure. Even if he gains much wealth, power or position, he is still a failure.’’ In other words, I am saying that a leader who believes in nothing but himself lives in a very small world.” I was listening to a Zig Ziglar tape and in his presentation he said, “You will always have everything in life that you want if you will help other people get what they want.” As a Leader I appeal to you to make an absolute decision to live this concept everyday in your leadership. John Ruskin said, “When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.”
In most cases, Leaders are conditioned to think about themselves. That is why 97% of all people will write their own names when they are offered a new pen to try to ascertain whether it writes. No Leader is truly a success in life until he or she has learned how to serve. The older saying is true;”the way to the throne room is through the servant’s quarters!”I am simply saying that as a Leader, you should not target possessions but contributions. You were not appointed for status, but for service. That is why you will always find out that only service oriented dreams ever see the light of day. Discovering your leadership potential is not a discovery of opportunity for possession or accumulation of material wealth but a disposition to service! It is your degree to commitment to service that determines your ultimate height in the race of leadership.
Contribution is the valid evidence of leadership. Leadership is about the enhancement of value and enriching the lives of others. In basic science, we have living things which consist of plants and animals and nonliving things. Plants and animals are both sustained by contribution. Plants for example can never be tired of producing oxygen which humans and animals take and must in turn give out much needed carbon-dioxide for plants. If plants refuse to give out oxygen they will die, and same goes for humans and animals if they hold on to carbon-dioxide.
Your destiny as a leader anchors on service. Many leaders in Kenya are living for what to consume, it is time they start living for posterity. In my view you are not a leader who is a millionaire just because you have a million shillings, you are a millionaire by leading and influencing a million people. Otherwise, there are people who take from organizations and institutions who may have millions stacked away in their banks. Would you call that successful leadership!
So, as a leader, do not just desires to be a “paper millionaire” instead, become a “people millionaire” desiring to influence millions of people positively. Become a role model leader. It is always said that without a reference you do not become a reference. It takes having role models to play your role well. It was Isaac Newton that said, “If I have seen any further, it is by standing on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead of me.”
Therefore, provide a shoulder for others to stand! A full life is determined not by how long you live but how much you donate to your generation. In essence self-service is greater than self-serving. I have realized that the chair I am sitting in now as I write this article used to be someone’s idea. The clothes I am wearing came from someone’s idea too. I am now convinced than ever before, value addition is what transforms human life.
I read a story about nine most powerful Americans at one time which I would like to share. These nine men met at famous Hedge –water Hotel, Chicago in 1923. The nine men put together commanded more wealth than there was in the United States treasury at that time. They were the greatest financiers of the world, yet, they ended in a most miserable way.
They were Charles Swart, the President of the largest independent steel company; Samuel Insole, President of the largest utility company; Howard Hopson, the president of the largest gas company; Arthur Carton, the greatest wheat speculator; Richard Whitney, he was the president of New York Stock Exchange; Albert Fore, a minister in the President’s cabinet; Jesse Luminal, who owned the greatest beer industry on the wall street; Lesser Frazer, who was President of Bank of International ; and Ivan krugar, who headed the world’s greatest monopoly.
History has it that after living on borrowed money for five years, Swart and Arthur died penniless, Samuel Insole died a destitute in a foreign land, Howard died insane, Whitney and Fore died in prison, Jesse Luminal, Lesser Frazer and Ivan Krugar committed suicide. What a tragedy!
This story needs to remind you that you need to get back to the right track and offer service to humanity. “..You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand,” (Woodrow Wilson).