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One of the most resonating stories for underdogs in the world is the David Goliath story. David was a typical underdog who was a teenager, untrained, ill-equipped, and disadvantaged when he stepped to face the giant. By all standards, David should have lost the fight, and badly.
That one victory against a seemingly unbeatable foe led David to become a king. For the past more than 3, 000 years, David has been the most favored king of Israel. There have been many writings about this dramatic encounter, and lessons fellow underdogs should learn from David. The most referenced advantages of David against the favorite Goliath were his:
- Believe in providence. He trusted in God. He was smart enough to realize that for him to win that seemingly rigged contest, he must depend on the higher power.
- Mindset. He won the battle first in his mind. He envisioned his victory before he actualized it. He was also alert when an opportunity to shine presented itself in the form of a defiling giant. And, he took his chance. We wouldn’t have heard about David if he missed that golden opportunity. The positive words that came from his mouth were also the results of what was going on in his head.
- Competency. David trained himself while tending his sheep. As an underdog, he needed excellence to beat his foes, lions and bears. Regardless of king Saul’s insistence, David stuck with his own tool, sling. He used it well to hit his targets before he ever stepped to face Goliath. He had confidence in his competence in using his own weapon than the fanciest arms the king offered him.
Though it has been more than 3 thousand years ago since the fight happened, that the same traits David had still apply today in the 21st C if your desire is to be the David of 21st C. What you need to do is that contextualize what led David to victory to the new era and your particular giants you face in life. You may not be in the same Judaism religion or a shepherd as David. Your competitors may not be physical giants. The tools you need to slay your giants may not be a sling with some smooth stones. Regardless, you need to draw some lessons from David to secure your greatness destiny in the 21st C.
That is why I created a Facebook Group dedicated to David of 21st C like you, an underdog. It aims at empowering the great ones of the 21st C, and you are a candidate. This group differs from other groups I run or platforms on which I write. Members of this group should believe the higher power. Regardless of our religious affiliation and denominations, I strongly believe that people in this group can get along since we share one common thread: The place divine plays in the lives of underdogs.
You may already know that I have been studying the great ones for over 2 decades. I already wrote two books on the subject of greatness based on my research. I narrated stories of great ones from diverse religions and cultures. All of them had this sense of being commanded to do what they needed to do and expected the full support of Divine even if some of them didn’t pronounce their faith publicly. In this group, I focus on those stories of great ones who publicly acknowledged believing in God.
I’m personally fine with anyone from any religion to join the group and benefit from the contents shared, and engage in discussions of their choice. Upfront, I must disclaim that I’m a Christian and I am going to cite lots of stories and quotes from the Bible. If these don’t bother you, please join this group dedicated to the David of 21st C, underdogs like you.
Though members can share and discuss religious issues, and how that empowered them to overcome their challenges and inadequacies. Nonetheless, these contents should be free from specific religious doctrines and attempts to convert people from one religion to another or from one denomination to another.
The goal is to learn from one another how we use the help of God, develop our mindset and competencies as underdogs as we fight our own giants in the different aspects of our lives, more specifically, as we pursue our purpose in life. The insights, approaches, and tools we get from this platform will transform us from underdogs into greats. It turns underdogs into great ones of 21st C.
When you join David of 21st C, you will be getting the following:
- Weekly blog post shared via email
- Regular educational video clips through email
- Social media quotes and short posts regularly
- Opportunities to engage in vibrant discussion with your fellow underdogs and myself on the platform
To begin with, join the Facebook Group created for this purpose. Going forward, I encourage you to comment, ask questions and also share your perspectives and stories.
Sign up for the email list below. When you sign up, you will get new blogs, excerpts in PDF format, and educational video clips when they become available.
Those of you who are interested, I encourage you to subscribe to my personal YouTube Channel designed to turn underdogs like you and me into greats. Subscribe also for the podcast. You will get great insights, and action tips that enabled many underdogs to excel. The podcast will soon be available on iTunes, Spotify, and more platforms.
Note: Please don't join the group or sign up if you aren't serious and willing to actively engage in the coming years and decades.
Happy Ethiopian Christmas, Gena! One of the most dramatic events in the history of the world was the coming of Jesus into the world. No one before Him or after Him changed the world in the most dramatic way as He did. No one was able to bring fundamental spiritual liberty and freedom as He did. Humanity was in religious bondage before His coming.
However, His birth impacted more than the spiritual realm. His birth has been used as a pivotal juncture in the way we track time and season: before and after His birth (BC and AD) regardless of whether we all are on the same page on the exact day He was born.
Our religious and denominational differences aside, no one ever talked like Him and backed it. No one ever and no one since then talked about being on the other side the way He did. No one claimed to see let alone being equal with the majestic Creator of this universe.
No one saw the Father face to face and talked to Him and survived to tell the story without Jesus. We cannot even come close to one of His creations- the Sun, let alone the LIGHT source that brought this light to existence. Of course, creating the gigantic stars and cosmos bodies must have been easier than creating human beings, the most sophisticated and only beings that can think with will and consciousness.
What is more? No one talked about going to a road very scary like death and promised to come back alive intact. That is why we should all who believe in Jesus should be thankful that He came and solved many of the mysteries no man could solve. Now, many things seem straight forward and comprehensible but think about the dark age before His coming? Many waited and died without hearing about the redemption of mankind, the restoration of the Kingdom man had lost, and most importantly how it all ends.
It was terrible and frustrating for our forefathers and mothers who had so many spiritual questions but unable to have anyone or any reference to quenching their quests. After His birth?! Yes, still today, we have many questions that haven’t answered but at least our major bugging quests had been answered by someone who dared to say I am the Life, the Truth, and the Way…
Glad you came, Jesus! Thank you for making it into this world and giving us a sense of purpose and destiny, for reconnecting us to the Father and restoring the Kingdom and with it the returning of the Holy Spirit to this messed up world. You brightened our world and lives! You are worthy of our praise and worship!!!
We are grateful and expressing it today the way we know how by saying Happy Birthday our King and Lord, even if you deserve more than this!
Check out my new blog in which I announced a new Show. In this blog I shared some of my disadvantages as an underdog and why I’m now committed to empowering the underdogs turning them into the great ones of the 21st C. You don’t want to miss this blog and the upcoming show if you identify yourself as an underdog.
Read it, share it with others, and also let me know what you think and if you may have any suggestions for the upcoming show and podcast. I’m excited and I want you to join me in this journey so that we grow together, tap into our unlimited potential, serve the world using our passion, have a lasting impact based on our purpose in life, and ultimately die empty leaving legacy that continues long after you and I left this universe: https://assegid.com/?p=1307
On top of this show, which I believe many of you would enjoy and find empowering, I’ve also a plan in the New Year to arrange a weekly Facebook live. Sign up to our eNewsLetter below to get updates when the live chat begins. As you know many of the great ones in the Bible were underdogs. They turned into great on top of their own faith, dedication, and commitment, they believed in God and sought His help. In this chat, based on my latest two books, we will dive to study how these underdogs turn into great ones, and how you too may learn some lessons from their lives to attain your own birthright of greatness in your own unique way. Stay Tuned…
The initial flyer of the July 6th, 2019 intensive leadership development workshop. Take advantage of this opportunity and register by going to the Eventbrite page shared on the flyer. 200 USD per person value for free. Register quickly before the few remaining seats are taken. Volunteers and Sponsors are most welcomed. If you would like to volunteer or sponsor, reach out to me. Hope to see you there… #PROLeadershipAfrica
The first Adam took down with him the entire human race into condemnation. When he disobeyed, he and we all ended up separated from our Source and in turn lost the Kingdom (rulership) and kingship (dominion). On the other hand, the last Adam- Jesus, demonstrated unwavering obedience to the Father and as a result He was authorized to pick Himself from hell and together with Him all of us. Thanks to Him. We are picked from the deepest pit of death and desperation.
The obedient One became the first ‘man’ to enter and stand in the presence of the Holy One since the first Adam was kicked out due to disobedience. The first Adam before fall had a chance to stand before the Holy One on a daily basis and enjoyed constant fellowship with God. Because of disobedience, however, he was separated from God. Heaven cannot and won’t entertain disobedience and disorder. The father of lies and disobedience- the devil was kicked out the same way because He caused chaos.
The first Adam’s act of disobedience also caused the entire race to live under the oppression of the author of death, the devil, for centuries.
For centuries, humanity was hopeless. Deep inside, nonetheless, it had craved to go back to the Kingdom to fellowship with the Source, the Father. But, no one knew the way back to the Kingdom. No one was worthy to satisfy the price it took to reunite the Holy One with the fallen humanity.
Of course, untill, the last Adam penetrated the physical universe and became one of us as promised.
Humanity had been in deepest darkness till the bright light showed up in flesh in their midst. Jesus revealed the Father and shared the love and desire the Father had to reunite with His kids. The last Adam was knowledgeable about how to get back to the bosom of the Father. He was also worthy and obedient enough to pay the price to reunite us with the Father.
Jesus’ resurrection and ascension was symbolic. It signifies that we all are redeemed and restored to the Kingdom we once lost.
Today reminds us the might and glory of Jesus, our Hero. Except our Savior no one ever beat death like He did. He embarrassed It as It had been embarrassing the human race for generations by getting up after three days. Jesus willingly gave up His spirit and picked it up! No one went condemned into hell and came out victorious except Him.
His resurrection is not just a good news spiritually. Yes, Easter signifies that we are redeemed and restored to our former glory before the fall of the first Adam. Sunday also signifies that whatever has been tormenting you and I, it has expiry date. Whatever looks like dead in our life, profession, and business is resurrected!
On Friday, while still on the cross and in pain, Jesus knew what was going to happen in the next three days. On the other hand, His disciples, regardless of His efforts to prepare them, they forgot all about it. They remained worried, and even frightened.
They spent the second day, Saturday, full of despair and hopelessness. Jesus, however, on Saturday, He was busy doing the very reason why He came on earth. He was also looking forward to Sunday. He couldn’t wait to meet His disciples to announce the victory, the restoration of humanity.
How are you spending your ‘Saturday’? You may be in despair and hopelessness in this season of your personal life and/or professional and/or relationship and/or business lives.
But, don’t forget that God is busy doing lots of things in your favor and in the background. Don’t forget that He doesn’t sleep nor slumber. He is your shepherd.
Be expectant that your full restoration is hours, maybe days, or may be some months away. It doesn’t matter how long. Your ‘Sunday’ is coming, coming soon.
Don’t give up. Rather, rejoice as you pass through in this seemingly hopeless season of yours. You cannot please God without faith. You don’t need to wait till ‘Sunday’, until you see your resurrected and restored situation to celebrate. Tap into your faith. Begin celebrating, you’re restored!!!
More than 2000 years ago on this past Friday, the onlookers in Jerusalem witnessed how far someone with true LOVE would go when Jesus was dragged willingly to the cross to die for the SIN of the world. Human kind since Adam’s fall had been suffering from an incurable disease, guilty consciousness. Even those individuals who were living a clean and holy life couldn’t overcome it. There was no cure for guilty consciousness that began transmitting from Adam to the subsequent generations because of his disobedience, the worst sin against God.
Fortunately, there was one ‘man’ who was willing to take up on this challenge to free the human race once for all from guilty consciousness. This act restored humanity to its former glory before fall. Nonetheless, those hundreds of onlookers didn’t know what exactly was going on that Friday. Without knowing, they were witnessing history as Jesus became a substitute to pay for the penalty of sin by giving up His life. They didn’t know that He was motivated by love, love to humanity that was separated from the holy and perfect God who cannot (won’t) contaminate Himself with imperfection and disobedience. Jesus showed empathy and was willing to go the extra mile no one could before Him in order to bring back humanity that was kicked out of the Kingdom of God stripped of its power and dominion because of disobedience (lack of love).
The One who was before the world came to existence and the Word of God who created the universe dropped His divinity aside wore flesh to penetrate the physical world. Jesus then lived a holy life and finally obeyed God and submitted Himself to the will of God by giving up His life to redeem the human race. On top of rescuing the human race, He showed us how to walk with God, through obedience.
More than 2 centuries ago, the last Adam took upon Himself to finish what the first Adam failed to do by showing hundred percent obedience to divine. Restraining the power that was flowing in Him that silenced storm and raised a decayed body from the grave after 4 days, the last Adam submitted Himself to show obedience- the ultimate measure of true love to divine.
The question to you and I is: Have we forgiven ourselves and are we free of deep guilt engraved on our soul? We cannot fellowship and boldly stand before the throne of God to pray and fellowship with Him while feeling guilt and condemned. If you passed this hurdle, the next question is: Are you now willing to obey God, to do His will? If we love Him, we will do His will by demonstrating obedience like Jesus did. We may not need to die on a cross, that was done and that wasn’t our particular assignment on earth.
However, if Jesus submitted to the worst of all assignments, a death on a cross, are you willing to obey to pursue the assignment He gave you? In this season, let’s remember the sacrifice of Jesus and be thankful to Him. Let’s also learn from His humility, to submit ourself and our will to His one step at a time to fulfill His agenda in this generation through our service.
God is a principled Creator who has been consistent and predictable. He kept His Words and remained faithful throughout the centuries.
His creation and the way they are organized and how life is sustained clearly shows that He put in place some physical and spiritual laws that govern the universe and beyond.
Know as many of these laws and respect them as much as you could. However, my interest today is to encourage you to be like God your Father- principled and predictable.
If you want to succeed in whatever you do, if you want to be trustworthy and credible, discover the beliefs and values that govern you. Whether you admit it or not, whether you like it or not, these beliefs and values behind the scene are dictating your attitude, mindset, behaviors, and actions.
Don’t allow your blind spots to sabotage you and what you do. Increase yourself awareness and be in charge of your beliefs and values. If necessary incorporate new ones into the mix, drop some or substitute them with better ones if they are causing trouble and sabotaging you and what matters to you the most.
By all means, don’t be a slave of your own beliefs and values. Don’t allow them to be on the driver’s seat. Don’t permit and give them a free ride to control you and your destiny…
The theme of my speech at a community empowerment event organized by Jantilla on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 in Silver Spring, MD at DoubleTree by Hilton hotel was “Leadership in the 21st C”. Last week, I wrote a follow-up article concerning one of the reasons why we Ethiopians don’t have as many leaders as we need. If you have missed the article, check it out from this link: “What is the primary reason that prevents many Ethiopians from becoming leaders?”
In that article, I shared how the way leadership is defined discourages many from taking lead in the area of their passion. In this sequel article, let me share with you another reason that prevents many Ethiopians from becoming leaders, from playing their fair share in transforming our country. In my book I quoted in the previous article- “Redefining Leadership”, which was published in 2011, I pointed out four major barriers that keep many at bay from claiming their birthright of leadership. One of the four reasons is culture. During the Q&A session, we explained how our culture doesn’t incentivize outward looking individuals and how this, in turn, discourages many from going out to take leadership initiatives to advance the cause they care about. Rather than recounting what I said at the Jantilla event concerning the impacts of culture, I thought to share with you an excerpt from the above-mentioned book to show you how many people are victims of their own culture:
“Culture is simply the collection of beliefs and values a given society or organization reflects collectively. These shared viewpoints, principles, rules, and behaviors bind stakeholders together as they live, work, and fellowship together. Culture is an environment that nurtures and shapes the various personalities of those who dwell in it. As a person with a medical background, let me give you a metaphor using culturing microorganisms in a laboratory to explain how a nurturing culture is. First of all, each microorganism requires a certain dose of feeding substances and composition of some chemical compounds. Using media such as plates, cultures are built in the lab to harvest some useful microorganisms. The final nature of a given organism is dependent upon the content of the culture it was fed.
Likewise, we are the products of those cultures (s) that fed and nurtured us. For that matter, the progress and competitiveness of organizations and nations depend upon their cultural elements. For example, Harrison & Huntington compared the economic data of Ghana and South Korea in the 1960s and found out that these two countries were having similar GNP and almost on an equal footing. However, after some decades later, South Korea became an industrial country with lots of economic success. The authors attributed this contrasting difference to South Koreans cultural values, which embraced ideals such as working hard, educating their citizens, investing, and promoting discipline, and the likes.
Whether it was the hunting-culture or today’s cyber-culture, culture shapes the personality of the individual as what he eats and drinks shapes his physical appearances. Culture plays a significant role in cultivating the individual who would have gone nowhere without the collective knowledge, identity, and guidance he has got as he grows from nobody to somebody. Throughout the years, we are fed and cultivated to become who we are today. Our thinking patterns, decision-making processes, and the way we behave and act deal with time, relate with others, interact with nature, view the future, perceive the invisible world, etc. are highly influenced by our respective cultures.
Though at times we may have counter-cultural stands and refuse to get molded all the time, the sum total of who we are at present is the product of those cultures we have been exposed. We should be grateful for the opportunity we were given to find ourselves embraced within those environments that finally helped us on our way up. We started naked, alone, and empty, and look at where we are now. We read the books, observed the arts crafted, used the system built in a given culture, and so on. Therefore, we owe our cultures. Yet, culture plays some negative roles against individual uniqueness and leadership.
If you don’t wrongly mistake me, almost every culture has some elements that discourage individual uniqueness. Some cultures, especially those individualistic, produce many unique individuals while others discourage individual uniqueness altogether. I call the latter communal cultures that are common in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South America. In these cultures, individuals are ‘forced’ to group thinking. Very few break through and become leaders of their unique destiny while the majority is led into lifetime obscurity in the name of showing loyalty for group identity and destiny.
Though communal cultures discourage individual uniqueness and leadership the most, almost all other cultures within the individualistic culture have some cultural elements that undermine individual uniqueness and leadership. There are cultural myths, taboos, and sayings that discourage people from taking leadership. Let’s look at some sayings from representative cultures.
In my country, there is a saying: “Silence is gold”. There is a similar saying in Spain: “A closed mouth catches no flies”. Without talking, there is no way one becomes unique and takes leadership initiative to share with others his message and vision. These kinds of mottos are disincentives for individuals to go out and pursue their uniqueness through leadership. There are similar myths in western cultures too such as “Don’t blow your own horn”. In the Far East, “The nail that sticks up will get pounded down”. In the Middle East, “Woe to leadership, for it buries those who possess it”.
Surrounded by the noises such as the above and many similar discouraging myths, since childhood, it is very hard for many to venture and go out to pursue their uniqueness by leading their own destiny towards fulfillment. As leading is considered making noise, self-promoting, troublemaking, we can imagine how many individuals find no incentive to claim their uniqueness, communicate that to their respective peers and communities, and stride forward to bear the fruits of leadership.
What is tricky about culture is that many of us may not even know that the way we think, the pattern of our behavior, the way we decide, and act is the result of our cultural orientation. We may not question those things that don’t promote individual uniqueness and allow us to claim our birthright of leadership and lead a distinct path towards fulfillment. These things operate at a deeper level without much awareness and control from our conscious side of the brain. That makes it a very dangerous barrier against leading an original life and pursuing a distinct path.
The frustrating thing is that the majority in a given culture defends the above discussed and similar counterproductive myths, taboos, and sayings without questioning and knowing why they were installed in the first place. This reminded me of the most popular psychological experiment of Harry Harlow’s. This experiment involved a couple of monkeys, a banana, a stair, and cold ice water spray. The banana was hung on the ceiling and the stair put under it. When one of these monkeys stepped on the stair to reach the banana, all of the monkeys were sprayed with cold ice water. After a couple of trials with the same brutal cold ice water sprays on all the monkeys, the monkeys developed group-thinking and stopped trying. Not only that, they attacked newcomers who tried to step on the stair even when there was no more cold water spray. This continued even if all the monkeys who witnessed the cold-water spray firsthand were substituted with new ones.
The insight from this experiment was that even if the initial monkeys substituted with new ones, which hadn’t been there when cold ice water was sprayed, continued to attack newcomers who tried to get the banana. What these monkeys knew was that they were beaten the first time they tried even if they didn’t know why. They also watched while other newcomers were beaten. Soon after, they joined the group-thinking and started to defend the banana from newcomers even if they didn’t have any clue why this beating started in the first place. The same with culture; people zealously defend unproductive cultural myths without knowing why they were installed in the first place. I have been beaten and watched others beaten because of similar group-thinking without fully understanding why these group-thinking were put in the first place. What I am saying here in this section is that ‘there is no more cold ice water spray in place that we should stop beating one another but rather let’s enjoy the banana’…”
Knowing how many people are blindly loyal to their respective culture, I don’t expect a lot of people to immediately break through cultural barriers to taking leadership initiatives just because they read this article. This is my hope, however, that this article sparked curiosity in you if in case you’re one of the victims of your own culture; if in case, your culture discouraged you from venturing out to take lead in the area of your passion.
Don’t misunderstand me. Yes, communal cultures like ours have so many great cultural attributes we need to keep and promote. However, our culture needs to be reformed if our desire is to come out of poverty and enjoy sustainable development, which cannot happen without raising enough leaders at all levels. Please understand that I’m not suggesting copying and pasting a foreign culture from somewhere. That doesn’t work. I’m talking about indigenous reform- reforming the existing culture by keeping what has been productive and substituting those cultural attributes that have been counterproductive without losing our Ethiopiawinet.
Countries like Ethiopia must pass through a deep change to enjoy prosperity, stability, peace, and harmony. Unfortunately, deep change is impossible without cultural reform. The culture we have had brought us this far. If we would like to go somewhere better than where we have been so far, we don’t have any other choice but to reform our culture so that it empowers us to have the right mindset, attitude, discipline, principles, and standards, which in turn enable us to transform Ethiopia once and for all and in one generation.
Remember the metaphor I shared above. A given organism is a product of the culture that fed it. Using one and the same bacteria but two different cultures, you can harvest two totally different bacteria colonies: A very deadly bacteria that can be used as a deadly biological weapon, and another benign bacteria that can be used for vaccination. The difference between the two is the culture that nurtured them.
Culture- whether individual, corporate, or societal, matters. It’s one of the most important competitive advantages. You cannot experience true and lasting transformation without reforming your culture. Period. Deep change that doesn’t entail reforming the existing culture doesn’t lead to somewhere better.
Let’s reform the culture that predisposed us to the troubles that inflicted us for decades, if not for centuries. Let’s create a culture that nurtures our people and enable us to defeat poverty, despise corruption, incentivize cleanliness, promote hard work, embrace discipline, and encourages excellence and quality. Let’s have a culture that allows our people to identify their uniqueness and venture out to take lead to serve their respective community with leadership excellence in the area of their passion. Ethiopia cannot compete regionally, continentally, and globally successfully without tapping into the full potential of her people. Sadly, no one can release his/her potential without knowing who they truly are, their unique lane and passion, and without developing some key leadership attributes. What is more? Ethiopia cannot unleash her greatness without unleashing the greatness within each citizen. Let’s create a culture that adequately produces great citizens that can transform Ethiopia into her greatness and enable her to play her unique leadership roles regionally, continentally, and beyond.
The theme of my speech at a community empowerment event organized by Jantilla on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 in Silver Spring, MD at Double Tree by Hilton hotel was “Leadership in the 21st C”. One of the many outstanding questions that were asked during the Q&A session was “What are some of the barriers that are preventing many Ethiopians from becoming leaders?”
Before answering this question heads on, I had disclaimed by admitting that we cannot ever know why each individual Ethiopian hesitates from taking lead to pursue their passion. The barriers to leadership are subjective and vary from person to person, culture to culture, generation to generation even though there are some common obstacles that deter the vast majority from stepping up to the plate and playing their fair share in tackling the challenges their respective community faces. I pointed out that one of the culprits why most people, not just Ethiopians, refrain from considering themselves as leaders to advance the cause they care about is the way leadership is defined. I confessed that this very reason led me to write and title my first book “Redefining Leadership.” The book was published in 2011 and is available on Amazon.
In this article, rather than recounting my full answer from this past Saturday, I thought sharing with you the Introduction part of the book. This is my hope that the excerpt below will paint a clear picture of why some misunderstandings have been keeping millions, if not billions, at bay from claiming their birthright of leadership.
“Leadership has a different meaning for different people. People from different cultural, historical, political, and religious backgrounds view it differently. Some people view leadership as a privilege set aside for those who have certain attributes and qualities. The existing definitions of leadership play a great role for this perception. Read a couple of dictionaries and books on leadership and you will be surprised to find out that leadership is defined in relation to certain aptitudes, and as if it is about leading others and organizations. For instance, most definitions have this pattern: ‘Leadership is the ability/skill/capacity to lead/guide/inspire/influence …others…’ As you can easily imagine, many individuals from various cultures may read these kinds of assertive phrases and think that they don’t qualify to lead because they don’t have these and other similar competencies mentioned in these definitions.
These definitions also don’t click for everyone, especially for those who are not interested in their leadership to center around doing something to, for or against others. These definitions aren’t wrong or irrelevant. Nevertheless, they define the term leadership using the most important tasks of leading without answering or offering some hints on why someone should lead in the first place. For many people, there must be a bigger reason than leading, guiding, inspiring, and influencing others before they take this kind of huge step.
Besides, these assertive words fend off many people from cultures such as mine and many in the East and South. In these cultures, making oneself vulnerable and submitting to others is more important than influencing or inspiring others. However, leadership isn’t all about leading others or submitting under another’s influence. Its definitions should embrace the very reason why someone should lead without sounding from the West or South or East cultures. Leadership was there before our cultures existed. It is an ancient ideal longer than the history of our cultures and will continue to exist as far as human civilization continues in this universe and beyond.
Leadership is also wrongly perceived as a career set aside for those who have certain attributes like oratory, charisma, courage, and confidence. Its scope as well is narrowed and considered as one of the social science fields. Not only that, leadership is related with formal authority, hierarchical positions, official titles, and governing power. These lead many people to assume that they should first meet certain requirements, show some proofs, and get acceptance or recognition from others before they lead. In worst cases, leadership has been portrayed in a negative light and perceived as a tool used by the few to dictate, exploit, manipulate, and abuse others. Because of these bad reputations, some leaders have shown, many may vote themselves out from ever leading…
Thus, leadership should be redefined, put into context, and reintroduced to reflect its true meaning and secure its rightful place among all humankind. It is our birthright as we are born to this physical world and the key to our fulfillment beyond time and space. Our being born to this world uniquely entitles us to lead this uniqueness. Yes, as we know who we are and why we are here and pursue it, we may maximize our potential, become resourceful, inspire and influence others, even may leave legacy beyond our generation. But leadership shouldn’t stop there. We should fulfill our mission in life; this is the accountability part. That is why I am saying that the existing leadership definitions overlooked these key truths and ingredients that would have changed the face of the world and inspired everyone to lead according to its passion, originality, and towards individual and collective success and fulfillment. No one should have been excluded, exempted, or left behind from leading.
In ‘Redefining Leadership’; leadership is simply defined as knowing oneself, the reason for existence, and pursuing it until fulfilled. In other words, leadership is primarily about oneself, not others nor founding and leading organizations. A true leader is a person who has discovered himself and his assignment in life and pursuing it until fulfilled. While in the process he may influence others and lead organizations towards achieving his own destiny, and contribute his share towards the collective destiny of his family, community, organization, national, and global levels…”
I would like to conclude this article by emphasizing the fact that countries like Ethiopia cannot attain sustainable economic development with a few leaders alone what so ever outstanding and great these leaders maybe in their leadership abilities. The magnitude and depth of the challenges we face requires raising as many grassroots level leaders as possible in every sector. Of course, I’m not promoting mass production of leaders for the sake of just having multitudes of leaders everywhere. Quality is very vital too. We need leaders who have the necessary competencies to lead with passion, clarity, capability, and character.
The responsibility to build the nation’s leadership capacity, nonetheless, shouldn’t be left to the federal and regional governments alone. Other stakeholders should also consider playing proactive roles in this regard. Each individual should also make some efforts to build their own leadership capacity. Remember, leadership starts with self. Self-leadership is the foundation of impactful leadership.
Wherever you may be right now, begin taking leadership initiatives in the area of your passion. Find a cause that matter to you and do something about it. Start small scale. If necessary, join the already existing organizations or start one. You may fail here and there. That shouldn’t discourage you. Learn as you lead. Don’t forget, ‘Leaders are learners’. This is high time to claim your birthright of leadership to pursue the reason of your existence so that you may have a chance to fulfill your destiny and leave an enduring legacy at the end of your journey on this planet. This is an exciting time in Ethiopia. Tap into this golden opportunity, be proactive, and play your part to transform Ethiopia in one generation. Don’t sit on the sidelines and watch what is happening from afar like other onlookers. Roll up your sleeves and be part of the solution to change the destiny of your community and country once for all!