Friday, April 27, 2007

TRUE LEADERSHIP- The Donald Duke/Tinapa Experience

The subject of Leadership is a widely discussed one, but the truth is that a lot still needs to be said about it. The fact still remains that with the increase in Leadership thoughts and lessons, the world is still in serious crisis which is traceable to the ineffectiveness of world leaders. This has prompted my developing this series on my blog where my thoughts can be expressed. It is a unique one in the sense that I will use practical examples of people who have been exemplary leaders in their fields, communities, countries, and in the world at large.
A little on the subject of LEADERSHIP:

“Leadership” has been given different meanings by different people at different times. A few are listed below, although the list is endless.

Leadership is the ability to obtain followers – James C. Georges, ParTraining Corporation

Leadership is Influence – John C. Maxwell

My definition of a leader . . . is a man who can persuade people to do what they don't want to do, or do what they're too lazy to do, and like it- Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972, Thirty-third President of the United States, Miller, More Plan Speaking
Leadership occurs when one person induces others to work towards some predetermined objectives - Massie

Leadership is the ability of a superior to influence the behaviour of a subordinate or group and persuade them to follow a particular course of action - Chester Bernard

There are other thoughts that have been expressed by various people too, let me take an excerpt from Chris Clarke-Epstein, in his book, 78 Questions Every Leader Should Ask & Answer -
· “Leadership takes on different meanings depending on the person who leads and the people being led. On any given day, leadership can mean teaching, coaching, assigning, cheerleading, counseling, guiding, correcting, protecting, explaining, and observing. Leadership asks you to fill out forms, chair meetings, hold hands, explain decisions, think about the future, and resolve conflict. None of these actions or tasks will happen discretely; usually they’ll happen all at once. If you thought becoming the boss would give you more control of your time and tasks think again. Like the new entrepreneur, you’ll discover that you have less control over your daily activities as you work to help and support the people you lead”

· “Leadership is more than a skill set. Real leadership is a combination of well-honed skills combined with an open and gracious spirit. How you feel about being a leader will always influence how you act as a leader. People who believe that leadership is their right, who believe that their title demands the respect of others, or who believe that leaders should always have the final say are carrying feelings about leadership that will constantly get in the way of their effectiveness as a leader”.- Chris Clarke-Epstein (78 Questions Every Leader Should Ask & Answer)

A leader I respect, Bill Clinton also said:
“I believe the job of a president (Leader) is to understand and explain the time in which he serves, to set forth a vision of where we need to go and a strategy of how to get there, and then to pursue it with all his mind and heart”

Let’s now take a look at my leadership model for today Mr. Donald Duke
(The Donald Duke/TINAPA Experience)
My leadership torch today focuses on the man behind the TINAPA Project, Donald Duke. For those who do not know what TINAPA is (most especially on the African Continent), you probably have been on vacation in Mars! But I’ll try bringing you to the knowledge of it.
When you think of TINAPA, think of a Business/Leisure Paradise, a place you want to be.
Tinapa is Africa’s Premier Business Resort & Free Zone; it’s a new trading hub of West Africa. It has over 80,000m2 of gross lettable area for retail and wholesale shopping, restaurants, leisure land, a hotel, an eight-screen digital cinema, a casino, a movie studio and a lot of other world class infrastructure. It will satisfy over 300million consumers.

Tinapa is located on the Calabar Rivers in the rubber plantations of Adiagbo Community and contiguous to Calabar Free Trade Zone (NB: Calabar is the capital city of Cross Rivers, one of the states on the south coast of Nigeria).

A little more about Tinapa; the resort complex will provide –
International Standard wholesale emporiums, integrated shopping complexes and product distribution elements supported by business tourism.

Leisure and Entertainment facilities; International movie studio and 8 movie theatres, world class restaurants and food courts, games arcade, water-world theme park, children’s play area, fisherman’s village, bowling alley, casino, studio, amphi theaters.

300 room international standard hotel

A fast track monorail transportation from Tinapa to the airport in about 15mins making four (4) stops within Tinapa.

Artificial lake created by dredging the Calabar River;

Tinapa which was declared open on the 2nd of April 2007 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, offers outstanding opportunities for investors (you can contact me for more investment details). It promises a high economic growth and prosperity for her people and for Nigeria.

All these explanations are there just for you to have an idea of what Tinapa is, an even more to appreciate the visionary and courageous effort of Mr. Donald Duke, my leadership icon for this week, the executive Governor of Cross Rivers State, and the brain behind it all.
In a world and at a time where true and effective leadership is lacking and hard to find, it is without doubt /fear that I make bold to say that there are still few individuals who understand the concept of TRUE LEADERSHIP. Many so-called leaders see leader ship as:
an opportunity to be served instead of an opportunity to serve,

an opportunity to gather resources and be made rich rather than an opportunity to invest in the lives of the entire populace of followers and help the get to the state of self-actualization,

an opportunity to victimize rather than an opportunity to mend broken relationships,

an opportunity to make a name rather than an opportunity to help others become relevant….

The list is actually endless and varying as much as human beings vary in perception. A whole lot of people get it all wrong. Leadership is a privilege and not a right! Perhaps if we understand that, we will help make the world a better place in our respective positions as leaders.

Mr. Donald Duke has showed the world that “everything good can come out of ‘Jerusalem’, but in this case NIGERIA”. His exemplary life and leadership style has transformed Cross Rivers state and the life of her citizens. Mr. Donald Duke has showed the difference between a visionary leader and one who is just there to acquire wealth. His concern for his people and their welfare, the image of the country, and his concern about his protecting his own name have helped him achieve these feats. Like the Holy Book (The Bible) says, “A good name is better than riches…” so Donald Duke has done. His name will forever be recorded in history as one of the few men who stood for ‘Real Service to Humanity” when in a position of authority. If you doubt me, then visit the capital city of Calabar, and you’ll find the cleanest city in Nigeria, maybe Africa!

Those who fail in leadership are:
those who never had a vision for leadership
those who had a vision but either lost it along the way or neglected it
those who have a wrong perspective of leadership

Perhaps the most important lesson to be learnt from this is that ‘leadership is a privilege and an opportunity to serve’. Where this is not realized, then there is a crisis.

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