Friday, October 2, 2015

Leading For Change

“From today, begin to prepare yourself as if you are going to be President in 2019.”  This was the challenge by International Visitor Leadership (IVLP) alumnus Olarenwajo Osho to his audience while speaking at the IVLP monthly mentoring series at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.

Speaking on the theme of “Leadership and Civic Participation in Democracy,” Osho noted that “true leadership starts with the ability to lead yourself.”  He defined self-leadership as “the act or activity of leading, inspiring, or guiding oneself to perform and engage in achieving a goal,” adding that this is the only realm of leadership in which one has total control.

He encouraged his audience to do a self-study, to know themselves and manage their weaknesses, and to understand their strengths and that of those around them in order to better lead.  “Let us stop waiting for the political parties and the government to lead the change we need.  Let us lead ourselves to make the change happen,” Osho said.

In his presentation, Kingsley Bangwell, also an IVLP alumnus explained that it is important for youth to participate in a democracy because government policies will have an impact on them positively or negatively.  He said participation starts with passion and anger about what is wrong and then taking action to bring positive change.  It also does not require a lot of money or holding political office but just solving a problem in the community.

Bangwell concluded with a challenge to the audience to embark on a 12-month participation project to do something or elevate whatever they are already doing as their own commitment to a better Nigeria.

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