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Does ‘Life-Bound’ Leadership Exist? How to Avoid It?

In July 2015, the US President Mr. Barack Obama made an historical visit to Kenya and Ethiopia. By coincidence his visit came when Burundi and South Sudan were engulfed in a horrific tug of war. During his address to African Union at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, the US president remarked:

“….Africa’s democratic progress is also at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end…..  The point is, I don't understand why people want to stay so long. Especially when they’ve got a lot of money. When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife… the people of Africa ensure that their leaders abide by term limits and their constitutions. Nobody should be president for life....”

Scholars in management and psychology have come up with different models and theories to explain leadership. There exist numerous leadership’s styles that can be applied depending on situational basis. In essence, the aspect of leadership could be lifeless. The danger is when the incumbents attach their personality to the positions of power.

But is it a concern for political positions only? What about leadership in religious and communal circles.  What also happens when electorates get it wrong? Does also the expiry of term limits expire could we have extensions especially for the pretty well performing executives?

Is this what Mr. Obama referred to a failure to model others when in power? “…..Am the only person that can hold this nation together, if that is true that leader has failed to truly build that nation.”

The danger is the more you become comfortable at a given level of position you destroy your legacy. You become complacent! The public good is overridden by personal interests. You become puppet to magnet of power.

One may wonder why does developing and least developing countries seem to be prone to timeless presidency. It’s all about lack of observance to rule of law. Mr. Obama urged the people of Africa to ensure that their leaders abide by term limits and their constitutions....

(to be continued...)

Last modified on Saturday, 07 November 2015 10:36
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