The presidency is the highest office for any economic entity public or
private, the Zambian Enterprise notwithstanding. And there are things the Chief Executive of an enterprise ought not to be seen doing or saying and or even purporting.
One of the beauties of graduate business school is the emphasis it places on “Strategic Leadership” or “Management”. Executive training requires the said trainee to understand certain fundamentals that regular Joe on the street may take for granted but subconsciously expects from any one a position of leadership.
I have said it before and I will say it a million times … Africa’s biggest problem is not a lack of brains, it is not a lack of resources, and it is not a lack of money even but a lack of leadership.
Leadership is not about occupying an office, any one can do that. Leadership is not a matter of being appointed, elected or enthroned even, any one can be appointed, elected and or enthroned.
Ed Louis Cole (one of my mentors) used to say, “… to be a male is matter of birth, to be a man is a matter of choice.” As manhood is to understanding the responsibilities that come with being male, so is leadership to fundamentals expected of one in that office, I must add …
Leadership is, therefore, the practicing of those fundamentals that make others follow, leadership is the magic that assents rational, ideological, philosophical, logical, and intuitive people want to solidly stand behind a leader not because of manipulative tactics or fear of retribution but because his/her private value system resonates with theirs.
As leaders, there things we ought not to be seen doing or saying and or even purporting. Somebody needs to just say it, and I am just going to … but before I say it, I am going to ask every rational, ideological, philosophical, logical, and intuitive Zambian to watch the movie clip below …Now that you have seen the clip, the question is, “did the President of the Republic of Zambia make you feel conceited and or proud knowing the entire world watched him ranting in that manner in front of a camera?
If intellectual honest is the premise on which you have built your life, your answer shouldn’t be different from mine. Now, the truth is not always palatable but it is acts such as these displayed in the video above that have led to dictatorship, bullish intimidation, manipulation and thuggery of the highest order diametrical to snuggery throughout history.
Let no one misunderstand me, I am not saying the President of the Republic of Zambia is dictatorial, bullish, manipulative and a thug. I am saying such portrayed behavior if not checked leads to those things.
Our preamble here at the Zambian Chronicle is “Because Zambia Is Greater Than Any Single One Of Us …” We did not choose those words cheaply neither did we envision them to be meaningless.
Zambia is too important to all of us, and the highest office in the land should not be cheapened by certain behavior either; especially in this 21st century epoch where the entire world can watch such clownery by one simple click.
Now the President might have his own rational and or partisan reasons for such behavior, but the last time I checked, he won the elections in September. Now is not the time for more campaign slogans, now is the time to govern …
The economy is in shambles, inflation is on the rise, commodity prices are falling, accusations of corruption have resurfaced, our healthcare is non-existent, our pupils have not textbooks, unemployment is on the rise, the Kwacha is depreciating, mines are closing, crops are failing, starvation is cropping in, schools are failing, potholes are getting bigger, the number of street children is increasing, hopelessness is on the increase, government revenues are dwindling, hospitals have no medicines and equipment, teachers have no teaching materials, police departments have no adequate gear, fire stations have no fire engines, our nation has no national airline, cholera is killing us en masse, schools have no desks let alone internet, the list is endless …
The challenges ahead of us are insurmountable and the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise deserve better, this is time for leadership. If you and your team can’t handle that, please do the people a favor … retire on moral grounds, Mr. President. But if you want to continue here is a list of things you ought not to be seen doing or saying and or even purporting.
You ought not to be seen to be angry openly
Openly displaying anger by “blowing off steam” was once considered a healthy form of . Because it is believed to be unhealthy to keep anger bottled up inside, “blowing up” was considered a normal way to handle anger. However the evidence firmly suggests that such blow-ups do not and instead cause for everyone involved.
The people at whom the anger is directed become devastated in its wake while the person who initiated the attack is left with damaged relationships and feelings of shame. People who cannot tolerate feelings of helplessness react with anger. Combined with the adrenaline that accompanies the rush of emotion, there is an illusion of being more in control of the situation.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Getting angry lets people avoid having to deal with their true feelings of shame or anxiety. This reaction does not make the problem go away, and the anger just continues to spiral out of control until it manifests itself in the form of angry outbursts and broken relationships.
Some people with poor anger management skills believe they have the right to vent their frustrations on others verbally, physically, or by breaking things. Angry outbursts do not alleviate the feeling of being threatened, the fear, or the sense of betrayal that hides underneath the anger. Angry people tend to block vulnerable feelings of hurt, sadness, guilt and vulnerability. Anger is a substitute emotion for these other emotions that are kept buried.
A person who believes they have a right to vent anger on others never quite grows up emotionally. They remain stuck in a child-like reactive state when they feel frustrated. Instead of responding with positive anger management methods, they respond with temper tantrums, screaming, name calling, and other immature behaviors that increase anger by causing the body to produce even more adrenaline.
Screaming may give a temporary relief from anger, but it never solves problems. Yelling as a habit breaks down natural inhibitions that most people have for not acting out their harmful impulses. Pathways are created in the that make it easier for the pattern to be repeated. Gradually this habit encroaches upon every aspect of life.
Hostility breeds hostility, and open expressions of hostility harm not only everyone in the path of the rage, but also the person who has failed to attain a level of maturity capable of using effective anger management skills. For more read: Mike Hirn’s article on Anger Management Strategies: Negative Effects of Poor Anger Management Skills.
In western democracies, angry leaders lose their executive positions with the greatest of ease because anger is seen as a sign of poor leadership abilities. Hillary Clinton started losing her bid for the presidency when the media started portraying her and her husband as being angry at Obama’s favorability and the rest is history.
You ought not be saying “me, my and I”
Most psychologists refer to the “me, my and I” syndrome as egocentric in nature. It is a fight for territory and or what is perceived to be territorial. Unfortunately, this behavior is also considered childish because children in their developmental stages of life all the way to adolescence are territorial in nature.
They identify themselves only with their environment; my parents, my brother this, my sister that, my aunt over there … they have nothing of their own yet but they want to possess something they believe gives them identity greater than self.
If they don’t feel like they belong, they move into the rejection-control mode thus being self-consciousness making it the most important predicting mechanism for egocentrism. As we grow up, it is no longer about us, but those around us. We start doing things no just because we feel good ourselves but because they make others happy.
We start leaving our comfort zone for the greater good of society and not just for ourselves but for our children, our company, our community, our church, nation, etc. We see public service as a noble thing to help the underprivileged, to help those in social classes lower than ourselves not because of us but because of them.
Leadership requires us to answer the call for maturity; it requires us to understand interests that include interpersonal perception, attraction and human socialization. When you become the Chief Executive of the Zambian Enterprise, it is no longer about your party alone, you move beyond that and embrace every one including your critics from other parties and or ultra-vires entities.
It is time to pull together as a nation until the next electioneering season, please Mr. President!!! Zambia is greater than any single one of us … it is not about you or your party, it all about Zambia. Talk more about Zambia, Zambia, and Zambia because when Zambia is doing well, we all live long and prosper …
You ought not to be seen as agitated publicly
Agitation is a sign of insecurity, it is designed to arouse the worst of us preparing us for what I call the Triple F Syndrome … “Fight, Freeze or Flight Syndrome”. Even though life is really a fight, a leader as a fighter takes on only those fights that are good for the collective.
Otherwise, agitation would lead to the next two, freeze or flight. In case of freezing, because a leader by nature has to show resilience and live above reproach, his subordinates freeze when they notice agitation leading to incapacity.
The resultant is no one does anything because they fear for themselves in case their actions are not pleasing to the leader. That incapacity is bad for the leader as well because it makes his/her work over time as no one uses initiative to do what they believe would be in the best interest of society, again for the common good.
As for flight, all sober minded individuals tend to shun your leadership, they tend to move or hibernate because they are not programmed to be zombies, they have to use their gray matter but because they are not sure what your reaction to their initiatives would be, they choose to flee thus the enormous brain drain.
When you become Commander-in-Chief, as a civilian leader of free citizens you are empowered with the ability to wage wars not with your citizens but enemies without any thing otherwise is easily seen as public agitation bad for the general public.
As Commander-in-Chief, your number one job is to keep the peace within, live about trivialities and encourage tolerance of all divergent views not just views that resonate with your but all views. You have to realize that when others are constructively criticizing you, most times there is behavioral change good for you as well.
Leadership understands that there is no smoke without fire but it refuses to be choked with the smoke before getting to the fire. Public agitation enflames the fire, it does not distinguish it … the office of the President of the Republic of Zambia is too important to be choked with the smoke before getting to the fire …
I have just realized that I am running into the fourth page and it is usually my belief that a normal Zambian Chronicle memo “ought to be” at least three pages. So, I will end here for now but next week, I will excogitate on the remaining five “ought nots”, Lord willing as in – RB Ought Not … (Part 2). The remaining five “Ought Nots” are listed here below …
You ought not purport you have absolute power
You ought not purport you can determine any one’s destiny
You ought not to be mentioning your supposed enemy publicly
You ought not to be seen losing it, pretend you are always in control
You ought not to be surrounded by those who pander to the worst of your fears
I love you Mr. President, I want you to succeed … we have three more years before the next elections and I wish you God’s Speed. You are the only president we have right now and a lot anchors on your shoulders.
I know I used a lot of first person synonyms in this memo because I wanted you to know I am responsible for every word written in it. I don’t expect any retaliation on any of my wonderful staff here at the Zambian Chronicle.
If you want to hit any one, come for me directly … I know I sometimes use some harsh realities but that comes with the territory, Mr. President – you know better. Take these “Ought Nots” with a grain of salt, I can’t help it … it’s in my nature to bite; I am carnivores …
Some people are wise and able to handle open criticism while others are otherwise, I would like to trust you are in the “wise” category and not “otherwise”. I believe you can show that RB leadership we once knew during your hay days; otherwise your last performance was a horrible failure not only for you but for the whole Zambian Enterprise.
I would also like to give you the benefit of a doubt that this was just one of
those bad days for you. We all have such … but you are only allowed one such bad day once a year; remember that …
Your success as President of the Republic of Zambia is ours too; remember that as well… Life is a serious enterprise. Live Long & Prosper; that is this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle.
Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.
CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle
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