Monday, May 22, 2017

The Secrets of Leadership.

The secrets of leadership.
You know, most people want to be leaders, but very few are really leaders. Leadership is a very simple phenomenon, but humans make it complex. These principles I am going to share with you here have worked, and they will work anywhere. I was fortunate to have been a leader from primary school until after my college days. In all the groups I have led, I never experienced a revolt or loss of membership, and most of those under me prospered. Therefore, I will share these principles that worked in Cameroon and in Atlanta Georgia. There are at least 4 major principles every leader should master. The Jethro Principle, Inner Circle Principle, Virtue Principle and the Commission Principle.
Sometimes I see pastors with 200 members who are scared that someone would take over their church. Hahahahaha!!! I knew a woman who wanted to start a Nonprofit Organization, but she was sacred and suspicious of everyone she wanted to work with. She felt that they wanted to snatch her ministry away. Something that usually makes me laugh is how sometimes I see a school going for a field trip with 25 kids, and they have 5-10 chaperons. We went with 450-600 kids at least, and there was no chaperon. We just assigned leaders and sub leaders and subleaders like it is in the military. We merely used the military model of leadership in the upkeep. We never had a single incident or a single scandal.
 I have held different positions from head boy, labor prefect, interim pastor, youth leader, deacon, member of the education board, assistant area supervisor (six provinces) and assistant national university coordinator of 6 universities. In each case, I was the youngest who ever held that position. I had thousands at times under my supervision. The mission thought that I was too young to hold those positions, so they were afraid I would become too powerful and break the mission, but deep within me, I was a servant and not a boss to dominate my fellow humans. Each time they replaced me with a myrmidon. I ended up proving them wrong. My loyalty unto man is like unto God, and I have also always had some loyal coleaders. Loyalty begets loyalty.
The first thing to do as a leader is to have a clearly defined goal based on your vision. Under his “Brotherhood of Man”, Alexander the great embarked on conquering Europe. He wanted the whole of Europe to be one. A leader should be known for something. Mahatma Gandhi was known for Satyagraha and the freedom of Indians. MLK Jr. was known for nonviolence and equality. If you want to be a successful leader, you should come out with a clear cut vision that is bigger than you or anyone in the group. After you have a vision, then you set goals to expand that vision.  
The first goal would be to form a team of diehards who would help you to expand the vision in what we call the inner Circle principle. One thing I instilled in all my leaders was honesty and transparency. When someone accused another person, I told them to keep their report and bring it when the other person was present. I did not hear an accusation about anyone behind their backs. That eliminated gossips by 75%. Sometimes their accusers will say that they don’t want to say it in front of them, so I will say, “Then we have no case.” Jesus asked, “What is my sin?” It sometimes baffles me how some leaders gossip their subordinates, and they expect cohesion. I never held secret meetings behind others’ backs. If you did not give your point to me during the meeting, I did not entertain it after the meeting. I will ask you to keep it and bring it later. I never touched the money of any of my groups.
You have to know your leaders in what is known as the virtue principle. When I began leading a church-Full Gospel Mission Bambui, I started by visiting all the leaders in their homes. I wanted to create trust, so I created possibilities for them to trust and be loyal from the way I showed interest in their personal lives. I wanted to make them better. I knew what each of them was lacking, so I tried to solve that to the best of my capabilities. I was a servant and not a boss. People cannot be managed as things and animals; people are social beings, so they respond to the way society treats them.
The main leader needed a latrine, so I took some of my unbelieving friends, and we went and dug a latrine for him. I took some of the unbelieving students, and we went and cleared the road leading from the 3 Corners Bambui to Full Gospel Mission. It made the Fon (king) to invite me to the palace for the good work. For the first time, the Fon authorized the preaching of the gospel. My leaders who were also leaders in the palace became very popular.
While a youth coordinator, I assisted my leaders in obtaining tuition, feeding and rents help. Those who were about to fail, we looked for academic help. I brought in people who could work academically with them. I sent them to see some professors to help them. 
Something I see nowadays which is one of the biggest weaknesses in many leaders or their brand of leadership is the absence of leadership investment. They do not invest their time into the lives of their leaders. I asked a pastor one day about a leader and what the leader did, and he told me that he will have to ask him. If you have student leaders, you find out how they pay their tuition, how they earn their living, and if they are doing well in school. Such investments will be rewarded with loyalty and ultimate expansion to the vision.
I created opportunities for my leaders to talk to girls and boys they liked to see their chances of getting married. We had the highest rate of marriages and less breakups amongst all the groups around at the time. We had less scandals, no sexual assault or rape in none of our conventions, retreats or campaigns or even during my entire tenure. The vision cannot be developed out of a vacuum because the leaders do not live in a social vacuum. They live in a real world with real problems that need to be solved. One of those problems is relationship. I always taught my group members to ask anyone out they liked. Those who have been asked out should turn them down with kindness, if they did not like the askers. It is not a sin or crime to ask someone out.
The thing that is very empty nowadays is how people work together, but they do not talk love, yet they go and spend hours on the internet seeking for love that would have been picked up right there in their own close circle. If someone was abusing their privilege of repeatedly asking someone out who did not like him/her, I advised the person to turn them down and then tell them that they would bring it to the attention of the leaders.  
You do that be applying the Jethro Principle. Many leaders burn themselves out because they fail to apply this principle. The Jethro principle is forming leaders of leaders of leaders and of leaders. Leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of  fifty, leaders of twenty, leaders of  ten, leaders of five and leaders of two. I did this during my time as a youth coordinator.  When the youth had retreats of six hundred young people, we formed leaders at all levels. That is why during my tenure, there was no rebellion or scandal unlike the previous and succeeding administrations before and after me respectively. There was none because they already shared the power. Others worried for me, but I did not worry for myself. It explains why the leaders before and after me had problems. Even a stranger come to any of our meetings and speak on the first day. I remember a young girl who came one time and told us that she had a song. I gave her the floor to sing. The next Sunday, she came with 6 of her friends. A young man came to the meeting for the first time, and he told me that he had a word. I  allowed him to speak. He ended up becoming one of our leaders. Openness begets freshness, and freshness brings growth.
As a leader, I knew the names of my inner circle. I had their backs. They did not doubt it; they saw it whenever someone brought an accusation against them. I delegated Powers to them. When they faltered, I rebuked them too openly. I remember one of my leaders who made some young people to stay up all night because they were caught outside after their bed time during a convention. When I was told, I called an immediate meeting, and told him in front of all the other leaders that it was wrong and unacceptable. I gave them permission to call me to order. Some of them did it in a brutal way that people might think it was disrespectful, but I always told them that I gave him the permission to do so because I believe that we are different, even in the way we speak and write.  Jesus showed that truth does not need to be sugarcoated, no matter how offensive it is. When he was brought before the high priest to defend himself, a soldier who did not like his answer smote him on the cheek. Jesus then said to him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?” If what the defendant says is false, you prove the contrary, but if they are saying the right thing, you leave it alone. 
 One time we were arguing with a young woman who thought that my writing was flawed with grammatical errors, so we decided to send her paragraph and mine to a third party who said that although my sentences were awkward, they had no grammatical mistakes. Instead, he pointed mistakes in hers. Michael Johnson ran awkwardly, but that did not make him a bad runner. Rick Barry threw free-throws in awkward manner, yet he still scored. We have to accept our diversity, even in our leadership.
Surprisingly, some leaders want to do everything. If you are a leader who wants great and lasting impact, you should use the Jethro principle of delegating powers to subalterns.
The next thing you do is the commission principle. This is a principle that Jesus used to great effect. You should assign responsibilities by what people are good at. I did not have music skills, but we had one of the best youth choirs in Yaoundé in those days. I know people who were well musically gifted like Samson Baron, Petit Joe, Jacob Mandema, Lily Kwenga, Lucie Kemoe, Renee Paule, Ernestine Lobe and many others. I will say, Samson, I want you to select the best, and the best he selected. Sometimes, people would askef me to override his decisions, but I always turned that down. When you delegate powers, show the delegate that you trust them. What commissioning people does is that it makes them masters of their fields and creates in them a sense of ownership of the vision. One strategy we used in growing our membership was for all members to bring in new members. Whenever we went to a convention, there was a rule that no two people from the same local chapter could sit together. People must sit with new people they have never met until they left.
I changed the culture in the university where speakers came from the outside. The students themselves became the speakers. That made many of them to grow and assume responsibilities. I invited outsiders to serve as judges, but the Wednesday teachings were done by the students. The same people who had been under previous leaderships, and they were never given the opportunities. They brought their own invitees who ended up staying. That is leadership by commission!
A leader must be resolute. One day we had an evening campaign meeting at 6 Pm. We were about 5 miles away from the campaign grounds. At 4:30 P.M, it began to rain heavily. I assembled everyone to get ready because we had to leave, but it continued to rain. My assistant suggested that we should cancel the meeting for that evening. I explained to him that he reminded me of Jannes and Jambres. I asked him what Moses did with the Red Sea. What did Jesus do with the storm? I asked him again. In each question, he gave the right answer. Then I asked him if God was different. I knew that God was bigger than the weather; he could stop the rain at any time. I have seen Him do great miracles, so I was counting on God doing it again. I ordered everyone to enter into the rain. Then I prayed. After I prayed, we began to run, and the rain immediately ceased. By the time we reached the campaign grounds, our wet bodies were now dried. That incident increased the faith of many and encouraged many to count on God. My vision has always been for people to trust God, so this was a fulfillment.

Until then, a good leader is a servant of the people.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

I will edit it later.  

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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