John C. Maxwell , in his book “laws of leadership” noted that “The law of Sacrifice demands that the greater the leader, the more he must give up.”
He advised leaders to learn the art of sacrifice in order to be successful
Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King remarked in the book “My Life with Martin Luther King Jr., that “ Day and night our phone would ring, and someone would pour out a string of obscene epithets…Frequently the calls ended with a threat to kill us if we didn’t get out of town. But in spite of all the danger, the chaos of our private lives, I felt inspired, almost elated.”
Martin Luther King was arrested and jailed on several occasions while pursuing his leadership course. His house was bombed yet his vision and his influence continually improved. He ultimately sacrificed everything he had.
Successful leaders have to maintain an attitude of sacrifice in order to turn an organization around and great leaders always make the conscious effort to endear their lives to the people they are serving.
However, the question still lingers in the minds of many Ghanaians who do not yet have access to life’s basic necessities such as potable water, shelter, among others and even the middle class who have access to these basic amenities whether our President, and his current government have sacrificed enough?
One of the irrefutable laws John C. Maxwell focuses on is the Law of Legacy.
According to Maxwell, a leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.
“What do you want people to say at your funeral? If you want your leadership to have real meaning, you need to take into account the Law of Legacy. A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession. If you desire to make an impact as a leader on a future generation, then become highly intentional about your legacy. We have a choice about what legacy we will leave, and we must work and be intentional,” Maxwell noted.
Our ‘modern day’ politicians
There is no shadow of doubt that Ghana has had great leaders such as Dr Kwame Nkrumah who have chalked successes that inured to our economic benefit.
I admit that Dr Kwame Nkrumah wasn’t flawless, but at least, he left some economic legacies such as the Accra-Tema Motorway, Tema township, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, poly techniques ,secondary schools, Akosombo Dam, and Adome bridge.
In my candid opinion, no other government in Ghana has undertaken such enormous infrastructural development like Dr Nkrumah’s government.
Some of these structures remain the main infrastructure in various regions and in the whole country.
This feat which was achieved by the great leader in the past is yet to witness a drastic improvement.
I believe the secret to Dr Nkumah’s success was sacrifice and this is evident in his quest to gain independence for Ghana.
It is disheartening to note that Ghana is a far cry from what Nkrumah and other great forefathers of Ghana left and wanted it to be.
Our “modern day” politicians are unwilling to pay the price.Yes, they want to drive those luxurious vehicles. Yes, they want fat salaries, but they are unwilling to pay the price; they don’t want to sacrifice.
The high unemployment rate, poor educational systems, huge budget deficit, all prove some sort of economic stagnation.
Over the past few years, the state of the economy has worsened and Ghanaians are unhappy about the trend. Mr. President I think this is a bitter pill for you to swallow but truth is, Ghanaians are irritated by these economic challenges because that is not what they bargained for.
Your 2012 inaugural speech to Ghanaians was filled with so much optimism for the future. You vowed to fulfil promises made on your campaign trail, but it is disheartening to note that Ghana’s challenges have rather worsened two years down the lane.
A report released by the Ghana Statistical Service revealed that the unemployment rate in Ghana increased from 11. 20 percent in 2001 to 12.90 percent in 2005.
Another report by the World Bank indicated that the number of the poor increased by 0.9million in the north between 1992 and 2006.
Mr. President, I think the General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party(CPP) Ivor Greenstreet’s damning verdict on your performance was a sincere observation.
A night tour into the streets of Accra depicts homeless people who sometimes have to be at the mercy of rain and other social vices such as rape, theft and even murder.
Mr. President, when Ghanaians become fed up with these challenges, they have no other option than to criticise you and sometimes even question your competence.
Ghanaians are disappointed because their hopes of enjoying better living conditions/Better Ghana under the Mahama led administration have been dashed.
In the run-up to the 2012 elections at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ you promised that load shedding will be tackled by the end of 2013 saying about 820 megawatts will be added to the generation mix.
However the current state of Ghana’s power generation systems is a far cry from what you projected it to be.
The increasing spate of mass protests being championed by major stakeholders such as the New Patriotic Party(NPP) and other civil society groups is proof that Ghanaians are running out of patience.
Mr. President, many Ghanaians are fed up and complaining about how your government has shown little or no commitment to their plight. They have become immune to your promises because you have failed to fulfill them.
I will like to enumerate other challenges I find troubling under your government.
Why is government stifling NADMO?
I was recently wondering whether the government had extended its insensitivity and nonchalant attitude to institutions under its jurisdiction.
I wonder why your government is stifling key institutions such as the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) , among others of the requisite resources needed to carry out its activities effectively.
NADMO performs specific functions which are all aimed at ensuring that in times of emergency, the government is ready to support relief efforts.
Functions of NADMO:
- Rehabilitation services fomjnr victims of disasters
- Mobilizationof people at various levels of society to support governmental programmes
- Ensuring the preparedness of the country in the management of disasters
- Coordinating the activities of various governmental and non-governmental agencies in the management of disasters.
The organization’s mandate also includes responding to earthquakes, floods and rainstorms, and market fires, so I was peeved after I realized some NADMO branches had not yet supplied residents in some regions who had been hit by a rainstorm relief items.
How can an institution mandated to supply relief items to victims affected by natural disasters be denied the very resources it needs to deliver on its mandate.
I can recount several scenarios that exposed government’s lack of commitment to NADMO and the citizenry in general.
The Northern Regional branch of the NADMO had to virtually “beg” government and other philanthropists to supply them with boats and life jackets to save residents who were affected by the Bagre Dam water spillage.
This was very pathetic because the water bodies along the water way of the dam had increased and four people had already drowned from the incident.
The analysis I draw from a case like this is that more people will continue to drown until government supplies those relief items.
West Akyem incident
Last month, the West Akyem NADMO branch said it cannot supply relief items to residents affected by the Yaw-Tanor-Afranse rainstorm.
The West Akyem NADMO Coordinator told Citi News that the West Akyem NADMO branch is under resourced and has to hold meetings at the regional levels before resources can be provided to these affected residents.
Jomo District incident
James Benson, the NADMO Coordinator for the Jomoro District in the Western Region told Citi News that NADMO branch in the region is waiting on the National Secretariat Rescue and Research team for relief items to support victims.
“We are waiting on them for more help because there are no items to support the victims, although we have consoled them. We are waiting for some items to help alleviate the hardship of the people,” he told Citi News.
He explained their difficulties saying, “we have not sent any relief item to anybody. We have sent a report to Sekondi because right now, we have no relief items in our store.”
Mr. President, where will residents displaced by these natural disasters, lay their heads?Why can’t the government just provide the requiste resources NADMO needs to deliver on its mandate. It is a national response team.
The implication of NADMO’s slow response to these affected residents is that they may continue to sleep in the open space until government devises measures to restore their destructed homes.
Don’t neglect the Accra Psychiatric Hospital
The Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Ghana’s premier health facility for mentally challenged persons earlier served notice that patients seeking medical care may have to start paying for their medical bills since the facility is cash strapped.
Though Mental health in Ghana is expected to be free, the Chief Psychiatrist at the hospital, Dr Akwasi Osei has said the facility will be compelled to charge patients GHC 550 each if government fails to settle the debt.
Yes, it is true that government recently settled outstanding debts hanging on the shoulders of the Hospital but the Mahama government doesn’t have to wait until the hospital faces a major challenge before taking action.
Aside this challenge, the hospital has for sometime now been struggling to sustain its operations.
In August 2014 , there was an acute shortage of drugs at the same facility.
The situation was hampering efforts of medical personnel to treat cases at the facility.
What is the essence of setting up a Health Ministry and a Ministry of Finance if it can’t settle common funding issues at these health facilities.
Having mentioned all these challenges my final word to you Mr. President is to show commitment to the citizenry and assume the role of leadership.
According to John Maxwell, “the Law of the Lid – Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness”
He said :“Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. Your leadership ability always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organization” so Mr. President, please assume the role of leader. Don’t just bear the title because your leadership roles will determine your effectiveness.
I guess you were elated when Ghanaians endorsed your candidature. Probably you thought about the luxurious vehicles you will be driving, the fat salary you will receive, and the wonderful trips you will embark on but I presume it didn’t occur to you that you had also taken up a huge a task and responsibility of leading a whole nation.
Well, just a kind reminder Mr. President;Political leaders are not meant to be arm chair executives.
If you promised Ghanains a better Ghana Agenda then your government must demonstrate sincerity and the needed political will to resource institutions that it has created to ensure that things fall in place.
As the common adage goes, actions speak louder than words so Mr. President enough of the ‘I will, I will’.Ghanaians don’t want to hear that anymore.They actually want you to get to the job and become more sensitive to their needs, that is why they endorsed your candidature.
It is time to be more sensitive to the needs of the citizenry.
If you, as the President, become more committed and dedicated to really serve the country then all hands on deck we can make Ghana the better country that we all want it to be.
As Nkrumah said :“Revolutions are brought by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought”. It is time to think as a “man of action and act as a man of thought”, Mr. President.
I hope I won’t be tagged as a cynic.