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Now, in different power centres across the nation, critical discussions and mobilization are all centred on who the next leaders of Nigeria must be this 2015. Meetings, strategy sessions, primitive diabolic and spiritual incursions, and operations in stratagem are presently on-going in this regard. What is ahead is largely unknown. But what is clear to all is that BUSINESS AS USUAL is DYING FAST! Here, I will remain the voice of the very conscience of our next leaders and their observers, otherwise called the people. My singular goal is to inspire responsibility.

Probably the most critical thought for our next leaders is the truth that though we appear to be relatively at peace, we are actually engaged in a subtle but deadly war. They must know that beyond bombs in the North East and kidnappings in the South East and South South, we are in a war against a great many of the norms we have allowed to pass for too long. We are at war against the limitations posed by infrastructural deficiencies and retrogressive policies. We are at war with selfishness and greed. We are at war with our thinking. We are at war with our history. We are at war with our ethnic and religious diversity. We are at war with ourselves. Actually, the people are angry!

Our next leaders must work with the correct assumption that the people are angry; and are getting angrier by the day. Our wives, husbands, children, friends, employees and employers, colleagues and associates are those who daily soak the impact of our anger; not necessarily the custodians of the system that incubates the frustration. Believe it; this even gets the people more angry as they behold their scripted individual and collective helplessness that allows them to merely talk about the inventors of their pain, while they attack their loved ones with the frustration. Our next leaders must understand the language of nature and history that very soon…gradually…the people will take the anger to where it foundationally belongs, if the character and genius does not begin to emerge from the custodians of power.

Our next leaders must understand that no person is and no people are designed by nature to perpetually endure the torture of ignorance, hardship and pain. Power dynamics dictates that ignorance, hardship and pain have a natural lifespan; and that each human soul must own enough power to experience the attention, resource and advancement his individuality deserves. The science has to be that while hardship and pain breeds’ frustration; ignorance, left unguarded and not emancipated, possess incredible potential to organize itself in time and through wild, angry and negative reactions, ignorance will evolve into a formidable adversary. When mass ignorance is angry and becomes an adversary, it is usually an unpleasant experience for power centres anywhere.

Power centres must accept that the Nigerian masses are terribly ignorant; and that this ignorance has been manipulated for over 50years, but can only be manipulated for so long. The people are manipulated to use their ignorance to pretend that their votes lead to change, when in truth and at best, the votes are only a critical tool to move power from bad leaders to worse leaders or from worse leaders to bad leaders. Nigerians rarely make choices between good and bad; and at this point in time, the nation lacks the character to make the choice between good and better or between better and best. Fundamentally, the nation is rarely presented with such options. It’s only a matter of time, one day, Nigeria’s greatest problem, the mass ignorance of the people, will be solved by nature through consciousness. This consciousness will not come from the walls of academics. No! it will come from the continuous and consistent stings of pain and frustration—an education of the human soulical content that comes from a compelling need to take a new and unpopular look at his environment, recognize the worst kind of hardship and pain he can experience in it, ask if other options exist about how this pain and hardship can be greeted outside the limits of fear and opaqueness, commit to the journey of finding those options, then finding the options and embracing them as a matter of supreme urgency. It’s called power to the people; and this power is purposeful and best when it is willingly given to the people through meaningful and manageable welfare economic structures and systems in a credible and working democracy. With this, it breeds genuine mass followership. But this power is dreadful, lethal, deadly and disastrous when it is denied the people through fear, oppression, hardship and pain. Part of the wisdom for our next leaders is for them to accept that even if the lustful desire of a power centre is to retain power, power dynamics still dictate that the best and most enduring way to retain power is to give power.

The big lesson for our next leaders is the truth that they must supply the requirements that the people seek or become the victims of nature—it is not a curse, it is a dictate of power. Power dynamics demands it: It states that as long as power is not faithfully used to serve and protect the welfare and security of the people and to drive peace and stability, power will shift to another custodian as a deliberate movement in the direction of progress and to give another power-host a chance to dignify or shame himself or herself. Power dynamics dictates so.

Truth be told, what Africans wanted before independence, is what they still want now in 2015. After many years of independence, their conditions have not changed; as a matter of fact, they are now worse. But the lives of their leaders, politicians, social critics and even their nationalist and freedom fighters are better; they are more famous, they have more money, bigger investments and top reputation capital earned at the expense of the people’s social and economic peace. More than territorial integrity, the people wanted equal opportunities, adequate infrastructure that supports the creative expression and freedom their individuality deserves. With independence achieved, African nations actually began a long and strange march towards growth and development that made development look so complex and mysterious—a strange march that has taken more than fifty years in the wilderness of mismanagement, corruption and poverty and has left a generation dead and unfulfilled—without having seen the Promised Land—a promised land of quality education, rapid infrastructural development, and mass employment for its citizens. This is the complex history that lies at the base of the civil wars, wide spread poverty and disease that has ravaged the continent. But if we think in this manner about the people of 50years ago, we must think differently about the people of 2015 and the responsibility they must accept. Nigeria’s next leaders must know this and understand that these are the critical goals to defend in office.

The THREE (3) CRITICAL GOALS for the next leaders has to be: (1) 24-hour Power Supply (2) Security of Life and Property everywhere, evidenced critically in the defeat of Boko Haram and (3) Alleviation of CORRUPTION through TECHNOLOGY. However, while campaigns from some of the unpopular political parties are more practical, measurable and justifiable; in the various campaign speeches from both PDP and APC especially, we have heard more rhetoric and hot air than at any other time in our political history. We hear BIG TALKS with zero discussion of the “HOW” to the PROMISES being made. Our next leaders must accept that PROMISES that will NOT SHOW the “HOW”, is making a HIGHLY AUDACIOUS MOVE to INSULT the INTELLIGENCE of the people. In critical and pressurised times such as this, our leaders and aspiring leaders need to know that the people are tired of mere talk…we need the science to these promises…the HOW!


Yet, from a wider spectrum, I am more disturbed by the shallow thinking of most of our elites and change agents. Politicians are only able to display such affront of making promises without a communication of the “HOW”, only because they know it’s enough for the head and hearts of the people. Conscious minds everywhere must demand that the “HOWs” should come with each promise on the manifestos. It is a noble demand. No candidate, whether of PDP or APC or SDP, UPN or any other, should actually allow ANY VOTER DEMAND for the HOWs. It is the moral duty of the candidate and the moral right of the people to know the HOWs to every promise. It is actually service and justice to all. I consider it an INSULT for ANY CANDIDATE to expect ANY NIGERIAN to CAST a VOTE based on ZERO-TALK about the HOWs. CHANGE is a SCIENCE, not a WISH! CHANGE is METHODICAL. The HOWs of the PROMISES are as CRITICAL as the CHANGE. No conscious Nigerian should understand why he or she should use PURCHASING POWER to BUY what is NOT UNDERSTOOD. We should rather NOT BUY. We should know ALL the BRANDS (14 Political Parties) that the market (INEC) has made available, know the BRAND that can deliver the best customer experience and INVEST our PURCHASING POWER (VOTES) in that direction.

We should and must ONLY vote according to our conscience not through sentiments or uninformed bias. It is common sense; and anything outside this is no longer the conscience. Conscience cannot communicate truth and meaning without understanding. The pride of a conscious soul is to say that candidates on all sides must lead the conversations about the HOWs if there is a serious interest in my vote. This resolve is one of the proof of my education. Our conscience cannot make a well informed choice without first hearing out ALL candidates, assessing them based on the standards of PROMISES and HOWs, and then voting based on who can lead us in the manner that will deliver the value. Change is only experienced when conscious and large-hearted souls accept the responsibility, burden and contribution to leadership. Our vote should be a formidable contribution.

It comes back to our soulical contents. Our next leaders must know that they must be bold and be proud to think, behave, relate, or initiate unusually—the original way—with clear impact on policy formulation and legislation. Our next leaders must find the empathetic sense, humility, strength and courage to drive this. I remind our next leaders of the ideal that, against all odds, by the force of nature, seasons go, seasons come, and the content of history is determined by the choices of mortals who accept responsibility for the outcomes they prefer. This Spirit of Change will inevitably sweep across most parts of Nigeria, ushering a new school of leaders. I assure our next leaders that the process will prove slow but it will be inevitable. Business as usual is dead…don’t be the last to know. Rather, accept that the glorious office of those who changed Nigeria is still vacant and available for today’s people to work to occupy. The future is waiting to put the names of such uncommon leaders in the annals of history as the change agents and the new fathers and mothers of the great nation Nigeria. The leaders who can lead this change are the ones with the character to embrace their sense of mission above the pettiness their personal interest can define. The future is waiting. Nigeria’s next leaders must know these. And the responsibility also lies on the rest of us to DEMAND that they know these things and DO them for the betterment of our nation and continent.

Olakunle A. SORIYAN, is a Transformation Strategist, Thought Revolutionist, Total Life Management and Nation-Building Trainer, Coach, Consultant, Public Speaker and Commentator. He can be reached on

Register for #i_Edgelagos Webinar with Olakunlesoriyan

iedgiEDGE™ is the NEW WAY of PREPARING LEADERS…and a NEW WAY of THINKING about LEADERSHIP. The rules for leadership are changing so fast without the consent of anyone. There is actually a leadership revolution brewing and it is embarrassing traditional leadership principles and methods. The 2000s is ushering us into complexities that appear on the scene only as unplanned interruptions. In the 2000s, the pace of change has sped up to dizzying levels; and globalization, rapid-fire technological innovation, increasing demands of welfare economics as well as the impact of the post-recession realities, have pushed economies into a state of ceaseless turmoil. Click here to register .


#i_Edgelagos Webinar with Olakunlesoriyan

iedgiEDGE™ is the NEW WAY of PREPARING LEADERS…and a NEW WAY of THINKING about LEADERSHIP. The rules for leadership are changing so fast without the consent of anyone. There is actually a leadership revolution brewing and it is embarrassing traditional leadership principles and methods. The 2000s is ushering us into complexities that appear on the scene only as unplanned interruptions. In the 2000s, the pace of change has sped up to dizzying levels; and globalization, rapid-fire technological innovation, increasing demands of welfare economics as well as the impact of the post-recession realities, have pushed economies into a state of ceaseless turmoil. Click here to register .

5 Rules for Effective Leadership in the New Year

lead sample

No period of the year offers more incentive for sobriety, re-evaluation and re-strategizing than the New Year. As leaders, it is a time to think things through, project and design implementation plans to be more effective in the New Year. Above all, it is a time to think about how we can become better leaders.

Why must we become better leaders? We must become better because the challenges of life and leadership won’t wait for us or schedule a timetable. We must not be caught napping or unaware. We must hit the ground running and be prepared to rise up to every occasion.

There are five critical areas for us to pay attention to as we reflect and project

1. Balance

We must strive for balance as leaders. We must avoid the insidious trap of prioritizing work above family. I have lived long enough to reject the myth that success in the workplace will create fulfillment at home. If your career or business is growing and your spouse and children feel neglected, then it’s time to do a reality check on your priorities. It is simply wrong and unnecessary to place your work commitments above family or else you and your family will pay the price. If your focus is on your family, you career won’t suffer. Trust me, it will flourish instead.

2. Create a white space

Don’t attempt to crowd your calendar with activities. Leading doesn’t always mean doing. While you must optimize your energy through mindfulness and maximizing the present, don’t attempt to do it all. Create space for others to function and find expression through delegated responsibilities. You have just enough time to do the essentials.

3. Listening

Being a leader is not a license to increasing the volume of rhetoric. Real leaders understand there is far more to gain by surrendering the floor than by dominating it. We must not undermine the value that can be derived from the minds of others, a value that can be tapped, beginning with listening.

4. Unlearning

This is an often overlooked but very critical aspect of learning. I can think of no better definition of a closed mind than someone unwilling to change their opinions and positions. There are things you believe or hold dear that do not qualify for the future you desire or even your present moment. They simply will hold you back. Show me someone who never changes his/her mind and I will show you a static thinker who has sentenced his/her mind to a prison of mediocrity and wasted potential. Do not short-change yourself. The smartest people I know are open to change. They are not interested in being right as much as having the right outcome. This is a test of maturity, confidence and humility. It will help you to refine your opinions, ideas and convictions as well as making you approachable and human.

5. Other-Focused

You must be engaged with the people you lead. You can’t be self absorbed and expect to build influence, trust and confidence. Engage people in person, over the phone, via email, social media or a good old thank you note.

There is a lot more to learn to be effective as leaders. Abraham Lincoln said “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” Do something now about what you have learnt today.


Distinct between good and bad boss

Distinct between good and bad boss

Now that you now bear the title ‘Boss’, Leader’ or ‘Aspirant’, I must let you know it comes with great responsibility. Whether you are aware of it or not doesn’t discount the fact that being at the top or in visible leadership matters a lot. This is because unknown to leaders, their followers monitor, magnify and often mimic their moves. Because you are very visible is why you should pay more attention or take heed to yourself and what you represent.

Linda Hudson, CEO of BAE systems who on observation found that after becoming the first female president of General Dynamics, a dozen women tied their scarf in imitation of her style. She commented,’ …As a leader, people are looking at you in ways you could not have imagined in other roles….This is something that I think about virtually every day”.

What I want to bring to our conscious awareness is that the best bosses use this relentless attention to their advantage. They are self absorbed but not for selfish reasons.  On the contrary, they understand that success of their people and organization depends on maintaining an accurate view of how others interpret their moves, mood and responding with rapid effective adjustments. Bosses who fail to pay attention to these cues will find their job impossible, their lives hell and their tenures short.

Not only are great bosses trying to maintain an accurate perception to boost performance, they also seek to do this by watching their followers’ back, making it safe for them to learn, act and take intelligent risks and shielding them from unnecessary distractions while helping them win in many little ways .

Let’s look at this: Even though bosses get more than 50 percent of the shame or credit as the case may be, let us bear in mind that they are often responsible for not more than 15% of the good or bad in an organization. This is the lot of the leader: 15 percent of the error will be your fault while 50 percent of the blame will be on your head as much as its equivalent in credit. This demands that leaders must strive to be in control of situations or at least maintain an illusion of it. Here are four ways leaders can achieve this:

1. Express confidence even if you don’t feel it

While we shouldn’t be deceptive, does it do a leader any good to wear his heart on his sleeves? Understand that when you act confident, you soon begin to feel very confident.

2. Don’t vacillate

Indecision, delay and limping between opinions are the hallmarks of a cheap boss. The best ones know that sharp and seemingly quick decisions bolster the illusion and reality that they are in charge.

3. Get and give credit

Your power is best demonstrated when you put the spotlight on others. Give credit to others. You lose nothing because you are on the seat already.

4. Blame yourself

You lose nothing by taking a part of the blame. You become smaller when you think you can shield your weaknesses and attempting to distance yourself from the problem. Good leaders stay in front regardless of the occasion. To appear in control, demonstrate that lessons have been picked up from your failure and announce new plans. When implemented, ensure everyone understands things are improving because of them.

John Quincy Adams said “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” To Live therefore is to Lead and to lead not is to live not. THIS IS THE LIFE!

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