LEADERSHIP QUALITIES: –  Youths  are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they are the leaders of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Today’s leaders were the young people of yesterday and the leaders of tomorrow are the young people of today. Whether we are referring to yesterday, today or tomorrow; youths are directly or indirectly involved in leadership. We don’t really need to wait till tomorrow before forming our leaders.  Leadership is not a day’s job.  To be leader one has to go through formation. Before becoming a leader one has to acquire the mental, spiritual and intellectual qualities of a good leader. Leadership does not just happen by chance. It is a vocation that must be cherished, nurtured. It must be at the service of humanity and for the greater glory of God.
Leadership is a vocation. It is indeed a calling. As our Lord Jesus Christ said, “Many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14) Not all that glitters is gold. Not all those who occupy leadership seats or those you may find in political parties are called to lead. Most of our political leaders are there to make money and for other selfish ambitions. When these ambitions are not forth coming, you see them moving from one political party to another. That is why we have so many political prostitutes in a nation today. Just as a prostitute can never be satisfied by one man also political prostitutes can never find fulfillment in one political party. They keep moving from one party to another without any vision or focus.
Leaders have a lot of influence on their nation. A healthy nation is a nation with a healthy leader. When the leader is corrupt the nation is absolutely corrupt. The development of every nation begins with the development of their leaders. Unfortunately, the reason why most nations are having leadership challenges is because they do not take leadership formation seriously. People only talk about leadership when there is election at the corner and most of what you get is abusive languages, character assassinations. Instead of addressing issues you find people attacking their personalities. A journey of many miles begins with a step. If we could spend time and money training for sports, ministries, and other jobs why can’t we take time to train our leaders?
One of the visions of Youth Empowerment and Liberation Initiative and that of All Dreams foundation is to train and empower our future leaders. Leadership is the essence of youth empowerment. According to Bill Gates, “Leaders are those who empower others.” Through this foundation we are determined to empower those who will empower others. In this sixth edition of our Youth Empowerment and Liberation Initiative we want to share with you our dear leaders some of the qualities of leadership. These are some of the qualities we should expect each time we are going to pooling units to elect our leaders. Money is not a quality of leadership as most people wrongly think.  Instead, bribery is a quality of a corrupt leader. A leader that bribes his way into office must surely bribe his way out of office. Once you have the following qualities you don’t need to bribe anybody before becoming a leader.
A LEADER MUST BE A VISIONARY. Vision is important in the development of every      nation. A nation without vision is a nation without order (Proverbs 29:18) and a nation without a visionary is like a plane without a pilot. The leader is the pilot of every nation. A good leader must surely have his personal vision.  Most leaders have failed because of lack of vision. Without vision there will be no proper agenda; and without agenda there will be no development. Leadership, as Warren Bennis states, is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Every project and development begins as a vision. A good leader must not just be a visionary he must also be a vision promoter.
A GOOD LEADER MUST BE BRAVE AND COURAGEOUS: Courage is the best and indispensible quality of a leader. Moses was a courageous leader. When he saw the Egyptian army matching forward to attack the Israelites with their chariots, although the Israelites had no weapon except their faith in the living God; Moses told the Israelites, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians you see today you shall see no more” (Exodus 14:13). That was exactly what happened.  Moses was a courageous motivator.
The first advice the Lord God gave to Joshua when he took over from Moses as a leader is that he should be a courageous leader, “Be strong and of good courage; for you shall this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:6-7). A good leader must be brave. He must be courageous at all times and all circumstances. A coward can never be a leader. Charles Maurice once said, “I am more afraid of an army of one hundred sheep led by a lion than an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep.” A leader is expected to be more courageous than his followers.
A LEADER MUST BE WISE AND OBJECTIVE: A good leader should not allow himself to be influenced by anybody, any group or even any party. He should never have a bias mind. He must be wise and objective. Solomon is often depicted as the wisest king in Israel. When God gave him an open cheque for him to ask for whatever he wants from God. He simply prayed for wisdom (1 Kings 3:3-14). The wisdom to lead the people entrusted into his care.
The Lord was pleased with his request and said, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for your long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for understanding to discern what is right, behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you (1 Kings 3:10-12). We don’t need wealthy leaders what we need is wise leaders. We need leaders who are objective in their judgment.
A GOOD LEADER MUST BE HUMBLE AND SIMPLE: Unfortunately, most of our leaders here in Africa are not humble. We are yet to have humble leaders in Africa. We have rulers, lords, highnesses, and even dictators as leaders. A leader is indeed a humble servant. Our Lord Jesus Christ was the most humble leader the world has ever known. He was the first leader that washed the feet of his disciples. After washing the feet of his disciples he said to them, “You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:12-15) The official title of the head of the Catholic Church is “Servant of the servants of God.” Humility is indeed an indispensable quality of a good leader.
A GOOD LEADER MUST CARRY EVERYONE ALONG: A tree can never make a forest. No matter how talented a leader may be, he cannot succeed without the contribution of others. In fact, as John Maxwell right observes, “Vision comes alive when everyone sees where his or her contribution makes a difference.” A leader is there to harness people’s gifts, ideas and talents. You don’t expect people to believe in you when you do not believe in them. People will surely respect your opinion when they discover that you do not neglect their own opinions. A leader without the people’s support is like a machine gun without a bullet. If you are a good leader you must learn to carry everyone along, even those you may consider as your opponents.
A LEADER MUST BE ACTIVE AND PRAGMATIC:  Three types of people in the world. The first types are those who make things happen. They are the shakers and movers in the world. The second types are those who watch things happen. These are the spectators. The third groups are those who wonder of what has happened. They are known as the dumbfounded. The pragmatic leaders are the achiever, the mover and the shaker in the society. They are those who get things done leaving others watching and wondering. These three groups are found in every football match. In the stadium we have players, the fans and those who are watching the football match and the third group are football analysts. Leaders are the few players in the pitch. We need pragmatic leaders. We need good players who are out to score as many development goals as possible. Do you know you can be one of them? Give it a trial. With training, faith and determination, all things are possible.