Leaders chase after nothing. That’s my standpoint. They create a world for people to live in. That’s their only motivation. Leaders duck in the strength of the followers. They are always on the move. They live for others and not for themselves, just so to leave a footprint. I had an encounter with one. My whole thinking about life changed and my understanding about people utterly altered.
I saw him walked down the shore with his blotchy face and K-legs. It was twilight. He never looked back to see who was watching. He did not also bother who was after him. He just made sure he walked on the right path. He was never distracted by the raging waves that kept blowing along the shore. He was never dismayed by the people he met along the way. He was never afraid he was alone and he was not perturbed about the storm that furiously seethed as a result of the afternoon’s downpour.
“Leave footprints not footpaints: if you fail to develop your team, your team will develop to fail you.”
He walked straight towards something he only sees. He ran at some point between his strides. Watching carefully, he was chasing after something but I saw him chasing after nothing. Then three words came to mind: determination, focus and vision. DFV. His serenity echoed so loud that some people decided to follow, including us. I decided to fit my steps into his footprints along the shore.
They didn’t quite fit perfectly. This was not my fault because he had a bigger foot size, anyway. That was when he realized that he had a follower. In my quest towards Leadership Development, I followed him attentively and there were some qualities I admired and wished I could ‘borrow’. He was tenacious, his speed was overwhelming and he was very disciplined. He had command over his area of work and he was ready to develop people who were ready to grow. I sighed and whispered; I’d rather develop these skills than to borrow. Suddenly, he started beaming with doses of smiles. He looked back and saw dozens of followers who wanted to be like him. So he equipped us by saying that the main thing is to keep the main things to the main things. I tried unlocking the enigma. Unfortunately folks, I woke up to realize that it was only a dream. That ‘bloke’ got me thinking and scratching that coconut throughout my sleep.
But there is one thing I remembered for sure. I never failed to fetch his footprints. Don’t let your leaders leave without fetching their footprints. Henry Wandsworth Longfellow hinted that “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time.”
As leaders we can always be measured by the success and competence of our followers. Our legacy is measured by the depth of our footprints. What are your sands of time? The situation is critical within the interactional framework of leadership: the leader, the follower and the situation. Reflect for a moment and keep on asking. What are my sands of time?
If you fail to develop your team and subsequently fail to give opportunities to deserving talents who are deemed fit to fit into your footprints, you will leave foot paints and not footprints. As a matter of fact, if you fail to develop your team, your team shall develop to fail you. Simple. A leader can only sleep when he leaves a footprint. It is always important to equip your team. Strive each day to etch a footprint that could be fetched.
On your journey to Leadership Development, it is beautiful to dance in the rain only if you decide to manufacture leaders, hand-hold followers through the times, give them opportunities, direct them, support them, coach them and delegate where necessary. Free your shoulders and you shall leave behind footprints on the sands of time. This is leadership. It is influence. Don’t add anything to it. Inspire. Motivate. Lead. It’s been seen and it’s been heard, but my favorite part is that it’s been said and it’s been read. In the parable of the vineyard, Jesus according to the Holy Scriptures summarized the story to say that if you fall on the stone, you shall be broken but if the stone falls on you, thou shall be crushed.
As leaders, we are the teachers of the law within the corporate setting. Leadership goes beyond position. It is a huge responsibility. Give rewards where is due. Honour people when they deserve it. You can’t cut corners and you cannot short-change experience. Make positive pronouncements. I am strong. I am intelligent. I have capacity. I am a leader. I win. I read. I set goals. I score goals. I live footprints. I live as a leader. On weekly basis, EKI will drop nuggets from the best career, personal and leadership book ‘Your Journey The Top’ as your MAP at the workplace and personal growth in 2020.
For this is Leadership!
Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah
Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top