Leadership, a product of Self Discovery
“Leadership is not a set of genetic characteristics but rather the result of the lifelong processes of self-discovery”-Warren Bennis
This was quoted by the Dean, College of Leadership Development Studies (CLDS), Professor Aize Obayan, in her presentation at the first College of Leadership Development Studies Seminar Series titled “Navigating the Labyrinths of Leadership”, held on Tuesday 31 March 2015, at the Center for Entrepreneurial Development Studies Multi-Purpose Hall.
Professor Obayan who was also the Guest Speaker, described leadership to be innate, involving more of self-discovery. She said, “Leadership is caught and not taught. It is not about positions, or occupying a seat but leading in a good direction”.
In understanding what leadership entails, Professor Aize Obayan said leadership is about a positive influence that inspires people’s response to achieve a desired goal. “Leaders are basically people who inspire hope even when things are tough. They are, however, never in denial,” she stated
Furthermore, the speaker also associated leadership with having a deep understanding of an organization’s structure, purpose, roles and functions of officers and offices, which serves as an essential tool for competency.
“Organization is the process of putting things and people in the right places to produce desired results, clarity and to organize strength,” she said. Prof. Obayan also observed that innovation serves as a factor of leadership that requires constant improvement, openness to suggestions and handling ideas. In her words, “No leader has all the answers; there must be a willingness to experiment and be progressive.”
Addressing the different misconceptions of leadership, Professor Obayan said the meaning and perception of leadership is overused, accentuating that leaders are not commanders who impose on subordinates.
Concluding her presentation, she termed leadership as a continuous learning process of development. Using the words of Eric Hoffer to buttress her point, she said, “Learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exits”.
The Deputy Dean, School of Leadership Development, Professor Chris Awonuga, in his closing remarks, urged the audience at the seminar to identify their leadership traits and develop them.
In attendance, were the Faculty, Staff and students of the College.