COVIDic Times: Leading in Times Like These.

By Kehinde Ojo
Leaders matters at all times; especially in a pandemic of the kind that seems to occur only once in a century. Leadership at this time means response-ability, showing the way with both head, heart and hands, and resisting the Lone Ranger syndrome.

If ever leadership was needed it is now. (Photo credit: MIT Sloan Management Review)

John Maxwell stated that “everything rise and fall with leadership”. In order words, when it works, thank leadership. When it fails, hold leadership responsible. What has leadership got to do with COVID-19? Everything actually! Infact COVID-19 is so named because it started in 2019! Guess what? This is April 2020 and our leaders are now running all over the place as if we were not giving adequate time to prepare for a response!

Is this not the attitude that is prevalent in the church as well? As I have stated many times, the current generation of leaders manufacture one product very well without having to built a factory – excuses! This is sadly the legacy being handed over to the younger generation. As a matter of fact, the younger folks have mastered it so well to the chagrin of the older folks.

In the light of this pandemic, how should the younger generation respond and prepare for the future?

  1. Take responsibility and lead – Leadership is work, not a title and definitely not a position. Several lives have been lost and many may still be lost needlessly because leaders of nations looked the other way when they were supposed to formulate a policy, closed the borders and scrutinize every person who is eventually allowed to enter. If this was done, what should have happened is lockout and NOT lockdown.
  2. Lead with facts not just emotions – Can you believe that even now many people are still of the opinion that they need not do anything extra to be safe? In fact, there probably are more jokes and video clips out there than there are statistical data that could help curtail this scourge. When it comes to consolidating systems, we quickly get tired and wonder why the stress! We suggest a ‘short cut’, an easier approach, anything that provides without effort.  What the short cuts lead to, is a longer journey that we wish we never embarked on.
  3. Lead together not alone – It is very clear that the only way to deal with this pandemic is for everyone to work together. The days of lone rangers are over and as younger leaders we should quickly recognize the power of togetherness. I have often argued that the work given by God to anyone is usually bigger than what the person can do alone! Why? So that in doing the work together with other people, only God takes the glory.
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Kehinde Ojo lives in Abuja, Nigeria. He currently serves as the Program Director of the Indigenous Support Development program of IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) and also Co-Catalyst of the Ministry Fundraising Network of the Lausanne Movement.

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