Leadership: Little Resolves Producing Great Achievements

Nothing that they have a mind to do will be impossible for them – Genesis 11:6b

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” These were the words of Abraham Lincoln, and they strike at the heart of one of the most important elements for leadership success at every level – a strong resolve.

The first step toward achieving anything noteworthy is making a resolve. For many, procrastination robs them of that. For others, it is the immediate fear of the required sacrifices. Our resolve to confront the inevitable obstacles that will come our way, and to make the tough and uncomfortable decisions necessary for significant achievement, is what ultimately sets us apart. Be assured however, that life will test your resolve. By offering you short term respite in lieu of your long term goals or by resisting you outrightly.

In 1985 the P.W. Botha led government offered to release Nelson Mandela from prison, after 22 years, under the conditions that he retired in silence and renounced the struggle. But Mandela refused the bait, maintaining his commitment to the end result – the abolishment of apartheid. That is leadership resolve; it is Patrick Henry’s cry, “Give me liberty or give me death;” it is General Yakubu Gowon’s burden, “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done;” leadership resolve is the determination of the political leaders of East Asia to pull their economies out of the rut and into global reckoning. Leadership without resolve is a toothless lion, incapable of accomplishing anything noteworthy.

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To resolve is to retain unflagging commitment to a course of action or to a goal. But it is impossible to do this if we do not first possess a firm belief in the significance of what we want to achieve. If the goal is important enough, we will find the resilience to push through. As someone said, “Resolve is having the fortitude to do the hard things day after day because the end results are essential.”

The truth is, if we want it badly enough, we will find a way to accomplish it. Think of all the great achievements of history; the sheer force of will that took man to the moon and that subdued the elements in various parts of the world to build great civilizations. Then think about the leaders who inspired and created the environment for these accomplishments, who pushed us to cover great distances by insisting we could go one more mile.

Resolute leaders increase opportunities for creativity and make quick and effective decisions with far reaching impact. But resolutions must also be rooted in values. Without the right values, resolute leaders are nothing but egotistical overlords in pursuit of power and self aggrandizement. The question of leadership resolve is pertinent to the growth, development, and culture of excellence in any society or nation. This is the crossroad Nigeria is currently at.

The truth is, we are faced with a crisis of survival as a nation. The majority of the people, most of them young, are poor and hopeless (a dangerous combination); our ethnic and religious divides are still as sharp as ever, which I believe is a divide and rule strategy by some in the ruling elite. The resolve to tackle corruption and set Nigeria on the right path, which attended the current administration when it came into power, cannot afford to wane. We encourage every Nigerian to do all within their power to encourage this noble cause rather than just criticize and frustrate it. A situation where some in the leadership have resolved to move the nation forward and others have resolved to pull them backwards is most unfortunate. So I want to encourage those who have resolved to change things to keep going. Providence will vindicate you. If we lay aside the distractions of tribe and religion, greed for wealth and power, we can rally Nigerians around the common cause of peace and prosperity, and channel their resilience and creativity accordingly. This can only start with a firm resolve to tackle corruption and mediocrity in our society. As we encourage leaders to make this resolve, we encourage the followers to do the same. I believe we have what it takes.

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Pastor Taiwo Odukoya

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