In the, the concept of leadership is multifaceted and it will be too obtuse for this assignment to focus at all the various dynamics and facets of leadership. Although I will try to touch political public sector leadership that enable national transformation as opposed to private sector or informal leadership. We will consider how quality leadership can give rise to national transformation. We will also explore the proposition that Nigeria needs transformational leadership as a key mobilize of national development and how if properly harness and harvested leeds to greatness.

            This paper will therefore seek to reiterate the special value this kind of leadership brings to national transformation. To transform, literally speaking is “to give a different form to or change the character of or to alter the nature of something”. So, for us in Nigeria, transformation will mean that we must change from what we are used to, to something different, something new. This process of change cannot be easy one. In Nigeria, we have our definition of what political power must be and how those in positions of authority must behave. For instance, to come away to us in Nigerian as a president, the individual must be hand, loud, tough and possess the capacity to whip men into line and have his way in all situations.

            Leadership is mostly associated with individuals even though no individual alone leads a nation. It’s important to stress that the effective exercise of leadership function in form of setting a vision, developing an agenda and mobilizing resources is at the heart of transformation management. In this sense leadership presupposes fellowship. President Eisenhower of the United States once defined leadership as the “ability to decide what is to be done and then to get others to want to do it.” President Harry Truman put it more pungently when he said, “A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do, and like it”. These two leaders of the United States of America perceived leadership in terms of a man’s ability to manage men in such a way as to get certain results willingly (even if initially they had any doubts). Now, let us examine this conception of leadership a little bit because it dovetails to the overreaching leadership value that this paper considers as enabling national transformation.
            Transformational leadership evolves from two presuppositions. First, it presupposes that the leader has emerged with the necessary tool to succeed, as he is necessarily equipped with man management ability. This must be non negotiable. Secondly, it also presupposes that the desire of the leader is in tandem with the interest of the followers therefore the ultimate outcome will be a development. These cardinal principles must be fulfilled as minimum requirements. If this is not the case the capacity to congregate the people and reciprocatively, invoke obedience, will not be a continun. The challenge in harvesting transformative value out of leadership is that it is not a happenstance. More often than not this leadership is a product of a structured forum of regeneration. Even though it many appear spontaneous, leadership that is effective for transformation is well planned.

            What this means then is that followership is critical in the formation and development of transformational leaders. Leadership and folowership are in the mode of the egg and chicken paradox – they are symbiotically interviewed. The way the character of leadership is shaped by followership for national transformation is positively influenced by a culture of responsible followership and vise versa. Put conversely, the qualities that initiate good followership creates transformative leadership. Some of these include the expression and enjoyment of basic rights within a system that is accountable, and is merit driven. Having said this, it takes transformative leadership to crate the same atmosphere necessary for the expression of basic right and the enjoyment of good governance.
            A Ghanaian writer Adei once wrote that “transformative leadership is cause, everything else is effect”. This statement highlights the prime position of leadership in the development mix. This is so as development is vision driven, and while leadership, supplies the vision, it sets in place the think-tank and assures the adoption of a development agenda so, as a country, Nigeria has had some inspiring leadership. However, much of it has been short lived, largely unmetered and undervalued due to lack of mentorship, successional inconsistency and selfishness. For Nigeria to reach it’s potential, what we require is leadership that is not just inspirational, but transformational in scope and nationalistic in focus.
            I, will contend that transformational leadership will have to go beyond officer. It must take on the form of a state of mind, to envision, conceive, conceptualize and boldly tackle challenges with a variety of tools within the context of knowledge, instinct, institution and impersonality.
            This transformational dimension is hard to put in theoretical sense. You experience it. It is nationalistic not sectarian, it is egalitarian not class driven, it is universal and bold. It thinks outside the box, and connects its usefulness in the value it brings to help individual lives to strive. On a global scale we can easily identifies two global figures that have in recent times embodied the frame of transformational leadership in terms of national development. These include former president Nelson Mandela of South African and the former president of Singapore president Lee Kuan Yew.
            President Lee Kuan Yew inherited a country without direction and virtually stagnated. But he was drives by his belief that his country can be transformed. He undertook a review of them system without too much leadership to political correctness and ideological trappings, and set out to envision a new country.
            He decided to follow a pragmatic, ideological and specific approach towards economic development that is not conditioned, by any of the existing dogmas on third world development of the time. As president Lee rightly remarked, “We learned from the failed policies of countries such as India, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria. Many new nations believed that the way to property was state planning of economy with socialist states being seen as models, he said so my strategy was to turn Singapore, a third world Island, into a first- world oasis, by entrenching the concept of the rule of law and establishing up-to- date facilities in communications and transportation” as the necessary artery for connecting people and property to the economy.

            Make no mistake about it, leadership skills/styles are environmentally socio-politically, culturally and economically determined. It is often said that the quality of leadership and the socio-political environment often determine the nature of national development. Some people have argued that our socio-political environment, not only makes the mergence of national leadership difficult, but also complicates the process of national development. While agreeing in part to this view, I think that to give it axiomatic status glosses over the mergence of dynamic leadership. Nigerian from all works of life more than ever before are yearning that transformation. The solution is that we need to build the culture that accepts defeat, tolerate and respect losing and manage with humility victory. An unhealthy and protracted tussling for leadership chokes out the transformative value of leadership.

            In conclusion, let me say this. We have allowed too much water under our unity bridge through utterances that do us no good as a people. Words are very powerful. Effective leaders are very aware of the impact of their constituents. Given this, if,  leaders don’t take charge of their words and carefully shape their messages, it has the potentials of being misrepresented by the people. Communication is the greatest tool in the hands of a transformational leader. Leadership that can transform this country must build bridge and not walls. Leadership in the business of building bridges to the future, this requires the breaking down of walls. These walls include walls of dissent intolerance, sectarian chauvinism, bigotry, nepotistic leadership and dereliction of merit.
            Transformation will always require the destruction of walls and building of bridges. Out of the best ways to do this is through effective and regular conversations. Our leaders must learn to talk more about the change they desire to make.     It must take on the form of a state of mind influential people and not foisting positions down their throat is useful. We must talk to all shades of people, students, women, transitional institutions, religious bodies and others to help shape the message and allow them to take the necessary action to bring the message to life. Nigeria awaits the emergence of this leadership for national transformation. My brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, the time for the transformation is now not tomorrow.       


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