Leadership is a principle that in one’s career journey becomes a pre-requisite if changing the world is a mission. When many people hear about leadership, they think about leading others, although true but most importantly before leading others it is about first leading yourself.

John Quincy Adams said that “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” This blog is about key takeaways and lessons learnt worth sharing as part of my leadership journey with the Atlas Corps Leadership Lab.

The Why, How and What?

Simple as it sounds, this is what makes all the difference between mediocrity and excellence, success and failure, leadership and dictatorship. It’s a self-introspection mantra about one’s values in the mission of leadership and how to maximise one’s purpose in diverse contexts. When you start with the why in mind, the probability is that you will get everything right. This speaks to decision making at all levels and stages of life. If all leaders would think from the `why’ especially in the context of third world countries, most policies, strategies and frameworks would solve the plight of humanity, poverty would be history, every child would be in school, dialogue would be priority over war, nations would come first before self-aggrandizement. Since we now know, we can be a generation that makes a difference, right?

Diversity and Inclusion

Leadership journeys entail embracing the global realities behind diversity and strategies towards inclusion with equity in mind. A leader who considers diversity, is thinking from the why, and they will always get their decision right in an environment where everyone comes from everywhere. The world is now a ‘global village’, leaders who appreciate this ‘glocalization’ will be everyone’s leaders and people will be happy to be led by them. Even in business, marketers who appreciate this reality excel in their sells, even hiring managers who embrace this reality will have their companies produce in surplus. While those resistant to this reality will succumb to what Charles Darwin termed `adapt or perish`, the principle of surviving revolutions is not to resist change, but to seeing change as an opportunity for growth.

The long walk to freedom

This is a popular term from Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom book, but it’s also a perfect description of how life avails itself to people. While most people are surprised by the circumstances of life, leaders plan with intentionality, every step of the walk becomes a calculated strategy. Your life is a journey, not a destination, you definitely won’t get it right the first time, neither will you get it right all the time, but eventually everything will work out.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thumbnail Picture by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels 

Brighton Musevenzo is an Atlas Corps Fellow, Social Justice advocate and Aspiring Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Expert in the context of Human Rights.