This Thing Called Leadership.

While I was chatting with my friend E two days ago, she asked why I had not put up a post in while. I felt so flattered and humbled to have been missed. So, I started to give her plenty excuses, flimsy ones. Maybe not so flimsy. I wanted to start this post by explaining how I have 'many' posts sitting in my drafts. I don't. I have just one and perhaps, that one post in my draft right now has taken so long to complete because it is both fiction and non-fiction...or because I can be really lazy sometimes. I have been busy, let's leave it at that. Thank you E and every other person who cared enough to notice.

I spent the first quarter of this year reading and studying the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch, as defined by Google is the name given to the first five books of the bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It was amazing, to say the least. Coincidentally, I rounded it up yesterday which was the hundredth day of the year. And it was quite an emotional end for me. It was so emotional, I had to constantly remind myself that it was the Bible and it would always be there. There's no end to it. Anyway, why am I blogging about something that was originally meant to be so personal? I learnt a LOT about the Israelites and their very phenomenal journey. But even more, I learnt about their phenomenal leader, Moses. Now, Leadership is arguably one of the most talked about topics. Everywhere you turn, there's a leadership seminar going on. People have written books about leadership, people earn money motivating people to be great leaders. I dare say that you can learn about leadership free of charge from someone who I believe was one of the greatest leaders the Bible ever recorded, Moses. So, without much ado, the following are some of the lessons reading about Moses taught me. Please bear in mind that prior to reading/studying the books, I didn't think I was going to write about it. Hence, I may leave out some details. Feel free to correct me or even better, tell me what you learnt or constantly learn from him.

First and foremost, I learnt that even great leaders started out scared; they started out doubting themselves. I don't know about you, but sometimes I think about my greatest dreams and I doubt myself. I ask myself, 'Are you sure you're intelligent enough to ever attain this?' Even when God clearly called him out for the job, Moses did not ever think he was the right man for the job. He probably was the only person to ever see God face to face (What a blessed man!) and yet, he doubted. Instead of thinking of his many strengths, he first thought about his weakness. Which brings me to my next point. We whine so much about our weaknesses that we totally forget about out strengths. Yes, work on your weaknesses but more importantly, use your strengths to your own advantage. Dwell on your strengths, immerse yourself in them and watch them conquer challenges for you. Fear can be okay. I remember an old episode of Grey's Anatomy when Dr. Bailey was getting married and was extremely nervous and scared. Her mentor and boss, Dr. Webber reminded and lectured her about two kinds of fear; one is just you being adult and being careful. The other though, may be a sign. Learn the difference. I'm sorry I can't help you with that.

Another thing I noticed about Moses was his relationship with God. God was with him and he was with God. There was hardly a thing he did without first consulting God. Let me explain in the best way I know how to, everybody needs God. We are in a world where everybody wants to advise you. Opinions will come from everywhere and everyone who thinks they are all-knowing. Before, I would have said "Do you boo!" but now I understand the importance of wise counsel. So, no don't just 'do you' because 'you' may be really stupid. You need help and counsel from people. But, you also need to be able to filter those counsels. You absolutely need the spirit of God to do that. I can't help you with doing it without the spirit of God. Remember though, Moses had his father-in-law, he had Aaron (who by the way, was also a great leader in his own way) and he had several judges. You will need help. The question is, where/who do you plan on getting it from?

Never before have I seen a leader who cared so much about the people the way Moses did. He was selfless. Even after he made the mistake that cost him the Promised Land, after it was clear he would never get there, he still genuinely cared and interceded for the people. In one of the last chapters, just before he died, he said a LONG prayer for the Israelites just like a father would for his children. Personally, I used to be very good at silent treatment. Oh boy! I deserved a Nobel Prize for that skill. If I were the one, the moment I realized that despite ALL my efforts, I would not get to the Promised Land because of a 'silly' mistake, I would have immediately withdrawn to my shell. Wetin concern me, O.Y.O ni everybody wa*. I have since realized that, that is NOT a quality of a leader. A good leader should understand he/she would make many mistakes and should be ready to be corrected. My Mother always says in Yoruba, "Omo ti a ba bawi, to ba warunki, iparun lo fe*." In other words, humility is key. I am happy to tell you that, I now try as much as possible to even love you more when you annoy me. That, by the way is HARD.

This post is now much longer than what I originally intended. No leader is perfect, not even Moses. he too made very costly mistakes. In spite of them all, he fulfilled purpose. My biggest fear is not dying, my biggest fear is dying without having actually lived. My biggest fear is dying without fulfilling God's purpose for my life. Moses had none of that to fear. He did not only live a long, prosperous and fulfilled life, he was able to choose an exceedingly great successor, Joshua. I remember one of our Principals in Secondary School once said something on  the assembly ground, something along the lines of  "A good leader is really known by their successor." In other words, the completion and eventual success of your leadership largely depends on who succeeds you. I hope with these few words of mine, I have been able to convince  and not confuse you that Moses was indeed a good leader. Lol. I'm sure I will read about him again, someday. You should too. However, remember that Rome was not built in a day, and who we are or eventually turn out to be is a sum total of every of our acts. You may not feel like it now, but one day you will wake up and realize how close to your dreams you are or how great a leader you have been. 


*What's my business? Everybody for himself/herself.
*He/she who we chastise and decides to grumble certainly wants destruction.


  1. Well done Ife, thanks for this. I love it, I really do. I especially like lesson 1. It reminds me of Gideon in Judges 5/6. I might just go study those books as well.

  2. Thank you very much Tomi, for reading. Yes, you totally should. I know you would love and enjoy it.

  3. I love this piece. Keep it up ife

  4. Thank you. I'm glad you love it. I'll try to—keep it up, that is. Thanks for stopping by:-)