Leadership is a trust and a burden. It is a trust because it is entrusted to people whom moral rectitude is not in dispute. When you become a leader, you are like a trusted servant. Though this is in an ideal situation; not in a pseudo democratic setting—especially when democracy takes the character of the rule of the mob. Is it not even basically a rule of the mob? Well, this is debatable.
However, in an ideal clime, a leader of a people is their servant. A good leader is not the one that ensconces himself in his comfort sofa within the corridor of power and its trappings and distances himself from the hardships and grievances of those whom luck and providence favors him to rule over. He worsens his condition if he is surrounded by sycophants. Their shenanigans and lies will smoothen his path to the abyss of destruction. He will only realize, in most cases, when it is too late to make amends
Leadership is also a burden because its responsibilities are huge. A leader’s entire life becomes a sumptuous dinner meant for public consumption. His cherished privacy becomes the focus of discussion of all and sundry. When he laughs, his laughter is given different interpretations. When he is generous, he may be greeted with criticism by those who do not benefit from his largesse. If he is too prudent, his prudence will hardly be interpreted as a virtue. He will be uncharitably libeled as a miser and miserably adjudged as a wicked sadist.
Leadership is indeed a burden. A leader is faulted for everything. When mosquito bites, he is responsible for it. When there are road accidents, he is the cause. If the economy nosedives, he has to explain. When there is insecurity in the land, he will be accused of incompetency. When pregnancy ends in miscarriage, he bears the blame. When there are deaths, no matter how natural they seem to be, people are quick to quip that he has hand in it.
Now you understand what it means when leadership is said to be a burden. Anyone who understands these burdens which a leader must shoulder should be unwilling to accept or work towards a leadership position, unless of course if they have an ulterior motive. For it is difficult, in fact, very difficult, to succeed as a leader.
Considering the enormous burdens that come with leadership position, could there be anyone who will be interested in it? But it is this leadership that people are tussling for, hustling for, vying for, toiling for, crying for, and killing for—savagely and atavistically—to the extent of sacrificing ones integrity and personality for the sake of power.
Is it that politicians are ignorant of these leadership burdens?
Conversely, if you are a leader and surround yourself with sycophantic sycophants, and these are the worst type of sycophants whose sycophancy is laced with lies and shamelessness, you have already failed. They will never tell you the truth. They will never be tired of singing your praises. They make you feel like God who is incapable of doing any wrong, they compare you to moses or jesus the messiah, they prevent you from seeing or meeting good people, and they paint them as COVID from whom keeping a safe distance is a necessity.
When you try to read dailies (newspapers), perhaps to get a first hand information on what people say about your leadership, they volunteer to read it on your behalf, making you think it’s out of honor; without you knowing that they want to read to you only those things that you will like to hear, and assuredly make you happy. They are so stupid, so selfish, so bad, and so wicked that they strive hard to sing your praise when you should be given sincere advice (no matter how tough or how bitter).
When a leader gives a listening ear to sycophants, they not only abase him, they kill the state. The failure of a leader is the failure of a state. O God, guide us, guide our leaders and grant them success. Amen!!!!
Duruebube Uzii na Abosi