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The 2020 election race and servant role leadership in Tanzania

AS we head towards the General Election to be held on October 28, 2020, it is worthy reiterating about leadership in Tanzania.

It becomes obvious that the leadership role of a country has far-reaching effects upon a nation. The success or failure of the nation would depend largely on the type of leadership role that is put in operation.

Leadership role comes, not from manifestations of the outer power, but from an inner determination to lead as to be of service to the people. Leaders should consider their service as a challenge to servanthood. Servant role in leadership is not to direct, but to help achieve the common or the desirable goal of a group.

Leadership is not lordship, for the two are mutually incompatible in the servant leadership. Servant role in leadership manifests itself, by first seeking the good of others before that of self, and not vice versa. Its manifestation springs from an inner will to be of service to the people.

This is a type of leadership spirit or role that individuals vying for leadership positions in the country need to embrace. The political aspirants into the prospective political offices must see themselves as leaders, with the drive of serving others and not themselves in their desires.

It should not be the type of leadership that seeks for power, but service, not for self but for others, not for greed but love. This type of leadership role is servanthood. Servant leadership is a rare commodity in our world today, and especially in the most parts of the African continent.

This is not to say that such leadership role is not being practiced in some quarters. But whenever it is manifested by such leaders, it is because they were moved upon their hearts.

It is when our leaders see themselves as servants of the people they serve that there can be a solution to the overwhelming variety of problems that continue to threaten the necessary national developments. A servant role in leadership is the journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness.

It is that of influencing the behaviour of people without violating their free moral choice. The greatness wants today in our world in general and in Tanzania in particular, are wants of leaders who can wield their power to meet human needs and develop others for leadership.

They are leaders who can see their roles as a determination to be of service to the people. A leader must have the drive for service rather than seeking the drive for power. Leaders need to identify themselves with the servanthood character.

They need to identify themselves and accept that they are leaders of the people they are expected to lead and set a good example in their lifestyle. Leadership is character. We have been hearing and witnessing leaders who resigned after a move to impeach them as a result of scandals.

In the society, we have examples of leaders whose services were seriously affected when their character was questioned. What I need to clarify here is that it is not really an issue of whether they were guilty or not guilty, but it is an instance where one’s character is questioned.

The importance of character in the life of a leader cannot be over emphasized. As much as performance and results are important, character becomes the key. In order for Tanzania to rise to higher levels, the importance of character has to be emphasized in all spheres.

Character is the part of a person that makes one different from anyone else. It has to do with one’s honesty, integrity, one’s morals, values, behaviour and credibility. Leaders always have to work at their character because it is exposed to public scrutiny more than others and will be tested more than others.

Character is grounded in integrity. Leaders must be honest, credible and completely trustworthy. Anyone’s success in leadership will be greatly achieved by the consistency of his/her character. There are many areas where leaders are faced with the challenge of compromising their character on a daily basis.

Integrity in all things precedes all else. The open demonstration of integrity is essential; followers must be wholeheartedly convinced of their leader’s integrity. Therefore, leaders have to guard their integrity at all costs, since leadership is pegged on the followers’ appreciation of our character above everything else.

● Dr Enock E. Mlyuka is an experienced Lutheran Pastor, Counselor, Researcher, Trainer and Consultant in Management. He is the author of several books and articles for educating the community. WhatsApp: +255 655 865555; Email:enomlyuka@gmail.com

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