The answer is not who you think it is.
We are not here by chance. Something happened! And it’s not
the Big Bang. It is called reproduction. It involves a kind of creating its kind. Without reproduction, the end is here; not just ours but the end of everything that exists because we do. This life-giving process was strategically weaved into our being as we evolve, finding our paths in the sands of time. The people who have championed this cause of pathfinding in the history of mankind are the leaders. This breed risks extinction if they did not take their destiny into their own hands; they have to stop being just leaders, they have to metamorphosis to Mentor-Leaders and reproduce new leaders. A mentor is simply someone who develops others while a leader is someone with the skills and ability to give direction and inspire in a way that could unite people around a shared value, goal and objectives. Just like candies, the world has seen different types of leaders who have contributed to the advancement of their people. Despite all their achievements, the world has also experienced new kinds of challenges that require new leadership and approach.
In the biblical history, twice a day for 40 days, morning and evening, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, comes out between the lines and challenges the Israelites to send out a champion of their own to decide the outcome of a battle in single combat, and everyone, even the King (leader) was afraid to take up the challenge because Goliath was a giant. The biblical David, even though not invited to the battlefield demonstrated leadership by defeating goliath thereby delivering the entire nation from the enemy that held her hostage. This is not the catch of the story, after Goliath, the bible records that several other giants arose among the philistines (2 Samuel 21:15–22, 1 Chronicle 20:4–8) and there were several wars with these giants. In the first reference, at a particular time, David, the giant slayer was weak and was almost struck dead by one of these giants, but one of his men, who David has trained on the art of giant-killing struck the giant dead. This is just one of the instances that proofed that David, was not just a leader but a mentor-leader. The Bible is filled with several examples of mentor-leaders; Moses was a mentor – Leader to Joshua, Elijah raised Elisha to become a great prophet operating with a greater anointing, Paul trained Timothy, making him a relevant and reputable Christian leader, Jesus raised 12 disciples who turned the world upside down and spread the gospel to different nations of the world and so on.
Mentor-Leaders can be found in different sphere of influence like politics, business, religion, education, health, music etc. An example of a mentor leader is Pa Akindayomi, an uneducated local church founder who mentored a young man called Enoch Adejare Adeboye, a university lecturer and handed over the baton of leadership to him thereafter. Now Pastor E.A Adeboye; he was able to transform the church, known as the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) to one of the largest international Pentecostal churches. Bill Gates, one of the greatest business leaders of his generation always speak highly of the life and business lessons he learnt from Warren Buffet who is also one of the greatest investors of his generation and a mentee to Benjamin Graham, one of the greatest investor that the world has ever had. Micheal Jordan, the most celebrated basketball player in the history of the game, credited his basketball coach, Dean Smith as the greatest influence on his life apart from his father. The former president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta is not an ordinary father, he was a mentor-leader to his son Uhuru, just like Bush Snr. to Bush Jnr. of the USA. Uhuru Kenyatta is the current president of Kenya. Bob Dylan, one of the greatest country artist of his time followed the footsteps of Woody Guthrie’s, one of the most significant figures in American western folk and his career was better for it.
There will always be a cause to stand for. There will always be a mission to accomplish and there will always be a battle to fight but there will not always be a leader and we shall be stuck like the Israelites before David rose up to the challenge except for a new crop of leaders, known as mentor-leaders emerge. A leader who fails to raise other leaders who will take the mantle and further the cause when he/she is “weak” or death comes is making a great mistake. A leader that deliberately trains and transfer his/her wealth of experience to others is a mentor and it is such people who live a life of legacy. Every leader should see mentoring as part of their duties because it is only a leader that can raise another leader. Mentors are leaders but not all leaders are mentors; mentorship is about developing the leaders of the future, it is based on trust and respect while leadership is focused on getting a mission done effectively and efficiently. A hybrid of mentor-leader combines both by developing the leaders of and for the future and getting the mission done effectively and efficiently.
Are you a mentor-leader?
This is who the world really needs.