Time for youth to take up leadership


As the elections for 2012 close in, it is necessary to encourage the youth who may be interested in building careers revolving around national leadership.

This discussion is motivated by the fact that Kenyan youth have constantly been reminded that they are future leaders and therefore not ready or deserving to be in those positions today. Additionally, if the leadership is left to the senior citizens only, shall we not get into situations of leadership gaps at some stage?
On the other hand, it has continually been pointed out that leadership is for those who are financially endowed rather than lightweights. The truth is that age and financial status are ideally not pre-requisites of leadership either in our country or elsewhere. Notably, the current British Prime Minister got into power in May 2010 at 43 years.

Indeed, there have been many other cases of young leaders who have attained these positions out of sheer merit even when not financially endowed. Remember that President Obama’s campaign was substantially financed by his supporters.  Even more encouraging is that our new Constitution has embraced unprecedented guides driven by integrity and leadership principles as outlined in chapter Six.

Moreover, if we can learn from the trends in the recent interviews of senior judicial officers, then the expected leadership standards have started falling in place. Most likely, it is only people with impeccable credentials including character that may in the future venture into public leadership. Is this then not an opportune moment for the youth to start considering their options in leadership?

Ideally, leadership principles are always the same whatever the situation. However, it pays to realise that leadership is about the power of influence, which can be articulated in several ways. One of them is power of rewards where financial endowment becomes the key consideration. In this situation, you use financial might and other favors to buy your way into leadership. But does everybody have to use that route?

Another popular source of influence is derived from charismatic power. Gifted speakers and more appropriately social communicators fit quite well in this category. Sometimes, they need nothing else other than pulling and influencing people through their oratory skills. Without doubt, you are familiar with many such people.

Unfortunately, the power of influence may not work on its own in leadership. In fact, one is unlikely to be successful in leadership when there is no purpose for being in the same.  More still, the position may not be sustainable for long. That is why you find that there are only a few leaders who sustain these positions for a lifetime. The ideal situation is to be in leadership as a way of life.

So, what does it take to achieve the desired success?

One sure way of venturing into leadership anywhere is identifying the challenges or aspirations that prospective constituents could easily identify with. What in other words is destabilising them, which you think you can contribute in helping to achieve the desired results?  What is their vision or, more appropriately, their expected achievements?  Do you prescribe to that vision and would you walk with them as they pursue the same? If this can be a shared vision, then you are on the first steps towards acquiring devoted followers.

Mind you, it may pay dividends to work out dreams that are realisable during the leadership term. Further, it is advisable to be with the followers as they strive to achieve their dreams. When the dreams are not achieved and you are unavailable to discuss and face the respective challenges with them, mistrust is likely to set in.

This situation alienates you, the leader with the followers. In the end there may be no wins for any of the parties. This may lead to eventual severance of the relationship and therefore loss of the leadership position. Ultimately, every leader’s desire is to stay on and serve for as long as is practically possible. Are you that leader? 

(Mwangi Wanjumbi is a management consultant/trainer and CEO of Newtimes Business Solutions)

3 Replies to “Time for youth to take up leadership”

  1. am happy that Uhuru has a case to answer with no regrets i really hate it when they call him “KAMWANA” To me Uhuru doesn’t represent the change we want,when i was born many guys of my age can bear me witness there used to be baba’s radio n so in politics what happens rather the question which u get to be asked is who is your father where do he come from why do you want to be there?whats? how? is your background? i believe some old guard wants to use Uhuru for their own benefit at the expense of ordinary Kenyans so to me i need real change. when Martha Karua brought the bill about local tribunal they ignored her just because of who she was and now they didn’t even listen to her the problem with us is that we don’t nurture other young leaders now we don’t have an option the only option we have OLD GUARDS,anyway how do i wish our politics can be free and fair and real politics not dirty politics.please people give everybody an ear thats listen more and talk less my brother Uhuru. Hague is not Kenyan law courts take care but i do wish you well and please speak less and do what……….. that’s my advice.


    Media is being compromised to sustain their attacks on him.

    As Kenyan media takes sides with the powerful State officials offering them
    good salaries and perks, innocent victims continue to suffer the wrong
    image and humiliation portrayed by them. Kenyan media has self
    transformed into “hit man” or “gun” for hire. While greedy editors for
    sale prefer taking sides with the wealthy powerful government
    officials, media continues to negatively expose innocent Kenyan lives to
    danger. Media was a major culprit in causing the post election
    violence chaos for taking sides. It’s been known for also spreading
    provocative and incitement against members of public thus ending their
    lives in deaths or loss without trace. That’s what one of the hate
    victims Mr Timberlake is going through. Several editors also control
    most social blogosphere in conjunction with the State.

    Meanwhile, details are now emerging how government blocked tabled
    reports on findings into whether Timberlake and his wife were wrongly
    charged and maltreated publicly. Some top immigration officers in
    conjunction with the CID police colluded to fabricate fake South African
    passport and Kenyan ID to blackmail Timberlake and cause him public
    injury and incitement, that’s according to the latest reports emerging
    from authentic sources.

    Though media has publicly declared a
    personal war against the Timberlake’s family, several Kenyans who
    responded to a random poll on whether Timberlake was to return back or
    not surprisingly cautioned him to stay away further. With some members
    of the government claiming that he holds credible evidence on post
    election violence that took place in 2007/8 where his home was burnt
    down to ashes. Hundreds of witnesses have been killed or burnt alive to
    discourage others from giving evidence against the election
    perpetrators. They’re still in government and most of them will still
    rig themselves in to power escape the ICC wrath. The ICC might be
    overwhelmed in their quest to arrest the powerful ministers who have
    vowed to assassinate Timberlake.

    “Until now, I am of the
    opinion that Mr Timberlake and his wife must stay away from Kenya for
    now until 2018 as their lives and whereabouts are a subject of
    discussion almost every morning in our boardrooms,” a senior
    intelligence officer confirmed.

    The following are criminal charges that were nailed on Timberlake and Esther that never were:-

    -Charged with being members of an unregistered society i.e. Cult
    -Timberlake was charged as a foreigner in Kenya illegally
    -Charged with holding a fake South African passport
    -Charged with holding a fake national ID
    -Charged with stealing $70,000,000 from a French Bank
    -Charged with intentions of overthrowing a sitting government with the funds from abroad
    -Charged with receiving $2.2 M from 2 Kenyans for the purposes of unseating the government
    -Charged with treason against the Prime Minister
    -Charged with buying a home constructed on a road reserve
    -Charged with holding secret minutes with intent of exposing sitting cabinet ministers’ conducts
    -Charged with stealing $17,000,000 from a British bank

    Below are the counter checks:

    -It’s the same government that issued registration permit to what they
    term as unregistered society today and they threw out the case
    -Timberlake is a Kenyan registered by birth with all his details recorded at National Registration of Persons

    -Timberlake has never flown to South Africa and there are no records
    from Pretoria’s Ministry of Home Affairs to confirm he’s ever used a
    fake passport
    -Timberlake’s charge file with accusation of holding a fake ID does not even exist
    -Timberlake has not stepped on French soil in order to commit that offence

    -This case was cooked and backdated while he was contained in unknown
    location. The case was thrown out after a forced confession took place.
    -You can never overthrow a government with Ksh 84,000,000 that was already frozen in accounts.
    -Announcing to vie as an MP in Prime Minister’s constituency does not change into treason.
    -No residential zone can be “okayed” by Nairobi City Commission if it’s meant for road reserves.
    -It’s true because he faced live threats that he recorded, the ministers threatened him with death if he exposed some things
    -Timberlake has never stolen from a British bank

    Conventional media—radio, television, and newspapers—usually play a
    positive and informative role in society. However, there are many
    documented cases of media being manipulated by State officials intent on
    instigating violent conflict.
    Analyzing the “clues to conflict” in
    vulnerable societies can enable policymakers to identify societies that
    are particularly vulnerable to media abuse and decide on the most
    appropriate type and timing of media interventions.
    These clues are
    divided into two categories. Structural indicators concern media
    outlets, media professionals, or government institutions concerned with
    media; these indicators can include media variety and plurality, degree
    of journalist isolation, and the legal environment for media. Content
    indicators concern content designed to create fear (such as a focus on
    past atrocities and history of ethnic hatred) or content designed to
    create a sense of inevitability and resignation (such as discrediting
    alternatives to conflict).
    In response to the clues to conflict, a
    number of opportunities for intervention are suggested. These media
    interventions fall into three categories: structural interventions, such
    as strengthening domestic and international journalist networks;
    content-specific interventions, such as issue-oriented training; and
    aggressive interventions, such as radio and television jamming.

    Early interventions are less expensive and more effective than later
    interventions, because by the time media abuse is widespread there may
    be little or no recourse.
    The international community should
    undertake four actions: media in vulnerable societies should be
    monitored; there should be greater collaboration between media
    organizations and conflict resolution organizations; media organizations
    need to build a better case for monitoring and early intervention and
    need to encourage appropriate donor support; and a systematic review of
    media behavior in vulnerable societies should be conducted to enhance
    the international community’s understanding of this important dynamic.

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