Segun Oke is a Maxwell Leadership Certified, Leadership & Personal Development Coach. I am an author, keynote speaker, and The Lead Pastor at HillCity Church, a dynamic and innovative church in Lagos, Nigeria.

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It is my humble opinion that leadership is one of the most important subjects on the face of the earth. And I agree wholeheartedly with John Maxwell when he says that “everything rises and falls on leadership”. A leader’s primary assignment is to inspire and engineer change – to help move from where they are to where they ought to be. Effective leaders are intentional; the following are some of the essential things they do:


It’s not enough to have a worthy cause; the process of pursuing it must be stimulating for your team members. The quality of ideas you present to your people will largely determine how eager they are to see them come to pass. Effective leaders are always on the lookout for exceptional ideas – ideas that help individuals grow and move the organization forward at the same time. They know how to stimulate their own creativity; and more importantly, they know how to tap into the creativity of their followers. They read books, attend conferences, study their contemporaries, and above all, organize brainstorming sessions with their people; in order to generate great ideas. Until you take responsibility for generating unique ideas for your team, you are not yet the leader; you may simply be carrying a title, and your people know it.


The Law of respect applies here – people naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves. You don’t have to be the best in the world, but you must be perceived by your followers as growing in your ability to lead the team. When a leader is through growing, he is through. Secondly, you must concentrate on helping your people grow in every area of their lives. The more committed you are to the personal lives of your people, the more committed they will be to you and the team. Let it be obvious to your people that they are more important to you than projects, and they will return the favour by making your vision their priority.


They focus on building a team; and treating their people as partners, not factors of production. They treat your people with respect and dignity. They give every member of their team a sense of belonging – “You are all different but equally important”. They highlight every team member’s strengths and position them where they can make the most impact.


Rick Warren said that the first responsibility of leadership is to define the mission. Effective leaders know where their team is coming from and where it is headed. More importantly, they know exactly where they are. As a leader you must be able to tell your members when an assignment is over, and what the next one is. When people are caught in a cycle of endless and meaningless activity, they lose perspective and become demoralized. Effective leaders make sure their team knows exactly what to do, why they are doing it, when to do it, how they are doing, and what is next.

 This is definitely not exhaustive, but a good starting point. Apply these principles, and you shall experience the fulfilment known only to exceptional leaders – the pleasure of watching your people grow; and seeing your dreams become reality.

©2023 Segun Oke

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