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From  #NigerianRisk tweetchat

When asked who an effective leader is, Abdullah Musa Abdul replied: “An Effective leader! Well in my humble opinion, an effective leader is that leader who has in him or her a combined characteristic of competence, diligence, and passion and equally has the ability to identify talents and harness those talents to get things done without prejudice. An effective leader chooses competence over virtue.”

Abu Jabir Abdullah Musa Abdul (Penabdul), is an Architect, principal partner at Diamond 4 Architects, CEO Sustainable Project Works (SPW) Limited as well as the Managing Director A & A HOMES Limited. As an academician he teaches Architecture at Baze University, Abuja. As a cleric he is a member of the Expanded General Purpose Committee Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Founder Darul Tauheed Islamic Center. PenAbdul is a renowned columnist with and a regular writer with Besides being a marriage counselor PenAbdul is also a Polo Player.

In his response to this question in a tweet-chat session held on Friday, when he was hosted in one of Nigerian Risk Awards and Summit’s Chat with the hashtag #NigerianRisk,  PenAbdul added that  “An effective leader could also be seen as a selfless, competent person who listens and appreciates the insight of others on how to achieve common goals. He thinks ahead of his time and masters the art of delegation. Simply put, he goes macro instead of micro.”

Mr Joachim Adenusi, the MD Conrad Clark Nigeria Limited, who co-hosted the conversation with a youth leader, Mustapha Sa’eed, an SDG advocate, further asked: “What inspires followers to becoming leaders?”

PenAbdul responded that “Interestingly, in life you are either a leader or a follower. However, you can be both because each one of us is a leader in his/her own right. I think, followers get inspired to becoming leaders if they see truthfulness, honesty, selflessness, competence and pragmatism in the way their leaders handle leadership. When a leader leads (in the true sense of the word) he or she inspires the followers to wanting to become like him/her, thus making leaders of our followers.”

PenAbdul stressed the role of leaders in uniting their subjects and ensuring a seamless reign. “Leadership is all about sacrifice and dedication. It entails putting behind any prejudice against any class of the followers. When a leader embraces one and all, including his antagonists and look at the bigger picture, he lays a solid foundation for unity. When a leader is vindictive and bias, he closes all the avenues of unity. So, a leader that demonstrates justice regardless of who it affects will win the hearts of the followers and he will be a rallying point for them. He simply unites.”

He further suggested that the antidote to the polarisation along religious and ethnic divide as it is becoming popular in Nigeria. “A leader that shows love and compassion and deals justly with others irrespective of their religion, background and ethnic affiliations and ensures equal opportunity is provided for one and all definitely will have the moral power to depolarise a nation that has been polarised along ethnic and religious sentiments.”

Followers are not left out of the discussion as they equally play a vital role in ensuring the actualisation of an ideal state or environment with functional leaders. He stated that: “The hallmark of good followership is in showing respect and obedience to the leader. When there is that synergy between the two then the leader strives to please the followers. Gaining confidence is key. The followers should see themselves as pillars upon which the leadership rests. If the leader is doing anything that will undermine the functionality of the society then it is the responsibility of the followers to alert the leader and use an effective tool of checks and balances.”

It is important to know that followers do influence leaders to do the right thing when they are responsible and equally can stand for their rights. If the leaders know that the followers are aware of their rights, it will be sufficient to influence the leaders to lead responsibly.

Shaykh Abdullah Musa stated that in solving the leadership and followership crisis in Nigeria and elsewhere; “First, the leader should own the crisis and simply take responsibility for whatever it is. 

This will make the followers to be less defensive. Then, let him then identify the cause of the crisis and immediately invite the stakeholders to initiate a process of managing the crisis to avoid its escalation. Then, roll out strategies that will address the concerns of the aggrieved parties without openly taking sides. This can be followed with an understanding of the remote and immediate causes of the crisis which is critical when setting up an action plan to resolve the issue.”

“Start immediately! By constantly ensuring that all the different members of the community are duly represented and carried along until none of the diverse groups feels marginalized. I think if the leader engages all the diverse members of his community through their accepted representatives, he will be able to sustain and maintain unity.” He added that Leaders should also set up feedback mechanism for their own assessment and action plan with respect to the peculiar needs of each of the diverse groups of the community.

When asked about the risks in leadership, PenAbdul said; “Well, in my humble opinion, Leaders are actually servants of people who step out of their comfort zone to take known and unknown risks to meet up with the demands of those they serve. They are exposed to the risk of physical harm, financial harm, reputation loss, failure, accountability...”. 

“The risks that are really of great concern to us in Nigeria and which I would love that Nigerian Risk Leadership Summit (coming up on September 17, 2020) should address are the risks of reputation loss, failure and accountability.
To be part of this Nigerian Risk Leadership Summit, visit to register and reserve a seat at the online summit.

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