“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”. – Warren Bennis
American historian Gordon Curley, told a story about a time when Spain possessed the territory both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar. So on their coins they stamped the two Pillars of Hercules, which is what the two promontories of rock were called. And on a scroll they inscribed the words, “No more beyond.” Meaning there ain’t nothing else out there. They felt this was the end of the road. Then came the discovery of the New World, and with it the realisation that there was in fact something else out there. So they changed the coins to read, “More beyond.” This is the mindset of an eagle:
An eagle can see a mouse from a mile above the earth.
At a point in our lives, we had thought that successive administrations have done all there’s that should be done, and like the characters in the short story above, we felt “No More Beyond”. Suddenly, a man showed up and exclaimed “More Beyond!”.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel has shown rare magnitude of doggedness in leadership through well defined visions he brought to bear while discharging his duties as governor. In so many sectors of our economy, he is shouting “More Beyond!”. There’s more to be done about the Ibom Deep Seaport project. There’s more beyond industrialization. There’s more beyond the Molecular Laboratory and Isolation Center. There’s more beyond consistent payment of salary, and that there’s more he can do beyond being very responsible and unassuming, even in such position as a governor.
In Akwa Ibom we have seen a man who has refused to give up amidst challenges. We have seen a man who has refused to give excuses even when there are so many to give. We have seen a governor who is never satisfied with what he has achieved so far. He feels there are more worlds to conquer, and true to his conviction, he is conquering more worlds. He is conquering more worlds in the education, sport, women development, capacity building, agriculture and works sectors of our economy. This is the mindset of a visionary leader.
Visionary leaders characteristically bring cohesiveness to inspire everyone to be on the same page. To meet their objectives, visionary leaders are often charismatic and determined. They identify themselves as confident coaches who are meant to guide the team through transitions or difficult organizational eras. These are difficult eras, yet, in Akwa Ibom the present administration is achieving its goals with ease. This is what vision does.
Ralph Lauren said “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” This is what Gov. Udom Emmanuel is doing. Showing resilience and focus in the midst of violent and uncultured verbal attacks on him. He has refused to be distracted.
Instead of succumbing to the onslaught, he is adding more feathers to his cap through construction of more roads, building of more industries, revitalizing the healthcare system, institutionalizing good values of self reliance, industriousness, responsiveness and inclusive/youth-oriented administration.
This explains why youths are given leadership positions across board, beyond the SA and PAship which were the only positions reserved for the youths in time past. But today, youths are commissioners, Board chairmen and directors, chairmen of council, etc. It has never been so in the history of Akwa Ibom. This is visionary and legendary.
Today, we can sleep with our two eyes closed. There’s relative peace in all parts of the state. People can go about their legitimate businesses without fear of harassment and intimidation by hoodlums. This is what a man of vision can actualize. For where there’s no vision, the people perish.
What is most amazing is that in the midst of attacks from those who hate purposeful and result-oriented leadership, Gov. Emmanuel has remained focused, dogged, unperturbed, unmoved and resilient. He is still focusing on the mandate of the Completion Agenda, putting finishing touches on projects already initiated and initiating new ones.
These are all products of a visionary leader who is bent on translating Akwa Ibom dreams to reality. This is the Completion Agenda!
(c) Richard Peter