Leadership 

​The Rubber Hits The Road. 

No one imagines they will spend their Sunday night of adult life trying to cut through a steel door to access their dig because well, they are home and the keys are not yet home. That was a night of horror😢 Then that week started to sound like it was earmarked for disaster. Disaster because I end the week at losing my time piece. It pains not because it cost a damn fifty freaking dollars but because that watch has become so much of me. Now I stand at the absolute point of perhaps missing to wake up on time as Kenyans start off to Canaan. If you don’t mind people, signal me I  that day. Don’t leave a brother behind. I feel like asking God to rain a storm on whoever picked it. But I doubt our God here’s such prayers. But in case I miss on that Canaan journey, that person will not know peace.

How I lose it. Wednesday am doing this training that zaps my entire energy reserves. I hit my crib dead beaten as pulp. I even sleep in my shoes. My skewed imagination serves the memory that I connected my cellular gadget to charge. Thursday morning I wake up this late. My phone is resting at the couch uncharged. The battery icon shows red against a disturbing 5%. Mugabe said in Africa the only warning people take serious is battery low. My functioning is disoriented by that 5%.Am alarmed. Well, that alone is a recipe for trouble because girlfriend is poised to call and find me offline and leave paragraphs of questions to answer! . Boy child issues. Am this full of energy however. Am in Yaya then CBD then Westlands. Passport check. I come back to town then take the long trip South to find Rongai Republic. Some friend drops a call. Am juggling the remaining 3% on ultra Power save mode. I miss that call and text back. He asks we hook late evening at Tribeka. The phone gives up the fight and stays conspicuously grey faced. I finish up my day, seat in that Langata road traffic to town and drift towards Tribeka. I find him in the exact location he’d described on text. He’s walking on Johny. He asks we have an hour then leave. We keep walking. They have a Kenya one reggae peace concert. Dj Moh is on the decks. The next day I wake up without my watch.

But no we are talking about leadership today. Why then  the whole story about your girlfriend and phone and watches Tony? Leadership you will notice it’s about decisions. Decisions make leadership and leaders make decisions. On the last scenario for instance, my pal asking we meet was one against my wish pending a queue of uncompleted articles on my computer. But then again, I didn’t want to behave like I wasn’t creating time for him. Recently we had a character narrative. And people tend to judge and characterize you on matters as small as snubbing a meeting. So I obliged and pushed forward my writing deadlines.

Tribeka were hosting a reggae peace concert. Lately and if you notice every one preaches peace. Peace even in a no violence evident country. Why? It’s that time of the year and the political class is at it again. We are out to chose leaders on the political space. Them that have been Orchestrators of violence with their tribal inclinations. And ethnic maths. And it’s our time to eat narratives. It’s how it starts to sound like violence and politics are correlational. Some sort of direct proportion.

When it comes to leadership  our decisions make or destroy us. Our words sail or seal our fates. And a part from that old guy Ole Kaparo watching our steps, we should strive to remain cautious and go a further step down responsibility Lane with what we say. You guys have seen and owing to it being an electioneering season, our social media space morph into war fields with people exchanging deep pinching words behind the courage of the anonymity of the key board. Prior and during this election, country men have gotten loose with words. Some got behind bars but not past the pr gimmicks. And if you ask me I will tell you hate speech is the wildest monster ailing us.  Not to mention names but some long serving city mayor went “we only have one ‘bullet’ to spare and we don’t want to take gambles with it. In fact what’s the issue if one or two people lose their lives subject to them standing in the way of our ‘bullet’?” he reiterated. Those words almost caused world war three. Another Mount affiliated Mp said “I have my own militia. Am even buying them pangas and machetes to cut off people’s necks for disrespecting the guy on the hill”  Then the guy on the hill declared “We are the official meat eaters, the rest of you your portion is salivating” And didn’t people feel aggrieved? Most recently in a campaign trail, some land related  remarks by the one time Premier created a storm because the interpretation meant beating the drums of war. Such is the cordial relationship between speech decisions and leadership. On that note, everyone gets to ask whether people are bound to fight in the bound to happen general elections. By any chance you bump into such characters and you are the one being asked such, go ahead and interrogate them on whom they are willing to pick a fight with in their personal capacity. By any chance they say you, run. Please run dear for cowards live longer!

Leadership has as diverse approaches as there are styles of leadership. But today if you don’t mind we are not walking down that path but rather we are out to give leadership a bird’s eye glance with a little more emphasis on the political leadership because that August Eighth date is with us finally. Like Obama says “yes we can talk this out and reach an amicable agreement.” Trump goes “to make America great again, we can’t take this lying down. We must fight back. We are the America!

It’s common knowledge that whenever someone opens a leadership Narrative people’s mind point towards the political space. But leadership in essence starts with you. You are a leader in your own personal capacity. In fact being a leader, makes it possible to accept to be led.

We have leaders in our different spheres of life. School, church, work places, name them. And different leaders pick up different roles which are defined. Organizational leadership normally is structured to outline positions, roles and or responsibilities. Some settings are formal whereas others are informal. And that guides the leadership style adopted.
Accepting that leadership starts with you and being a leader firsthand makes instances of conflict resolution flawless. A good scenario is our high school principal who induced internal controls to tame bullying. What he did thus, he summoned all form ones pending high cases of reported bullying. To the form ones, he asked they report to him directly (which is impossible) as soon as they are bullied. He summoned the graduating class and charged them with taming the form ones without getting rogue. And that’s why we are emphasizing on political leadership today.

Leadership in this country is been a matter of contention time immemorial. We have a problem and the problem is leadership crisis. The type of characters our political leadership attracts is wanting. Wanting because it’s 2017 and we are desperately marred with backward vices to mention; nepotism, tribalism, corruption, poverty and what have you. Yet season in season out we elect into office leaders who do little to navigate towards finding real-time solutions. Instead they continue to bask in the glamour of power. Power that selfishly serves them alone. And perhaps by not so guaranteed extension their closer circles. It’s Abraham Lincoln who said, if you want to succeed as a leader, first eliminate those who took you to power. Yes. Because if there is a phrase that can sum our political leadership then it should be “scratch my back I scratch yours”

The election process is been the most heated starting all the way from the bungled party primaries. Which birthed the largest number of independent candidates in Kenyan history.
We have had a faction of leaders preaching peace. Then another faction coming from the school of thought that believes peace is guaranteed when the election process is free, fair, credible and verifiable. See group one doesn’t address the key roots. Group two makes peace or lack of it conditional. Like subject to root causes being addressed. Here we are ending up to beat drums of war a mid calls for peace. Can’t we do better as leaders. I mean all of us.

I hear rumors of war. I hear whispers of fear. But turning around, I see calmness. I feel composure. I mean I can even touch the feel of a people determined not to make the same mistake twice. Yesterday I had imagined church would be boring. That they’d break into the rhetorics of politics. Preaching about voting wisely. And observing peace. And going home after voting. And being a brother’s keeper. Then some kid of about nine recited a powerful prayer of confession of the nation and the Church and the people. That was a game changer. Then we prayed about and for entirely everything prayer worthy. Ballot papers. Election officials. Candidates. Results. The process. Post Election. Peace. Everything. That prayer was solemn.

Eight happens to be my lucky number. Good things happen on Eighth so I believe. No I Trust. Like I was born on the Eighth many many years ago. Ain’t I a good thing?😂Tomorrow  is Eight. Countless stuff will happen but most importantly as a country aged fifty four years now, Kenya will undergo a ballot revolution. It’s interesting because Eight is in double portion. Like Eighth of August. Another good thing happening on EIGHTH.

The ball is finally in your court Kenya. Get wise about it. Don’t fumble. Dribble right ahead and aim the post. Make the right decision because tomorrow we vote. Allow we vote in peace and move on. This is no longer just a matter of gospel truth but rather  law. “Don’t fight each other over election misunderstandings. Let’s behave civilized about it” Every one of us hopes and prays for a credible, free, fair and verifiable elections. Which our wish is high will be delivered but in the unforeseen case our wish is not granted, we have sadly no alternative but to try calm down and move on. Fighting is no cure for if there’s anything it does, is erase a history of progress. What we could do rather is continue pushing for the independence of our institutions. And accommodativeness of a people. And soberness of our leaders. For that is the change that we so envision. When we pick a fight, we pick a fight with the wrong opponent ( a neighbor, a friend, a brother) as real ochestrators bask in the abundance of power. Power that guards their homes and property and interests from us the poor fighting lot.

Think about how mighty one vote is. Think about this

Think of the difference one vote can make.  Come voting time many neglect to exercise one of the greatest privileges of democracy, thinking that their one vote makes no difference.  Some time ago I came across a profound statement that conveys the importance of one vote:

It goes as thus

1. In 1645 one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England

2. In 1649 one vote caused Charles 1 of England to be executed

3. In 1776 one vote gave America the English language instead of German

4. In 1839 one vote elected Marcus Morton governor of Massachusetts

5. In 1845 one vote brought Texas into the union

6. On 1868 one vote saved president Andrew Johnson from impeachment

7. In 1875 one vote changed France from a monarchy to a Republic

8. In 1876 one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the United States presidency

9. In 1923 one vote gave Adolph Hitler control of the nazi party

10. In 1941 one vote saved the Selective Service System just 12 weeks before Pearl Harbor …….in short your one vote is important!!!

Leadership is about taking the mantle. It’s grabbing the bull by the horns. It’s using your one vote to choose what kind of leaders you want. It’s changing a narrative. Leadership is for me, using this platform to remind you to Purpose to plan to vote. Leadership is about you taking me serious.

Happy voting.
#Leadership

#Winstontony

#ADifferentNarattive

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