Developing a transformational leadership strategy towards nigeria

1. DEVELOPING A TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP STRATEGY TOWARDS NIGERIA’S VISION 2020 1 2. Abstract Leadership is considered as one of the critical components of business…
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  • 2. Abstract Leadership is considered as one of the critical components of business management especially in this competitive era. Over time, business organizations with excellent leadership have shown tremendous growth as opposed to those business ventures with weak or inappropriate leadership. The introduction discusses the history of Nigeria‟s background; with specific emphasis on Nigeria‟s Vision 2020 Policy, subsequently, giving a brief Comparison with Vision 2020 Malaysia‟s Concept The second part is the review of literature from other works done on leadership, specifically, transformational leadership. Research in the past decade has shown clearly that 90% of successful business ventures are entirely so because of strong CEOs, while on the other hand 90% of failure of business ventures has been attributed to failed top leadership. Amidst this realization, many organization ventures are geared towards enhancing more able leadership not only as a critical success factor, but also as a central theme to success strategy in business today. Regarding this realization, Nigeria is therefore not an exception for placing particular emphasis on leadership given the fact that the country is considered the hub of West Africa and Africa at large. In the third part the paper will propose a methodology of the research plan to facilitate the study of the impact of transformational leadership in Nigeria. To this end, opinions from major corporations CEOs, business persons, and professionals will be used. Specific methodologies and data collection methods will also be used and analyzed. Budget allocation and the timeline for this study will also be outlined in this part of the research. 2
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  • 4. INTRODUCTION Nigeria became a federal republic in October 1963, with the former governor general, Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe winning the first general election to become the first president of the country.However, disparities in the economic and education development brought about tension amongthe ethnic groups living in the north and the south. Consequently, several political parties came intoexistence with the foremost being the Action Group (AG), the New Nigerian Development Party (NNDP)and the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). The AG was however maneuveredout of control in the Yoruba dominated Western Region by the Federal Government and a newpro-government Yoruba party, the NNDP, took over. Shortly afterwards, the AG oppositionleader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was imprisoned on charges of treasonable felony which werelater admitted to be without foundation. The 1965 National Election produced a major realignment of politics and a disputedresult that unfortunately set the country on the path to civil war. The dominant northern NigerianProgressive Council (NPC) went into a conservative alliance with the new Yoruba NNDP,leaving the Eastern Igbo NCNC to coalesce with the remnants of the AG (Action Group) in aprogressive alliance. Widespread electoral fraud was alleged during the elections and riotserupted in the Yoruba West where the AG discovered that they had apparently elected pro-government NNDP representatives. On 15 January 1966, a group of army officers overthrew the NPC-NNDP governmentand assassinated the prime minister and premiers of both the northern and western regions. Unfortunately, the federal military government that assumed power under GeneralAguiyi-Ironsi was unable to douse ethnic tensions or produce a constitution acceptable to allsections of the country. Its efforts to abolish the federal structure and the renaming of the country 4
  • 5. as the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 24 May 1966 raised tensions and led to another coup bylargely northern officers in July 1966. This coup established the leadership of Major GeneralYakubu Gowon. The name, the Federal Republic of Nigeria was restored on 31st August, 1966. However,the subsequent massacre of several Igbos in the north prompted many of them to return to thesoutheast where increasingly strong Igbo secessionist sentiment had emerged. Subsequent governments have also experienced diverse political, ethnic and economicproblems including the present government led by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. This leadership hasdeveloped goals and visions that it aims to achieve in a policy that is styled and known as„Nigeria‟s Vision 2020‟. Nigeria‟s economic potential is well recognized. Nigeria is the biggest economy in theWest African sub region and given the country‟s considerable resource endowment and coastallocation, there is immense potential for strong growth. Unfortunately, Nigeria has realized verylittle of this potential. Previous efforts at planning and visioning were not sustained. Nigeria‟slong history of economic stagnation, declining welfare and social instability has undermineddevelopment for most of her 50 years, post independence. The recently launched „Vision 2020 Project‟, intended to make Nigeria one of thestrongest emerging economies by the year 2020, on the scale of the progress achieved inMalaysia by Malaysia Incorporated is a pervasive policy for the success of the nation as aspiredin Vision 2020. Nigeria‟s Vision 2020‟s Critical Success Factors are defined as: 5
  • 6. “1. CLEAR DEFINITION OF THE VISIONWhile a simple „catch phrase‟ such as “To be one of the 20 largest economies by 2020” is highlydesirable as a means of mobilizing citizens behind the vision, it is not enough. A clear definitionwhich spells out the goals to be achieved in all the key sectors and aspects of the nation‟seconomic, social and political life is most essential.2. LEADERSHIP COMMITMENTA national Vision must be championed and passionately driven by the highest level ofleadership. Belief in and commitment to the vision needs to be constantly reiterated andunequivocally articulated by the Head of State and his principal lieutenants and incorporated inevery major public address by the President.3. SHARED OWNERSHIPThe vision must reflect the key aspirations of all stakeholders. It is therefore imperative that theprocess of articulating the overall goals and key strategies should be and be seen to betransparently inclusive through the involvement of the broadest representation of stakeholdergroups and socio-political perspectives.4. INTEGRATED STRATEGYA holistic, coherent and integrated strategy which recognizes the interdependencies of thevarious facets of national life (economic, political, cultural etc).5. EFFECTIVE STRATEGIC PLAN AND FRAMEWORKA clear logical frame and strategic plan for achieving the defined goals must be outlined whichshould have the following components: Purpose/Key objectives; Outputs; Indicators:Activities/Programmes; Key assumptions and Risks.6. INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT 6
  • 7. The need to get people involved at all tiers in their own way and in a non-regimented mannerwith clear ownership and accountability. These include the three tiers of government:  Federal Executive Council  National Economic Council  National Assembly/Judiciary; and finally,  Public/Private Sector/NGOs/Traditional Institutions/Military7. RESOURCESApart from the resources that would be required to implement the plans and programmes forachieving the vision it is also necessary to ensure that the financial and institutional resourcesrequired to develop the vision; documents and finances to mobilize the people behind it arereadily available. This will include a multidisciplinary team of resource persons with necessarycompetencies to guide and coordinate the visioning process” (Concepts for Nigeria‟s Vision2020). Effective collaboration between public and private sectors is crucial to the developmentof the nations competitiveness in the global market place. The role of the public and privatesectors has been clearly identified for the immediate response and consequent initiative by bothsectors. This is the challenge that lies before Nigerians, same as experienced by Malaysians. Themeasure by which these goals are achieved is determined by the measure of their commitmentand conviction to the value of Vision 2020 as the key strategy in the development of the nationfor the future. Just as Nigeria proposes in its critical success factors, leadership commitment ishighly regarded even as it is stated that these visions must be championed and passionatelydriven by the highest level of leadership. 7
  • 8. Miller (2009) affirms that leadership as has undergone a paradigm shift from old systemssuch as authoritative with bosses dominating to servant leadership. Today, leaders try toimplement transformational leadership at their work places. It is in this light thattransformational leadership seems to have played a tangible role in enhancing its muchadvertised success. However, for transformational leadership to be effective, there is a need forpolitical will and stability with government‟s management strategies. This proposal will discuss the objectives, purpose of the study, literature review, researchmethodology, timeline and research budget for the study.ObjectivesIn order to achieve these aims, the following objectives are set: 1. To develop a leadership agenda for Nigeria based on its Vision 2020 policy; 2. To examine the impact of Nigeria‟s Vision 2020 policy and the factors accounting for its success and effectiveness so far; 3. To examine the role of leadership in Nigeria and determine whether leadership remains an important pillar that is integrated with government strategic management and political stability, based on the country‟s Vision 2020 policy.Scope of Study This study will examine organizational culture (behaviour patterns; beliefs; sharedattitudes; goals; values and practices); societal culture (individual factors including behaviour);and the relationship between the engagement of followers and leadership. 8
  • 9. Purpose of the Study The main purpose of the study is to seek a deep and comprehensive understanding for therole of leadership in Nigeria‟s Vision 2020, how leadership affects Nigeria‟s development, and ifit will become a strong pillar in the economic future of the country.Relevance of the Study The knowledge of the impact of leadership in any setting has some degree of relevance toits economic position and how well it facilitates the achievement of various economic goalswithin the society. It is envisaged that with the result obtained, improvements can be made to theexisting knowledge concerning the development of a leadership strategy in Nigeria and itsefficacy in achieving the objectives of Vision 2020.Research Question Nigeria‟s importance in the world is hard to ignore. Economic prosperity needs goodleadership to focus, strategize and foster the implementation of necessary changes. Nigeria ashowever had trouble in transforming the country regardless of her huge resources, to a countrywhich has emerged out of perceived poverty. Consequently, my research question will address how Nigeria can use transformationalleadership which is an important pillar in development to impact Nigeria‟s performance in itseconomic future and the sustaining of any such development in a bid to achieve the objectives ofthe country‟s Vision 2020. 9
  • 10. Literature Review The influence of culture on leadership and organizational practices according to House,Right and Aditya (1997) in their cross culture research establishes that there is compelling reasonfor considering the role of the society and organizational culture in influencing leadership andthe organizational processes. In addition, there is need for theories of leadership andorganizations that transcend cultures. Leadership affects organizational form, its culture andpractice, where the founders and the subsequent leaders continue to influence and maintain theorganizational culture (Bass, 1985; Miller and Droge, 1986; Schein, 1992; Thompson andLuthans, 1990; and Yukl, 2002). Furthermore, societies, cultural values and practices do affectorganizational culture and practices. However, while societal culture has a very direct impact onorganizational culture, over a period of time, organizational cultures influence the broadersocietal culture. A collective definition could result in the dominant culture values, beliefs, assumptionsand implicit motives endorsed by societal culture resulting in a common leadership and implicitculture organization theories that are held by the members of the culture (House, Wright andAditya, 1997; Lord and Maher, 1991). Organization cultures and practices also affect leadership behavior over a long period oftime where the founders and subsequent leaders in organizations respond to the organizationalculture and also alter their general behavior and leader styles accordingly (Lombardo, 1983;Schein, 1992; Trice and Beyer, 1984). Furthermore, societal culture; and organizational cultureand practices influence the process by which people come to share implicit theories ofleadership. Additionally, strategic organizational contingencies affect the organizational form,culture, and practices, where the organizational practices are largely directed toward achieving 10
  • 11. the requirements that are imposed by organizational contingencies (Burns and Stalker, 1961;Donaldson, 1993; Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967; Tushman, Newman and Nadler, 1988). Burns 1978 argued that transformational leadership is a process in which leaders andfollowers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation. Burns related tothe difficulty in differentiation between management and leadership and claimed that thedifferences are in characteristics and behaviors. He established that the transforming approachcreates significant change in the life of peoples and organizations. It redesigns perceptions andvalues, and changes expectations and aspirations of employees (Burns1978). Unlike thetransactional approach, Burns (1978), transformational leadership is not based on a „give andtake‟ relationship, but on the leaders personality, traits and ability to make a change throughexample, articulation of a stimulating vision and challenging goals (Burns1978). Transformingleaders develop ideas in the sense that they are moral examples of working towards the benefit ofthe organization. Transformational leadership is therefore defined as a leadership approach that causeschange in individuals and social systems. In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positivechange in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders. Enacted in itsauthentic form, transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale, and performance ofits followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the followers sense ofidentity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role modelfor followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work,and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followerswith tasks that optimize their performance. 11
  • 12. The Kouzes and Posner ModelValidity The leadership model studied by Kouzes and Posner (1980) on the challenges is said tohave been overtaken by time, since it was written in the early 1980s when there was not muchinterest on management. This was why the model focused on leadership without the possibilitiesof the junior employees taking up leadership roles in an organization: Kouzes and Posner (2007:15) argue that “leadership is not about personality; it‟s aboutbehaviour” and over a period of twenty five years in the course of research identified the Five Practices ofExemplary Leadership Model which are: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process,Enable others to Act; and Encourage the Heart. Kouzes and Posner (1980) mostly focused on the executive not leaders, with thefundamental question being whether leadership is an occasional act or an executive position. According to Kouzes and Posner, being a leader entails initiating a change from thestatus quo. Unfortunately, they are equivocal on this principle, because it is one of the fivepractices that characterize leadership. They argue that leaders search for opportunities toinnovate, grow, and improve. They quickly water down this point by saying …but leadersarent the only creators or originators of new products, services, or processes (the on "arent theonly). This implies that Kouzes and Posner see leaders as the occupants of managerial roles.However, if leadership is an informal act, not a position, then championing a new product is acharacteristic of a leader. Kouzes and Posner acknowledge that new ideas come from people onthe front lines. For them the leaders primary contribution is in the recognition of good ideas,the support of those ideas, and the willingness to challenge the system to get new products 12
  • 13. adopted. This is a pretty lame version of challenging the process. The reason for theequivocation is simply because there is no room in Kouzes and Posners world for management.If there was, they could say that leaders really do challenge the status quo, leaving it to managersto do the supporting, developing and facilitating of those who do so. Generability Kouzes and Posner (2007:15) argue that “leadership is not about personality; it‟s about behavior”and over a period of twenty five years in the course of research identified their „Five Practices ofExemplary Leadership Model‟ as outlined above. „Model the Way‟ suggests that in order for leaders toobtain commitment from their employees, they must act as good models of behavior for them. „Leadingthe Way‟ suggests that leaders must show good example and be guided by what they say. „Inspire aVision‟ is about having a dream and vision for the company and sharing it with the employees in order toget their full co-operation. This was underscored by UBA Plc Nigeria‟s Tony Elumelu when he stated that “at UBA, weshare the same vision, the same aspirations, and the same destiny.” Indeed, former ASDA PeopleDirector, David Smith recognized this concept when he stated in an interview with People Management(Bryman and Bell, 2007) that “Management is not only about planning, organizing, and controlling work.It is also about giving people a vision, making people feel involved, and part of that is making sure peopleare regularly communicated with and inspired by what is going on.” In „Challenging the Process‟, theleader needs to challenge his followers by providing opportunities for innovation and growth. „EnableOthers to Act‟, sets the framework for the inclusion of employees in the processes of running theorganization, whilst „Encourage the Heart‟ is about recognition of a job well done, appreciation and theprovision of incentives. 13
  • 14. Usefulness as a Model Recently, two recent reports have offered empirical support for the impact of the Five Practicesof Exemplary Leadership model, Kouzes & Posner, (2007). Both reports show that the more leaders canadopt the model, the better off organizations will be, with clear evidence that The Five Practices ofExemplary Leadership model have a huge impact on both favorable employee sentiments and positivecompany financial performance . According to Ruth and Axelrod (2000), universally accepted leadership is based on competence.Modern leadership demands collaboration with many people in order to attain defined goals by involvingthem in decision making. Kouzes and Posner (1999) argue that leaders who are acceptable globally mustbe credible. Credibility is earned through consistency, which is an essential ingredient of leadership. In summary, according to Bass (1985), working for a transformational leader can be amagnificent and uplifting encounter because these leaders put passion and energy into eve
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    Jul 23, 2017
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