Dear editor,

A leader, they say, is also a dealer in hope. In times of great adversity, when the world is confronted with a disease whose cure has so far eluded the scientific world; when life, in most part, has grounded to a halt and monotonously the wheel of activity grinds; when fear, anxiety and hopelessnes is gripping societies; and hopelessly we watch sickle of Covid-19 cutting off the corns of life, it is leadership, prepared and exemplary, which can instil hope and optimism in people discouraged about the future and what it holds for them.

Everything rises and falls with leadership. It is leadership which shows the way, walks the way and influences to walk the path. It is leadership which encourages and fills the people with optimism. It is leadership which inspires.

And so in extraordinary times as we have now, it is leadership which can liven up an already dispirited people. It can only do so by taking or making bold decisions, for the greatest good of the society. That leadership must be willing and ready to make unpopular decisions, to step on toes, to stir the hornet’s nest and upset the apple cart, to ruffle the feathers of the high and mighty or his friends or the sacred cows, to take unpopular political steps because they serve the “greatest happiness of the greatest number”.

Combating Covid-19 demands firm, effective, exemplary, visionary, courageous leadership. It particularly requires a leader armed with a vision, a plan and strategy and guided by facts and faith. No leader can successfully navigate the ship of state through tumultuous seas if he or she has no knowledge of the weather or of facts about the sea, is not armed with a compass and cannot motivate his or her sailors. But belief in his or her ability to lead, to steer through, is the first of requirements.

Show me a leader who is unwilling to take bold, unpopular decisions or steps and I will show you an ineffectual leader.

Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes only the leader to chart the way. And so “if the leader can’t navigate the people through rough waters, he is likely to sink the ship” J.C. Maxwell.

Covid-19 is real. Observe all the precautions

Njundu Drammeh

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