A Report on Africa Arise Conference & AU's Prayer Breakfast for African Heads of State (January 24-30, 2017). By Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD Just in case you miss the thrust of my report, this is what I want to say: “Success without a successor is failure. True leaders train others to succeed the...
|Leadership Nuggets By Dr. Pipim||| Print ||
Quotes on Leadership
© Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD
Over the years, Dr. Pipim has inspired a generation of effective youth, student, and young-adult leaders around the world. Below are a few of his leadership nuggets that have impacted them.
TRAINING NEW LEADERS
"Don't give the church to young people; give it rather to converted young people."
“If you don’t allow them to fail, you are failing them.”
"Eagles read, chickens watch TV."
"Don't lower standards for young people; challenge them to rise to the standards."
"Beware of the complacency of success. It is the first step towards mediocrity."
"A goal without a deadline is a dream."
“If not now, we’re late.”
“Leaders need foresight and insight. Foresight provides the scope of vision. Insight discerns the perspective.”
"Without vision, sight is blind."
LEADERS & PUPPETS
“Leaders think and act. Puppets blindly follow policies and polls.”
"Don't be flattered by your elected position. It is your character and accomplishments that count."
“Learn to think for yourself, otherwise somebody will do the thinking for you."
"The puppet says: 'There goes my people; I must follow them, because I am their leader'."
"Puppets know how. Leaders know why."
LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE
“Lead by actions, not by directions.”
"To change the world, you must first be changed."
THE POWER OF THE PEN
“The pen of truth is the most effective weapon against the arrogance of power.”
“Those who read are those who lead. But those who write challenge the leaders to do right.”
BE CAREFUL WITH POWER
“Power is like an egg. If you don’t handle it carefully it falls from your hands, but if you hold on too tightly to it, it breaks in your hands.”
(--An Adaptation of a Ghanaian Proverb)
“Show me the leader who keeps reminding others about ‘who is in charge’ and I will show you a desperate and insecure leader.”
"The 4-Cs of insecure leaders: They will attempt to crush any movement if they cannot control, command, or take credit for its successes."
“The unfortunate tragedy in Africa is that we have managed to accept as OK incompetent, mediocre, and shortsighted leadership, and we've allowed the chickens to lead the eagles!”
"The heart of the African problem is the African heart. This heart must be transformed."
"There's nothing wrong with the African mind. Our problem is the African mindset."
“Petty jealousies, short-sightedness, and selfishness have produced many of our leading 'African PhDs'--i.e., Africans with 'Pull Him Down (or Pull Her Down) Syndrome.”
"African black beans are puppet leaders--they are black on the outside, but have the mindset of the white colonial slave masters."
"Don't be fooled by the appeal of tribalism. Tribalism is the most comfortable shelter under which our African leaders hide their own incompetence and selfishness."
“Leaders in Africa do a lot of talking, with little action. They tell others to do what they themselves would not do.”
“A majority of our leaders want to be leaders for life. They stay in power till they become senile or are shot dead by someone.”
“Our leaders see themselves as chiefs—something inherited and therefore their right, whether or not they are capable. Thus, they will make sure that until they die, no one else will ever come up to positions of prominence.”
“Instead of raising millionaires and billionaires, we’ve succeeded in producing nillionaires (people with a lot of nothing, i.e., people with next to nil). The richest continent in the world is inhabited by the poorest people on the globe. Mediocrity is the new standard of excellence. PHD means ‘Pull Him Down’ or ‘Pull Her Down.’ We excel at hammering those who stand out. And we clip the wings of our soaring eagles so they can become chickens like us. This IS Africa. The heart of the African problem is the African heart. This heart must be transformed to create the Africa that OUGHT to be. Romans 12:2.”
CHICKEN LEADERSHIP vs. EAGLE LEADERSHIP
In church, as well as in society, we have allowed the chickens to lead the eagles! You know the chickens are leading the eagles—
— when brass is the new gold standard; i.e., when mediocrity is the philosophy of excellence;
— when “what’s wrong with that?” is the official language;
— when “what ought to be” is downgraded to “what is”;
— when one’s worth, ability, and position are determined by one’s degree, pedigree, and blind agreement;
— when routine is the mark of success, so that we just go through the motions;
— when respectability or acceptance depends on activity and not productivity;
— when enrollment is confused with educating, teaching with mentoring, and helping with empowerment;
— when excuses are the best explanation for failure;
— when self-pity is a mark of humility;
— when we don’t blush or cringe at sin, and are even unsure if there are absolute moral standards;
— when our consciences don't catch fire for principle and just causes;
— when the Word of God is replaced by human opinion, tradition, culture, or feelings;
— when entertainment is substituted for true worship;
— when we prefer watching TV to reading (eagles read while chickens watch TV);
— when we manage to convince ourselves that chickens are actually eagles;
— when stupidity is paraded in the guise of administrative savvy.
"People who change the world are radicals. They refuse to go along in order to get along. They would rather die than be slaves of public opinion. The status quo labels them as controversial, extremists, and troublemakers. And because they turn their worlds upside down, their names and views are often greeted with fear and dread. The time has come for our Christian commitment to be “radical”—a word whose Latin derivation means going to the root, origin, or essence of a thing. If the Bible is true, if our message is the Truth, if the “signs of the times” mean anything, and if “revival and reformation” are possible, then we must be radical for the Lord. The time has come for us to be ashamed of our superficial religious experience, mediocre performance, waffling positions, and the cheap vanilla faith that costs us nothing. Unless we’re radically committed to the Lord and His Word, our profession is empty sloganeering. “Radical commitment” is a call to Christian nonconformity. It’s a plea to stand out and be countercultural. It is a challenge to be real—to practice what we profess. Anything less would be un-Biblical, irrational, and irrelevant—if not a betrayal."
COURAGE OF CONVICTIONS
“If you can’t speak your mind it's because you have no mind of your own, or you mind what others say.”
"There are too many Obadiahs in the church. We need more Elijahs."
"Politicians ask, 'What is popular?'
Diplomats ask, 'What is safe?"
But leaders ask, 'What is right?'"
"Those who can't take a stand cannot be trusted."
"The one with the ball is the one who is attacked."
(--Adaptation from soccer analogy)
“The silent majority are not silent. Their voices of apathy are louder than the courage of their convictions.”
"The culture of our times does not, in general, reward unpopular courage—except long after those displaying such courage have passed from the scene. How easy it is to honor the heroes of yesteryears from our safe harbors today! How comfortable it is to marry cowards than to be widows of principled nonconformists! And how secure it is to be sheltered in the shade of apathy than to be burned by the battle for right."
"Discouragement is my encouragement."
"The best compliment is to be criticized and attacked."
"Don't take yourself too seriously; take the Lord seriously."
"It is fruitful trees that have stones hurled at them."
"I don’t really care about what my critics call me. It is what I answer to that matters the most. And I answer to the call of God and His Word."
LOVE & LEADERSHIP
Where There’s Love . . .
There’s an elegance of simplicity
An affluence of frugality
And a display of humility
Where There’s Love . . .
Compassion is its fight
Gentleness is its might
And forgiveness is its right
EXCELLENCE & LEADERSHIP
"Make no apologies for excellence."
"There's a misguided notion in the church that says, 'If your're brilliant you cannot be godly, and if you're spiritual you must be a dummy.' I say 'No!' Be brilliant and godly."
" 'Excellence' and 'Higher than the Highest' are descriptions of the God we serve. Therefore excellence should be the hallmark of any Christian."
"You are an eagle, not a turkey."
"Don't lose your gold of excellence;
Don't substitute the gold for brass;
And never be content with anything less than the real gold."
"Excellence is a Christian obligation. To settle for anything less is, therefore, a denial of faith."
"The dumbest decision smart people can make is to leave God out of their lives."
"Don't settle for mediocrity."
"Excellence is a journey, never a destination"
"The complacency of success is the first step to mediocrity."
LEADERSHIP & FAILURE
"We must learn from our mistakes and failures. But we must not dwell upon them."
“Setbacks shouldn’t set you back. They’re stepping stones. Step on the stones and you’ll move upward and forward.”
“We learn almost nothing in victory; but we learn much in defeat,” a football coach once said. "I agree. For, when we take time to learn from our mistakes, success has no choice but to fall flat at the feet of failure. Let’s give success no choice. How? GRACIOUSLY accept your defeat; HUMBLY admit your failures; COURTEOUSLY offer no excuses for your faults; WILLINGLY accept the consequences of your mistakes; ARDENTLY learn from your missteps; and FULLY surrender your hopes to God’s will. Success wins by falling at the feet of failure."
"Nations rise and fall, but the saints fall and rise! All other human beings first live and die, but Jesus died and lives. It’s all a matter of sequence. The fulcrum is He Who was born for the 'falling and rising of many'.”
“It is far more important to spend time WITH Christ than to do things FOR Christ. A quiet moment with the Lord is far more valuable than service for the Lord. The kitchens of life have many important things for us to do, but our most urgent need is receiving Life in the living room of Christ.”
"You may have failed in many areas. But keep getting up. You may have fallen several times and may carry the old scars and the new bruises. But keep getting up. Don’t allow your destiny to be determined by either the roadblocks in your path or the deliberate efforts of others to keep you down. Rise above the challenges and keep moving forward. Setbacks in our history or in life shouldn’t set us back. They are stepping-stones. In stepping on the stones we move upward and forward."
"When we find ourselves in the throes of failure, we must not look at the chains or strings that hold us down. We must reach out to the Lord to strengthen us to break free."
"To all who are still moping about the past, my challenge to you is: “Why dwell on a written past, when you can write the future?” A new day approaches fast, waiting to be written; so why dwell on the faded night and be trapped in its darkness, when a new day beckons?"
“Today is the last day of yesterday and the first day of tomorrow. It’s the conclusion to yesterday’s chapter and the introduction to your new book. Why dwell on a written past, when you can write the future today?”