Responsible Leadership And Followership In Africa

Africa is one of the richest continents in terms of natural resources. However, many countries in Africa are still economically poor, which is always associated with inefficient leadership. The problems facing Africa have been attributed to three major factors: improper leadership, corruption, and inappropriate policies. Even though some countries like Botswana and South Africa reflect growing economies, several other nations still struggle to attain proper governance and fight corruption. The development of these other countries is unimpressive, considering their economic situations. The underdevelopment of African countries is always a result of improper leadership (Mazorodze, 2020, p. 93). Therefore, it is important that Africa focuses on the socioeconomic development approach instead of the inappropriate policies implemented in most African countries. Africa should reorganize its leadership skills and elect leaders with exceptional characters to see the continent develop shortly.

Over the last few years, Africa has seen a great level of improvement in terms of leadership skills. This can be seen in the increased infrastructural development in the continent. Many African residents have learned that proper Leadership and development are directly proportional. Initially, Africans could vote or elect famous leaders even without leadership qualities. However, many voters in Africa today have constantly rejected corrupt leaders as they seem to understand the value of Leadership in a society. Electing leaders with good character and proper leadership skills is critical in Africa’s development. Addressing the Leadership challenges Africa faces will need a deep focus on the causes of the continent’s problems today (MAkoBA, 2018). Many countries still seem to enjoy inappropriate governance and poor leadership; however, some leaders have employed western strategies to govern their nations. Soon, we will see most countries adopting new leadership techniques that can stabilize, develop, and modernize the continent.

It is often believed that leadership is more important than followership. However, I tend to think that there is a close relationship between these two. Leadership is important because leaders are the pacesetters for followers. On the other hand, followership is critical because one cannot be a leader without followers. Leadership depends on followers, and followers need a leader as well. Effective followership can help shape the leaders’ behavior, while proper leadership can transform employees into good followers (Aghaei et al., 2021). For any organizational project to be successful, there must be people willing to lead and some willing to follow the leaders. Leadership and followership are roles that one performs in shifts considering situations and level of tasks assigned. Before being a leader, one has to be a follower at some point in life. In society today, there are more followers than leaders; that is why many people today, even those with the highest ranks in government, have their supervisors who are their leaders.

When discussing leadership, it is important to emphasize the aspect of followership. Follows are the motives behind successful leaders, and they form positive relationships with their leaders. Good followership influences managerial situations and addresses mistakes made by leaders in every organization. Followers can change the situations at the organization and circumstances for themselves and colleagues (Thompson and Glaso, 2018). Most of the qualities required of good leaders are also needed in effective Followership. When an organization records poor performance, the management will blame it on both unworthy followership and leadership. The world has often viewed management and success through leadership roles, and very little attention has been put on followers. Followers are the main custodians in running the day-to-day activities of an organization, and sometimes followership is more demanding than leadership. Therefore, it is important to emphasize followership because followers are responsible for speaking up and shaping poor leadership.

I consider myself a responsible leader because I consistently possess the qualities required of such a leader. Responsible leaders show concern for the people who occupy all positions in organizations followers (Han, Wang and Yan, 2019, p. 605). They think about their duties all the time and place purpose above profit-making. This means that not every decision they make must generate profit for organizations, but sometimes, the profit is sacrificed to ensure the business stays aligned with its values. Responsible leaders possess proper communication skills that help transmit information to inspire their teams. They do not hide behind results but take full responsibility for whatever happens in the organization. They hold themselves and others accountable by ensuring everyone in the organization relates to each other according to their professional roles.

Being a responsible leader starts with being able to lead authentically, up-holding ethical and moral standpoints. Although it takes time to master responsible leadership concepts, some individuals are naturally born with proper leadership skills. Anyone can learn and improve their leadership skills through hard work and dedication (Marques and Gomes, 2020). To become a more responsible leader, I need to employ several techniques and leadership skills. I require to show courage to voice new ideas, provide feedback, or flag a concern. I need to think long-term and focus on the future rather than focusing on short terms goals. My focus should acknowledge diversity and approach innovation more responsibly. I will have to make informed ethical judgments about existing norms and rules. Responsible leadership is about effective problem solving and proper communication skills. Therefore, I must participate in collective problem-solving and communicate effectively with stakeholders, staff, and clients. Finally, to become a more responsible leader, I must be open to new ideas and teach employees instead of giving orders.

Reference List

Aghaei, M., Isfahani, A.N., Ghorbani, A. and Roozmand, O., (2021). ‘Implicit followership theories and resistance to leaders’ unethical requests: the mediating role of organizational citizenship behavior’, International Journal of Organizational Analysis.

Han, Z., Wang, Q. and Yan, X. (2019) ‘How responsible leadership motivates employees to engage in organizational citizenship behavior for the environment: a double-mediation model’, Sustainability, 11(3), p. 605.

MAkoBA, J.W. (2018) ‘African leadership and the management of African economies’, The Elusive African Renaissance: Essays on Today’s Critical Development Issues.

Marques, T.M. and Gomes, J.F. (2020) ‘Responsible leadership andversus responsible management’, In Research handbook of responsible management. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Mazorodze, W. (2020) ‘Post-independent African leadership and the paradox of global political economy’, Breaking the Colonial “Contract”: From Oppression to Autonomous Decolonial Futures, p. 93.

Thompson, G. and Glaso, L. (2018) ‘Situational leadership theory: a test from a leader-follower congruence approach’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal.