Today a reader, tomorrow a leader – The Sun Nigeria

I saw the headline of this article on the notice board of a school and it struck me. The reality hit me on the face! Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader. I later discovered that this nugget was originally from W. Fussleman. 

I began to think about the link between reading and leadership, not just political leadership, but leadership in any field; reading wide is a habit of leaders.

I planned to finish four books that I started last year, and work on four new ones this year. These books initially seemed difficult for me to write because of serious distractions, but I have now embarked on the task of writing, despite all the odds, after I read some inspiring books. Thanks also to the holiday caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.

What separates the boys from the men is the capacity to perform when it is clearly impossible. To do the impossible, you need a higher level of motivation than you have right now. And where do you get motivated or inspired? It is by reading good authors who inspire with their exciting narratives. Books are packed with life-changing thoughts.

The word of God, the Bible, came to us through the written word. Christians call it logos, its Greek name. Books saved us from losing the world’s irreplaceable treasures in the form of landmark theories, thesis and records that transformed the world. Science changed the world. It came through books. That’s why we must read to develop to our full potential.

To be a leader in the modern world, you must be a reader. No society tolerates an ill-informed leader nowadays. Semi-educated leaders have ruled many societies in the past, and wrought havoc; as we know that half education is a dangerous thing. This half education is the bane of Christendom today. Many folks who are not well instructed in things of the Spirit have set up ministries, creating confusion and mayhem in the Body of Christ.

Some of our politicians and professionals don’t read. Even those who claim to be educated do not update their learning. It has been proved that five years after graduation, you may not be able to pass your terminal examination if you were to resit, no matter how brilliant you are. Unless you refresh and study all over again, you can’t pass your terminal examination.

I have noticed that barely a week after reading a book, I hardly remember 80 to 90 per cent of the contents, not that I have memory leak or a poor retentive memory, not at all. Of course, as we grow old, our memory tends to dim. We tend to become forgetful as we age.

So, it is proper that we keep reading and re-reading to stay informed. You hardly find libraries in most homes in this part of the world. Blacks, most black people, do not read. That’s why it is said that if you want to hide a thing from a Black person, put it inside a book.

We can change that. Currently, seven of the hi-tech companies in the world are in the United States of America. The USA is the No. 1 industrial nation in the world because its leaders invest in research and development. People in all developed nations read.

Every advanced nation is populated by readers. Third World nations, on the other hand, are riven by religious and ethnic strife because people there are not educated. Most Third World nations are ruled by wicked, corrupt, incompetent, ill-educated leaders, who survive in power mainly because they play the ethnic and religious card.

However, when a people are educated, they become difficult to rule but easy to lead. A ruler speaks of dictators or other forms of oppressive governance mostly found in developing nations. You find leaders mostly in First World nations because their people are educated and, therefore, can’t be misled by their leaders.

In Third World countries, it is often difficult to conduct free and fair elections. Almost every election is marred by violence, thuggery and religious/ethnic mayhem. Disputed elections end up in prolonged, time-consuming, financially-sapping litigations in these countries. And because governance is often the most viable business, political contests are do-or-die affairs. Politicians run incendiary campaigns that result in widespread killings and maiming of innocent people.

The UNESCO recommends that nations budget 26 per cent of their revenue for education, but most Third World countries hardly invest more than half that figure in this important sector. That accounts for the decrepit education infrastructure and poor reading culture in those nations.

My counsel for young Blacks is this: you must change your paradigm, if you hope to progress in life. You have to bend down and read to know what’s going on in the world. Too much television is not good for you. Too much focus on the social media is not good for you. Any form of harmful addiction like pornography, sexual indiscipline, drugs, alcohol, etc, will destroy you. Read, read and keep reading. Remember, today a reader, tomorrow a success. Take that home!

Weekend Spice: The devil can’t take any place in you unless you give it to him

– Kenneth E. Hagin

Ok folks, let’s do it again next Friday. Stay motivated.

•Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on [email protected] and 09059243004 (SMS only)

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