Every organization requires a good leader to guide and direct it towards success. Leadership styles, concepts and beliefs may differ from one region to another according to the requirement of its social, economic, technological and political conditions. Africa is huge country with diverse culture, language, ethnicity and topography. However it has complex conditions of massive unemployment, selfish leadership, wealth inequality and tribal divisiveness.
A successful leader possesses the following key elements:
Authority: Authority is the power which is entrusted upon an individual to carry on tasks in order to achieve objectives. A good leader should use his authority to get the best out of his people. He should maintain a balance between centralization and decentralization of his authority. A leader is responsible and accountable for his tasks. According to researchers African leaders are autocrats. There is a strong sense of control and rigidity of beliefs among them.(Ogbor and Ogbor, 2009)
Power: Power is the ability of an individual to influence another person or a group of people. Ability to exercise one’s power depends on one’s relationship with other individuals. A good leader is a guide and mentor to his fellow members (O’Reilly et al., 2015). He exercises power to motivate them in order to achieve the set objectives. In African organizations the power is generally centralized. Leaders believe in centralization of power in their own hands for effective management. The tasks are planned and supervised by the leaders themselves.
Influence: a leader has to deal with many people in his work space. Every individual has their own needs and abilities. A good leader acts as a guide for his team members. It is very important for a leader to influence and motivate his team members. A leader can influence others only when he himself is true, honest and follows proper business ethics of the organization. He should act as a role model for others. The basic aim of every African organization is to serve and uphold its business ethics to its fullest. They follow leadership philosophies like Ubuntu which refers to a high degree of responsibility towards the well-being on one’s kin (Bolden and Kirk, 2005). However ethics and leadership are still in infancy in Africa
Delegation: An efficient leader is one who has the ability to delegate authority of tasks among his peers. Too much control in the hands of the leader leads to confusion, dissatisfaction and the absence of a sense of belonging among his peers. This leads to decrease in efficiency and as result decrease in productivity. There a leader should know how and to whom to delegate tasks in order to increase the efficiency of the tasks. Due to centralization of power, African leaders generally do not tend to delegate authority (Bell and Bodie, 2012).
Responsibility and accountability: authority without accountability is meaningless. A leader should be responsible for the outcome of his decisions. He should be a good decision maker. This builds up the confidence and level of trust of his fellow peers. African leaders are known to follow autocratic leadership, yet they have high accountability for the tasks performed by them (Kuada, 2010). This makes them efficient organizational leaders.
Thus this report successfully provides a model of key elements of leadership in Africa. The key elements are highlighted and explained. A brief study of the region concerned is also provided.
Bell, R.L. and Bodie, N.D., 2012. Delegation, authority and responsibility: Removing the rhetorical obstructions in the way of an old paradigm. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 9(2), pp.94-108.
Bolden, R. and Kirk, P., 2005. Leadership in Africa: meanings, impacts and identities.
Kuada, J., 2010. Culture and leadership in Africa: a conceptual model and research agenda. African Journal of Economic and Management Studies.
O’Reilly, D., Leitch, C.M., Harrison, R.T. and Lamprou, E., 2015. Leadership, authority and crisis: Reflections and future directions.
Ogbor, J.O. and Ogbor, P.D.J.O., 2009. Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa: A strategic management perspective. Authorhouse.