Rear view of large group of business people standing together. Isolated on white.

One principle that is needed by “True Leaders”

I was just 12 years old when my Dad first warned me about being too emotional.

In my early days in college, I was halted before time and asked to leave the examination hall for helping a close friend answer some of the mathematics questions. The invigilator knew I was helping and wondered why even when the rules were clearly spelt out. I was naive and deeply emotional then; I didn’t want to see my friend stranded.

The sad part of it was that I was the only one that was asked to leave the exam hall and my friend remained. Unfortunately, the poor score in that subject affected my overall score and position. I cried …I wish I could turn back the hands of time, but it was late. All I could take away was the advice from my Dad who taught me the principle of backing the crowd.

Dad said: In a choir, the song conductor concentrates on the song and the choristers ONLY. He backs the crowd and makes sure that the song is delivered in symphony and splendor. No matter the applause he hears while still on the song, he won’t turn until he is done and dusted. It is ONLY when he’s done that he turns, takes a bow and allows the applause to sink in.

Backing the crowd is not an act of insensitivity or callousness, No Way! It is simply saying: There are rules and they must be complied with. Backing the crowd is the presence of objectivity and focus over sentiments and distraction. It says – if these rules have been proven and agreed upon, then my options are limited to compliance ONLY. Leaders who adopt this principle are often misrepresented as inhuman, wicked or hard hearted. They are not! They are just mindful of themselves.

As a Business Consultant and Leadership Coach, I tell business owners NOT to act to be loved where they work BUT rather to be respected; Not to be seen as sympathetic BUT rather to learn the act of empathy.

I have seen people (friends) who intentionally cash in on the kind or good nature of their friends to do them harm. They lie to get things past them; pretend to be poor, insufficient or inadequate so that they can drain you. Sometimes, they propose things that are “shadows” so that you think they care. Forget it, we now know. The real intention is to get you away from conducting your song!

Don’t worry, meet me, let’s talk and I will tell you how to identify them in your business. Na only small money e go cost you sha! 😂

One of the highlights for me ( and I guess for many others) in the year 2023 election in Nigeria will be Professor Mrs Otih. I understand that there was a lot of noise from behind – but she refused to turn. She stayed on until she finished conducting the rythms of her song. When she did, we all saw what happened; she’s still taking bows and receiving accolades till date from men of similar virtues.

Trust me, BACKING THE CROWD is a whole course work I am trying to synthesize here in a.few.words. Notwithstanding, I like to believe you have learnt one or two things here.

Dr. Festus Odigie-Erewele (The Coach)
Founder and Managing Partner Excel and Grace Consulting
I create and manage business leaders.