Why leaders should stop blame games and
start delivering on their promises

Van Nyankieya Nchogu

© Copyright 2018 by Van Nyankieya Nchogu

Photo of the statue of Lincoln.

Good leadership dictates finding practical solutions to problems even when inherited from the previous regime while bad leadership strives in creating excuses and blame games on why they’re not performing hence its time they cease such behavior and start delivering.

Democracy’s beauty is the power citizens exercise during elections in which they choose either retaining the incumbent leadership or vote in a new one. A regime is held accountable by the electorates for the promises made to them and if they fail in delivering they’re immediately replaced. The citizens expect them to act promptly on their problems in a realistic approach without fail but as soon they take office reality sinks in and realize the magnitude of problems inherited. True leadership will suffice to those with a realistic & tactical plan in solving the perennial problems citizens face as they immediately start working while others begin offering excuses by blaming past regimes for their inertia. Instead of calling press conferences informing us of their progress they bombard us with problems faced and use past regime failures as their scape goat. Unfortunately this is what we’re accustomed nowadays, after riding on a popular wave of change most leaders perfect the art of excuses in defending their inaction on solving problems and leave electorates disappointed.

I found a Rome of bricks; I leave to you one of marble” Roman Emperor Augustus boasted after the completion of Ara Pacis- Altar of Peace, showing a leader proud of his achievements in service to the citizens. Despite being an orphan & sickly he was adopted by his uncle Julius Caesar who made him his heir apparent and rose to become Rome’s first Emperor with the senate titling him Princeps Civitatis- First Citizen of the State. He inherited a fractious Rome plagued by incessant civil wars precipitating its decay and responded by initiating Pax Romana- a period of peace in Rome lasting 2 centuries after defeating Marc Antony at the Battle of Actium. Augustus initiated a series of reforms that raised the Empire’s stature like: - abolishing unpopular taxes e.g. arbitrary taxes, establishing an effective financial system, expanding trade, undertaking massive construction projects e.g. expansion of Rome’s road network, and creating a fire fighting unit- Virgiles Urbani (Watchmen of the City).

Emperor Augustus set his leadership apart by offering solutions to the incessant inherited problems that had plagued Rome for years with clear, realistic approach and avoiding excuses. Although he had a momentous challenge in reversing the problems bedeviling Rome which were majorly contributed by his predecessors, he opted to find pragmatic solutions in solving them instead of using ingenious explanations as today’s leaders have perfected. When you see them on television defending their regime inaction in implementing their colorful manifestos within 100 days and instead heaping blame on previous leadership on their static progress, then it’s like replacing a torn shirt with a similar one. They’re counterproductive and have nothing new to offer the electorates despite riding on euphoria of change.

A leader is someone who has a clear, focused vision with pragmatic approach in realizing it and knows what can be realistically achieved within a certain time frame hence eliminating room for excuses. They have a clear, defined and realistic goals coupled with sound strategies on turning around a country after years of bad governance. A leader will not promise you heaven on earth but the tough task ahead in reviving a country by instituting series of reforms which are crucial for the recovery efforts and substituting ingenious excuses with tangible progress.

I don’t care if it’s a black cat or a white cat. It’s a good cat as long as it catches mice” this quote became instrumental in shaping China to become an economic and political super power. Deng Xiaoping a pragmatic, focused leader of Republic of China summed his policies with the above quote signaling his intention of opening up the country to world trade and allowing elements of capitalism. After the disastrous Great Leap Forward & Cultural Revolution initiated by Chairman Mao Tse Tung in which Deng was purged, he re- invented himself and rose through the ranks to head the communist party. He immediately embarked on policies that promoted international trade and adopted some elements of capitalism which set a foundation of what China is today.

Even though Deng was purged twice both by Chairman Mao & Zhou Enlai, he shrugged off his challenges and became the head of the Communist Party. He inherited a China torn economically, politically & socially by policies initiated by his predecessors and with sound, pragmatic leadership Deng introduced policies aimed at reversing the previous stagnant ones. He never continued the unpopular policies or provided ingenious explanations that we’re used today despite leading a country which was static to change and rooted firmly in communism.

Paul Kagame of Rwanda is another example of a leader whose impressive attitude towards changing the stature of his citizens is worth mentioning. After witnessing close to 1 million people slaughtered and countless more forcibly evicted from their homes to neighboring countries because of backward, inferior & Stone Age thinking, he set to retake back his country. By July 1994 he succeeded in expelling the animalistic militia responsible for the genocide and the pre dominantly Hutu Government backing the slaughter.

What set him apart from the rest is how he managed in transforming a country which was in total ruins; virtually any hint of Government was destroyed when he took over, the economy was in doldrums and they had just witnessed an apocalyptic massacre of her citizens. With a clear vision, sound & firm leadership, pragmatic & realistic approach in solving problems he introduced economic, social and political policies which re-invented the country. He united the country, set a strong foundation for future generations, and made Rwanda the ideal investment hub in the region.

He never resorted in calling numerous press conferences detailing tiring explanations on why there’s no progress or blaming the disastrous policies initiated by his predecessors, instead he immediately begun healing the nation torn apart by hatred, created pragmatic economic policies and rebuilt a stable Government.

If leaders could use the same energy& zeal when concocting their frivolous explanations on creative solutions in ending the perennial problems facing a country instead of why they lag behind on progress after being elected overwhelmingly by the electorates to bring change, then finally we can move forward and start enjoying the fruits good leadership.

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