Leadership can be a job to some, a service to some, a duty to some and many other positions to others.
In my time as a leader, I learnt that it could be both a duty and service. But that’s not all there is to it. It is a voluntary service, it is an experience, it is a platform.
I was serving as a Finance secretary for my school council and yesterday I had to handover to the next generation of leaders. It was an emotional moment for me. Believe it or not, a part of me changed. I remembered the beginning of my journey. When I had just joined university, a bit naive about the politics of here when someone approached me and gave me this idea that I could have a chance to serve the community I had just joined. I was scared but I’m an adventurous soul, I wanted to give it a try and knowing my ethical stands, I knew I could make it. I wanted to make it.
All through the campaigns, the pressure of voters and losing(well you could call it not winning), It took a toll on me but when it was time, I was chosen by the people as a leader. Everything else seemed to fall away. The tire of sleepless nights and the demanding work of aiming for a win seemed to wane off. I was filled with joy and pride. I was ecstatic. People who hardly knew me had trusted me, had given me a chance, a higher platform and there wasn’t any sufficient way I could express my gratitude but I vowed to serve them with my best.
It wasn’t a smooth run because of the many aspects. The challenges, influences of others, manipulations and shadow conspiracies and choices. Choices. Everyone has these, myself, my fellow leaders, and those with more authority. Even the people.
Faced with choices to choose upon, the easy way out(usually not the best one) or the right way out, I had and learnt to make decisions and stand upon them. Sometimes (even in life), you can’t make these alone so with consultation and involving all parties(not all authority is with leaders or a single individual) with concern I went through it. Even when I had to make choices that weren’t exactly mine to make, I had the betterment of my community at heart. I took upon responsibilities out of my jurisdiction, not to forcefully take authority or demean others but because no one else was willing. Now this seems like self praise but in the end, there wasn’t any physical benefit, yes maybe I do thrive in these achievements, the feeling of satisfaction and pride in myself and maybe that is selfish but I am human. And having my conscience at peace knowing I did the best I could with the authority given to me is more than enough.
Some people may have been disappointed but I know someone or someones out there appreciated my work. They we’re proud of me and acknowledged my efforts. Non of it was in vain. And that, that is one of the best things I have ever experienced in my life.
This was a journey that I started out not knowing how events would unfold, how much I would learn but completing it, it all dawned on me how much I have changed, how stronger I have become, the virtues of life I’ve learnt, patience, tolerance, teamwork and selflessness. I have met so many people along the way, my leadership defining me. This was great.
Some times to give to the people, you give up some things.
And to be a leader is a constant duty to be an example.
I thank God, for Leadership is from God, my community, my fellow leaders and all the support of friends and family I had to achieve this. It was a dream come true. And the whole term of service has been an experience to reckon with.
I hope that my service has been and will continue to be a positive impact to me, to you, my people (which BTW are family to me now) and anywhere out in the world.
Once a leader, always a leader. I will always look out for my people.
ⒸFormer Finance Secretary of the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Makerere University.