This the “Preface/Introduction” to Tebogo Monyane’s book, “Destined for Leadership: Discovering how to Fulfill your Mandate for a Successful you”…
Ibelieve everyone has some life lessons to share. It can be from problems, circumstances, and crises that you have come across. Have you ever reckoned that many people could benefit if you decided to share those lessons with them? The Bible says, “A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than… jewellery made of the finest gold.” 1 It was based on my lifetime experience with others that I decided to share my testimony. God has given each of you some special abilities, be sure to use them to help each other. 2 I believe God has given me the ability to share my understanding with you through this book. I also believe that only I can share this and if I don’t, it will be lost forever.
I don’t know about you, but for a long period, I have been finding myself wondering, what could be the magical key for true leadership considering that many adults act like six-year olds? Surprisingly, this includes our so-called ‘leaders’. Imagine if that six-year-old suddenly takes a centre stage, most definitely, there is a high risk that others would be manipulated, dominated and oppressed due to immature behaviour. Sadly, in terms of research, many leaders manifest immature behaviour.
Many psychologists believe that immature behaviour is due to mental illnesses such as personality disorders. According to them, the medical definition of mental illness refers to being psychologically incapable of sound judgement.
Regrettably; immaturity is what we refer to as normal in our society today because, for many, immaturity is an ideal, not a defect.” It seems as if most of the human race is suffering from such mental illnesses, and it seems to be of epidemic proportions in our leaders today.
It is very difficult to consider that many leaders in various fields such as our CEOs of organisations, managers, religious leaders, educators, sports heroes, scientists and lawmakers could be suffering from a grave form of mental illnesses. This problem is indeed worth receiving the highest attention. Considering that in terms of research, immaturity now is officially an ailment, listed in the World Health organization’s International Statistical classification of diseases and related Health Problems 10th Revision.
By immature behaviour, I am referring to behaviour that we find ourselves being seriously disturbed by such and wondering what could have happened for an adult person to end up being like that? It was based on my life experience with many adults manifesting signs of immature behaviour that I decided to explore this phenomenon more deeply. Naoto Kan, a Japanese politician maintains, “If we are unable to understand the cause of a problem, it is impossible to solve it.” In the chapters that follow, I will be sharing what I found to be some of the causes of the problem and possible lifetime solutions to mitigate that, thereof.
According to research, this problem of dealing with many adults manifesting immature behaviour is more difficult to handle. Moreover, it has serious repercussions on the development of a healthy society. We are talking of people who are supposed to be taking responsibility for others, so that they too could pass that responsibility over to others. For instance, these are people who are supposed to be teaching others about the significance of life and the reason why they exist, as expected from the Creator. Many cannot, due to immaturity. According to psychologists, immature behaviour is egocentric in that an adult person still relates to the world like a child. Children often display behaviour that is selfish and self-centred. They care less about others. 5
Immaturity impedes personal growth and the formation of relationships and consequently can impede the manifestation of true leadership in an adult. A person can be extremely ambitious and hardworking, yet still lack any resemblance/ sign of maturity. A lot of growing up consists of understanding that the world does not revolve around us. Based on the serious nature of this problem of immature behaviour amongst many adults, I believe it really requires a relevant strategy. Particularly that many psychologists attest that there are no obvious solutions and strategies to deal with immature behaviour.
Since the problem of immaturity seems to be affecting many adults, even you and I, it could be that we are victims. To help you to detect this probability, below are a few self – examination questions that can be helpful. especially that we all have blind spots or rather weaknesses that we are not aware of, but can only be seen by others.
Do you sometimes ask yourself some of the following questions?
- Why am I so prideful?
- Why do I have distorted self-image to the extent of always wanting others to worship me?
- Why do I have low self-esteem and perceive my fellow beings as being inferior and myself as being superior?
- Why is it hard for me to respect others for their own sake; that is, to love others, equal in dignity as I love myself?
- Why am I so cold-hearted, severely self-centred and in no way limited by feelings of compassion?
- Why do I lack the most basic ability to care about the feelings, needs and perspectives of others?
- Why do I hurt and deprive others with no remorse, no matter how much they tell me I am hurting them?
- Why do I always have negative intentions for my actions?
- Why do I have exploitative and manipulative behaviour and relate to others based on how they can benefit me?
- Why I am never satisfied and have this greedy behaviour of wanting more and more for myself?
Provided you found yourself relating to most of the questions raised above, does it concern you that it could be that you are manifesting characteristics of immature behaviour?
Moreover, could it be that you are not aware that the nature of true leadership is that you should be guiding and helping others to grow towards the development of a generation of true leaders?
Could it be that you are preoccupied and comfortable with being a leader by position and not being aware that you should actually be aspiring to grow beyond being a leader by position?
Or rather, could it be that you are not aware that true leadership is the highest calling for everyone?
Most probably, if you knew better, you would be opting to see the urgency to lead in enlightening others towards true leadership development. You would be taking every opportunity to facilitate for leaders to be produced and reproduced through you.
During the process of writing this book, I found myself constantly praying, saying, ‘Father, help me to understand what is keeping many adult people from knowing the urgency and benefits of true leadership.’ The goal was to do whatever will bring you a step closer to fulfilling your mandate. I chose to adopt the mind-set of Paul, who said, “I don’t think about what would be good for me but about what would be good for many people so that they might be saved.” 3 Saved from continuing to manifest immature behaviour, towards the knowledge of the truth about their true leadership mandate.
The process of researching information
I wanted to understand the origin of true leadership. Again, how it was lost and resulted in many adults manifesting immature behaviour as well as how it can be restored. The process of seeking to understand all these was hectic; particularly that it demanded a lot of intense studying and reflecting. To dig deeper into the subject matter, I used two techniques, namely: the creative Problem Solving Technique as well as the root cause Analysis Technique.
The creative Problem Solving (CPS) Technique is regarded as one of the famous systematic and structured approaches; hence, I used it in this book to determine the most probable underlying causes of the problem. The technique was first formalised as a process by Alex Osborn, who invented traditional brainstorming.
Furthermore, I used the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) as a technique to help trace back the origin of the problem. The RCA is a thinking skill and comprises of several thinking skills such as critical thinking skills. The RCA originated with the “King of Japanese Inventors”, Sakichi Toyoda, in the early twentieth century when he formalised how he applied the method with the justly famous “Five Whys”, where, starting at the symptoms, one asks, “Why does this occur?” until the root causes are found.
I found both the CPS and the RCA to be relevant techniques to seek possible causes and solutions to this dilemma mainly because they assume that systems and events are interrelated. They assume that an action in one area triggers another, and so on. The techniques were relevant as they established the causes of the problem to understand the chains. This helped to break down the root causes on why so many adults manifest immature behaviour, a condition that impedes them from manifesting true leadership. Furthermore causes to the problem were backtracked to discover the origin of the problem as well as how it grew into symptoms these adults are manifesting.
Some of the questions asked during the process were that, could it be that somebody did something that resulted in this universal phenomenon? Or rather, could it be that somebody did not do something that needed to be done. A problem which subsequently resulted in this universal phenomenon that is so deep to an extent that it affects many leaders irrespective of race, gender, position? The impact is so huge that it affects not only the effectiveness of individuals but of families, organisations, societies and nations at large as well.
By tracing back the origin and source of true leadership, I can say that I discovered where the problem started and how it grew into the symptom faced today. The techniques were very helpful in understanding the source of this problem and the underlying causes of immature behaviour within many adults. They helped to determine the relationship between the different root causes, as the focus was not on a singular root cause, but a system of causes. They were helpful in producing a systematic approach. They also helped to specify the point of cause for effective root cause analysis. I can thus attest that exploring the causes to the problem using both techniques was relevant.
The techniques were further used to formulate mitigation measures to the root causes. This was to produce significant long-term performance improvement measures. It is through this book; that you can learn the origin of the problem as well as possible measures to curb that. Failure to apply proposed possible mitigation measures may result in the problem continuing to manifest and would continue to affect the normal functioning of individuals, families, organisations and society. Regrettably, it would even affect generations to come.
The process of writing the book
The problem of why so many people fail to manifest true leadership was expressed through writing. Usually, the process of just capturing information verbatim requires relatively shallow cognitive processing. The process was not easy, as I did not even know which approach to use, let alone how to start writing. Especially that this was my first experience in writing a book. I would say the process was like taking a trip in a car not knowing where I was going. As I was gradually driving, it was then that I started to find direction, as things were getting clearer and better. The decision to persist writing ultimately helped me to gradually understand the phenomenon. It also helped me to decide on better techniques to approach the problem.
The decision to write was thus triggered by a need to share knowledge on this challenge that I spent a long period thinking about. I had invested a lot of time searching for answers through reading, studying and listening to various teachings from various disciplines on the matter. This was to gain an in-depth insight on the matter. Since the problem is complex and challenging, the decision to explore the phenomenon using both the RCA and CPS techniques/approaches was helpful. It was through these approaches that vast knowledge and understanding were gained on the matter. The process clarified thoughts into coherent ideas that could be put on paper. It was only after the idea was well formed that I began the process of designing (pre-writing).
I can further say that writing this book was like engineering a product. This is mainly because the process did not only involve conceiving the idea. It also involved innovation (creativity), designing the structure and layout to use, drawing conclusions, inferring consequences, and extrapolating the knowledge to other contexts or domains. Moreover, it involved summarising and paraphrasing information that I had read, heard, and required a higher level of cognitive processing. Over and above that, it also involved sharing and presenting the manuscript to friends, relatives, colleagues and editors, for their inputs on the manuscript. The more I received inputs, the more I developed an improved version of the product. As a result, I had to write and rewrite many drafts to an extent that there was a stage that having a final product seemed to be unlikely. Hence, I say the journey was quite intense in that it took me around five years to finish the book.
Though the process of writing this book was intense, I can gladly and proudly attest that I am pleased that I managed to finish it, despite it all. What is most pleasing is that the efforts were worth it because, provided the book is well read and information is appropriately applied, this has the potential to benefit you as the reader and help you to realise your true leadership mandate.
In writing this book, I tried to be simple and elaborative in my explanations. This was to ensure that you gain understanding considering that in this day and age many people do not prefer more information, but rather, many people are hungry for interpretation that would help them understand.
With all that being said, this book is meant for any adult person who is determined to change their lives by gaining insight into this true leadership concept. This is irrespective of their religion, position or title. There is a Chinese proverb that I like which says, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, serve others.”
Become a true leader!
To get a copy please contact the author, Tebogo Monyane, on firstname.lastname@example.org