“My instincts tell me that you were not born to be a leader. Into the future, your place should be behind other people.”
That was what a teacher told me in my first year in junior high school. 👆
The school was a new one. I was made the pioneer health prefect from year one and I occupied that office until I moved to another school for my senior high school education. That particular person looked at me at face value and made a conclusion about me and worse, my future, based on what his ‘myopic’ eyes could see at the time. Sincerely, I didn’t understand why he drew that conclusion about me.
However, as I grew older, I figured that it was probably because of my quiet nature. Truth is, he didn’t know the back story to my being a bit laid back as a ten year old, when he made that statement. I lived in an environment that didn’t give me the chance to really express myself. I was basically forced to stay in the background and at the time, I had no courage to take charge like I was meant to.
Barely six years later…
God orchestrated my relocation to a place where there were discerning people. They saw behind the passive Omolola and gave me leadership challenges that I needed to surmount.
Boom! I evolved. I stretched out my wings which had been stuck behind me for years. I began to fly.
I started with being a Sunday school class teacher.
Then I was selected to be the class governor.
Then I became the president of the ladies group in Church.
During NYSC, I was the State sisters’ coordinator / welfare officer popularly called ‘mama’.
I proceeded for my Master’s degree program immediately after NYSC and I was selected to fill the post of the sisters’ coordinator / welfare officer popularly called ‘mama’ yet again
I co-founded a students’ fellowship in the secondary school where I taught while running my Master’s degree program.
At work, I head my Department.
First, I have a witness in my spirit that I am doing a good job leading myself on the path of purpose.
And to the glory of God, in every one of the leadership offices I have occupied and that I hold now, I have and am doing a relatively good job leading my teams; with results / fruits to show.
Three different people made comments about my leadership path in the last two days which forced me to think back on where I started from as a ten year old student leader.
I have learnt quite a number of lessons from my journey :
- I work with young people, thus, I need to be cautious with my words to them. I need to encourage as many of them as I have access to to move towards fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives and reach their full potential. Sometimes, I might have to facilitate the push they need so that they can reach the heights that they are actually capable of getting to but they are oblivious of.
- Everyone needs to listen to the voice within them more than the voices, sometimes noises that come from other people. There is a witness in every man which constantly draws them towards the path they are wired to walk on in life.
- Ignore the negative words spoken about you. Don’t waste your time to brood over those words. If you do, they will take deep root in your soul and debar you from moving forward in life. Instead, focus on self-discovery. Be open to challenges. Make up your minds to defy the odds.
- God has the final say over my life. I should therefore give priority to believing what God says about me and not what man says about me; irrespective of who the person is. He made me and knows what He has invested in me. He has the blueprint of my life. He knows the heights I am able to attain and all I need to do is walk with Him as I fulfill His purpose for my life.
Well, I believe that I was born a leader. Everyone is born to lead. Our leadership skills are what get continuously groomed as we journey through life.
I hope this inspires you in some way…
- OMOSEBI Mary Omolola, PhD