A True Leader: What Makes You a True Leader according to HE Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma?


Leading is all about influence. How you present yourself in a leadership role affects your ability to successfully leverage authority and motivate others. Do you inspire people to follow your lead? If not, consider evaluating your performance and addressing crucial gaps.

Tweaking a few key behaviors can make a huge difference in how others perceive you. Many people don’t take this point seriously enough and damage relationships, reputations, and careers in the process. Be proactive. Here’s the deal: Leading can be a rewarding, yet challenging undertaking. Follow these few tips to model excellence and gracefully inspire others to follow your lead:


Mathew S. Kamara (Major Retired)

Set high expectations at the outset and raise the bar on any crucial factors. The best way to establish a standard is by modeling the expected behavior yourself. Showcase excellence. When your actions have the potential to affect everyone around you and the bottom line, don’t dabble in mediocrity. Reflecting excellence is critical to exercising effective leadership. This is ground zero for establishing influence.

Able leadership requires an ability to deliver results. Rhetoric has little value if outcomes are what’s essential. Instead of touting wins from past performances, focus on capturing tangible gains now.  Harness the power of chunking, a process for organizing tasks and breaking them down into bite-size pieces to avoid stress and burnout. Remember to follow up and follow through, too. Engage experts if necessary to timely and competently pull projects forward. In the end, only substance and the final sum will matter. Excuses won’t.

Top-notch people skills are vital to sound leadership. Develop premium listening, communication and decision-making skill sets. Demonstrate integrity by being open, honest and fair. Your transparency will reap clear rewards. If you treat people well, most will be encouraged to return the favor. By elevating the importance of people and relationships, you enhance your ability to relate to others in an authentic and meaningful way.

Collaboration is an indispensable component of leadership as captured in John Donne’s line “No man is an island.” This is especially true if you can build high-performing teams. Isn’t it fascinating that no matter how brilliant people are as individuals, they are often far more effective when working with others? People often produce higher quality, more efficient work products when collaborating. Commit to this by actively embracing opportunities for healthy cooperation. Make teamwork an attractive aspect of workplace culture. Less burnout, increased trust among peers and enhanced interpersonal relationships will result.

Approach conflict proactively, which means the sooner you resolve things, the better. As a core leadership competency, conflict resolution is a delicate process that requires thoughtful intervention. Disagreements naturally occur. But persistent hostility should not be tolerated. The bottom line, Conflict gets in the way of everything else. Thus your ability to quickly and effectively facilitate resolution will undoubtedly boost your ability to lead.

Professional development is an extraordinary mechanism for facilitating growth. Demonstrate your commitment to expanding your reach and your team’s by prioritizing opportunities for enrichment. Allot time and resources to make the process stress free. Challenge yourself and your team to overcome shortcomings at regular intervals throughout the year. Then acknowledge and reward proactive participation to build enthusiasm and encourage continued progress.

Therefore, for a government or an institution to grow, the people within it also must grow. The way for leaders to bring a team to a higher standard is by committing to a greater challenge themselves. The abilities, talents and characteristics of leaders provide a larger foundation on which those around them can grow, both as individuals and as a group. By being the example of greater discipline and greater drive, a leader encourages those who follow him to adopt a higher standard as well. Leadership qualities are natural for some people and learned for others according to Burns (2012) excerpts.

President Koroma has indeed shown the country all these qualities throughout his tenure of office. So, why should some of us cry down the great legacy of our President in such a malicious manner as it is going in different social media? Politics is embedded in being you and yourself and people accepting you for whom you are. Let us stop this dirty politics and embrace those deserved to be embraced like our abled President Dr. Ernest Bai Korma. He has done a lot of positive things that we should not take away from the history of Sierra Leone. Remember epidemic that derailed our prosperity was not invited neither invented by our able president but rather it was a natural calamity. It’s just a wake up call for all us to know that God is great and that if we cast our burdens to Him, nothing is impossible.

My dear Sierra Leoneans, let us have faith and believe that this was just test case from God but better days are coming where no snatching of our teeth or mimicking will overcome our good works. Stay firm and continue to trust in the Lord and work hard in the interest of our blessed nation- Sierra Leone. America was not built in a day but equally underwent similar calamities like ours but stayed firm to the course of prosperity and togetherness.

Mathew S. Kamara (Major Retired)

Houston, Texas


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