“Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front” ~ Nelson Mandela
The attached picture have the Kogi State Deputy Governor elect, Eld. Salifu Joel Oyibo in the front, followed by the Governor elect, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo and lastly his Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello. This picture depicts a rare leadership style GYB has adopted over the years, the unique style of leading from the back.
Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello has been recognized for his unique approach to leadership, which draws parallels to the nurturing instincts of a hen. Just as a hen carefully watches over its chicks from behind, ensuring their safety and guiding them with subtle nudges, Governor Yahaya Bello adopts a leadership style that empowers and entrusts tasks to his subordinates.
This has been clearly demonstrated over the past eight years of his tenure considering the number of women and youths he has given a voice and how much he has empowered his lieutenants to serve freely.
The metaphor of the hen leading its chicks is particularly apt in illustrating Governor Bello’s leadership philosophy. Like the hen, he recognizes that sometimes the best way to lead is not by being in the limelight but by providing a supportive framework from behind. This approach not only fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among his subordinates but also ensures that they are well-prepared to tackle challenges and make informed decisions.
By entrusting tasks to capable hands, Governor Bello demonstrates a profound trust in his team’s abilities, fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual respect. This leadership style produced the Kogi State Governor elect, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo because he was given the opportunity to learn from the very first day he was appointed as Auditor General of Local Government by involving him in meetings and government activities that ordinarily shouldn’t have concerned an auditor. This leadership style prepared every lieutenants of Governor Yahaya Bello to be able to take up the baton of leadership from him. One will now understand why GYB opened the doors of the Executive meeting to all his cabinet members not minding whether it is required of them to be there or not.
While leading from the front has its merits, such as setting a clear direction and inspiring others through visible determination, leading from the back offers unique advantages. Leading from behind encourages autonomy, innovation, and proactive problem-solving among team members. It allows leaders to cultivate a culture of empowerment, where individuals are encouraged to take initiative and contribute their unique insights and skills. This approach also promotes resilience and adaptability, as team members learn to navigate challenges independently while knowing they have the support and trust of their leader.
In conclusion, Governor Yahaya Bello’s leadership style, reminiscent of a hen guiding its chicks, exemplifies the advantages of leading from behind. By empowering and entrusting tasks to his subordinates, he fosters a dynamic and collaborative environment where individuals can thrive and contribute meaningfully to the collective goals. While both leading from the front and back have their merits, the emphasis on empowerment and autonomy inherent in leading from behind makes it a compelling and effective leadership style, exemplified by Governor Bello’s successful tenure. GYB will be remembered in history as the Governor who gave his all to his surbodinates, he gave them free hands to operate, protected them and refused to use the hammer even when pushed at some point.
History will remember GYB as a man of uncommon boldness and kindness, a father figure to all and Sundry, a man and half.
Long live the Jagaban of Kogi State.
– Amb. Aliyu Mahmud Amoto writes from Okene.