Wednesday, 28 June 2017

12. Leadership Earned Or Imposed

It is important to understand; you cannot lead people unless they let you. One can force authority in different ways, but even in such situations, if the people have not accepted a leader, it results in dictatorship. The two words are so contradictory, who ever thought of using one to describe the other? ….

Al, now intrigued by Dela’s change of attitude walks round the table to Dela like a lion circling his prey. However, this is only in his perspective. From Dela’s, she is not prey at all. Probably she has one up on him. Al, not fully aware of what could have possibly made Dela corky decides to do some research.

Al, ‘Look Dela, perhaps there’s something you want. I will make it happen for you. But in all assurance, I will remain CEO of this group and Elan will be busy with the children. Why are you so loyal to her, anyway?’

Dela, ‘Hmmmm! So she doesn’t know you do not want her back after her leave?’

Al shakes his head realizing he has given extra unnecessary information. However, it gets Dela talking.

Dela, ‘It’s obvious you do not know your wife as well as you should Sir. Only a fool would not remain loyal to Elan.’ She goes on passionately with a far off look in her face, obviously reflecting on something Elan did that Al is not aware of.

‘When she commits she will move heaven and earth for you. I may have helped her settle down in Nigeria, used a connection here and there but that is nothing compared to what she has done for me.’

Al, now more confused than ever slightly leans forward in anticipation. ‘What do you mean?’

Dela, obviously not ready to pour the beans and highly committed to Elan, refocuses her attention on the present. ‘There is nothing you can offer me that Elan has not already addressed. She has invested in my life and my children’s more than any employer has or would ever do.’

To the best of Al knowledge, Elan did this for everyone and all staff had good benefits scheme. If anything, all big corporations had good schemes probably better than what Elan group but none of the employees were like Elans.

‘Exactly what are you talking about -?’ asks Al, hoping to uncover the mystery of the crazy commitment staff at Elan group have to the business and their founder even after they left the company. But this is not the day it will happen - Dela further retracts this time not only with her facial and body language but by her words.

‘That is not important. You called me to tell me not to talk, to ensure I don’t cast a shadow on your marriage? You have my word. However, my loyalties lie with your wife. If you are here as CEO you get my professional commitment to the CEO. However that is how far my loyalties go with you.’ She concludes.

She stands up to leave, straightens her skirt and picks her notebook and pen. Al is thoughtful and confused totally caught off guard. Elan was obviously more than her boss. She had the advantage of loyal ties beyond a mere professional relationship. Though he was aware of the loyalty key staff had to the organization and Elan, it was obvious - this was not just because she was the Boss Lady and it was not simply because they were friends. By the look of things, this was a mystery he was not solving today and not by him being CEO.

Dela, now almost at the door interrupts his thoughts, ‘Will you be operating from your office or this office Sir?’

Al waves her away not answering. She, knowing her new bosses mannerism, gets that this means yes. He would have quipped something had the answer been something else. She walks on closing the door behind her.

Outside she finds a cleaner and gives instruction that the office be converted to Al’s comfort; ‘When cleaning up please transfer Mr Ugo’s personal items to Madam’s office. Change the door placard and put Madam’s personal items in the wall cabinet.’

Cleaner, ‘Yes Ma’

She clears her desk while calling Boni for his meeting, puts Elan’s tablet in her bag …

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