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Servant-Leadership -

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Vu april 13_2010_v3 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Creative and inspiring cultural leaders in Nigeria: Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka
    James Ogunleye, PhD, FRSA, Middlesex University, UK
    A keynote Presentation for Symposium on Servant Leader Across Cultures, VrijeUniversiteit Amsterdam
    13 April 2010
  • 2. Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka – a brief introduction
    Nigeria: National/Political and Cultural Contexts of Achebe and Soyinka Servant-Leadership
    Characteristics of Servant-Leadership
    Chinua Achebe’s and Wole Soyinka’s Servant-Leadership
    Drivers for Achebe’s and Soyinka’s Servant-Leadership
    Concluding remarks
    Outline
  • 3. Achebe and Soyinka have both been variously referred to as Africa’s literary giants, Africa’s “literary juggernauts” and fathers of modern African literature.
    Achebe is a novelist and poet; he is the older of the duo – age 79; born on 16th November 1930.
    Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka – a brief introduction
  • 4. Soyinka is a novelist, poet and playwright and dramatist; age 75; born on 13 July 1934.
    Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka – a brief introduction cont’d
  • 5. Are among the world’s most celebrated living literary icons – in terms of their artistic talents and creativity.
    Between them they have written more than 70 books, including novels, short stories, essays and collections of poetry.
    Achebe and Soyinka are seen or regarded by their followers as role models and servant-leaders and have played – and continue to play – an active role in Nigeria’s political history and cultural life.
    Chinua Achebe & Wole Soyinka – a brief introduction con’td
  • 6. A former British colony; gained political independence in 1960;
    Had a long history of autocratic rule/military dictatorships;
    Has now been a democracy since 1997.
    Nigeria: National/Political and Cultural Contexts of Achebe and Soyinka Servant Leadership
  • 7. Population as at 2006 national census was 140 million – makes Nigeria the most populous country in Africa;
    Nigeria is multicultural and multi-ethnic, comprises 250 socio-linguistic groups, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (2008);
    Nigeria: National/Political and Cultural Contexts of Achebe and Soyinka Servant Leadership
  • 8. 7th largest oil producing country in the world; member of OPEC – the so-called oil producing cartel;
    70% of population live below the international poverty line (or on US$1 per day);
    Nigeria is ranked 158 out of 182 on the UN Development Index (UN Human Development Index, 2009).
    Nigeria: National/Political and Cultural Contexts of Achebe and Soyinka Servant Leadership
  • 9. Concepts of creativity as applied to Achebe and
    Soyinka
    Traditionally, studies on creativity are explored under the overlapping themes of product, process, personality and the environment,
    The artistic works of Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka can be situated in one or more of these traditional themes of creativity.
    Achebe’s and Soyinka’s talents for creativeness and self expression
  • 10. Product creativity – an original and useful result or outcome a creative act [i.e. Achebe’s and Soyinka’s literary works],
    Process creativity – ‘ability to produce work that is judged by others as novel and appropriate’ (Lubart and Sternberg, 1998, p.66) [i.e. Achebe’s and Soyinka’s literary works as judged by others including the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for fiction (Achebe) Nobel Prize for Literature 1986 (Soyinka)],
    Achebe’s and Soyinka’s talents for creativeness and self expression cont’d
  • 11. Personality creativity – think about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI-Creativity Index) and Trompenaars’ (2007) Integrated Type Indicator as applied to Achebe and Soyinka,
    Environment creativity – social/cultural environmental elements, for example, can ‘create a context in which creative work’ is hindered or facilitated; these can also ‘serve to evaluate products and performances (Lubart and Sternberg, 1998, p.65) ... again as applied to Achebe and Soyinka; in fact, Soyinka’s award-winning – The Man Died (1972) – novel was a prison notes! Soyinka wrote: ‘The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.’
    Achebe’s and Soyinka’s talents for creativeness and self expression cont’d
  • 12. Servant-leadership
    According to Drury (2004, p.8), is ‘an understanding and practice of leadership that places the good of those led over the self interest of the leader. Servant leadership promotes the valuing and development of people, the building of community, the practice of authenticity, the providing of leadership for the good of those led, and the sharing of power and status for the common good of each individual, the total organization, and those serve by the organization Drury.’
    Concepts of Servant-Leadership
  • 13. Key phrases in Drury’s conception of
    Servant Leadership are amongst others:
     
    Leadership ...
    ‘...that places the good of those led over the self interest ...’
    ‘ ... promot[ing] the valuing and development of people ...’
    ‘ ... providing of leadership for the good of those led ...’
    Concepts of Servant-Leadership cont’d
  • 14. Cultural activism – through artistic/creative works. Achebe’s acclaimed novel Things Fall Apart (1958) is reported to have some over 11 million copies worldwide and has been translated in well over 50 languages. The book was described in a review as ‘an extended metaphor for African despoliation, life and politics.’
    Chinua Achebe’s and Wole Soyinka’s Servant-Leadership
  • 15. Political activism – lead, including political rallies, campaign for political reform, value-based political leadership, from the front often at a great personal risk (Soyinka is particularly active; he once gate-crashed into a regional broadcasting studio to protest an alleged rigging of election results and made a broadcast to call for the cancellation of the election results; he criticised Nigeria’s civil war and was imprisoned without trial between 1967-9; in the early 1990s, he was once condemned to death sentence in absentia by a military dictatorship; in exile, he set up a radio station that not only ‘spoke the truth’ to the military dictatorship, but also helped speed up Nigeria’s return to democracy).
    Chinua Achebe’s and Wole Soyinka’s Servant-Leadership cont’d
  • 16. Political activism cont’d – Soyinka-led Citizens Forum and Save Nigerian Group are other examples of political activism). In the case of Achebe, his book, The Trouble with Nigeria (1984), ‘a treatise that has since become arguably the most widely read social and political analysis of Nigeria’ (Ndibe, 2009)).
    Chinua Achebe’s and Wole Soyinka’s Servant-Leadership cont’d
  • 17. Moral courage and conviction – Achebe’s rejection in 2004 of a Nigerian national honour, the second highest, ... to draw attention on the failed leadership in Nigeria was, according to Ndibe (2009) ‘a classic of conscientious censure.’
    Achebe in an open letter told the then Nigerian President OlusegunObasanjo:‘Nigeria’s condition today [October 2004] under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence. I must register my disappointment and protest by declining to accept the high honour awarded me in the 2004 Honors List.’
    Chinua Achebe’s and Wole Soyinka’s Servant-Leadership cont’d
  • 18. Artistic creativity and unrivalled ability to connect to or engage with a critical mass of Nigerian/international audience;
    Cultural cum civic duty – they believe they have a duty – however and wherever you situate that duty – to consciously engage their readers with the leadership question in Nigeria;
    Trust and the confidence of the people they represent, their followership.
    Drivers for Achebe’s and Soyinka’s Servant-Leadership
  • 19.  Achebe on (Servant) Leadership
    ‘... is a sacred trust like the priesthood in civilized, humane religions. No one gets into it lightly or unadvisedly, because it demands qualities of mind and discipline of body and will far beyond the needs of the ordinary citizen. Any who offers himself or herself or is offered to society for leadership must be aware of the unusually high demands of the role and should, if in any doubt whatsoever, firmly refuse the prompting (January 12, 2010).
    Concluding remarks – Achebe and Soyinka in their own words
  • 20.  
    Achebe on Followership
    ‘We need not spend too long on the argument for pre-eminence of followers. It is enough to say that no known human enterprise has flourished on the basis of the following leading the leaders’ (February 17, 2010).
    Concluding remarks – Achebe and Soyinka in their own words
  • 21.  Soyinka on creativity
    ‘... I didn't really find any peace, any creative peace, any possibility of creativity until I spent a few months by myself [on a little village on a farm in the south of France] where I wrote a play. I wrote the play, The Bacchae of Euripides, which was commissioned at the time by the National Theatre of Great Britain. And I began again to write but I found on coming out immediately I couldn't get back to writing for some time’ (April 16, 1998).
     
    Concluding remarks – Achebe and Soyinka in their own words
  • 22. Soyinka on culture
    ‘I'm a very cultural person, and there isn't, in my view, such a thing as a Nigerian culture. There is obviously Hausa culture, Fulani culture, Ewe culture, Igbo culture. These are palpable realities that inform so many things, even the economic system, the political system. They form part of the overall culture, in a very tangible, daily, effective way. The sense of ceremony, the sense of ritual, and so on – these are the realities over which we erect a political superstructure for the rather shallow business of governance’ (August 24, 2006).
    Concluding remarks – Achebe and Soyinka in their own words
  • 23. References/Further Reading
    Achebe, C. (2010) The leadership crisis in Nigerian politics, The Daily Sun (January 12), [http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/opinion/2010/jan/12/backpage.htm].
    Briggs, I. M. and McCaulley, H. Mary (1992) Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Palo Alto, California, Consulting Psychologists Press.
    Drury, S. (2004). Employee Perceptions of Servant Leadership: Comparisons of Level with Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.
    Harrison, G. (1981) Studies of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in a personality assessment research institute. Paper presented at the Fourth National Conference on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Stanford University, CA (July, 1981).
    Lubart, T. I., and Sternberg, R. J. (1998) Creativity across time and place: Lifespan and crosscultural perspectives. High Abilities Studies, 9, 59–74.
    Ndibe, O. (2009)Anambra 2010 as window to 2011(Monday December 14) [http://www.okeyndibe.com/downloadables-recent-online-2009-12-14.htm]
    Trompenaars, A. M. R. (2007) A new substantive theory of sustainable creativity and innovation through the integration of cultures, Inaugural Professorial Lecture, 12 September 2007, Free University Amsterdam [http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/bitstream/1871/11004/1/Oratie%20Trompenaars.pdf]
    End – thank you