Introduction • Leadership is critical to the existence and survival of any organization. • The economic situation in Nigeria requires effective and logical thinkers who can reason outside the box to come up with ideas that will address contemporary issues.
Nigerian situation is dynamic and requires only those that move with the trend to drive visions for accomplishments, it is always a moving train that leaves the passive people behind.
Unfortunately the economic situation has introduced a new dimension to our value system, life style and modification of the cultural universe.
The consequence of the down - turn include: -Incredible Forex -High level of unemployment -unsavory vices that is detrimental to the growth of the society. -Low level infrastructural development. - declining educational sector
The Concept of leadership • Leadership is a process whereby an individual of group of leaders influences others to achieve a common goal. • This involves mentoring, inspiring, motivating, building cohesion, culture and generating change within an organization or institution.
In summary , leadership involves these key attributes: • Being able to motivate & direct others • Taking responsibility for the direction & actions of a team • Setting objectives. • Organising & motivating others. • Taking the initiative
Persevering when things are not working out. • Taking a positive attitude to frustration/failure. • Accepting responsibility for mistakes/wrong decisions. • Being flexible: prepared to adapt goals in the light of changing situations.
The characteristics of students Union leader that can cope and attain vision in the time of economic recession : • A leader that motivates and influence a changing behavior. • inspires, set the tone and articulates vision. • understand and can manage colleagues. • Deep understanding and effective use of power and influence.
Acting decisively. • Putting people first; the leader knows, responds to and acts for his or her followers. • A leader that is not too overzealous to overlead.
Effectiveness as a student leader in a recessed economy The current economic situation with competing challenges from all fronts requires an effective leadership. Contemporary leaders should understand these set of behaviors to improve on their leadership effectiveness; • Determines what needs to be done at a particular period • Determines the right thing to do for the welfare of the entire students body
Determines action plans that specify desired results probable restraints, future revisions, check-in-points and implications for how one should spend his or her time. • Take responsibility for decisions/actions. • Take responsibility for communicating action plans and give people the information they need to get tasks accomplished.
Focus on opportunities rather than problems. • Have positive attitude towards issues and be a positive thinker. • Run productive meetings.
Think and say “we” rather than “I” consider the needs and opportunities of the students before thinking of your own opportunities and needs. • Listen first , speak last. • Approach issues with sincerity, honesty and open mindedness. • Absolute commitment by been an epitome of good examples. • Be a good team player.
What are the bad traits to avoid in student’s leadership: • Incompetence – when the leader and some followers lack the will or skill to sustain effective action. • Unnecessary rigidity- This is when the leader and at least some followers are stiff and unyielding even in the face of stack reality. • Intemperate – The leader lacks self –control and is aided and abetted by followers who are unwilling or unable effectively to intervene.
Callous –The leader and some followers are uncaring and unkind. • Corrupt – This involves leaders cheating, stealing and telling lies. • Evil- This is where the leader and at least some followers commit atrocities
What to do as an effective Students Union Leader in a distressed Economy. • Come up with a realistic vision that promotes scholarship and entrepreneurship. • Facilitate the thinking faculty of students by engaging them in intellectual discourse to expose them to contemporary economic, academic and political issues through lectures, symposia and conferences. • Encourage formation , resuscitation, restructuring of innovative clubs or groups that can add value and open students to future benefits.
Initiate entrepreneurship and talent incubation programmers for students. • Get involved in industrial linkages and collaborations with outside organizations that can provide immense benefits to students. • Initiate exchange programmes that can be beneficial to students.
Establish pilot small scale business on the campus. • Collaborate with the University on a standard and effective work study programme in the University.
There should be a strong departmental /school and students Union working relationship through a strong and regular interactive forum between the leadership of the various Departmental/school’s association to review and evolve strategies to combat challenges facing the students.
The students union should communicate the university promptly on lapses that may emanate on issues that could cause insecurity such as poor /faulty municipal facilities. • There should be high vigilance level and operational confidentiality between the student union leadership and the student affairs unit on critical internal and external matters.
Conclusion • Leadership is about achievements and economic recession is blessing in disguise for innovative leaders. • Student Union leaders should evolve strategies to build up their colleagues so that their future will be secured. • Student Union Leadership should strive to leave a lasting legacy .