The way our universe is designed, every change of level requires the consumption of resources. Therefore, the inability to muster the resources needed for a change of level can condemn one to a particular level of operation for eternity. This ability to generate needed resources is one of the crucial tests of a leader’s competence.
It is true that leadership is visionary in nature. Vision is, however, not a scarce resource in our world. Just ask anyone you meet, they are most likely to have a preferred picture of the desired future; that is, vision. What many have not been able to answer is the resource question and without that, no vision is likely to get off the ground.
Simply put, resources are what it will take for our respective visions to come into fruition. I once needed to let go of a leader in our organisation because after leading the sector of our organisation for six years, he couldn’t come up with the needed resources to get it to continue to operate. Instantly, that was a revelation of the inadequacy of his leadership. Any entity that doesn’t have the capacity to fund itself after six years certainly doesn’t have the right to exist.
The right for the continued existence of any entity lies in its ability to attract the resources needed to operate, while also circulating the same resources within itself, to its own advantage. This is the supreme question that every leader must answer. Without resources, our leadership is nothing.
ARTICULATE WHAT IT TAKES
The first thing a leader must do in resource generation is to effectively articulate what it will take for their vision and objectives to come to pass. I call this finding the critical resource requirement for our vision or objective. Again the leader must frankly confront this. Not accurately estimating this can mess up the leader’s intent completely.
COMMIT YOUR OWN
The second thing the leader must do is to plunge his own resources into the said vision or objective. Listen, you can’t hoard yourself and your personal resources and succeed at attracting other people’s resources into your organisation. Leadership by its very nature, is self -sacrificing. So before approaching anyone for resources, you must be sure that you have huge personal equity and stake in what you are trying to convince others to fund. I will return to this self-sacrificing tendency in true leadership at some other date.
To generate resources, the third thing a leader must understand is that there is likely to exist vestiges of resources within the organisation he leads. A leader must tap those resources first, before attempting to approach entities outside of his organisation. The tapping of personal resources has a way of inspiring others within the organisation to release what they have towards the vision. Tapping your domestic resources also communicates to the outside world that such a leader is thorough in thinking and prudence.Tapping your domestic resources also communicates to the outside world that such a leader is thorough in thinking and prudence. Click To Tweet
In my opinion, this is why most of the clamour of African leaders for foreign aid or Foreign Direct Investments falls flat on its face. The world sees the corruption and huge wastage of resources displayed by our political elite and just can’t be convinced to buy into our lack of prudence for any reason other than to exploit the under-exploited resources potential of our unfortunate continent. Sad!
The fourth thing the leader must do is to measure, document and communicate effectively the results achieved so far by the combination of the personal and domestic resources deployed towards the fulfilment of the vision. In most cases, the fusion of both personal and domestic resources is often enough to fulfil our vision or objectives. However, when they are not, it will be in order to approach external sources. The potent communication of results achieved is crucial to the attraction of external resources.
No one wants to invest in failures. Therefore, in approaching external sources for their resources, the communication of your results isn’t enough to convince them. You must be able to demonstrate how investing in your operation is in their enlightened self-interest. That way, your plea for resources cannot be ignored.
Lastly, a strategic and stringent resource allocation culture must be deployed at every level of the resource generation spectrum. Be it personal, domestic or external resources, all resources must be allocated to where they can make the most impact in the organisation’s best interests. A thoroughly thought-through impact analysis must be done before resources are allocated. Most of all, resources must always be deployed in line with the values and in fulfilment of the vision of the organisation. In doing this, an emphatic NO to every temptation of resource diffusion and misappropriation is the leader’s best friend.Most of all, resources must always be deployed in line with the values and in fulfilment of the vision of the organisation. Click To Tweet