“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. – Bill Cosby” In explaining the above assertion Bill Cosby simplified his claims thus. According to him, “One of the weaknesses of many of today’s leaders is our compulsion to take surveys. It happens in politics, and it happens in churches.
A leader must go beyond being a people-pleaser to being a God-pleaser. If our need for the people’s affirmation exceeds our need for God’s affirmation, we’re in trouble. Leadership sometimes means doing what’s unpopular”.
Cosby’s theory of what a leader should and should not be or do is the everyday experiences in our society today. An example is Governor Udom Emmanuel who came on board not being loquacious. He carefully avoided seeking to please everybody, but he was focused doing his work adroitly. He has been pummelled front and back and he will not budge. He kept on working despite daunting challenges.
Lately, he would not even mention his projects until they are hatched like the proverbial eggs. Today, Governor Udom Emmanuel is cruising home with over fourteen workable PPP industries donning the economic space of Akwa Ibom State. Roads infrastructure are spreading like wild fire of the Harmarttan season across the senatorial districts of the Akwa Ibom. Ibom Air is flying and making the mark. All the sectors of the Akwa Ibom economy are kicking and yet the traducers of Governor Udom Emmanuel, even as glaring as the facts are, would not rest.
It is however true that a society most times is the reflection of its leader. It could be adopted too that followers most times are likely to keenly observe and follow the footsteps of their leaders. Ekerete Udoh, a former columnist in NewsDay Newspaper and Vice Chairman of News of the World Newspaper, Lagos, and currently the Chief Press Secretary/Senior Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Media, is cast in this mould.
This Journalist by training and politician by his present calling have today been put in this mould by what Chinua Achebe calls “benevolent spirits” to toe the line of a delectable boss. He appears to be at peace with all despite the initial pummelling within the Akwa Ibom’s troubled media waters. He smiles at abuses and allegations. His calm mien perhaps earned him the love of many media chieftains in the state over time. He blended with ease despite the “yaad di kood” murmurings by self-appointed talebearers. He carried on with his duty and never joined issues with people.
His focus on duty and the virtue of his boss, his alliance with the media forces within the Akwa Ibom terrain and elsewhere, his experiences gathered over the years and his network, his relationship with the high and the mighty over time have not only won him the admiration of the players in the media space, but has earned him the amiable appellation Udo mmakara.
Let it be put on record that Ekerete Udoh has tended to discreetly, by his observant para language, roll through like a man who wants to lead the orchestra. John Maxwell in his The Power of Leadership posits that he “must turn his back on the crowd”. The initial persecutions and tantrums by Mr Udoh’s perceived traducers in the early times of his entry into the “hot seat” of the Press Secretary-ship constituted the crowd which he consistently ignored with interest.
Maxwell says “if a man wants to lead the orchestra, he must first make a solitary decision. He cannot drift along with the crowd, nor can he pay attention to the crowd’s response to his leading. He must remain focused, and be willing to stand alone. He must give himself to the few who are cooperating with him, not the masses who are looking on. Finally, even if he yearns for the crowd’s applause, that cannot be his goal. His goal must be to lead his orchestra with excellence. The applause is a by-product”. Today Mr Udoh seems to have unconsciously kept faith with Maxwell’s theory. But has it paid off?
One thing the governor’s Chief Press Secretary has been seen to be good at is always admitting his mistakes and correcting them abruptly. Those who work closely with him attest that he relates well and motivates when need be. Like the Eagles which do not flock and must be searched and found one at a time, Ekerete’s era as Press Secretary is unique on its own. Others who came before his time were unique in their ways and played their roles according to the demands of the time. The contributions of the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists at the start of his line of duties and currently are commendable as they help to keep the media stable afloat as the sail persists. The businessmen in Akwa Ibom media space, in whatever garb they are addressed: League of Newspaper Publishers and Independent Newspaper Publishers Association (INPA) have played their roles when Mr Udoh’s effort towards his success is weighed.
However, let it be written for the records that in this era of Mr Ekerete Udoh, the Akwa Ibom State and Nigerian born, US-based and finally back home to serve his father land as the Press Secretary to the governor of Akwa Ibom State, the media community has been stabilized, many ills have been corrected; he has been up to date with discharging of ‘Danjuma’ in strings of months, advertorials to media houses have been promptly paid for and appointment of media Aides to the governor has been facilitated.
He may not have pleased everybody as expected of an office he occupies, but has been focused and work is still in progress. Though his boss is seen by the majority to be a good man, a negligible percentage of the attack dogs are still at work, but his peaceful and humble posture are not only commendable but rewarding.
However, there are musings for more advertorials, some appointments and more blessings on (and may be for) most of those who stood the storms (in the media space) of the election times for his boss.
They also expect a Christmas package this year end. These are the musings in town. Mr Ekerete Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to governor Udom Emmanuel, like no other, congratulations for weathering the storms this far and over to you sir.
Courtesy: The Faculty