This week, LR inspiring events section comes alive as we feature “Legacy and Opportunities”. This was the theme adopted by the XN Foundation as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of ICONS (International Conference of Nigerian Students) in Leicester, United Kingdom.
We can tell you are wondering, what the XN Foundation is? In May 2006, two Nigerian youths decided to come together and start XN Foundation. Akanimo Odon and Benedict Okhumale, decided that the boundless energies and talents of the Nigerian Youths need to be harnessed. So, they set up XN Foundation (http://xnfoundation.org) as a platform for the Nigerian youths to express these energies positively for the common good of not only their country, but also, the forward movement of mankind. Since then, they have become known for actively implementing positive, goal-oriented projects in the United Kingdom, Canada and Nigeria.
10th to 12th of June, ICONS 2016 10th Anniversary Conference held at De Montfort University, in Leicester. Delegates converged from various parts of the world to actualize the conference objectives, which were 9 in number. Key among these objectives were:
- National development: to urge the Nigerian Youths abroad to remember their fatherland and endeavor to contribute to national development.
- Unity in Diaspora: networking Nigerian Youths to foster unity abroad and at home. Strengthening the Nigerian International Students Agenda.
- Empowerment: to enlighten them about Job opportunities as well as develop leadership skills and secure choice jobs through partnership with corporate bodies.
The erudite list of speakers and more about proceedings at this event abounds at http://icons2016.xnfoundation.org
In line with the ‘borderless motivational’ vision of Team LR, and in our usual way of supporting those who share our vision, representatives were on hand at the break out session led by Dr. Emmanuel Adukwu and Dr. Amara Anyogu of the Aspiring Professionals Hub (www.aspiringprofessionalshub.com). Dr. Emmanuel Adukwu was one of our pioneer inspirational guest feature on LR space: http://lorettareveals.org/2015/12/25/begin-with-the-end-in-mind/
The tag team scientists gave us very valuable insight on ‘How to be a Good Leader’. In a very well structured delivery that flowed seamlessly between the duo, they made a start by initiating our reflection on:
- What makes a good leader?
- What is leadership?
- What makes a good leader?
- Are you a leader?
- Is leadership important to your career success?
Amara made it clear that “for you to define someone as a good leader, it depends on the assessment criteria you are using”. Secondly, she explained that a bad person could have good leadership abilities. In which case, such person may chose to put his or her good leadership ability to use for a bad cause we have had some such examples in history of people like Adolf Hitler. Hence, it is often important to be able to draw a line between the person’s innate predisposition and their leadership abilities.
Emmanuel on the other hand explained how we have all been leaders or are leaders in one way or another. Nevertheless, it is important to know that we cannot all be leaders at the same time. This brings us to the concept of “leadership awareness”. Many of us have been class captains, football captains, work place coordinators, decision makers in our homes, yet, we are still unaware of our leadership roles even while we play them. It is important to understand our capacity in such roles to that we then understand how best we function and become better willing to function in future positions of leadership.
Finally, this last slide below, from the presentation of the two halves of the Aspiring Professionals Hub founders, clearly states the difference between a leader and boss. A leader is a person of influence. Have a critical look at this slide as we did, and meditate on what type of person you are. Leader or Boss?
It sure was an exciting time at ICONS 2016. Since “all work and no food makes one a slow assimilator of knowledge”, the LR Team was impressed to find the organisers paid careful attention to the lunches and dinner at this event. To those who run XN Foundation, Yinka Alli-Balogun, Chidinma Ogbonnaya, Ifeolu Akintunde, Akanimo Odon, Jusice Akpan, Gbenga Ogunmodimmu, Obinna Ajuruchi and Idrees Oloyede, we say a big thank you.
ICONS 2017 conference is a date worth keeping. As we await 2017, let us translate our acquired information from this conference into action. You can start by reflecting on and dropping us your opinion/comments on leadership, who is a good leader and what role do the followers play in determining the pathway/performance of their leaders.