FRIMPONG-BOATENG - Ghana's new leader on the horizon
I will like to begin with a quote from Charles Wilson, President of GE: ‘‘No matter what size the bottle, the cream always came to the top.’’ This is why some of us have never been bothered as to the number of aspirants. They could even have been 30. The water will always find its level. Simply watch and wait.
Henry Ford was so forthright and practical. He made an interesting analysis on leadership. Hear him: ‘‘asking ‘Who ought to be the boss?’ is like asking ‘Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?’ Obviously, the man who can sing tenor!’’ You cannot help but admire his unpretentious logic. He cuts through the red tape of human politics, and boldly suggests that leadership isn’t a matter of tenure, or title, but ability! The appropriate question therefore is, ‘‘who can get the job done?’’
Who can get what job done? I am sure most people (including the aspirants) are focusing on the goodies and perks of the Presidency – the ceremonies, foreign travels, the red carpet treatments, etc. But that is not what most Ghanaians and I are, interested in. We are interested in who amongst the lot will be able to propel Ghana’s development agenda to where we ought to be; where we were, in terms of rankings, by 1960. For instance; in 1960, we were ahead of the Malaysians and Singaporeans. Yet today, we are struggling to get out of the vicious cycle of 3rd World under development.
We are hungry for creative and compelling leadership; one who will inspire in us a new vision and enthusiasm. Our delegates must select a leader who has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that he has the capacity to transform this dear nation of ours. We need a leader who can say NO to corruption (which I am afraid is being institutionalized, despite the slogan; ‘zero tolerance for corruption’). Above all, we need to select a leader who will UNIFY the NPP and lead us to a resounding victory, come December 2008; not one who will preside over a pyrrhic victory with a deeply polarized and fractured NPP. God forbid!
The man who BEST fits this bill is the indefatigable Prof. Kwabena FRIMPONG-BOATENG! The following are some of the reasons why I am fully convinced that this unique heart surgeon is the man:
1. CHARACTER: ‘‘Character is power’’ - Booker T. Washington.
One of Prof’s strong points is his character. He walks securely because he has integrity. (Proverbs 10:9). He is the Mr. Clean who has nothing to hide in his cupboard. His election will completely neutralize the NDC. Leadership is built from deep character. The level of any leader’s character will be parallel to the trust and involvement of that leader’s followers. It therefore stands to reason that this Electoral College elects the one man who has no blemish in his character – and without doubt, that one man is Professor Kwabena Frimpong–Boateng. He will definitely not provide fodder to the NDC’s propaganda machinery.
2. LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE:
Prof. leads by example. One of his maxims: Be a yardstick of quality. Be the change you desire to see in others. He is a yardstick for excellence. He is competent, skillful in all that he puts his hands to; and he is practical. He has successfully applied science and technology. There is no septic tank in his house. If there is; it is no longer being used for the purpose for which it was created. He has converted human waste into methane gas which feeds into their huge gas cylinders and used for cooking. He is also an industrialist and has partnered with some colleagues to establish a factory that produces bolts, nuts and other implements. He is a successful farmer. His jetropha plantation produces diesel oil which fuels his vehicles.
3. PROVEN TRACK RECORD:
Prof. is the one, who, more than any of the other 17, has proven that leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. I do not have to recollect his various achievements (milestones) here. But Henry Ford is spot on when he says “you cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do’’. Our reputation is obviously constructed from our track record; not our intentions. Anybody at all can dream. Success is about what we have produced, not what we have planned. And Prof. is the only one who has clearly demonstrated this…and I mean just that; clearly.
4. ABILITY TO TAKE HARD (TOUGH) DECISIONS:
Prof. has demonstrated that he can take all the hard and/or tough decisions. His critics have virtually no tangible substance in their arguments. Indeed, leadership sometimes means doing what’s unpopular. Hear Bill Cosby: ‘‘I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody’’. Prof. aptly puts it this way: ‘I am not in a popularity contest; I have a job to do’. And today, it is the successful execution of that job that is on the verge of propelling him to the highest office of the land – the Presidency.
Finally, for those who think he should satisfy himself with his work at Korle-bu; listen to Thomas Edison: ‘‘show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure’’. The sages find it difficult to understand a man who is so satisfied with his present accomplishments that he has no desire to RISK attempting something new. It is said that all glory comes from daring to begin. Prof dared to do something unique – as a highly skilled heart surgeon; he came back home to nothing and helped build the nation; first by setting up the Cardio-thoracic centre. The whites who trained him thought he was probably going mental. Then he took on Korle-bu with over 4, 000 highly skilled intellectuals to manage. We are all living witnesses to his ‘midas touch’ effect there too. (I will refer any one who has not watched the documentary on Korle-bu to do so). Action, indeed, speaks louder than words.
After accomplishing these feats; he is today daring to scale even greater heights. But he knows one thing just like the youngster David: Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid… Go; go on Prof. In our local parlance; we will all help you climb the good tree!
Remember that any man (or woman) who wants to lead an orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. He/she must first make a solitary decision. Paraphrasing John C. Maxwell, he cannot drift along with the crowd, nor pay attention to the crowd’s response to his leading. He must remain focused and willing to stand alone. He must be like the eagle – which does not fly in flocks.
EYES SET ON THE PRESIDENCY - ‘A man of destiny knows it before anybody else. What he doesn’t know is the limits to his capabilities’’ – General Charles De Gaulle.
Elders of the NPP, and distinguished delegates; ‘‘every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man (called the leader …italics mine)’’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson (a distinguished American writer). His character determines the character of the organization’’. Remember that outstanding leaders appeal to the hearts of their followers, not their minds. Most of the well respected political leaders in US history – men like Lincoln, Roosevelt (FDR), Kennedy, Reagan, etc. - were able to grip the hearts of the people. It’s not about partisanship. It’s about the ability to cast a vision, to empathize, to spark hope, to speak to the heart. It’s not that the other aspirants are not using logic; but Professor Kwabena FRIMPONG-BOATENG has traveled beyond logic, to win the hearts of the NPP and Ghanaians.
God doesn’t look for masses, or even for committees, when He wants to do something – He looks for a leader. So please choose the right leader. And remember; that selection is not by tenure or title, but purely by ABILITY! A word to the wise is enough.
Jones Osei-Ababio E-mail: email@example.com.