Vice President Bawumia’s role in the Akufo-Addo government may be a political one but just as many have done in other jurisdictions, for instance for Donald Trump or Barack Obama, we tease out some organizational and leadership lessons from Bawumia’s role as Vice President. We can surmise that for Bawumia, it isn’t always just about leading but service. We conclude that he exemplifies the principle of leadership by service or servant leadership in many ways.
Be loyal to your superior and to the cause
Bawumia was an unblemished, unalloyed and unassailable supporter of the Akufo-Addo administration. We can all learn a thing or two from Bawumia’s absolute support for the President. What Bawumia did was that once he was elected VP /candidate, he made sure to fully dedicate himself to the cause of his boss. We can all agree that he was an ultra Akufo-Addo. Every boss would like that. One day, when you are also the leader, you can be sure your team or assistant will replicate such commitment. Yes, point out when things don’t augur well, but overall, you should be his/her biggest cheerleader. Always encouraging, always supportive.
You may not have joined the organization from the inception but study up, immerse yourself, catch up and hit the ground running. This is exactly what Bawumia did. Many people felt he didn’t join the NPP early but in the end, he quickly caught up. Many young folks sometimes apply for positions or join organizations without reading, learning or even immersing themselves into the organization’s culture and ideals. Dr Bawumia has shown that it is important to be fully dedicated, committed and self-driven for group success to be attained.
Sacrifice and hard work
There is a certain sense within the NPP that Bawumia has indeed paid his dues. This is probably why it was possible for him to garner the support of most across the board including those at the very top. It made it easy for him to receive broad-based support when it was his time to pursue the top job.
Do not create a power base. Do not be over-ambitious. Wait for your time
One of the major challenges presidents have faced is in this area. Sometimes Vice Presidents, for one reason or the other, try to generate power and authority around themselves. Some assistants compete with their leaders, others feel they are better than the leaders. And lastly, some are over-ambitious with an eye to occupying that leadership position. This leads them, consciously or unconsciously, to act in a way that undermines leadership or organizational growth. Leaders. In the end, it either derails the overall cause or leads to a bad work environment. None of these happened with VP Bawumia. The critical thing is that people took notice and when it was time, it became easier to support him.
Stay committed to the vision
Even though things may get difficult along the way, never abandon ship. Even when the terrain got difficult, you never found Bawumia pulling himself away or apportioning blame. Over time, he emerged as a top candidate and leader within the party.
Be ready to take some shots for the team
There may be times when you need to take some “bullets” for the team, which is what team players do. You may not be directly responsible for a problem but must be willing to embrace the challenge and seek ways to help your team. Not every problem could be directly attributed to Bawumia but when he stood out there, he had to defend his team. He ended up taking a lot of attacks from the opposing team. Still, he often threw himself out there and took the jabs on behalf of the team.
Writer: Dr Etse Sikanku