Redefining Leadership: Navigating the Path from Birthright to Fulfillment in Life
Assegid Habtewold (Dr.)
270 Pages (Includes front and back matter)
Peter Drucker, who has been hailed by many as the father of modern management once opined, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Is it possible that current leadership theory has gotten it wrong and leadership is not something made – but is inherent in all people? Assegid Habtewold thinks so and has written an excellent treatise on the fact that leadership is a type of birthright in his Redefining Leadership. If one desires to lead, he should find what he is passionate about and fulfill Drucker’s mantra – such a determination will inevitably lead to doing right things.
Habtewold’s writing is reminiscent of what Steven Covey postured in his Eighth Habit, where adherents are encouraged to find their voice and help others find theirs. Many who languish in life’s circles do so since they have not embraced their birthright of leadership. With Habtewold’s expert tutelage, individuals can find their calling and embrace fulfillment – not just effectiveness.
While a student in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa University, Habtewold grew increasingly frustrated as he discovered there were no student representatives from the faculty of veterinary medicine at the AAU students’ union. Through hard work and fortitude, Assegid was elected as the president of the student union in 1998, one year after beginning his quest to see inclusion. Little did he know that his election as president of the student union would coincide with The Eritrean-Ethiopian War – which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars spent and tens of thousands of casualties with very little effective outcome. Habtewold’s leadership would be challenged greatly and he was used as a beacon of hope to help students respond appropriately to the throes of war.
Such times demonstrate that leadership from the wilderness experiences of life is not only applicable – it is mandatory. Someone needs to step forth and help fruit develop from the circumstance. As the apostle Paul told the church of Ephesus, “…having done all to stand – stand therefore…” Assegid would remind his readers that you do not always need an official position to lead. The birthright of leadership falls to all to defend values and principles, even if they are unpopular. Keep doing the right things even if you do not see immediate change.
While Habtewold’s writing strives to be friendly of all religions, it is refreshing to see an author stand by his religious convictions. His book would make an excellent inclusion in any Bible College seeking to add a Christian perspective on leadership and its availability to all.
Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd