A paper presented during a student leadership seminar held
at
Kenya Commercial Bank Karen
13th April, 2013
By
Jeremiah M. Kalai, PhD
Lecturer
Department of Educational Administration& Planning
University of Nairobi
Koontz and O’Donnell (2007), define leadership as the ability
of the manager to induce subordinate to work with confidence
and zeal.” On the other hand, Kouzes and Posner (2007) note
that leadership is the ultimately about creating ways for
people to contribute to making the extraordinary happen.
Leadership is not always about the extra-ordinary, but many
times
it
simply
requires
providing
of
direction.
This
assumption stems from the trait theory that assumes that the
world has leaders and followers
 Okumbe (1998) cites Katz and Kahn (1978) who defined
leadership as the influential increment over and above
mechanical compliance with routine directives of the
organization. The foregoing definition sees leadership as
process where a person influences others to do something of
their own volition, neither because it is required nor because
of the fear of consequences for non-compliance.
 D’Souza (1999) cites Shakespeare who noted that some people
are born great, others achieve greatness and others have
greatness thrust upon them. According to literature reviewed by
Stogdill (1974), leaders tend to have higher capacity to do
things such as being more intelligent, more persuasive, more of
problem solvers and possessing a level of charm and charisma
than the average people. While scholars are now in agreement
that traits are not the only determinant of leadership, it is
common knowledge that leadership is not simply about traits.
 Leadership Begins with Self‐Leadership
 Begin with who am I?

What are my values and Core beliefs?
 What kind of Leader do I want to be?

What motivates me?

What do I value?
 Habit 1: Be Proactive
 “Take Responsibility for your life”
 Habit 2: Begin with The End in Mind
 “Define your mission and your goals in life.”
 Habit 3: Put First Things First
 “Prioritize, and do the most important things first.”
 Habit 4: Think Win-Win- “Have an everyone-can-win
attitude.”
 Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood
 “Listen to people sincerely.”
 Habit 6: Synergize- “Work together to achieve more.”
 Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw-“Renew yourself regularly.”
(Stephen Covey, 1999)
 1: Attitude
Development-Effective Student Leaders
display positive and enthusiastic attitudes at all times.
 2: Communication Skills- Effective Student Leaders
must take the responsibility of a communicator
seriously.
 3: Positive Role Modelling-Effective Student Leaders
must set a proper example at all times.
 4: Personal Responsibility-Effective Student Leaders
will take on whatever responsibility needed to
accomplish “what needs to done when it needs to be
done.”
 5: Understanding Self-Motivation-Effective Student
Leaders take initiative.
 6: Sensitivity in Working with Peers-Effective
Student leaders understand that they must “motivate
and NOT dictate.”
 7: Self-Accountability-Effective Student Leaders
understand that a primary quality to a successful
leader is the ability for self-accountability.
 8: Action Plans to Achieve Group Goals-Effective Student
Leaders are aware of the group goals and then take action plans
to implement the necessary steps to ensure that the students in
their section are properly prepared.
 9: Understanding Leadership-Effective Student Leaders will do
what is right when no one is watching and stay true the
organization’s core values.
 10: TEAMWORK- Effective student leaders understand
that only Together Everyone Achieves More
 11: Attributes of Leadership
 Effective Student Leaders portray the following attributes:
 12: Commitment to excellence-Effective Student Leaders
are individuals who have a clear commitment to
excellence.
 13: INTEGRITY- Effective Student Leaders conduct their lives
with integrity. The dictionary defines integrity as “the
soundness of moral character, adherence to ethical
 principles, and being unimpaired.”
 14: WORK ETHIC- Effective Student Leaders are the epitome
of hard workers. Hard work is the basic building block of every
kind of achievement.
 Student –leaders’ questions
 “If not now, when?, If not here, where?, If not you,
who?”- An intricate building block in the infrastructure of
your organization will be your development of an
effective Student Leadership Council.
 Leaders employ different leadership styles based on circumstances
and the type of group led. Where people demonstrate immaturity,
leaders tend to be more autocratic. On the contrary, where the
followers are mature and capable of being self-driven, leaders are
likely to withdraw and allow the group exercise autonomy (Laissez
faire leadership). In situations where individuals value rewards,
leaders tend to employ transactional leadership. In communities
that are sensitive of being involved, employers may choose to be
democratic. In other situations, the leader may choose to employ a
style that creates a fit between the organization and individuals led.
 Being a focal point of student anger, fear and mistrust as
they go through different issues that affect them at
University campuses. This means that student leaders are
likely to be on the receiving end from the other students
especially when undergoing a change process. Fear of
violence or other acting out behavior
 Implementing changes which were decided from above;
that you may not agree with
 Emotional stress and guilt related to making decisions that
have powerful consequences on students’ lives
 Most leadership challenges begin with self and they






revolve around:
i) Personal perception of leadership ability-those who
think they can’t might find themselves unable, not due
to lack of capacity but due to perception challenges
Ii) Low self-esteem-this can make brilliant leaders to
fail due to how they look at themselves
Iii) Lack of prior preparation for leadership
Iv) lack of modelling and nurturing structures
V) Lack of peer administrative support
Vi) inability to network
vii) Poor time management: Students leaders are first
and foremost supposed to be students. However,
leadership demands may tend to crowd out all other
demands. This is further aggravated by having to
work for long hours.
viii) Unrealistic expectations: Student leaders also have
to contend with unrealistic expectations from fellow
students and other members of the college community.
While College administration may be very clear about
what student-leaders need to do, students may
perceive student leaders as saviours who should assist
on all matters ranging from missing services to
solving issues of social nature
 Being misunderstood, misinterpreted, not listened to.
Need to communicate more carefully and repeatedly.
 Students are part of the system that makes the campus
community. At times, student leaders may choose to
pursue issues that are populist in nature without
clarifying from administrators what the official
position
 Students sometimes may not be able to meet their day
financial obligations which may handicap their
operations.
 Lead as I would like to be led.
 Exemplify a passion for excellence.
 Accountability, commitment, and integrity.
 Dare to be all I can be.
 “People
forget how fast you did a job-but they remember
how well you did it. The price of greatness is responsibility.
We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly
disguised as insoluble problems. Every job is a selfportrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work
with excellence.
Leadership is not something you do
to people. It’s something you do with
people.”- -Ken Blanchard
 “
 “The difference between impossible
and possible lies in a man’s
determination.” You can make a
difference and everything you do
matters!”