For many Nigerian youths, the EndSARS protest which took place across major cities of the world is a redefining factor towards building the future Nigeria, people genuinely desire. One of such personalities is Dr. Princess Halliday, a Nigerian-American professor of Leadership, who for 18 years, has been working assiduously to entrench an authentic culture of leadership that would engender development across Africa. She posits that the entire drama that characterised the protest was geared towards getting the leadership of the country to listen to the future generation of the country.
According to her, the actions typically mean the leadership of Nigeria, should pay attention to the yearnings of the populace. “The message is clear. The leadership of Nigeria should listen to the cries of the people. How can the government sleep and wake up comfortably seeing all of the killings that happened? A great leader would genuinely care for the people by exhibiting authentic leadership and emotional intelligence. Every military officer that stood out to fire a shot at their own people should know that they have contributed to their own children’s failure. Young people are fighting for your children, your grandchildren and your generation and you are taking their lives?”
While the United States, where the professor has lived most of her life is seen as the beacon of democracy, she believes Nigeria should not copy everything that comes from them as the panacea to her political challenges, considering the recent happenings in the US political scene, occasioned by the recent presidential election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. “Every country has its challenges. You can see what is happening in the United States following the presidential election (mainly) between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. One leadership challenge that I think Nigeria has had for such a long time is education. Nigerian leaders need to be authentically educated to really understand the essence of leadership. I do not mean education from the back door. I think that the essence of leadership needs to be re-introduced, re-educated and strategically integrated in Nigeria. The country is continually developing, and I am proud of our continuous accomplishment. But at this stage, I believe that a ministry of leadership needs to be created to govern leadership affairs in Nigeria effectively. In 60 years, no ministry has carefully evaluated how leadership is exhibited in Nigeria. Through this ministry, destructive leaders can be professionally overhauled. I can say that Nigeria has some great leaders. These leaders need constant personal development to help stabilise their emotional intelligence and emotional agility. I am honoured to have been bestowed an Extraordinary Ability in Leadership in the United States due to my tenacious desire for authentic leadership, diversity, and Inclusion. This is a tremendous honour. I am exceptionally focused, self-directed, committed, and passionate about leadership.”
Realising that the world is looking up to Nigeria to champion the democratic cause of the African continent, Halliday is of the view that youths and women should be incorporated into the leadership structure of the country in order to entrench inclusivism in our politics. According to her, “Absolutely women face systemic crucibles that attempts to prevent them from greatness. These systemic crucibles are often built in a system, so it becomes a norm in that culture. I have seen situations where these crucibles are like a cycle, you give in and lose your integrity, self-respect, and values, or keep pushing, building resilience, and breaking all those absurd stereotypes. There is nothing as valuable as a woman who understands her power. My leadership work has partly been fueled by my desire to see women leading in systems where they are hugely underrepresented, to be seen, heard, taken seriously, and most importantly- respected. This effort is a journey, and it is a pretty tough one. Every step that you take brings along a network but be the best you can, because eventually you will become an essential commodity and people will come looking for you. Speak truth to power! Most people are unconscious of the boxes they are in; they never really get a chance to maximize their potential. You have to know who you are today and to be an expert in your field. I am glad to be the COO of a company that offers these leadership trainings. My expertise in leadership is utilized in many facets. I recently developed leadership Quality Enhancement Programs for the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Virginia State University. As a leadership professor, I get to teach at universities and shed focus on leadership capabilities. Today, I am also developing educational content for a German company known as New Global Elite. The owner of the company and I were classmates at Harvard University many years ago. The programme will be focused on the Strategies for Effective Cross-Cultural Communication within the Workplace. Cultural diversity makes communication difficult as people of different cultures are different; the language, signs, and symbols are foreign. Different cultures have different meanings of words, behaviours, and gestures. Communication styles vary from culture to culture, as do notions of authority and hierarchy.”