Leadership is like being on a journey. You have a purpose, a destination and a pathway. You have to know in your belly when you have arrived. Your journey may be smooth cruising. It could be exciting, sprinkled with huddles and challenges, as you cross the valleys, climb the mountains, fill or jump the potholes and ditches and as you value those construct the bridges. Such a journey could be the serenity and tranquility of the savanna plains or the intense blistering of desert storms. It’s all part of the journey. You sweat and you enjoy.
You are never alone on this journey. There are those who are with you all along the way. At times you lead and at times you follow. At times you are a crowd and there moments you feel lonely and yet determined. Others, you meet at certain stations, they may get in the bus or wave, or simply chat with you about the journey and the bus. Others walk along and other drop off the way.
Those who give water and nourishment are important for they ensure you have the energy needed for the long haul or the short sprint . Others cheer you along the way. Others simply observe and watch. Yet all are part of the journey. Your family is just as important, for the journey may be short or long, emotional, intriguing or easy. They carry you in the privacy and confines of your sacred space.
At times you seek out others for opinion, when there is fog and mist and you need to regain your bearings. You get all kind of advice. From those who have walked the pathway before, those who are not sure but have an idea, those who simply are honest and say they would like to help and do not know how. A leader has to be discerning, listening with heart and soul, searching for wisdom, and pray for one has to make a decision. leader is a decision-maker, and must ensure that the journey continues to its intended destination to achieve the intended purpose for which it was set..
You walk forward, look forward, anticipate and be focused. You look around and behind you but you never reach your destination if you walk, looking backwards, ne nhendeshure. You never reach your destination driving in reverse gear. Reverse gear is only but a temporary tool to facilitate manouvre. You learn from those who have walked the path before. Yet you need the inner confidence to curve out your own route for the season and the terrain may have shifted. Be confident, authentic and be you.
Growing up, I often thought about the bus and where it comes from, I wanted to touch the bus, to climb the bus, talk and wave. I wanted to be among many going on this journey. I also wanted to one day drive the bus. I enjoyed most simply getting off the bus, THAT yellow bus, Shiriyekutanga from Murewa to Macheke via Mukarakate. I treasured the moments of getting off the bus at Mupfuti bus station, we would wave as the bus picked speed and left us with dust in our face. I would wave with nostalgia, and would talk about the journey with family and friends and in monologues for years and years to come.
I knew one day I may go on another journey if I wanted. Another bus will come and I may climb it. But I never knew which bus and when. All I know is that life is a journey, just as leadership is.