MR Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, a former Minister of State, has reiterated that the values, attitudes, and behaviours of leaders are shaped by the broader social context in which they operate.
This, he said is an attribute to the statement that “leaders are a reflection of their society,” capturing the essence of the intricate connection between leaders and the societies they lead.
He said this understanding underscores the crucial role of cultivating a better society as a prerequisite for witnessing better leadership.
Mr Oppong-Fosu was speaking at the First Senate Conference organised by the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) at the weekend in Accra.
The Senate is an esteemed body within USAG that comprises elected representatives from different university campuses who convene to deliberate on pertinent matters affecting Ghanaian students ranging from educational policies to socio-economic issues.
The conference was on the theme; ‘Guiding the Solidarity of Student Leaders: The Fortress To Academic Development.’
He revealed that to contribute to the creation of a better society, we must embark on a multifaceted journey that encompasses both personal transformation and active engagement.
The former minister said embodying the qualities we seek in our leaders – honesty, integrity, compassion, and a commitment to service was a fundamental step in this journey.
“By conducting ourselves with these values, we set a positive example for others and foster a more ethical and responsible society.”
He said active citizenship plays an equally significant role in shaping a better society, adding that, this entails actively participating in civic activities, staying informed about local and global issues, and holding our leaders accountable.
“By actively participating in shaping our communities, we can contribute to the creation of a more just and equitable society,” he added.
Mr Oppong-Fosu noted that education plays a pivotal role in cultivating the qualities necessary for effective leadership, and “in addition to acquiring knowledge, education should focus on developing emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and moral character.”
These qualities, he said are essential for leaders to effectively navigate the complexities of society, make informed decisions, and inspire others.
“As we aspire to leadership positions, it is crucial to examine our motivations and purpose.”
The former Minister of State also posted a question as to whether ‘leaders are seeking leadership for self-serving reasons – power, privilege, and possessions or are driven by a genuine desire to make a positive contribution to society’.
He said true leadership is rooted in a commitment to service and a dedication to the common good and ultimately, our legacy as leaders is not defined by our power, status, or possessions; it is shaped by our character, our integrity, and our impact on the world around us.
“By embracing the values that foster a better society and striving for transformational leadership, we can leave a lasting positive mark on the world.
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