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Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, founder and first president of Ghana

The greatness of a family, community, company or a nation always hangs upon the magnitude and the excellence in the display of leadership qualities. Greatness is a product of great leadership qualities in display.

As John Maxwell, the leadership trainer said. “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” The best families and communities today are those with the best leaders. Leaders today—as it was before—are the steering wheel of change and transformation in every family, community and the nation.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, known as the founder of Ghana is arguably one of the greatest astute leaders that Africa has ever seen. The achievements, accomplishments and the exploits that were made in his era bears witness of the degree and the level of leadership qualities that he displayed.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as a Man of Inspiration

Today, Africa is plagued with many bad leaders. Many countries are struggling from poverty, confusions, political instabilities, wars, corruption, under development and mismanagement of funds. This is all as a result of poor leadership qualities.

Through the leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana as a nation achieved mind-blowing results which are still a wonder to many today. The accomplishments served as an authentication of the degree of leadership quality that the founder of Ghana emanated.

Below are some of the breathtaking achievements of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah under his regime:

  • The building of the Harbour, Tema Motorway and new township of Tema
  • The construction of the gigantic hydroelectric Volta Dam at Akosombo.
  • The development of a progressive housing scheme.
  • Kwame Nkrumah suppressed sectionalism and tribalism in Ghana and brought a sense of national unity among Ghanaians.
  • The national unity which he forged was an envy of many African states.
  • Nkrumah relentlessly pursued his idea of Pan-Africanism and greatly contributed to the formation of the OAU in 1963.
  • Kwame Nkrumah was the first to lead his people to overthrow colonial power in black Africa which inspire other Africa countries in West Africa to do the same.
  • He became the winner of the Lenin Peace Prize Award for his efforts towards uniting Ghana and Africa for continental developments in 1963.
  • He constructed the nation’s best teaching hospitals like Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
  • He developed of many educational infrastructures such as the University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, many polytechnics and secondary schools across the country.

All these things were birthed through the five leadership qualities that remained dominant in him:

  1. Visionary
  2. Influential
  3. Proactive & Problem Solving
  4. Patriotic & Selfless Leader
  5. Incorrupt

Quality #1: Visionary

The achievements of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah already attested to the fact that he is a visionary. When many Ghanaians were wallowing in colonial rule, slavery and servitude, he saw in his mind’s eye a day and a time when Ghana will be free from colonial rule. He did not just envision it but he did it.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was a Great Visionary

When he became the prime minister and the first president of Ghana, he began to envision the way he intended to develop and transform the country after the colonial decay that was brought upon Ghana. He began to think in terms of the next 100 years and more and began many development projects that will cater for the needs of the future.

That was the reason why many of the infrastructures that he built still remains the reigning structures and properties of the country like the Akosombo Dam, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, 37 Military Hospital and many others.

Quality #2: Influential

Being visionary is not just having mental pictures in your mind, but developing strategies and bringing people together to achieve that vision. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was very influential—being able to unite Ghanaians towards a common goal.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was Very Influential

Through his regime he suppressed sectionalism and tribalism. He strengthened and developed a patriotic spirit among the people and influenced them to vote and believe in his idea of national independence and self-reliance. Great leaders are great influencers and they influence people towards a good course!

Quality #3: Proactive & Problem Solving

One of the biggest challenges confronting Africa today is ability to solve problems. The political leaders today often specialize in talking and not doing. They influence people to vote them into power and do nothing substantial. They complain and blame instead of solving problems.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was Proactive and Focused on Solving Problems

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was different. He was proactive and focused on solving all problems to achieve his vision for Ghana. While the UGCC party was also preaching independence to Ghanaians, his key promise was “Independence NOW!” He was proactive and dealt with all problems to make the vision a reality!

Quality #4: Patriotic & Selfless 

Great leaders put the needs of their people above their needs. They understand that when they serve their people first, their people will intend serve them. They focus on improving, developing and contributing towards the development of their people.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was Patriotic and Selfless

Arguably, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was a patriotic and selfless leader. After he was overthrown in 1966, he had few properties except the state house where he dwelt. He did not focus on using leadership as a gateway to amass great wealth like many leaders are doing today! He used leadership as a tool to improve the lives of Ghanaians.

Quality #5: Incorrupt

One of the notable things of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s era is that there was less corruption as it is today. Today many African countries and government are plagued with corruption. Many state funds intended for development goes into the personal bank accounts of people.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Government was Less Corrupt

There was less corruption under the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This was because he encouraged and promoted the spirit of patriotism among Ghanaians. This enabled him to initiate many developmental projects under his era.

Among these five fold leadership qualities, which do you resemble most? How do you intend to develop and grow your leadership qualities to achieve great things? Share your comments below.

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