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The Leadership Guardian

The Leadership Guardian

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The Leadership Guardian

217 pages
2 hours
Aug 29, 2020


"Your Leadership Lifestyle Compendium." Regardless of our past experiences, life is much more of how we make use of the present to birth the future we desire. However, our present world seems thrown into crisis. Little did we know that this is caused by the actions and inactions we never took responsibility for.
It is saddening that while many seem overwhelmed by the struggles of life and how to make it through, some others keep wallowing in the selfish desires to enrich their ambitions at the expense of the generation they live in. Families are being torn apart by the day, and it has become so hard to find business leaders who keep to the promises of their brands.
It seems that there is no one watching, controlling, and ensuring that this does not get worse. The truth, however, is that if we would escape the deadly stings of deficient leadership, then, we all must be ready to be the kind of leaders that we seek across the frontiers of life. We must be set to become genuine custodians of leadership who are able to transcend its true essence from our present world into the future.
In a world that seems to be in disarray, this book is an absolute truth for those who would do anything possible to go back to the drawing board and fasten the broken pieces together. Beyond being a catalyst to unfold your true leadership potential, it is a timely solution to birth visionaries across the spheres of the home, workplace, and the nation at large.
It is a compelling action to bridge the leadership deficit that has eaten deep into the roots of the society and become the total leadership guardian - a movement that would cause one of the greatest transformation yet unseen.

Aug 29, 2020

About the author

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The Leadership Guardian - Kemi Ogunkoya


To my Parents

Mrs Fiyinfoluwa Adenike Ogunbanke, an embodiment of exemplary values and principles, who has taught me to stand with my head up, deal with my heart open and serve the world with all that I am. Your principles set the foundation for this book, thank you for being a model for exceptional leadership.

(Late) Dr Olumide Adebayo Ogunbanke, an example of selfless leadership, who taught me how to love and serve. Keep resting in the bosom of the Almighty.

"There are seven sins in the world: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice and politics without principle."

~Mahatma Gandhi

Caveat: The pronoun, he, used in contextual form refers to both sexes, that is, male and female as contained in this book.


Kemi Ogunkoya makes a passionate case for change in this generation and underscores the timeless need for true leaders that she has termed, Leadership Guardians across the tripartite domains of the home, work and nation. She also shares a blueprint about what we all can do to raise the bar for ourselves every day in the quest for a more equitable and productive society. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone who cares about making a difference in the world!

~Dr. Peter O. Okebukola MD, MPH, MBA, PhD, Partner, McKinsey & Company

Not the typical bullish leadership book, The Leadership Guardian has definitely blown my mind; and truly so, in the right direction, for reflection, action and growth. If I could summarise in a few words, this book is a 'Leadership Lifestyle Compendium'. It delves deep into the core of true leadership and how it will help us in this present time and beyond... Thank you, Kemi, for putting kindness into greatness.

~Bomi Adewale-Truluck, Health Practitioner

The Leadership Guardian is an educative, insightful and mind-blowing leadership book—a phenomenal read! It got me into the place of deep reflection and action as a parent, employer and citizen; and as the book chronicles, I can authoritatively say the future of the world lies on our hands as parents! The author definitely did a great job putting this wonderful piece together.

~Abimbola Olayinka, ACPI Professional Parenting and Family Expert






PART 1: Understanding Leadership

Chapter 1: The Concept of Guardianship

Chapter 2: Demystifying the Sacredness of Leadership

Chapter 3: Qualified at Birth

Chapter 4: Leadership Beyond Position

Chapter 5: Shapeless Leadership

Chapter 6: The Leadership Continuum

Chapter 7: Unlocking the Next Level

PART 2: Family Leadership

Chapter 8: Establishing the Family Foundation

Chapter 9: Leadership Beyond Title

Chapter 10: Exemplifying Effective Leadership Traits

Chapter 11: Building a Harmonious Home with Great Leadership Skills

Chapter 12: Developing Leadership Skills in Children

Chapter 13: Preparing the Younger Generation for Leadership

PART 3: Workplace Leadership

Chapter 14: Establishing the Foundation of Work

Chapter 15: VUCAD Leadership

Chapter 16: The Future of Work

Chapter 17: Developing Digital leadership: Borderlessness

Chapter 18: The Leadership Code

Chapter 19: The Reproduction Blueprint

PART 4: National Leadership

Chapter 20: Understanding Leadership in Nations

Chapter 21: The Rot (Now and Later)

Chapter 22: The Leaders We Need

Chapter 23: Developing VUCAD Leadership in Nations

Chapter 24: Citizen Leadership

Chapter 25: Integrating the Vision



(Warning Signs of an Impending Crisis)

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

~Martin Luther King Jr.

What will change tomorrow? What will be different? What will remain?

These are questions we often ask ourselves. With regards to previous years and the present, there is a desperation to know what the future holds. Unfortunately, it takes more than wishing to make a change, the same way it takes more than mere existence to live.

The Lacuna

Everywhere you look today, there is an invisible, yet obvious vacuum waiting to be filled—a leadership deficit. Individuals lose their integrity and moral soundness on a daily basis to corruption and greed. There was a time when one could, without thinking too deeply, mention reliable global leaders like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Mary Slessor, Rosa Parks, Obafemi Awolowo, Mahatma Gandhi and Ernest Shackleton. These days, the same endeavour will only lead to stuttering. What is the basis of this difficulty? What has happened to true leadership practices and structures?

In these times, it is easy to see how countries are being torn apart; and how difficult it is to find great leaders in the world today. This is not to say there are no great leaders out there. Absolutely not. However, this decadence has become our present reality, and the world has been thrown into disarray because of the growing decline in quality leadership.

So much has been said about these leadership crises, especially in families, businesses, and nations. Regardless, a lot more has to be said. Leadership deficiency is everywhere—a cursory look around will confirm this. Worse still, this deficiency is not restricted to specific geographies, and it holds no regard for race or ethnicity, age or gender, physical abilities or education, socio-economic status or political ideology—nothing.

Consider the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic in China. Despite speculations, no one caught a glimpse of the magnitude of what was to be expected. The year 2020 was more or less a nightmare which threw the majority of the world off-balance. The virus took its root and spread like wildfire. Something that started in Wuhan, China, became a raging bushfire that speedily spread to the rest of the world.

Consider how economies were brought to their knees and how lives were significantly disrupted. In the heat of the crisis, the world needed its leaders to rise up to the challenge, to care for and lead nations and people away to safety. One is tempted to assume that the pandemic is the height of modern-day disasters. No—not when there is something much greater.

Something Much Greater

With Covid-19, there were precautionary measures in place to prevent the spread—wearing of masks, sanitizing of hands, observing social distancing, etc. But what precautionary measures can be set in place for the deficiency in—or lack of—effective leadership, which also happens to cut across nations, businesses, and families?

The world is in freefall mode and there is no one at the helm of affairs to direct and lead and ensure that the world does not fall to the point of full destruction. As true leadership becomes a thing of mockery, an amusing acrobatic display.

Interestingly, there are three variables—symptoms—that can be associated with this problem.

The Loss of Purpose

Where there is no vision, the loss of purpose is a given. Anyone starting a new business, for instance, will come up with a carefully drafted business plan that details the vision and mission of the business, including the strategies to actualise set goals. The same is true for families, nations and even individual lives. In reality, this is rare. Because few people bother to set personal visions, it becomes expectedly difficult to focus and lead others purposefully.

The absence of purpose results in loss of focus and loss of energy and enthusiasm. We see this trend in our everyday lives. Without a sense of purpose, there will always be struggle and impending disaster. The logical consequence is a wide gap in leadership, which leads to further loss of purpose, which leads to further crisis. This is one of the ways the present predicament came about.

A Shift in Attention

This is a common narrative: a leader loses sight of what is important and begins to focus on distractions, financial gains or notoriety, ego becomes larger than agenda, larger than vision and purpose. What follows is a disregard for the big picture, and a decline in the quality and effectiveness of said leader.

Check out a company like Tesla, for instance. The mission of Tesla is to accelerate the world's transition into sustainable energy. Everything they do at Tesla is meant to achieve this goal. The moment they take their eyes off their vision and focus instead on other things, Tesla will begin to lose its core, and that’s goodbye to the agenda and mission. When these ‘other things’ take centre stage, crisis is imminent,

These ‘other things’ are responsible for the problematic shift in true and effective leadership. They include extreme materialisation, self-centredness, perfectionism, obsession with doing rather than being, and so on. Until we have leaders going back to the core of who they are, starting from the place of self-awareness, self-discovery, self-acceptance and self-growth, things will continue down the drain.

Moral Bankruptcy

Another symptom of leadership deficiency is moral bankruptcy, where there is a general bent to be selfish and morally decadent. In other words, it is subtly popular to participate in social vices, such as fraud, corruption, and even rape. This is a cyclical conundrum, such that the budding situation of social depravity results from—and oddly leads to—leadership deficiency.

Until there is a deliberate approval and celebration of value, character, vision and integrity, nothing will change—except for the worst.

Regardless of whether the present crisis developed from loss of purpose, derailed focus or moral decadence, overlooking leadership has no desirable advantage. Every individual has been empowered in some way to positively contribute to the world. Leadership has never belonged to those in the spotlight. Smart decisions—these are what change the world.

As a leadership development strategist and coach, I facilitate several leadership development programmes across nations. During these programmes, I help people from different backgrounds sharpen the skills they need to thrive in their various endeavours. Although I emphasize element such as vision, communication, teamwork, negotiation, conflict management, and other important components that make up for effective leadership, I always make a case for character. This is one critical component that is almost always missing in modern-day leadership.

Things cannot—must not—continue the way they are. We cannot—must not—have leaders who pay more attention to their pockets, political affiliations, and personal preferences, above the well-being of those they lead. We cannot—must not—have families, businesses and nations that are bereft of true and effective leadership, and consequently floating in the gutters.

Things simply cannot continue the way they are.

It is time to make our world a better place and regain our sense of humanity. We must build a leadership structure untainted by the pressure to occupy a position or get known by titles. We must be ready to raise children who are selfless, truthful, and diligent in character, who will also guard and preserve the sound values handed over to them. We must be prepared to create a sound world of justice in our nation, where every life matters, regardless of colour, tribe, or race. We must carve a world where the institution of leadership is preserved and leadership guardians are cultivated and reproduced.

If you are expecting theories of leadership, this book is probably not for you. If, on the other hand, you are passionate about becoming a force of change and are ready to birth desired changes, then you have taken the right step by owning this book. In this book, I have carefully curated realistic dimensions to leadership development within families, workplaces, and nations. This book will thus serve as a manual and blueprint for an effective lifestyle in leadership. I guarantee that it will enrich you with everything you need to pursue and obtain the changes you desire.

If you are ready to uncover your full leadership potential to realise the vision you have, you are in for a defining moment of a lifetime.

Shall we begin?




"If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader." ~Dolly Parton

Almost nobody is exempt from the problems of leadership today. A leader, within any circle of influence, is able to drive the odds of success and fulfilment. When this leader is capable and efficient, things naturally take shape. When the leader is miles away from competent or willing, that is crisis taking shape.

We detailed the current condition of the world with regards to leadership in the introduction. There is little need to ring that alarm bell again. In fact, it will not do to describe the impending crisis of leadership deficiency without first showing that there is hope for change—that change is possible. The same way some people inadvertently made the decision to make a wreck disrupt the balance of effective leadership, you can turn the tides. You need only make the choice. Let’s start from here, from you.

Your Call

History has recorded men and women of strength, valour, and passion, who defied odds and championed the kind of life they wanted for themselves. These were individuals who died fighting for what they believed in, who did all they could to set the right values for themselves and ensured these values cut across every sphere of their lives. They were able to build what could last a lifetime—a true legacy. We cannot afford to be different from these men and women, or achieve less than they did. So…

Congratulations! You have been called to belong to this group. You have been called to birth the inspiration and influence that our world needs. You have been called to protect and preserve the legacy of the aforementioned champions.

This is the call of leadership, of guardianship.


First, who is a guardian? Legally, a guardian is someone appointed by a court to look after and assist with decisions relating to the personal affairs of another person. In simpler terms, a guardian is someone who protects and preserves something. The guardian has the duty to look after someone else's property and has been given all that is needed to fulfil that duty. When it comes to looking after a child, guardianship entails the duties, power, rights, and responsibilities that a parent naturally has in bringing up that child. Some of these responsibilities include the provision for the daily needs of that child, including emotional, physical, and social development.

All in all, a guardian is saddled with the responsibility to protect and preserve what he or she has in custody. Guardianship comes with great responsibility and power, and duties that extend beyond one self.

The Basic Duty

Generally, a guardian occupies the position of trust and is legally bound to protect the ward's interests in the same manner without prejudice or bias (The Legal Dictionary, 2008). The entire concept of guardianship primarily rests on trust—which is why a guardian is essentially a fiduciary.

Being entrusted with something comes with great responsibility. It is a duty that calls for selflessness. It is a duty given to total honesty and truth, with the determination to never be found wanting when it is time to give account. The basic duty of guardianship is responsibility, which is how you become relevant in the first place, when others entrust you with things, decisions, and commitments.

A life well-lived is a life lived with

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