Leadership and Social Contract

Our ability to survive as a human is bound by each other and with each other. From time memorial, humans have depended on each other to survive. Even when we choose someone to lead us, they are bounded by a social contract. We give them all the perks as leaders knowing that they will protect us in return. In the old days, the King gets whatever they want from the people “food, clothing” In return that when war erupts, the king would protect them. Whenever the king fails to protect them, the king has broken a social contract and the people began to rebel. There is nothing wrong in getting the perks of leadership. What is wrong is not protecting our people when they need us!

They feel a sense of betrayal when we do not show up for them in return or show a sense of concern or care. We have broken the social contract. As leaders, we need to understand the unwritten laws that guides interaction with human beings and how not to betray the trust of the people who have given their blood and sweat to make us thrive! When they give their blood, sweat, and tears, we need to do the same as well and in return.
Volunteers are not people we should look down upon. They deserve respect, love, care, and affection. They deserve recognition. Someone contributing their time to the enterprise deserves a listening hear and we need to think as they serve us, how can we serve them.
Likewise, mentees are not errand boys or girls that we can push around or take advantage of because they want to learn from us. We need to treat each mentee with dignity and respect, especially within their boundaries. Learning should be the focus of mentoring not slavery as we see it sometimes. Mentoring is not worshipping but holding somebody's hand to become better so that they can also become a mentor to somebody else! Mentees know too and as mentors, it is your responsibility to listen with care and also learn from their expertise and experience. Remove the power asymmetry that the relationship creates and create a space for dialogue, openness, and learning.
Hammed Kayode Alabi (c) 2022

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