Civil servants’ buy-in essential to leadership success, says Amujae Leader Ifeyinwa Maureen Okafor
Drawing on her experience as a financial advisor to Nigeria’s Imo State Government, Ms. Okafor listed the techniques that can be used to harness the support of civil servants and stakeholders in order to guarantee the success of leaders’ projects: building trust, improving communication, and encouraging collaboration.
To build trust, Ms. Okafor wrote, leaders need to build a reputation for honesty, integrity, and high performance in order to instil belief in their vision for the future among key stakeholders.
By improving communication through information sharing, transparency, and listening to the concerns of the stakeholders, good leaders can build consensus and overcome resistance:
“There is power in having quality conversations, and clear communication is essential for building consensus and creating momentum.”
The third solution Ms. Okafor highlights is to encourage collaboration and foster a team mentality that inspires individuals to work towards a common goal. However, she warned that this approach means that leaders should be prepared to be held accountable by colleagues and team members, regardless of rank or qualification.
The article concludes with Ms. Okafor’s belief that the shortcomings of bureaucracy can be overcome and transformed by working hard on gaining the trust of civil servants and their buy-in – a perfect recipe for successful leadership.
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