Servant leadership Explained

“Leadership is behavioral, not positional: the capacity to integrate, innovate and mobilize others to bring a common aspiration to life is what leadership is all about, not holding positions of formal authority.” — Nelson Mandela

The above thought reverberated during a two day leadership workshop titled “Rethinking public service in Nigeria through servant leadership” at the National Agency for the Prohibition of the Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). It was an opportunity for NAPTIP officer and 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow, Lawrenta Igoh, to share insights about leadership acquired while on her fellowship and also in compliance with her agency’s capacity development drive. Lawrenta was on the fellowship’s Public Management tract, where she spent six weeks at Bridgewater State University-Massachusetts, with some leadership sessions at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Kennedy Centre for African Studies.

To further enrich the discussion, U.S. Embassy officers including Management Counselor Kay Crawford and Cultural Affairs Officer Sterling Tilley shared their ideas on leadership. Kay Crawford encouraged participants to always demonstrate competence and passion in their work. “What you do in NAPTIP is incredibly important and valuable, and you have to work hard to keep your agency relevant and maintain a high profile,” she stated.

The workshop also featured two video conference calls, the first with Merilee and Frank Cantelmo, founders of the South Shores Coalition against Human Trafficking in the United States. The second was with Sandra Edmonds Crewe, Dean, Howard University School of Social Work.

According to Ms. Crewe, “Servant leadership seeks excellence in management through an organizational culture of civility and community building. It seeks to tap into individual strengths and collective efficacy.” She also echoed the words of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

At the end of the program, certificates were presented to participants who could not withhold their excitement for what they gained from the training. Jonathan Ukpai — NAPTIP Assistant Director of Intelligence, commended NAPTIP management, facilitators and participants for organizing the workshop.


Originally published on the U.S. Mission Nigeria’s blog