Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What is your Developmental Leadership Quotient?

When I was 10 ten years old my parents sent me to a Christian Leadership Camp on the shores of Lake Michigan (USA) where I was indoctrinated with “The Fourfold Way” of becoming a leader by growing Mentally, Physically, Religiously, and Socially. The acronym for this development theory was thus MPRS, for which the Bible text was Luke Chapter 2: “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.”

Fifty years later, when I became president of the World Institute for Leadership and Management in Africa, WILMA claimed that the four key attributes of leadership for national development are Character, Charisma, Know-how, and Vision. WILMA’s first website, now online at www.wilma.us/archive, featured a PowerPoint show that illustrated this point by four clear-eyed gnus that were leading “The Great Migration” of Africa out of dependency on foreign aid. Rarely are these attributes combined in a single person, and when the exception appears, we can only say “Wow.” For example, Barack Obama is such an exception, and so is his wife, Michele.

An individual’s development as a leader by balanced growth of her MPRS maps into a country’s Great Migration with those gnus in the lead:
· Character is the religious dimension: the passion within empowers a person to lead.
· Charisma is the social dimension: leaders are empowered by inspiring love in others.
· Know-how is the physical aspect: leaders are good at engineering social change.
· Vision is the mental aspect: leaders see ahead and, though uncertain, ask “Why not?”

The capacity to lead social transformation (Joseph Stiglitz’s definition of development) can be measured by a person’s ratings on these four dimensions, which in principle can be tested and combined statistically as his/her Developmental Leadership Quotient (DLQ). No such test presently exists, and inventing one would be material for a Doctoral dissertation. A parallel test is the Myers-Briggs test. (You can Google Myers-Briggs to find many services offering this testing of a person’s likelihood of success in various occupations.) The prevalence of high DLQs in a given affinity group (family, tribe, community, or nation) would then be a measure of that group’s capacity to transform itself—socially, economically, culturally…whatever the dream may be.

If we had such statistics measured across countries and across time, outside investors could gauge where to place their bets on successful development. Governments could measure their progress in providing an “enabling environment” for development. The private sector could assess its potential for change.

Many Tanzanians, especially young professionals, seem to feel that Tanzania’s DLQ has declined—that some sort of “social engineering” may now be needed. Where have the clear-eyed gnus of Tanzania’s Great Migration gone? Who can restore the salad days of the Revolution, with its faith, hope, and passion? Where are the Oscar Kambonas of Tanzania’s future?

In my view, the “Cheetah Generation” of Africa is alive and well in Tanzania. For example, Oscar’s daughter, Neema, has just published the second issue of “StartUPBiashara: A magazine promoting small businesses, offering inspiration and empowerment to local businesses.” This is a point of light for the future, and there are many more like it, including WILMA’s program for Tanzania.

Future contributions to January’s blog might well reflect on how to raise Tanzania’s DLQ. I myself have some views about this question and look forward to sharing them.
Paul Armington, August 11, 2009


Iddy said...

Mr. Armington
Thanks for the article and optimism towards Tanzania future. To my understanding the development and stability of Tanzania is still in limbo. In other word the jury is still out concern eradication poverty and prosperity to all Tanzanian citizens.

Going back to your article concern the leadership and development, to my understand post independent liberalization, Africa has suffered a horrible trauma called “leadership deficiency disorder”. That trauma is the one which kills the future of many countries in so called third world.

Our problem is not that we don’t know what are the problems; instead we’re curing the symptoms instead of causes of the problems.
January talked about the need for social engineering in Tanzania, something which I approve 100%. The problem in Tanzania and Africa as whole is our system doesn’t develop people with the leadership skills. That hinder the whole development movement and the result is the chaos that we’re into now. So, the only why forward is to change the way that we’re doing business. That is where the idea of social engineering comes into place; we need to take a different direction because the one we’re into now doesn’t take us anywhere.

When you have government which detached from his people because more than 40% of its revenue comes from donors, then that government can do anything to please donors. That is the situation that Africa (including Tanzania) is facing, and no body knows when things will turn around.

Paul Armington said...


I think you are probably right, although my knowledge as an outsider is anecdotal at best.

I am wondering if the "Aidan" of this blog is the fellow I know who started the Young Professionals Club in DSM about seven years ago. Aidan, what is your present take on this issue?

Paul Armington

Anonymous said...

You seem to articulate the wrongs without giving any solution. Do you have any pragmatic alternatives to offer or u are just going to blame leadership for the rest of your life ??It is true that Africa continue to lack good governance but today looks lighter than Yesterday and, hence a hope for a brighter future. I think that we don't have to dwell on the past failures but rather learn, correct them and move forward.

Mr .Armington, mentioned stengthening private sector private sector by empowering small business and good investment climate - by cutting down unnecessary bureaucracy!
we can learn from " Four Asian dragons" (Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong) economic transformation or the neighboring Botswana or Namibia!!

Why shouldn't countries create permanent anti corruption organization the likes of the Scorpions (south africa), instead of commissions ?? Donors are not the problem per se - the governments have bigger problems !!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for joining the debate, since you raise the fundamental question about lack/deficiency of leadership in Tanzania.

my thought in this issue is that, I think we do have emerging potential leaders, but the problem is that, majority of them are undermined by the system or I will controversial call it CCM doctrine.

Which, in part has now been applied by the political elites, within and outside government by creating a dorminance force which in turn, it makes harder for the young and charismatic leaders to emerge with the new ideas, and opposition becomes a falsehood or only acting in such a way is only saving the rulling party.

The saddest part is that, this force has penetrated even within the businesses and education environment, whether that be a private or public sectors, which in turn make it potentially an industry on itself, and again, we as citizens, we are made to believe that.

If you ask me, If you put this question to a student in Tanzania, would you prefer to become a talented professor or Mbunge in Tanzania, you will be surprised by the answer, Money, Recognition, Respect, corruptions will be motivational factor which will be provided by being a Mbunge, he/she will say to you "I want to be Mbunge".

But if you ask the same question to let say UK student, he/she will give you a different answer to the same question.

In the other hand, I will be criticised by saying this, but you will see a lot of business people are allying themselves with the rulling party not because they are trully politicians, but they are only doing that, in order to gain a trust, respect, protection or even influence on business matters as part of that survival.

"My general view about politics and running for office is that if you end up being fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve, it is because you got a track record of service in the community," Obama says in the 1993 interview.

If we are able to cut it loose and genuinely set it as it is supposed to be, which I understand it is very hard to do that, but again if we succeed doing that, we will come to realization that, we have moved foward and matured as a country.

Forget about the social engineering for now, why dont we start by structuring the wages within the public sectors, and industries, INCLUDING members of parliaments, and make it less attractive financially or put it appropriately, the pays shouldn't be beyond the means of an average wages in which provided in other public sectors.

Creating public portfolio for all citizens saving in public sectors, institutions and public businesses, publishing financial gains by its members periodically within the context of regional ownership through public media, monitored by corruption watch dog as suggested by anyanymous, I believe taking this bold move, in time will create a public trust to our political system and government in general.

and again, I think in that sense, politics will become less attractive to corrupts individuals and minds, and the true talents and leadership will prevails within the constituencies or at the national stage, and same can be said on public sectors, and they(true leaderships) wont be obscured and lost on oblivous.

Hata hivyo, I am optimistic, tukimpata kiongozi ambae ana pursuading quality like Nyerere, I believe we can change things around, who would take that extra iota, i really dont know yet! The man put Jembe na Nyundo, enzi za uchaguzi kama ndiye mpinzani wake kwenye ballot paper, and we all fall for it. Thats impressive, I must admit! I miss him

By Mchangiaji

Iddy said...

If you had opportunity to read some of my article you will back up from that comment. I always talk about the way forward for Africa including Tanzania.

I believe on accountability and feedback, something which is missing in our government. You can't channel resources to different sectors and ignore to hold accountable the leaders of those particular sectors.

I believe on physical responsibilities and small government. Tanzania government today is big as US senate and house of representative combine together. This includes all ministers, member of parliaments (who dinied that they're not part of government which is uongo, local government bureaucrats, DC and many other. All these people relied on centralized decision making system.

I believe on independent of Jucidicial system, which doesn't affiliated with the central government. The Judicial which interpret law according to the constitution and rule of law. Not according to a certain groups of people. That Judicial will have power to put those who break the law away from the society. That is what we need in Tanzania.

Corruption is very small part of a broken system like ours. I'm not pointing fingure to anyone, but i believe there is a chance to develop Tanzania into a land of opportunity IF and only IF we want to do so.

salama said...

"Management is doing things RIGHT; leadership is doing the RIGHT things"-Peter Drucker.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"-Gandhi