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Reasons People Aspire for Offices

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I almost wanted to title these reasons people aspire for offices, but I recalled political leadership and other leadership platforms are not the same. Perhaps in the material plane, political leadership is most powerful; more powerful than intellectual, social, and economic/business leadership. The reason is simple: the person at the helm of affairs of political leadership determines, decides, dictates, and executes what affects everybody in the territory. The political officer is not a leader in the strict sense of it but can become a leader if he makes himself one by doing what leaders do.  His office is not a leadership office, but a governance office. Governance, just like ministering/pastoring, management, and administration are platforms for exerting leadership. Incidentally many political officers gaffe and end up being politicians only. People seek political offices with correct and wrong motivations such as;

  1. To take the share of their own people

In organizations and societies, some people seek positions to occupy their people/tribe share, maybe one person is required from each constituent, so one wants to exploit it by aspiring to fill it in his constituent’s slot without a program, vision, or agenda.

  1. Friends ask him to go

Many years ago, presidential candidates were asked why they wanted to contest. One said, “My friends asked me to.” Now, the motivation is MY FRIEND ASKED ME… Most times you ask a politician why are you in the game. He tells you, ‘People approached me and asked me to run’. They even bought me an expression of intent form. This tells volume of the candidature preparedness to lead in a sane environment. If so friends ask you to run, such a candidate will have no drive, decision, or determination of himself. Leadership starts with a personal desire to serve, not others’ desire.

  1. The mindset is their turn

Someone owes them a repayment, favour, and reward. An aspirant to justify his reason to run in a presidential office once said it is his turn to be president, having made some people political leaders. Nothing can be as funny as this if you consider a union/ club/group of 200 people, and one said that his reason for contesting for chairmanship of 4 years tenure is that it is his turn. Does it mean that every 1 of the 200 will go one after the other i.e. 200 persons x 4 years = 800 years?

Reasons People Aspire for Offices
Reasons People Aspire for Offices
  1. To effect change.

The most compelling reason people use to massage and excite electorates when they want political offices is, “I will bring change” …and people jump to shout ‘Change’. A few years ago, impunity was the name of where I live. People cried out. Someone and a party came and promise change. Many jumped at it. Though, the promises didn’t tell the promised type of change: positive or negative…and of course, people were too excited not to ask. Today, some people are crying for change from change. A change can take people from point GOOD to BETTER, a change can also take people from point GOOD to BAD. The former is a positive change. The latter is a negative change. Bringing laudable change is a great reason to aspire for political leadership.

  1. Self-Actualization

People seek political office to attain the highest level of what they are capable of becoming in their lifetime when they think they’ve gotten others. In Management Motivation theory, Abraham Maslow proposed a motivation theory in which he postulated that our pyramid of needs from the base [bottom] to the top are Basic Needs [clothing, shelter, food, sex], Safety and Security Needs [preservation from dangers and life threats], Social Needs [belonging to a class consciousness] and finally Self-Actualization (topmost). I know of a man who was the richest man in his country even continent. That means he has economic power #1. One day he woke and wanted to add to it political power #1. That means he will control 2 powers – being the richest man in his continent and the president of the most powerful country in his continent. He ran for the political highest office of the president. He didn’t survive it or live to tell the story. Many have gone beyond the pyramid base to near the top and what remains for them is self-actualization, so they delve into politics for political office, not that they have anything to bring to the table.

  1. To bring hope to despair and respite to the helpless.

Some join the race for political office to bring hope to the despaired, restoration to the lost and the deprived, and meaningful life to the downtrodden. They come on a rescue mission, restoration program, or redemption agenda to save the economy, madness in polity, insecurity, and hope to their people, by the way, one of the essences of leadership is to give to the followers. History is full of examples of such.

  1. Preservation for Juicy Jobs/Appointments

Some join the political office races to make provision for an economic investment for themselves by creating a juicy job in the coming dispensation. They may get this by being elected. But even when contrary, i.e. when they failed, there is a slogan of carrying everybody [i.e. contestants, not you] along. So, in that case, they get compensated for attempting the contest by giving them appointments. So once in political office race, no loss; whether victory or loss; you’re a winner!

  1. Candidates for Good Contracts.

When you seek a political office and pass you dish out the contracts or if it’s your associate; follow his excellency, distinguished, honourable, or comrade, you parley with him/her on how to distribute contracts. If you fail, you can approach those that passed for the contract. Already you are known as a political juggernaut.

  1. Sponsored to Neutralize the Power of a Strong Contender.

People join political office races seeking openings/opportunities to neutralize the chances of a contender they don’t want to emerge. I’ve seen a presidential aspirant joining the race a few months before the party presidential primary just to neutralize his brother’s chances of picking the party ticket, his brother being the strongest contender and the person to beat. Incidentally, he divided his brother’s vote and the expected 2nd position person emerge highest and became flagbearer. The rest is history. Of course, he got his reward: his brother failed and he got an appointment in the new dispensation [political interest]. Powerful politicians sponsor candidates in the camps/parties their dreaded contenders are to avoid them picking tickets. So, the goal is to nil out the unwanted contender.

Problems and Implications to Leadership Grooming

All aspirants present the same presentations, and arguments on why they should be voted whether on union, association, or society election. The sufferer or the deceived is the electorates. But they should start becoming wise, learning how to READ people – it’s not only books you read. You can always know the pretenders and the real if you are sincere. If you are honest, you will know the pretenders, the players, the temporaries, the real, and the saviours. Electorates should;

  1. Listen intently to aspirants’/candidates’ programs, goals, and visions
  2. Pay more attention to HOW aspirants/candidates say they would implement their #1
  3. Be technical to know the ORIGINALITY of what a particular aspirant/candidate is saying if he/she copied from someone’s else manifesto.

Why people aspire for a given political office is a serious question. Unfortunately, we don’t always ask it to ourselves, and to the political office aspirants and that shows how politically illiterate we are. We should start becoming politically educated. When we begin to ask aspirants, we will come to discover;

  • many have no business being in a union, association or society government or in any political pitch,
  • many aspirants/candidates are pretenders and deceivers, and
  • very few aspirants/candidates are serious and have programs.

So, take that question: why do aspirants/candidates want to be union/association chairman, EXCO, or national president, state governor, senator, federal house of rep member, state house of assembly member, chairman of LG, and council legislator? What do they want to bring to the table? This question is not the journalist’s or reporter’s question only, but everyone’s.

But can I tell you why you cannot ask the question?

Your mind is so much in what political interest you will get from the politician.

So what do you think people aspire for political office? Write your comments.

Reach Mike on https://mikeihezuospeaks.net or Ad Inquiry.

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Dr Mike Ihezuo

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Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…

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