Mo Ibrahim, Philanthropist | Investor

Money. The object of most everybody’s hard work, the root of many’s greed, the reason for some people’s downfall, yet a great tool for a chosen few. If you had millions what’d you do?

For Mo Ibrahim, the Sudan-born billionaire and Founder and Chairman of Satya Capital Ltd., he used his fortune to establish the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa to go with the Mo Ibrahim Index that’s used to assess a nation’s performance. Two years after selling Celtel in 2007, he started the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership which gives out monetary rewards to African heads of state who sincerely served and brought development to their constituents and willingly transferred power to their successors.

Isn’t that a Samaritanuous and creative way to inspire Good Governance?

Many would have just wanted to keep making more money – not necessarily Mo; yet his Foundation is being intrigued of scrambling to find African presidents to honor. Well, is it just Africa’s leadership that’s writhing? As we know, struggles in leadership has been widespread through out the globe – not just in governments but in businesses as well – what with the failing global economy, the continued gasping for peace, and so on. Consequently, this is one reason why not so much has been written and said about people like him – a noble purpose is not given as much attention as those who are after more wealth or power, save for Mother Teresa. It’s just tough to solve the world’s problems which is actually rooted in Leadership.

This is like most followers (with a handful of exceptions) in social sites, you get less of them if you stand for something unpopular, unusual, untrendy, and unfortunately, if you specially stand for something ahead of your time. People just do not get it yet. Many just do not understand where you are coming from. And to some, you may even sound boring; and so, many just tries to be an indistinct pleaser.

Remember, a good Leader does not force but instead tries to influence change via:

Resources. Similar to how Mo utilized his monies to stir “positivism” in Africa.
Intelligence. Write books, articles or blogs elucidating what one stands for regardless of followers and “likes”; as this is not about money but about change – positive change.
Talent. Use music, film or paintings and alike in a subtle manner and one could affect his audience or people’s subconscious.
Popularity. Celebrity endorsements help to a certain extent but it’s Talk Shows that’s more penetrating between the two. Engaging with hosts like Oprah and Anderson Cooper could help your voice be heard. In a regular set-up, just try to be omnipresent with “good story telling” skills – that could ease the point you wish to push on the table.

Indeed, the undertakings of Mo Ibrahim is one great example of Making Leaders – Out of Leaders. His scope of Africa alone shows his desire to really help his hurting roots which is worthy of praise, support, and emulation.  Now, it’s your turn.

What’s your take?