The link between Freedom and Personal Leadership | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

Freedom is sweet when you observe so many other people enjoy it and you don’t seem to have as much as they do. The guy in prison admires the guy walking free on the streets but the guy walking free on the street says, ‘you don’t know that I am paying the prize for my freedom. I fend for myself on daily basis and hustle to get food on the table but you committed a crime or you were unlawfully detained but they feed you with tax payers’ money! While that may be a bit funny, nobody still wants to go to prison just to escape responsibilities! The young child wants to grow quickly so that his parents or guardians will no longer hand down instructions to them but they sometimes don’t know the weight of responsibility that follows the freedom they desire! Little wonder Dr. Myles Munroe will speak and write about the burden of freedom.

I once heard Dr. Munroe say that slaves don’t have to think for themselves! Thinking is the burden of their owner! You are to think about what they will do for you and tell them. They will not also worry about what to eat. So long as they are still your slaves, they will always be fed by you. So apart from not having to think they will also not worry about what to eat. But the day they become free, then their freedom places a demand for responsibility on them! They will no longer be led by others. They will now have to learn how to lead themselves!

When you are asking for freedom in any form and at any level, what you are asking for is personal leadership! Unfortunately, most people look more at the time they have to themselves and the fact that nobody will tell them what to do rather than the responsibilities ahead.

When I was transiting from high school to university I was so excited. And why was that? One of the reasons was that I got people who told me about how university students would live on their own, have a lot of free time to themselves, no lecturer is on their neck all the time, and of course, in a country like Nigeria where beating has not been outlawed, nobody beats you anymore at that level. You are free to attend parties and several people can visit you just as you can visit them. There would be no ‘light out’ time as we used to have in Mayflower School. More importantly, I would stop wearing uniforms! Wow! I taught all of that was freedom! I had never gotten that kind of freedom in my life! Before then it had always been from my parents’ protective watch to the ever ready whips of my teachers!

I got all those promises that those sweet mouthed gossips told me about. However, they failed to talk about the responsibility that comes with the freedom. They didn’t mention the fact that nobody will now force me to read so it was up to me to be disciplined enough to read and get good grades or get carried away and be expelled or at least make a pass at the end of four years in school. Thank God I was smart enough not to be carried away by the ‘limitless freedom’

Have you ever craved so much for freedom that when you got it you almost wanted to say, ‘I wish I never got what I asked for?’ It can be like that only when you don’t know that what you are asking for is personal leadership. When you are an employee someone tells you what to do most of the time. But when you decide to run your company other people now wait on you for instructions and still get paid! In other words, they don’t have to think for themselves all the time and you must still pay them just to take instructions from you.

My point is very simple. And it is that when you ask for freedom then you are saying I am tired of having someone do all the thinking for me. It is time to do some thinking myself. When you decide to leave your parents, or present company it means you are tired of someone bringing food to your table. You now want to take of the responsibility of feeding yourself and putting food on your own table.

When you get the freedom as you mostly will do, personal leadership will now demand that you set the limits that no one will set for you. You have to be able to lead yourself well enough that you will not always maximize your freedom. That is why freedom can be a disaster to someone who has no understanding of personal leadership. There are things you will be free to do but common sense will tell you not to do them because of where you are going in the future.

Having said all that, think about the freedom you currently have in any area and the prize you are currently paying for it. Also think about the freedom that you desire and the prize at stake. Can you lead yourself well enough for the responsibility coming with that freedom? Think about it because freedom demands personal leadership more than anything! With personal leadership and your freedom, you will set your own limits!


Fola Daniel Adelesi
President/CEO,
Edible Pen.

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