The “Presidency” has developed into the most powerful institution in the world. These individuals can start and end wars, grow or destroy economies, leave their countries in a better or worse place. The impact of political leadership is felt more acutely in countries that are still developing. This is particularly true across Africa where political leaders are a strong determinant of a country’s sustainable growth trajectory, or lack thereof.
This book offers a rare opportunity to pull back the curtains on political leadership in Africa and hear first hand the real-life political leadership experiences of individuals who were Heads of States in Africa.
Through their face-to-face interviews with the author, we learn how political leadership is a result of all their lived experiences that began early in their life to form and influence their behaviors, worldviews, responses, routines and knowledge. Equally important we see that what sets apart those leaders that left their countries in a better state than when they first took office is their awareness of their people and country’s needs, their own character and the gravitas of the office; the breadth of education and experiences they bring to the office of Head of State; as well as a clarity of focus and objectives, including when to step aside.
Building on these firsthand accounts of political leadership and the work of French sociologist Bourdieu, a new framework through which to view and discuss political leadership across Africa is offered. The “Habitus: Leading from Life” framework captures how everything in their lives prepared them for their role and effectiveness (or lack of) as Heads of State.
Free on Kindle.