Home » Management » Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Unifying Leadership Style in Business

Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Unifying Leadership Style in Business

Picture of Alex Rivera

Alex Rivera

Chief Editor at EduNow.me

Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Unifying Leadership Style in Business

Nnamdi Azikiwe was an advocate of Pan-Africanism and an effective combater of colonialism. His leadership philosophy and practice focused on uniting Nigerians by encouraging civic participation and mobilizing local resources towards economic development.

Studies have demonstrated the significance of strong leadership for creating healthy democratic societies and stimulating economic development. Emerging African leaders should study and emulate Azikiwe’s pragmatic leadership philosophy for success on their continent.

1. Empowerment

Nnamdi Azikiwe was an outspoken supporter of pan-Africanism against colonialism, uniting Nigeria’s diverse population. As an educator and publisher (West African Pilot), he used education as a vehicle for his nationalist ideals – becoming an exceptional role model for future African leaders to emulate. For managers to foster positive work environments while fulfilling organizational goals successfully, employee empowerment is essential. Offering training, development and promotional opportunities helps foster an environment that supports employee wellbeing while encouraging employees toward achievement.

As much as Azikiwe did not provoke the fierce ethnopolitical divisions that later plagued Nigeria, his political philosophy did contain flaws. For instance, his depictions of Northerners as autocratic feudal aristocrats and unintelligent colonial lackeys was demeaning and divisive; moreover his use of “kin and kind” rhetoric for nationalism amplified ethnic and regional divisions through rhetorical tools that both promoted community solidarity as well as further entrench them in.

His solution to these tensions, similar to Awolowo’s, was to subdivide Nigeria into more natural ethno-linguistic units, thus abolishing the tri-regional system and guaranteeing sufficient numbers from the North for influence over central government. By associating language groups with nations he effectively used language as the chief marker of identity and influencer of social attitudes; unlike Awolowo however he rarely relied upon analogies with other multiethnic nation states to prove his contention that an inclusive Nigeria was feasible and viable, making his arguments more theoretical than empirical.

2. Transparency

Development of any nation depends upon the leadership style of its leaders. A country’s leaders must be open with its citizens, upholding principles of good governance, promoting social justice and being ethical when serving others; this type of selfless service known as servant leadership allows businesses to thrive while offering healthy workplace environments to their employees.

Azikiwe’s pragmatic philosophy and approach to leadership provides an example for emerging African leaders to follow. He served as an important unifier before and after Nigeria’s independence, unifying ethnic groups; building robust economies on groundnut and cocoa production; and being outspoken anticolonialist. Azikiwe should be carefully studied by those seeking solutions for Africa’s economic and sociopolitical crises.

Azikiwe was unlike contemporary Nigerian leaders who seem only concerned with taking care of themselves; rather, he believed success for a nation lay in loving each other and working toward making life better for everyone, while sharing equally in its wealth and resources. Furthermore, he stressed the value of education in furthering a nation’s progress.

Azikiwe’s pragmatic philosophy and approach toward leadership should serve as an inspiration for current African leaders who are seeking solutions to its current economic and sociopolitical crises. He was an eminent figure during pre and post independence Nigerian history; championing Pan-Africanism and democracy throughout his nation while uniting Nigerians through encouraging civic participation and exploiting local resources; in addition he championed education promoting nationalist ideals through publications like West African Pilot.

3. Integrity

Effective leadership is vital to the progress of any nation. Highly developed nations such as the United States, Russia, Germany and Japan owe their success to strong visionary leaders who set clear vision and goals. Key to effective leadership is making sure all team members understand their roles and responsibilities; this ensures team goals can be accomplished while creating an atmosphere conducive to organizational growth.

While Awolowo and Azikiwe employed similar discursive strategies when crafting their nationalist narratives, their approaches differed considerably in terms of emphasis placed on intra-Nigerian differences and intensity of belief expressed regarding materializing an overarching Nigerian identity that would eventually subsume them. Furthermore, Awolowo’s and Bello’s narratives were mostly context dependent while those of Azikiwe were more consistent.

During the 1950s, when all three leaders held posts as regional premiers (an obligation that required them to address intraregional interethnic matters), their discourses focused on downplaying intra-Nigerian differences while appealing to common national interests and threats. Azikiwe’s speeches, on the other hand, targeted mainly Igbo people while appealing more directly to an expanding body of politically conscious citizens than did their other colleagues’ discourses.

Azikiwe pursued this strategy to reinforce Igbo identity across language, history and political institutions while setting them apart from other Nigerians by portraying them as the most marginalized people. At the same time, he sought to uphold Awolowo’s earlier assertion in Path to Nigerian Freedom that Nigeria no longer only existed geographically but was an historical reality; this meant convincing more Nigerians of his project requiring nationalist rhetoric to rally support for his party.

5. Accountability

Nnamdi Azikiwe was an influential leader during pre and post independence Nigeria, as an advocate of Pan-Africanism and an effective opponent to colonialism. He had a vision for an Africa united by diversity by encouraging civic participation and exploiting local resources for economic and social progress. His philosophy of unifying Nigerians while fighting colonialism should serve as an inspiration to emerging African leaders looking to foster healthy democratic societies.

Accountable leadership involves managers ensuring all their employees understand their responsibilities and work cohesively toward organizational goals. Furthermore, this style of leadership requires leaders to regularly assess employee performance and offer feedback so that team members meet expectations. Through accountability leadership, productivity increases by making sure all workers focus on important tasks instead of spending energy or time doing unnecessary activities.

Success of any nation rests heavily on its leadership. Studies have demonstrated the necessity of strong leaders to foster economic prosperity and develop healthy democratic societies, as well as transformational and servant leadership principles that support growth in developing nations.

Researchers from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra conducted a recent study aimed at exploring the effect of leadership styles on employees’ performance and well-being at work. A sample group was selected using simple random sampling and collected using tools like Leader-Member Exchange Questionnaire, Transformational Leadership Inventory Inventory, and Thriving Scale Scale from participants.

The findings of this research indicate that leadership style affects employees’ thriving at work. Researchers recommend training managers and employees on certain leadership principles to increase productivity and ensure employees feel at ease at work. Furthermore, organizations should create supportive environments and rules to allow both leaders and employees to carry out activities together; doing so will foster feelings of belongingness and responsibility among staff members.

Please share this article:


Social Media


Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Learn more