Tuesday, 14 January 2020

How well has Gov. Ayade mentored members of his cabinet for productivity: An Appraisal of the CEO in Gov Ben Ayade of Cross River State


To continue in our series on "An Appraisal of the CEO in Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State", we shall be looking at the governor as a mentor. How has the governor as the Chief Executive Officer of Cross River State been able to mentor members of the Cross River State Executive Council, his appointees and Leaders across the state for optimal performance in the execution of their duties to achieve the administration's set goals and objectives? 

It was Akinwunmi Ambode immediate past Governor of Lagos State who said 
that "One of the key tenets of leadership is the need to pass on knowledge and experience to others. Most great leaders throughout history had made it a priority to grow and develop other leaders who could come in, take the reins and lead more effectively" 

Report has it that one of the greatest aspirations of governor Ambode was to help civil servants and members of the Lagos state Executive Council develop their latent abilities into full-blown leadership attributes that will translate into productive engagements and exponential growth for the public service.

One of the importance of mentorship in governance is that it produces rapid progress in achieving organizational set goals with exponential economic growth especially when various MDA's of government are headed by persons who understands what leadership is all about and have developed their leadership potentials and enhanced their performance skills.

Mentorship is a great tool in achieving  the above stated. The CEO of an organization is more or less a coach and not a boss. The difference is that the coach ensures you are well equipped with the facilities, (physical/emotional well being as well as knowledge) and the technical know-how needed to execute your given task. While a boss doesn't care how you do it, all the same the job must be done. 

Who is a mentor? 
John C. Maxwell, one of the world's greatest leadership coach with several books on Leadership accredited to him, believes that, a mentor is a person who has professional and life experience and who voluntarily agrees to help a mentee develop skills, competencies, or goals. 

Put another way, a mentor is an advisor and role model who is willing to invest in the mentee's personal growth and professional development.

A Chief Executive of an establishment has it as a duty to continuously groom younger generation and prepare them to take over from him when he is no more. Aside preparing generation next for leadership positions, it's also pertinent that  the CEO's leadership team are constantly inspired by the CEO. This could be said to be mentorship or leadership by influence. It's a form of mentorship on its own. 

Now having known who a mentor is or what mentorship is all about, we will now place it side by side with what has existed in the last four years in the Governance of Cross River State by its Chief Executive Officer, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade. Can we really say that they have been any deliberate effort or attempt to mentor members of the state Executive Council and other appointees of government for maximum impact and influence?

To what extent has Ayade's leadership style as the CEO of Cross River State influenced members of the State Executive Council to be productive in their responsibilities? 

Can we truly and sincere say Ayade as the Chief Executive Officer of Cross River State is has taken deliberate steps in Mentoring leaders around him? 

Influence being a valuable tool for leadership and mentorship, how has the governor been able to mentor his subordinates through influence? 

To what extent has the governor's deliberate or none deliberate mentorship on members of his cabinet affect productivity and effectiveness in the governance of Cross River State? 

These and many more are questions we seek answers to, as we attempt to xray the governor's leadership strengths. The act of mentoring can be formal or informal, a deliberate mentorship program will involve a conscious meeting or sets of trainings for the mentee to tap into the knowledge bank of the mentor. In an ideal setting like governing a state, the CEO of the state would draw up a program for regular training and retraining of members of his cabinet. In most cases a regular retreat could be perfect idea. This gives opportunity for appraisal and impartation. 

It is in such retreats or private sessions that organizational visions and goals are made clearer and simplified for members of the leadership team in this case, appointtees to digest and understand. Naturally, When you constantly rub mind with your superior especially when he keeps providing excellent leadership, you seamlessly start thinking, acting or even talking like him. This is because you have truly understood his vision and won't struggle with your responsibility as achieving set goals becomes easy. 

While we appraise the governor's mentoring ability, the question here is when was the last time Cross River State government had a retreat? How often does the governor sit with his appointees for apriasals and retraining? 

How many of the heads of MDAs in Cross River State clearly understands the governor's policy thrust? 

How many have set their eyes on the strategic documents or blue print that is driving the policy thrust of this administration? That is if only there's one. 

I strongly doubt if in the last four years a retreat or an appraisal meeting has been called in Cross River State. If it has, then I doubt there have been more than two of such metings in the last four to five years of governor Ben Ayade administrating the state. 

According to Bernard Browning, a renown teacher and coach on mentoring, a good mentor must be willing and able to share skills, knowledge, and expertise with his subordinates or mentees.

If Browning's statement would be accepted to be true, the question begging for answers now is, How any of the governor's appointees have been able to apply the intellectual money principle of governor Ben Ayade's governemt in the discharge of their responsibilities? 

It is not News that the Governor is fun of boasting of how he runs the state with intellectual money, owing to the fact that the state is financially backwards when compared with other state's Federal Allocations. You will agree with me that many MDAs are truly suffering as they were poorly funded. One therfore, begins to wonder if heads of those MDAs didn't pass through the mentorship program of their CEO to learn the art of administrating their MDAs with intellectual money. 

The simple truth is that the Governor is a great orator and as such one would have thought that he will make a good mentor, I want to beleive that some attributes of his sanguine nature have taken a hold on him thus his inability to effectively mentor members of his Executive Council 

As a way of suggestion, l will state that the Cross River State government bring back the regular retreat by members of the state Executive Council as it was witnessed in past administrations. 

This alone is a confidence booster for all members of the SEC because after such gatherings you are re-energised and reallinged with the vision of the CEO for maximum impact, members become more in tune with reality and positioned to make this work. 

I also think, if the weekly Executive Council meeting is religiously observed and members are given access to the state's strategic blue print. Regular intercourse with such document gives members a sense of belonging and clearly spells out to them what they are doing or hope to achieve as a team. 

The governor should henceforth be conscious of the fact that he has it as a duty to mentor his subordinates the responsibility of mentoring them and ensuring anybody under his leadership discovers and fully expresses his latent leadership ability. 

 Ukorebi Esien 
writes for The Daily News Nig 

Please recall that this is a 12 article editorial series and its a collaborative  effort between The Daily News Nig and Negroidhaven that is aimed at assessing the CEO status of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade. 

All so bear in mind that this is not just an evaluation of the Ben Ayade's administration, but a framework for assessing any public office holder as it were especially in Nigeria. The framework of our valuation is published here — https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d1O33KnEX6U4D8fab17Bk0fWkjW5q0NTEj0AJQI0JFXZ8/edit?usp=drivesdk. And it's called A Framework for Defining and Assessing Public Office Holder's Performance.

The first article on this series has been published by Negroidhaven I think it's pertinent we have a look at it.

First on the series on Leadership is Supervision