Utomi Urges Students to Imbibe Leadership Qualities

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Funmi Ogundare

A Professor of Political Economy and management expert, Pat Utomi has advised students to ensure that they acquire knowledge through reading and also develop a sense of service if they want to succeed in life.

Utomi, who gave the advice while delivering a lecture titled ‘Leadership and Values’ at St. Gregory’s College, Lagos, said students have to begin to prepare early enough and begin with the end in mind. He said they have to imbibe values and discipline and learn how to be interdependent.

“You must set forth at dawn and live life in a way that you will arrive at your destination. The preparations for who you become in life starts very early. Success in anything you do in life is a formation of discipline.”

He expressed concern that emotional intelligence seems to have been left out in the way people do things; this he said should be able to guide their thinking and behaviour.

“People it seems want gratification without working hard for it and corruption seems to be eating deep into our polity. If you don’t work hard, you are not likely to sustain progress. If you have personal discipline, you will think about the common good of all,” Utomi stressed.

An old boy of the college and Chief Executive Officer, STB McCann, Sir Steve Omojafor in his paper ‘Ethos and Leadership’, recalled his days at the college when discipline and honesty were maintained by teachers and students. He stressed the need for the students to remain steadfast in their ideals and have a plan on what they want in life.

Omojafor expressed concern about the youths of today, saying that they want to get rich quick without working for it and have no respect for elders; and will also fight constituted authorities to a standstill. “We can rekindle our values starting from our homes, schools and communities and remain steadfast in our ideals. You may admire people but do not envy them. You should plan, think and be retrospective in your dealing.”

The President of the Old Boys Association of the college, Dr. John Abebe said the aim of the lecture was to inculcate in the new students the ethos and ethics of being a Gregorian and what is expected of them as future leaders.

“I think it is very useful to the students so that they can achieve what they need to achieve and do what they needed to do.”

He advised the old boys to look at what is being done in the college not only in infrastructure, but also in other areas of developing the school so that they can impact positively on the students.