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What The True Essence of Leadership is.

A fine day for Dr. Mrs. Erisemary M Dinga is characterized by ups and downs, from an early rise to catering for family, then running to her church, visiting other businesses, and answering phone calls on social matters that are so much of her concern to making sure that activities of her empire are running smoothly, Dr. Erisemary is a very busy Woman.

One characteristic that people who are close enough to know her can tell is, she is tenacious. She can not be broken.

This marks a real trait of a Leader as she will not back out or back down in whatever kind of situation. As they say when the going gets tough, the tough gets going! This saying is clearly seen in the daily life of Dr. Erisemary.

A Wife, Mother, Pastor, Author, Business Woman, Certified Leadership Coach, and International Speaker are all hats worn by this one army Wonman…. In this interview, we learn the secret of what keeps her going…how the journey began and where she is heading to.

Editor: How did the journey of Empowering and Pastoring people start?

Dr. Erisemary: The first thing worth noting is that I am the first child of my mother, a firstborn amongst six. I have always had to find the way, lead the way, and set the pace for us all, so have had all my siblings looking up to me as we all grew up. So I think that the spirit of empowering people, and catering to their needs, bringing them up was cultivated in me from childhood. I found myself in a position where people I knew, including those I didn’t know, would come to me asking for advice, asking my opinion, and showing interest in wanting to be and do like me. So I had to learn how to be intentional about living my life like a Leader. I believe everybody was born a Leader. Anywhere you are put in a place of responsibility, anytime you have people looking up to you, you have to direct or lead or manage something, know that you are a Leader.

So everybody was born a Leader, we just need to develop these skills and become intentional about this and then live according to principles that make us great. Contrary to what people may say or think, maybe from the way I speak or the way I come out sometimes, I was very timid growing up. lacked self-confidence, lacked self-esteem, dealt with a lot of issues and this made me shut myself up in a corner. I feared to speak out even though had too many things to say but feared the outcome if I voiced out my thoughts.

And then I found myself in a church group at the age of 17 where I was the Youth Leader. Now I had all these people who were even older than me looking up to me for direction. I had no other choice than to look for ways that would satisfy the demands of my subordinate. So I started reading books and studying the subject. The way I began acting brings me to how I define Leadership, a definition you will find in my recent book The Millennial Leadership Testament’. There I defined Leadership as ‘Leadership is taking an iconic pursuit in achieving a goal

So Leadership is not a title, not a position, it is a duty that you perform. And great Leaders lead out of Love. Because what you don’t love you can’t fix, what you don’t love, you can’t give it your time, energy, or anything else. So Leadership is rooted in love. If you do not love your country and its people you cannot lead it through the right path. I Saw all this happen to me, how out of love for my siblings and the people around me I would tell them whether they were doing the right things or not. I became bold to talk to them because I felt it was my responsibility to tell them and show them what was right from what was wrong. I had to get on the journey of self-empowerment, fixing my life, getting more knowledge going on training to become a better trainer so that I could also empower others. What really drives me to empower people which besides I think is the best form of investment, (investing in people) is that I think that the world is not suffering from the economic crisis. The world is not suffering from wars, chaos, etc… I think the world is suffering from poor Leadership. If we have good Leaders, everything else will fall in place. Like my mentor, John Maxwell said,’Everything rises and falls on Leadership’. So basically, this is how my journey started out a burning desire to empower people and help them live decent lives. I started with my family, then into a small church, and now where I am today.

Editor: Why did you choose to embrace this path?

Dr. Erisemary: Why did I choose to embrace this path, well I chose to embrace this simply because I feel that when you love people, you will help them go through the right path, and having gone through a lot of things, I thought I just do not want people to go back down this road. So it is really out of the love and passion I have for people that I am here.

Editor: From hearing you speak, anyone can tell there is so much you want to share with the world. What is this thing that you want to share with us?

Dr Erisemary: You see there is this thing that bothers me to the core when I see the way our Leaders lead. Humans are the greatest asset that the world has we must protect them and harness everyone’s talent so together we can build a better world. I feel like our Leaders haven’t gotten a grasp of this. Our Leaders have not understood that humans have all that it takes to grow a nation. That’s why perhaps they fail to invest in people. What I will say here and what I have noticed is that in Africa, we have misplaced priorities. Our education has so failed us that we have put the cart before the horse. We are in a continent where the educated people are the less productive ones whilst the uneducated or dropouts, whichever way you want to call it are the ones leading revolutions. Every story of progress or genius work done or recorded was seldom done by a PHD Holder and so I want people to know, I want our Leaders to know that investing in People is key. That’s why I surround myself with people who have skills, and that’s why I empower people to develop the skills and talent they have to become household names, then They can share their knowledge with others and the cycle continues which will produce better results for a better world.
Editor: Everybody talks about Leadership, everybody wants to become a Leader. but you have a particular view of what true leadership is. What will you say is real Leadership? Dr. Erisemary: I think most people think a Leader is someone who sits and calls people to work. No, no, no. A Leader is somebody who knows the way and shows the way. A Leader leads by example.

So if you are telling me about agriculture, show me the farm you are working. Leadership is an action word, it is doing what you say you are doing. Great Leaders are seen doing the work, being on the field doing their work. But unfortunately, we are in a society where people talk more than they act. I will also add that a true Leader is someone who solves problems. A solution-provider, a problem solver.

Editor: Doctor, we are in a period where the world is plagued with so much negative news. The pandemic is here, there are wars, famine in some places, depression taking hold of people’s lives, and organizations and companies on the brink of collapsing. What would you say about Leadership in times of crisis like this?

Dr. Erismary: This is a great question and this question has brought me back to my mindset coaching days. The first thing every Leader must have is a strong mindset. This will allow you go through the toughest situations and you will come out unperturbed. In my mindset coaching moments, I teach people about the power of the mind. Also, Great Leaders must know how to adapt in every given situation. Ask yourself the right questions, What should I be doing that will still add value even in the midst of this crisis? For example..and most importantly Leaders in the heat of crisis must stick to their vision, project future trends, and implement them.

Editor: Tell us about the next level for Emmi Empire.

Dr. Erisemary: You know, Emmi Empire is an empowerment body. I believe so much in education, and our goal for the future is to have more educational projects. More schools why not the Emmi Leadership University? But most importantly we want to create more impact and invest in more people.

Editor: Tell us about this new book: The Millennial Leadership Testament

Dr. Erisemary: This book is a Leadership manual, a book that will lead millennial Leaders to start taking action as Leaders in society. In it you will learn problem-solving skills, paths to becoming a great Leader, How Great Leaders Lead, etc… It really is a must-have book.

Editor: You know as a Woman on the frontline, you must have been confronted with gender issues that is people treating you in some particular way because you are a Woman. What do you think about the concept of Gender Equality?

Dr. Erisemary: Well my own point of view, ‘think there is no competition between Men and Women. I think every human has their strength and weaknesses. I think we were created to complete each other. So I am not of that school of thought that says ‘What a Man can do a Woman can do even better’ I think some Women have gotten it wrong right there. We should strive to be better than what we were yesterday. Not better than someone else. Every man’s competition should be himself and no man has the right to down-look any Woman because she is occupying a significant position. We must learn to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. If a Woman is deserving of a role, let her have it without any bias and so should it be for the Man. We all have what the world needs to be better, that is why God gave us both male and female talents. So that we could all participate in changing the world. Therefore, let the gender war stop.