Rarely do you find programs that recognize the many facets of life, commonly, you will stumble upon leadership programs, that only focus on textbook principles, which end up hoodwinking you into believing that Leadership is this complex thing, that is only a preserve for the “chosen” few, yet nothing could be further from the truth, as I have come to learn.
The African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) has shown me that there is a program that is willing to recognize and nurture my personality, story, faith, influence, leadership potential, whilst challenging me to reconsider my circumstances in line with the Word of God. In all honesty, I joined ABLI with no expectations. The little I had heard about the program promised a great deal and I was a little skeptical about how it could all be done online. But, from the first session, the program exceeded everything I thought it would be.
For starters, I had imagined that the participants would not interact, and simply consume what was being taught. I had also imagined that it would be a ‘top-down’ approach where only the presenters would speak. But from the get-go, we were encouraged to speak up and share our ideas, and the presenters welcomed questions and contributions. Even though we have not been able to meet physically, I feel as though I have gotten a chance to meet new people and learn a lot from them.
I have particularly enjoyed the course content. My favourite class was the first, when we learnt about our personality types and how this affects our leadership and working style. I feel like it gave me assurance that I do not have to be an extrovert to succeed as a leader. It was encouraging to learn something that is obvious but still had not hit home- that everyone is made different and has what it takes to succeed. Every session is so different from the last, but still just as important. It is evident to me that the content was intentionally put together to cater for our whole lives, rather than just our lives as leaders. ABLI has taught me not simply what a leader does, but who a leader is. To my surprise, leadership is not defined by recognition, praise or position. We can all be leaders in our own right, in our spheres of influence, if we first learn how to lead ourselves.
Being in this program alongside over 100 like-minded individuals, has restored my hope in our nation’s leadership potential. It is particularly encouraging to see that we are all different, but still choose to come together each week to listen, learn, and open our minds to the truth that we do not know it all.
Some things in life are worth putting off for later, ABLI certainly is not one of those things. I am super grateful to the Emerging Leaders foundation and to the Bible Society of Kenya for making this program available. From it, I have found a community of Christ-centered leaders.
By:Tyler Hawi Ayah- ABLI 2020