Time to ‘get off’ the “train...”


I get excited anytime or whenever I came across any piece of art, article, or book from my mentors. This time is about one of my favorite, Honorable; Colin Powell. One of American’s most admired public figures; a four star general and former Secretary of state. (United State of America)

Since the above title was plagiarized from his latest bestselling book titled; “It worked for me; in life and Leadership” Chapter thirty one; p.194 to be précised. I feel obligated with due respect to share the wisdom that might be relevant to some of our existing/new ‘Leaders’ across the continent of A.F.R.I.C. A. (Motherland). Lesson to be learned!


To whom it may concern: Please assimilate…                                                                                      


…”No matter what your job, you are there to serve. It makes no different if is government, military, business, or any other endeavor. Go in with a commitment to “selfless service,” never “selfish service.” And cheerfully with gratitude take your gold watch and plaque, GET OFF THE TRAIN BEFORE SOMEBODY THROW YOU OFF, go sit in the shade with a drink, and take a look at the other tracks and the other trains out there, spend a moment watching the old train disappear, and then start a NEW journey on a NEW train.” – Colin Powell


For the sake of our discourse, my theme will be focused on SELFISH vs. SELFLESS leaders across the continent of AFRICA. Leaders that refused to get off the train…awaiting someone to throw them off.  To call a spade-a-spade, I would prefer to just stick with the formal- Selfish leaders. As for the Selfless AFRICAN leaders, that’s a whole new chapter entirely, but we can learn from their attribute. It’s a known fact that we (Africans) are guilty of the formal with very few exceptional leaders that will qualify for the latter.


In a civilized society, where things get done due to genuine leadership is not only transparency but the result has always been obvious. As a protocol, when it’s time to go, it time to go. When you’re done with your service, you’re willing without prejudice or force to exit, you just pass the baton to the next qualify individual.  If everything is done accordingly, the reward is unlimited for the rest of your life. You need not to empty the treasury in order to retired as a leader. A common practice known among the leaders in the continent of AFRICA is to either refuse to leave…Do or die… or be forced/throw out…”to get off the train”…Food for thought!


In a civilized military environment, you get a medal and pass the colors to the next commander with no string attached. As Honorable Colin Powell would say; “when you are done, drive through… looking through the front windshield and not the rear view mirror.” Food for thought!


Let us look back and ask the same question; how many AFRICAN ex-military or leader has been honorably retired or discharged without a clause attached? How many…? How many of them continue to look at the rear view mirror, instead of the front… Food for thought!


Come to think about it; did ‘Legacy’ or ‘Doctrine’ even exist in our retired/ leaders (lexicon) mind…? It’s Obvious.  The unfortunate scenario is that they failed as a leader because… they never have a clear objective or a clear decisive strategy to begin with. Food for thought!

Attribute of a ‘selfless’ leader: Please assimilate…                                                                     Lesson to be learned!

Consideration… Truly selfless leaders never operate in isolation.

Integrity… Selfless leaders are known for their integrity.

Trust…Genuinely selfless leaders have earned the trust of their employees.

Unwanted - Attribute of a ‘selfish’ leader: Please assimilate…                                               Lesson to be learned!

No follower wants a selfish leader who always takes all the credits and never leaves room for the followers to shine…  

No follower wants a selfish leader who dogmatizes them…

No follower wants a selfish leader who blow uncertain trumpet…etc.     Food for thought!                                                       

In a nutshell: If you are a ‘LEADER’ guilty of ‘selfishness’: Please don’t tell anyone...Just CHANGE. And if you are a ‘LEADER’ who happens to be ‘selfless’: Congratulations!  Please don’t CHANGE.

To all the ‘selfish’ LEADERS…across the globe…most especially (Motherland) A.F.R.I.C.A…emulates Colin Powell principal; “…Give it up and give your grandchildren a chance.” Food for thought!

As always;

To GOD be d GLORY!


Prince ‘lasun

Peace! Shalom!! Salaam!!!

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