It is asserted that leaders are made, not born. Additionally, the makings of a transformational leader are defined, in part, by the leader’s willingness to venture into the unknown. This, of course, takes great courage - lots of gut.
Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is acting consistent with your stand in the face of fear — fear of failure, fear of looking bad, fear of being ostracized, mistreated, falsely accused and hated.
In his leadership journey, Dr. Richard Konteh has encountered insurmountable obstacles, trials and difficulties that will break any faint-hearted person. His vision and focus for transforming his native country Sierra Leone impressed former President Ernest Bai Koroma to appoint him as Chief of Staff in 2013. As the Chief Minister, Dr. Richard Konteh coordinated the successful implementation of the President’s Agenda for Change and the Agenda for Prosperity. A top enviable position and a row of previous successes in public service attracted the envy of some of his peers, who tried to destroy him by falsely accusing him of corruption (the allegations were later thrown out of court for lack of evidence). He was ostracized and abandoned by the APC Party. It was a moment when everyone thought he would give up, retreat and accept defeat.
But for Dr. Richard Konteh, courage means moving forward in the face of such adversity and uncertainty, sticking with his faith and commitment in that moment of truth. He knows as a transformational leader that he will not have all of the answers to why people will envy and mistreat him for being a courageous visionary leader. He decided to put faith forward, never to allow these phony incidents to distract his belief and trust in people. He never abandoned his APC Party. He never abandoned the agenda for change and prosperity in Sierra Leone - a vision he personally championed.
Dr. Richard Konteh is running for the APC Party’s Presidential Candidate (Flag Bearer) in 2023. Much of what motivates and compels his actions comes down to his vision for a united and prosperous nation of Sierra Leone, his love for people, and gut, - which means he bet on possibilities, not on the proof of past incidents or results.
The distinguishing trait that transformational leaders exhibit is the ability to talk about that which does not yet exist and make it real through conversations. The concept or idea that compels him — this transformation that he seeks to bring about — is not an extension of the past filtered through the present in order to arrive at the future. That’s predictable, and the transformational leader in Dr. Richard Konteh is not motivated by the predictable.
Dr. Richard Konteh is creating and designing a future for Sierra Leone that is often thought to be a pipedream by skeptics. But Sierra Leoneans are seeing two aspects of Dr. Richard Konteh’s transformational leadership that separates him from others. First, Dr. Richard Konteh sees a pathway to the future of a united and prosperous country (perhaps a little blurry and obscured right now), and he is willing to stand for that future. Second, knowing that others will have to be inspired to extraordinary action, Dr. Richard Konteh is able to paint the picture of that future in a way that gets others to take on this vision as their own, and this is why he is dubbed “D-UNIFIER”. Dr. Richard Konteh’s vision of a united and prosperous Sierra Leone, and the way it is communicated, is compelling — something that others want to be a part of, participate in, and contribute to building.
Instead of something that he can show you, Dr. Richard Konteh is intent on taking people, results, organizations, The APC Party and Sierra Leone to a place no one can see, touch, smell, or taste. This ability marks Dr. Richard Konteh as extraordinary in a field of other leaders.
A future that is seemingly out of reach for both the APC Party and Sierra Leone requires that others enroll in the vision championed by this transformational leader - Dr. Richard Konteh.