LEADERSHIP IS HIS SPECIALITY: Sakaria Nikodemus

OFTEN life experiences have taught us that it is easier to preach than to be preached to yet practising the preaching has proven harder than imagined.

Sakaria Nikodemus preaches the gospel of leadership and he is leading the pack in leadership qualities, providing a fresh stream of understanding leadership principles and how they relate to personal and corporate development filled with penetrating insights and practical guidance.

He is a man who has dedicated his entire life to explore, understand and unbundle the qualities of a good leader, “to unleash the awesome wealth of latent leadership power that lies dormant within us all,” he spells out the thrust of his business.

Nikodemus, enrolled at the University of Namibia in 1995, to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree but in his second year, he realised that he had chosen a programme that did not match his qualities of being a people oriented person.

He then changed his academic lane and enrolled for a Bachelor of Education program. While studying for the education degree, a sizzling passion to pursue leadership management studies intensified and he started buying books and tapes because there wasn’t much of videos that time.

His quest is to motivate people and develop them as individuals, and how they can position themselves as persons who can contribute to the family of humanities. In 2007 he began to write articles on leadership that were published in the local media and the feedback showed how well received the articles were.

It was this response that propelled him to do more and Nikodemus approached the national broadcaster, Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) who supported his initiative of broadcasting a radio program on leadership called “A quest for True Leadership.” The program was and is still aired Mondays and Thursdays.
For the past two years, New Era newspaper publishes his quotes on leadership daily.
“That is my contribution to the nation,” Nikodemus says.

“Leadership is a very broad subject, covering many areas and that is why the program is still running. It has been very well received and that has portrayed me as a prominent person on leadership in Namibia. Because of the radio program’s popularity, the national broadcaster asked me to feature on its television wake up call, Good Morning Namibia in 2008. The excellent reception from politicians, executives and students prompted me to start offering training to organisations on leadership.”

TRUElead Training Institute (TTI) was born and Nikodemus’ first training session was a motivational talk for staff at Emma Hoogenout School. This was preceded by training programs for Student Representative Council members at the Polytechnic of Namibia and the University of Namibia.

Nikodemus’ fame blossomed and the list of organisations requiring his unique training skills and subjects kept growing. This took him to another level, that of documenting his works.

“I decided to put my thoughts on paper and I wrote my first book, “The Quest for True Leadership,” and the foreword was written by Honourable Joel Kaapanda, Minister of Information and Communication Technology.

The launch of the book, Nikodemus says was unexpectedly well attended. Last year he launched his second book, “Principles for the 21st Century Leader,” with the foreword written by Honourable Dr. Abraham Iyambo, Minister of Education.

His second book is based on the eight principles of an eagle tacitly tucked into the qualities of good leadership. It is his second publication that has catapulted him to greater heights “and every time people want me to talk about the eight principles of an eagle”.

The book is now on DVD and CD. Its sales, Nikodemus says, have exceeded the earlier publications. The publications are sold in all the local bookshops but references on their contents by academics and professionals have gone beyond borders.

“It is said your work goes further than your physical presence,” he says cherishing his effort.

According to Nikodemus, there are three kinds of people, those who believe they are the leaders, those who believe that leadership is not for them and doubt their own leadership potential and lastly, those who have thrown in the towel on life.

His message to the first group is continue to desire to grow, keep desiring to grow and shake off “the arrival syndrome” that kills the zeal to continue growing. He urges people who believe leadership does not belong to them to have faith in themselves and have a measure of self confidence and believe that they are valuable to the nation and to humanity.

The third group constitutes people who have no positivity and have given up on life. “Good things come to those who go out to make it happen,” he says quoting the late popular South African reggae artist Lucky Dube’s, ”Reach out and touch your dreams.”

The relevance of his increasingly popular leadership training programmes is the critical role they play in the realisation of Vision 2030.

“The people we train work directly with the mission to attain Vision 2030,” he adds.

His biggest clients are Government ministries, parastatals, NGO’s, and the private sector.

“Our vision is to develop, maximise and release the human potential to become leaders. That is the heart beat of this organisation.”

After graduating at Unam, Nikodemus got his first job as a teacher at Okakarara Secondary School where he taught for two and half years. The Namibia Planned Parenthood Association hired him as a Project Coordinator where he did a three year stint, focusing on raising awareness and providing services in reproductive health.

Blazing a clear trail “from glory to glory” professional rise, Nikodemus joined the United Nations branch UNFPA as Programmes’ Officer responsible for gender mainstreaming, livelihood and food security, and emergency response and was with the international organisation for five years ending the professional union in June 2010 to run his own organization, TTI on full time.

“One of the attributes of a good leader is the realisation that you are inadequate as a human being and God is the only person who can help one to cover for inadequacies and I have learnt that the secret is to rely on God and not to put focus on human wisdom and strength. It would be foolish to think I came this far on my own. I give Him (God) credit.”

Nikodemus’ mentor and role model in the area of leadership development is Bahamian and world renowned motivational speaker Dr Myles Munroe whose quote he holds dear and fuels his motivation, “Where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.”

Supporting the popular saying that behind every successful man there is an intelligent woman, Nikodemus concurs.

The love of his life is Kaunapawa who shares his reading addiction. “We are all bookworms and she supports and understands what I do”.

Nikodemus concludes by thanking the Namibian nation for contributing to his success beyond his imagination.
“I am grateful to my colleagues, Lempi Nkandi and Neville Dausab and the people of Namibia for their support. I do not take it for granted hence I will continue to unearth and strengthen more leaders for Namibia.” PF