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Nigeria: Former Leader Calls for Top-down Integrity

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Integrity is the foundation of leadership as there are no moral shortcuts in the game of business and life.

We need integrity in the public and private business and it must start at the top. Organizations and public institutions must run their business in a forthright manner.

Make integrity the heart and soul of your business coulture.

--Olusegun Obasanjo, Ex-President, Nigeria

As I continue to research and write about our ever-increasing need to elevate integrity and moral expectations as essentials to civic life, effective leadership, and organizational credibility, Nigeria's name surfaces more-and-more in my searches. My latest find is a true gem because this former Nigerian leader (Olusegun Obasanjo) gets it!

The article is titled We need Integrity in Public, Private business: It Must Start at the top, and Obasanjo passionately states his case for a robust infusion of integrity throughout all levels of Nigeria's public and private infrastructure. From contract procurement to bureaucratic inefficiency, Obasanjo makes integrity the necessary antidote to dysfunction and corruption in Nigeria.

I am unfamiliar with Nigeria's eloquent ex-President, but this small sample leads me to like the way he thinks. What I especially like about the article is that his comments echo my belief in the importance of moral expectations. Obasanjo's quote above captures the essence of integrity as an expectation thus making it foundational and highly influential as a community norm. When the "will" to do right is baked into the culture of business and government and becomes a "given" for community conduct, moral excellence becomes the standard and human flourishing thrives. Morality as an expectation must be elevated by leaders, protected without compromise, and accepted by everyone as an essential community value. Obasanjo gets it: Nigeria must now get it.

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