It was a great pleasure going through the hundreds of feedback in response to my recent article. Leadership starts from the family, community, national and international level.
Today my chief aim is not necessarily to be technical but help bring out some hidden meanings that the English language is able to.
Many words were derived from Greek and other languages and in translation, many lost their meanings. English as a language does not give us deeper understanding of some aspects because of its tendency to generalise.

It’s too flexible and contextual and in doing so loses depth of analysis. We will explore the roots of the word leader with the hope of ultimately understanding all the dynamics around it and most importantly learning how to be better at it. Don’t be confused by some of the funny Hebrew and Greek words you may come across in this article. Let’s get on with it now!

Naw-gheed – this word pictures the leader as a commander, as one who occupies the front. This person can be civil, military or religious and has to be honourable. He or she acts as the captain, that is determining direction, motivating people to follow the direction and has to be noble in character to win the confidence of the led. He has to be excellent and be a trusted official.
Kaw-tseen – this dimension pictures the leader as someone who acts as a guide. There is a direction set and the leader then guides people in that direction. To perform this role well, the person must have some teaching skills. They act as the driver, that is, they drive the process, focusing people on the object of accomplishment. They must instruct and this requires them to act like a tutor, they should be able to teach.

Picture yourself in your role and other leadership roles; you will discover leaders are teachers. They are pictured as people who are flexible as they allow their people to do things, they let go because they have a degree of trust. Leaders are open. This means they accept and others’ opinions, cares and feelings. They are not independent, but are inter-dependant.
Figuratively, this word also implies to induce, that is to influence, to make do. Remember leadership is influence. The word also implies to determine, they make decisions. A leader who cannot decide is like a sea without water. Unfortunately we have a lot of managers who cannot decide, the “let me see my boss” types.

Paidagogos – this Greek word reflects the leader as a servant, as somebody who is giving a hand to a blind person. By implication, this means leaders are there to serve not to be served. They take their people as the blind wanting to go somewhere but without ability, hence they give a hand.

Choregeo – the leader is reflected as somebody who ministers to, as a giver. Leadership is about giving. This means sacrificing yourself and putting your interest behind and your followers’ ahead of yours. A leader should die to self. The leader is pictured as somebody who furnishes, that is providing for the people. A leader who takes from people is a failure.

Archipoimen – this Greek word reflects the leader as a shepherd. Somebody who performs the role of such, providing, guiding, protecting, taking care of, feeding, and guiding to comfort. The leader is the head.

Epitropos – the leader is pictured as a commissioner, which means a representative and an administrator. Unfortunately, many leaders represent themselves. This word reflects the leader as a guardian and a keeper.

All this reflects the leader is not leading for self, but for those they lead, anything out of this is not leadership.

Remember, it’s who you are serving that determines whether you are a leader or a ruler.

Prikrates – this Greek word pictures the leader as strong all round.

The leader has to have the basic awareness. This was the centre of my recent “pillars of leadership” presentation, taking leaders who attended through the kinds of knowledge and wisdom that a leader needs and hopefully we will have an opportunity to explore on this platform.

Oikonomos – this word for leadership denotes a distributor, or an overseer.

This has to be done fairly. Unfair distribution, if done at household level by those who lead there, it creates rifts among siblings. When done at organisational level, it creates competition, antagonism and conflicts among departments or sister companies, sometimes the head office and branches.

At national level, it has caused civil war between regions or causes the downfall of some political orders.

Ab’ – this word literally pictures the being a father. The leader is the father and has to behave like one. A father protects, loves, provides, grows and cares for the children. Figuratively, the leader is seen as the principal, that is acting as the figurehead.

Aluph – this leader for leadership picture the leader as a friend, the leader is pictured as a familiar person, not just popular. The leader is pictured as somebody who is gentle but masculine meaning strong. That is gentleness should not result in weakness, in that calm posture, the leader must remain strong willed in character and personality. Hope you found this informative and inspiring. See you next week as we explore more on this wonderful subject. Remember, anything you can think of rises and falls on leadership. Be the best leader you know. Be the best.
Just be the best!