Paschal Agonsi

Leadership Thoughts of the Rastafari

rastafari leadership

Rastafari is “concerned above all else with black consciousness, with rediscovering the identity, personal and racial, of black people”.

Early Rastafarianism centered around black power and deposing white rule but quickly evolved along peaceful lines, making specific reference to biblical texts and the principle of equality in the eyes of God.

Global awareness of Rastafarianism spread with the popularity of reggae during the 1960s to 1970s; and declined in the 1980s, following the deaths of Haile Selassie and Bob Marley.

The term “Rastafari” derives from “Ras Tafari Makonnen”, the pre-regnal title of the late Haile Selassie, the former Ethiopian emperor who occupies a central role in Rasta belief. Haile Selassie was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930, becoming the first sovereign monarch crowned in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1891 and the first Christian one since 1889. Stated below are his popular thoughts on leadership.

ras tafari haile sellasie
Ras Tafari, Haile Selassie

Leadership Thoughts of the Rastafari

Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always well-supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others.

The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations.

The art of leadership is in the ability to make people want to work for you, while they are really under no obligation to do so.

Leaders are people, who raise the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged. The goal chosen, the objective selected, and the requirements imposed, are not mainly for their followers alone. They develop with consummate energy and devotion, their own skill and knowledge in order to reach the standard they themselves have set.

This whole-hearted acceptance of the demands imposed by even higher standards is the basis of all human progress. A love of higher quality, we must remember, is essential in a leader. The true leader is one who realizes by faith that he is an instrument in the hands of God, and dedicates himself to be a guide and inspirer of the nobler sentiments and aspirations of the people.

He who would be a leader must pay the price in self-discipline and moral restraints. This details the correction and improvement of his personal character, the checking of passions and desires and an exemplary control of one’s bodily needs and desires.

To be first in place, one must be first in merit as well.

He who has not learned to render prompt and willing service to others will find it difficult to win and keep the goodwill and cooperation of his subordinates.

A leader will kindle interest, teach, aid, correct and inspire. Those whom he leads will cooperate with him in maintaining discipline for the good of the group. He will instruct his followers on the goals towards which to strive and create in them a sense of mutual effort for attaining the goal.

Culled from The Wisdom of the Rastafari by Haile Selassie, a short anthology of quotes from Haile Selassie compiled by a Rastafarian group.

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