Influence is not a Function of the Position You Occupy- Daniel Olubunmi

Daniel Olubunmi, a 500L Clinical Student (Physiotherapy), College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University and a Student Leadership Model shares his views on youths, leadership and the future. Join us as we Walk The Talk with him in this Interview.

Daniel Olubunmi, NELOC Media

NNI: Can we meet you? (Personal, Education, Career wise and everything else you want us to know)

Guest: I'm Daniel Olubunmi, a 500L Clinical Student (Physiotherapy), College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I'm the first child of 3 children and hail from Modakeke, Ife East Area Local Government, Osun State. I finished my both primary and secondary education at the Royal Nursery & Primary School and Royal Comprehensive High School, Modakeke, Osun State, respectively. I'm a believer, a Multi-Instrumentalist, a student leader on  Campus, a Corporate Compere and a Public Speaker with major focus on Youth inclusion in politics and leadership, Social media and Entrepreneurship. This is what I basically do, in conquering my locality.


NNI: What defines social development and impactful leadership for you?

Guest: Social development is basically anything that moves the society forward, anything that contributes to the society. My definition of impactful leadership is leadership where one makes impacts, influence lives positively, makes disciples and have people go on to do very amazing things.


NNI: Is leadership a mix of different skills? What exactly makes up complete leadership?

Guest: Yes, leadership is a mix of different skills. There are a lot of skills that come together to make a good leader, and so along the way, we just constantly learn different things, we keep on adding different things to it. For example, empathy, you know, being able to empathize with people, and listen, you have to be able to learn how to listen. Leaders listen. Another example is reading - leaders read. You have to develop yourself. Leaders put others first. Leaders are firm, you have to learn how to be affirmative and not mean, at the same time. Leaders are good decision makers. So there are so many skills that come together to make a good leader. So it's just something we keep on layering on because it's not one thing that makes a leader, a couple of things come together to make good leader.
Daniel Olubunmi


NNI: It is usually said that a leader must be a follower. How realistic is this?

Guest: When we talk about, a leader being a follower, the first thing I think in this context is, leadership is about the "followers", about  the people that follow you. As a leader, you must make these people your priority, you must listen to their needs. In that way, you follow them. You must make them the centre. That way, you're following the people that you lead. But in another context, when you talk about leaders being followers, it also means, as a leader, you have to have someone that's leading you as well, someone you're mentored by or someone you're constantly learning from. That way, you're a follower. Sometimes, you learn how to be a good leader, by learning how to follow.


NNI: How have you managed leadership and influence?

Guest: Leadership is essentially influence, and influence is not a function of the position you occupy, but a function of the leadership and sound counsel you proffer. Leadership is who you are before what you do.

So leadership is really the ability to influence other people. In this sense, it is to influence other people to do positive things. The most important part of leadership is influence, because if you're not influencing anybody, nobody is going to follow you. If you do not influence anybody, you're not making any impact. These two, cannot be separated.


NNI: By global trends, there is a call for youths to take leadership. How best can a youth position himself to be worthy of leadership?

Guest: A young person can position himself to be a leader by deciding to be a valuable person. The first thing is working on yourself. The first step is YOU. I work on myself, I want to be a "young leader" and position myself as a person of value, so I'm giving value to people in my community. It's just as if I'm giving value to the people that are on my WhatsApp contact list. So basically, developing yourself, and in too little ways that you can contribute. People think leadership is always about being in the front, maybe leadership is as simple as, Ohhh, some people are having a conference, and I want to volunteer to be an Usher, that is leadership. That is positioning yourself in the community to be worthy of leadership.



NNI: What is the measure of good leadership? Do you think social impact  can be measured?

Guest: It can be measured. There are some things you can't exactly measure, but impact will always be seen, like that's the thing, impact will always show, it'll be obvious. You can't have impacts, and it's invisible. So the metric for measuring it may differ, but impact is a measurable stuff, it's something you can see, something tangible. Not like, ohh this is the road I built, sometimes, it is the influence in people lives.



NNI: What is your view on Global Youth Development and growth? Do you think we are making progress?

Guest: Yes, we're making a lot of progress on Global youth development and growth. A lot of young people are becoming more aware, and I think awareness is the first step, and that is growth, especially in Nigeria, across Africa and across the world. So I think that's good, even out of the progress, young people are speaking out, young people are taking actions, young people are leading.


NNI: From your recent social media activities, it shows how well you have fused your personal brand into your love for promising leadership. How did you achieve this?

Guest: Well, there's a need to educate the people coming behind us, it's key. A lot of young people wants to be a leader, but they don't know how to achieve this, they basically don't know where to start from, and some are afraid of the unknown, while others are over-ambitious. So I've been able to gather enough contents on student leadership from my experiences as a student leader, and also pointers from friends in their different fields, tailoring it to meet the needs and curiosities of the younger ones. This is why I have embarked on a campaign for sustainable leadership via my social media platforms, to educate this current generation, and make Nigeria a better place to live.


NNI: What is your advice to fellow young individuals?

Guest: To fellow young individuals, leadership is a process, one step at a time, you have all the time to develop yourself and add value to yourself, this way, you'll stay relevant. Most importantly, build your character and strive to have a strong conviction. Money, position or office could influence and establish relationships, but it's not enough to sustain it. Only a ripe character can.

Ask for help, if there need be, and extend help to the next person, with whatever you have in your capacity, volunteer for an event, meet new people and make friends, it'll help build a network of people, of like minds, around you. Finally, be deliberate, be conscious and be intentional about leadership.

NNI: What should we expect from you in the near future? Any intentions to go into full time politics? Any big plans?

Guest: Full-time politics? (Laughs) I cannot categorically say yet. This is just the starting point. Definitely, there are plans, but then, man plans, God decides! The difference will tell in matter of few years to come. Basically, the major goal is to be fruitful and multiply, into building the Nigeria of our dreams, and subsequently, making impacts throughout the Continent of Africa.

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