ESM Ngui Freedom for Human Happiness Theory of Leadership and Development

If you do not know the way, where you are going, any way can lead you there. Thus the more human one becomes the more fulfilled one becomes. This means achieving the ultimate life purpose which is self-satisfaction comes with making certain essential factors available for this goal to be achieved. The greatest of all these factors is freedom.

For someone to get satisfaction, they must grow, for someone to grow; they must have potential such that if all factors are availed, each human being would flourish equally. In this case, when all resources and environment is right, the result is not happiness but one factor which is the pillar parent of happiness. This resulting pillar is called freedom. Freedom then makes it possible for growth to take place.

Growth is a process of achieving. When someone is achieving he or she is seen to be happy.  When a student successfully graduates from an undergraduate program, finds a well-paying job and immediately joins a post-graduate program, he or she feels content with the life progress. However, one factor makes the feeling of happiness possible. That is, as long as the person in question is following the success journey at will, pursuing a course they like and working for an employer they voluntary like and not as may be predetermined by certain factors that would otherwise leave the person with no choice but to go back to school and practice in any available career. This is freedom. That which individuals do or achieve in freedom gives makes them happy.

This hereby explains that freedom is a function that leads to an end called happiness.

When the level of happiness begins to go down, a gap called a feeling of lacking begins. In a vice versa, this feeling of lacking is an indication of diminishing freedom. It means that someone is being deprived of the basic factors that facilitate the presence freedom. Using the opposite of the student example above, a student who attends school because he or she has no choice, is forced to pursue a particular degree to meet his or her parent’s dreams and expectations, feels more oppressed throughout the very same process of achieving. This explains that when all factors of resources and environment are right they will clearly not always result to happiness. In the absence of freedom it is clearly impossible for human beings to be happy. Among the very key factors of development for growth of human beings is an element of freedom which later grows to be the sum combination of all other resources such as finances, time and environment.

Clearly, life happens as a subjection to getting and lacking- the extremes to which one is content with what they get, the happier they are said to be. Hence, an understanding of the United Nations Development Program happiness index which is based on superficial approach to happiness of general access to material things and the availability of all resources but fails to emphasize on the significance of freedom. Arguably, the concentration of the happiness index fails to explain the existence of situational factors such as negative peace whereby a very successful marriage between two persons who have successful careers, good health and beautiful children residing in a beautiful house still end up in divorce. This is the unresolved puzzle of human race which for a longtime has seen motivational speakers come up with life skills approach with catchy book topics such as “10 key points to a happy home” , however, all these have being in vain. The spoken and most avoided topic, as well as the most oppressed subject by governments especially among developing countries is freedom. Freedom is the solution to the human race puzzle.

Leadership must be driven by one agenda of fulfilling human happiness by bringing equilibrium between mankind and nature as described in the sustainable development model. However, the role of man is influenced by freedom as opposed to mere understanding of the impacts of his development actions on nature. The first approach should be to embrace that it is in the willingness of man to follow all development approaches that determines whether or not development will happen. Laws govern the people and bring about a sense of uniformity in how man carries out his activities on the planet earth however, if man is forced to do good then that good is in vain. Man’s action is influenced by his strong will and desire to achieve something, his specific drive is catalyzed more by the freedom to pursue the desires of his heart, but the presence of law imposes how man should behave and instills fear in man to act as described in a transactional model. However, this only alters maximum exploration of the full potential of man. Man needs to exist in a free environment to perform to his maximum potential.

In addition, human beings have found in their capacity ways to make themselves happy amid a situation where leadership governs with a focus on image that promotes the agenda of politicians and other persons considered influential or possessing the great man’s theory personalities. The existence of rich countries whose citizens are suffering internally explains that happiness is achieved through other means and ways other than money and excellent infrastructure. This may explain why Rwandese refugees are still immigrants in foreign countries yet the media advertises Rwanda as the next destination for tourist attraction.

There are more aspects of life that prove fulfillment to man’s happiness other than developmental ones. The center of them is freedom. Leadership needs to focus on the people’s freedom, failure to which people feel oppressed or bullied to submit to the will of their leaders. It is like Pedagogy explained in how education is administered to students who are said to be active contributors of knowledge while in the real sense they are forced to consume knowledge and learn from a teacher’s experience. Usually, in a developing country a student’s contribution to knowledge ends in an assignment presentation. Even the contribution of the student to knowledge is a forced one as it is mandatory class participation.

Therefore, the happiness measure is seen as a failing one. For instance, Singapore measure of happiness is seen as a lower one compared to Somalia which is less developed
We could argue that persons in Somalia are liberated on certain sociocultural attributes as compared to Singapore residents. A good demonstration is in the family tree and population size growth. While Singapore suffers an ageing population due to controlled birthrate, Somalis have a leeway to have as many children as they would wish

To fulfill people’s lives requires leadership to understand where their country is destined by understanding all factors that make talents visible and growth possible. Hereby, successful leadership is about creating conditions for happiness so that each person finds growth in life, but most importantly, a country needs to invest in policies that create environments for work that are free from full authoritarian control and conflict. The forceful nature of what must be done, when and how such as when to start attending school, what to learn and how to learn it only yields a small happiness result compared to individuals following what is truly dear to their hearts.

A closer look at the desire and hedoism theories further explains that authentic happiness is one which allows for the “Full Life” approach which involves a life that satisfies all three criteria of happiness; the Pleasant Life (pleasures), the Good Life (engagement), and the Meaningful Life. Happiness is hereby the result of getting what you want and not what others wish for you to get (Griffin, 1986). Leadership hereby needs to observe a model of management which engages people to present to the table their most pressing issues and vote against the list to identify the most common need among the people instead of the leaders always defining what they think is best for the people by means of intuition. The approach of preparing political manifesto during an election season is a clear demonstration that explains why people will always be unhappy regardless of how good the government is doing. For example a leader could by observation identify that a community requires improved roads infrastructure whilst the people’s most burning need is to construct dams or drill boreholes to resolve a threatening water condition in the area. As much as the leader has met one of the most important needs for the people, they still feel the leader would have done them much further good by digging a borehole for them. Consequently, if a community was left to pick what was best for the people, without question, the leadership would be serving the people by having the people’s needs first at heart. Therefore, leadership that is genuinely designed and targeted at the people is one that maximizes on creating and building opportunities that enhance feelings of pleasure and minimizes pain. According to the Objects List theory, happiness is achieved when human beings achieve certain things such as career growth, trustworthy friendships, good health, material comforts, beauty, education, love and knowledge among other items that are significantly unique to individuals.

The role of leaders is to help human beings improve living conditions so that they can improve their fulfillment to enjoy some happiness. Therefore, leadership must be people centered such that development happens on the people and not people working on and around development. It is also critical that leadership focuses on the perspective that development is for the people and not people for the development.

For you to be a leader, you must understand what people are looking for beyond the superficial measure of happiness for your followers. Your strategic approach a s a leader must be one that allows freewill to manifest among people engaging in development. This is simply promoting freedom. When people lack freedom then they are living under slavery. This is best seen with the inequalities experienced in globalization presented such critical cases as cultural imperialism, whereby people are supposed to work, perform and live in certain ways controlled by the so powerful Western and American countries. Therefore, the advocacy for sustainable development that uses the approach of participation will be a failed one not until the United Nations among other international agencies step forward to advocate for the protection of certain aspects of freedom that are otherwise not discussed in legal books. The probability of one country being more developed than another does not imply that the culture and beliefs of the developing country is inferior and that business must be conducted as directed by the more established counties. Innovation requires freedom to grow.

Leadership that embraces the approach of freedom for development therefore should be conceptualized under the following key pillars:

  1. Trust n therefore truth
  2. Justice n therefore law and order
  3. Morally sound decisions for development

The above three pillars are the platform needed for the prosperity of this theory whereby leadership must demonstrate and achieve:

  1. Accountability
  2. Transparency
  3. Responsibility
  4. Uniformity- the extent to which people function under a common rule of law
    -Individuals act willingly according to social order
    -There are two approaches: / it is not an excuse to avoid responsibility / individuals cannot rule themselves independently
  5. Responsiveness- defines the call to action, people free n willful contribution to development

Having realized the value of freedom in leadership, the huddle for transparent and truthful leadership that promotes freedom for and among individuals especially among developing countries is corruption.

Corruption is the greatest challenge for a leadership that observes transparency and accountability. However, absence of corruption may not be used to imply that developing countries would develop better without corruption. An environment that fails in practice of transparency and accountability is an indication of leadership that has to oppress its people for personal benefit, and therefore, the people’s freedom is abused.

Corruption is an indication of opportunities that are redirected for use through the wrong channels. These particular opportunities are kept away from the people and thus clearly, these very same opportunities are what is requirement as the vital breath for people’s growth. Denying people opportunities for growth is denying them freedom.

Corruption is evident in Africa due to a system of monopoly in business which is usually influenced by discretional power which assumes accountability. Goods from these companies are usually compromised not to meet everyone’s expectations. As much as it may be argued that all goods are quality and of the same standard, in the world of monopoly model of business, there are individual persons who will still feel that they could really find better deals if only presented with more alternatives to pick from. This is a sign of sold freedom.

In a corrupt field, a virtue of truth which is a child to prudence is seen to suffer diminishing essence as leaders ignore the fact that they are assigned integrity responsibility by the people. Corruption hinders the open room for transparent decision making which is a propelling tool for sustainable development Therefore, the following understanding of the definition of leadership is recommended for both a leader and the followers to advocate for freedom as a key component of development hence achieving ESM Ngui Freedom for Human Happiness Theory of Leadership and Development as a successful leadership approach:

1) Purposeful (act of to lead)
2) Vision ( leader)
3) Mission (leadership- which is the process)
4) Function (virtue souled to justice)
5) human function (reasoning well)
6) Knowing who knowing what


Rostow, 1960 The Stages Of Economic Growth