“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about
one life influencing another.”– John C. Maxwell.
John Maxwell may well have been commenting after observing the
trajectory of Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN’s career. Without a doubt, the life the
distinguished lawyer has lived is exemplary but more importantly, it is
one revealing how long ago his training for the heights he’s now attained began.
Others who have taken time out to study the man would say they saw
the signs of his leadership qualities while he was still at his alma mater,
the University of Ile-Ife (present-day Obafemi Awolowo University) as
soon as he became the first President of the Law Society from a minority
ethnic group at the institution.
Naturally, detractors will declare it simplistic to conclude from one
position held as a student, how much of a great leader Mr.Usoro.
Touché, there is much more required to qualify as one who can don the
robes of leadership especially of a vital institution as the NBA. This then
brings us to retrace steps further back into the past to pull up a record
littered with impressive exhibitions of leadership after another.
The early signs from Ile-Ife were a foretelling of his gigantic steps in the
corporate world and the private sector where Mr. Usoro has held and
continues to hold key leadership positions at several esteemed
companies. From being Chairman of the Access Bank Audit Committee
to that of other as varied as the Airtel Bharti, NBET, and the Premium
Pensions LTD boards. Factor in his time as Chairman of the Board of
Marina Securities, PZ Cussons as well as his time with the Credit Bureau and you could easily get blinded by the qualifications he’s amassed over the past few decades.
Respect from his peers, the fact that his law firm Paul Usoro & Co has
thrived in up to 3 cities under his leadership as well as the undeniable
evidence of how often he is called upon to apply his druid like knowledge and leadership skills across Abuja, Lagos and Uyo is resounding evidence of his pedigree as a leader.
John Maxwell insists that a good leader is close enough to relate to
others while far enough to motivate them to get better. Again, in this
regard, Paul Usoro is an easy going, soft spoken individual, not moved
to haughtiness as a result of his position in life, not given to the air of
inaccessibility that often envelopes men of his status and always willing
to ensure the functionality of whatever team happens to come his way.
Simply put, Mr.Usoro is the type of leader who does not lead from the
front but one who is committed to leading from within the trenches,
alongside those he is leading.
Another John Maxwell leadership quote goes thus; “a leader who
produces other leaders multiplies their influence.” No truer words exist to describe Paul Usoro. Devoted to mentorship and the consistency of
shared knowledge, he is a leader who wants others to soar to the greatest heights. At a time when the NBA could do with ensuring that welfare and a true sense of belonging areubiquitous not just at the top but across every level, the job description for the sort of leader currently needed seems tailor-made for Mr.Usoro.
The best leaders always want others to win, they realize that such a
scenario only escalates to a reality that spurs society on to greatness.
Such is the measure of the man and leader Paul Usoro is, greatness
personified, greatness shared.