Pawns typically have one move forwards.
Knights have two moves forward or backward, and left or right.
Bishops have long diagonal moves.
Rooks make long or short straight moves.
The Queen moves in any direction.
The King moves one step in any direction and it’s capture ends the game.
In life there are leaders who think like pawns.
Pawn leaders are great for solving immediate problems but that’s as far as they go.
They rarely see further than the immediate.
On the chess board pawns are of little value and are easily replaced.
They rarely last long enough to see the game through.
This is a fitting metaphor for leadership and when we’re looking for leaders we need to ask:
Can you see further than the immediate?
What will the landscape look like when you leave that position?
Many of the leaders on the landscape can’t convincingly answer that question.
The trouble with Africa is that she has picked pawn thinkers to lead.
We have made decisions based on current problems that will not make sense in even as little as 5 or 10 years. We’ve consistently chosen pawns.
If a people are pawns rather than kings in their thinking they will choose leaders like themselves. This is because we tend to choose leaders who best reflect our values and aspirations.
As we ponder over those hankering to sit in the leadership seat wherever we are, a vital question to ask is this: is your leader a pawn?