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The rare jewel of effective leadership Billy C Sichone
The rare jewel of effective leadership Billy C Sichone

The rare jewel of effective leadership

Billy C Sichone

Dubrin J Leadership

Bower et al, Business Policy

Executive Excellence, 1999 issues

Copy right © 2000 Billy C Sichone

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, digital, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the copyright owner. Exceptions however hold in the case of brief quotations for academic or article purposes.


The subject of leadership can not be ignored if we are to talk about increasing company output as well as a motivated teamwork. Leaders are a “hot cake” in today’s turbulent environment where organisations need to be constantly changing if they are to remain buoyant. Good leaders are on ever increasing demand and expensive to lose or hire.

The paper that lies in your hands contains the thoughts and research that I undertook in the years between 1998 and 2000 during MBA studies. It has been interesting to learn that Manager / leaders are scarce and extremely critical now more than ever before. It has also been refreshing to note that teamwork is now being adopted everywhere. I was personally elated when World Vision Zambia started talking more about it and went steps further to implement it. This was done when the Program Managers begun attending Leadership Training Courses at University of South Africa (UNISA) resulting in much better relations and work culture.

I must confess that I was shocked to discover that Leadership and

Management are radically different. I have always assumed that they are one and the same thing. I stand at the apex of my research and trace my trail, how so different things look! How so mind opening the study has been!

I have handled this subject in four sections in the following

fashion: Firstly, I have given a general overview of leadership of yesterday and today. In the second place, I have sought to concentrate on effective

leadership. In doing this, I have shown the nature and marks an effective leader, how to develop leadership, the results of good leadership and then, I have wrapped up the whole work by giving my own personal views about leadership tomorrow and beyond. I have exited the orbit of leadership by giving some recommendations.

If this work will help some soul, it will much delight the author.


Billy C Sichone














The nature of true leadership


Types of leadership


International leadership in perspective


Effective leadership defined


Marks of an effective leader


Developing effective leadership qualities


Results & effects of good leadership


Effective leadership tomorrow and beyond


Conclusions & recommendations




Appendix i


Appendix ii


Appendix iii




About the Author


I would like to thank all those that helped me in the preparation of this paper. I salute the entire crew at BARCH computers for putting up with those long demanding hours typing my scribbled manuscripts. Most of all, my heart was strangely warmed to think about Jane my dear one. Her presence in my mind and life made the sweat worthwhile.

Lastly, I salute all the sources I consulted in compiling this volume. I have listed most of them in the Bibliography


To my dear wife, who stood by my side while I painstakingly laboured away to

To my dear wife, who stood by my side while I painstakingly laboured away to produce this book To my Parents, that saw me from the cradle and put steel within my bones. To Mr Lutangu Lubasi who practically demonstrated true and modern leadership while I served under him I remain indebted

The rare jewel of effective leadership

The rare jewel of effective leadership

! ! " # $ % &



! " # $ % & ' #### As partial fulfilment of the MBA leadership course,

As partial fulfilment of the MBA leadership course, I undertook a research to look at leadership in general and effective leadership in particular. The subject at hand was necessitated by the fact that some modern day managers do not seem to tick as expected. Having stumbled across a number of books and magazines on the leadership topic, I felt the answer lay around the lack of proper leadership at management level. In Zambia leadership is a relatively new concept, because the majority of managers belong to the traditional school of management thought where a manager is perceived as the boss who causes everybody to tremble when he/she appears on the scene. Historically, Managers generally are viewed as a class of people who are comfortable executives that order every one around as well as hire & fire workers at will. This has been the dark picture hither to, but thankfully, the sun of leadership is beginning to rise over the horizon. In agile and progressive organisations like World vision International, leadership, teamwork and constant change are established buzzwords. People are aware of the latest developments and are quickly adapting. In this paper, we seek to answer the question “What is effective leadership?

In coming up with this paper, I consulted a wide range of books from many disciplines relating to the subject at hand. Some books were ancient while others were relatively current. The attached bibliography and case studies eloquently tell the story.

It is hoped that a perusal of this work will clearly give my own perception and appreciation of the subject at hand. Effective leaders are indeed a rare jewel and need of the times.

(((( )))) **** )))) #### ++++

ver the past few years, the subject of leadership yea, effective leadership

has come into sharp focus. To the curious mind, the question is why? Why put so much emphasis on leadership now and not in the past? Having talked about management for many years, why the sudden shift? Is it another passing management fad? Almost every management book on the market today has devoted at least a chapter or mentions leadership. As earlier intimated, in yester-years, much weight was on management practice, procedures and maintaining the status quo because people believed that a manager was nothing more than one who controls, directs, coordinates and plans activities. But as time went on, it was discovered that for some reasons, management was not working too well in terms of achieving the desired and expected results. Thus, investigations and research were instituted to discover the root causes and to find out a new way to get round this hurdle. Therefore, as time went on, people started coming up with probable reasons and possible solutions. As such, a number of theories came up that pointed to leadership as the ultimate solution, at least for now. Leadership is a wide subject but suffice it to say that there is the informal and formal leadership that is further broken down into at least three leadership theories namely, the traits theory, the style theory and the contingency theory. Admittedly much has been written on this subject and a plethora of books entirely devoted to leadership theory have filled libraries in hard copy form or no ϒ . The said books seek to define more clearly what leadership theory is, its genesis and development across the decades, its practical outworking and the end of leadership. As one author has aptly quipped, ‘ leadership is the only vehicle for tomorrows’ development…’ ς As we prepare to tread in years of the unfolding new millennium, let us always remember that the road on which we now walk is in some sense new yet old. Let us get some detail on the said subject because ‘leadership forms the bridge between organisation goals and individual goals and is the crucial element in determining the





ϒ Dubrin says that over 30,000 research articles and magazine articles etc have been written in the last century alone. Another, Maylor suggests that an electronic library reference gave over 6, 000 references on leadership theory alone!

Mitchell Beazley: Organization theory Page 86.


!!!! L eadership has now taken the centre stage in Management circles as this has proved

Leadership has now taken the centre stage in Management circles as this has proved to be more effective mode to unleash the latent potential within fellow team members. As opposed to the now obsolete way of the traditional “Bossy” kind of management, the latest trends of leadership permeate the organisation with a fresh fragrance of new pragmatic motivational ethics. Nowadays there is more talk about effective leadership rather than just general leadership. But wherein does effective leadership consist? What exactly is effective leadership?

Leadership, in its simplest form, is defined as the ability to influence and inspire others towards a worthwhile goal. Effective leadership goes a step further than the aforementioned definition. Writers like Heller accurately define it as “the key to truly effective leadership lies in mastering a wide range of skills, from implementing and administering processes to inspiring others to achieve excellence . As can be seen, this definition states that for one to be effective, they must have a wide knowledge in many a field and be able to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself. The leader, among other things, must be visionary and able to inspire confidence in others by being a challenge, trust others, a mentor, coach, motivator via compliments and rewards, approachable, able to seat with subordinates and give a sympathetic and empathetic listening ear. The said leader does not content him/herself to know about the general things regarding the workmates but goes out of his/her way to know the back ground details which might affect out put as well as the best ways to delegate and build a team spirit among workmates. This may well mean taking time off to visit team members on the job, at home, in a social gathering, having informal chats over a drink or cup of tea as well as going for workouts together after hours. This has the effect of reducing suspicions and prejudices that people harbour. Once people feel valued and needed, they open up and are willing to take on bigger challenges as well as risks to innovate and promote the cause of the organisation rather that remaining indifferent and aloof. They “own the goal” as it were, due to the effective leader’s contagious influence. The effective leader is systematic, highly organised and focused on what he/she wants to achieve. He/she sets benchmarks of quality, time frames and is determined that others catch the ropes as well. This further means that the said leader is continuously willing to listen and learn from others who ever they may be (Whether young or old, subordinates or superiors etc), gains experience by the day, and makes every effort to master own function as well as others’ functions. The time has arrived when one must be multitalented and have a good working knowledge about other disciplines. Gone are the days when the Manager knew next to nothing about Marketing or finance, for example. The 21 st century leader must have a firm grasp of all the areas in order to confidently lead. Apart from the afore mentioned points, the leader must ensure he/she is able to detect strengths and weaknesses in others and positively facilitate the strengthening of the positive sides while gently correcting the weak sides. Having done the above, in the leader hurtles along to deal with the preparatory work to leadership, which culminates into forming teams over which the selfsame leader,

Effective leadership, Robert Heller page 5

exercises authority in a prudent and efficient fashion. Under team work, the issues of delegation, communication, decision making (through discussions and brain storming sessions initially), goal setting, analysing problems and giving support to staff in agreed areas of implementation are dealt with. The last part the leader deals with is the all important area of motivating others, establishing a vision, generating ideas, ideal management style (in this case, open management), boosting achievements and finally, being competitive with respect to the outsiders. This competitive advantage is realised by first treating the internal customers Employees well who in turn will go out of their way to treat the external customer most diligently and courteously. Remember, the customer is king! This approach to business works wonders for the organisation in that it produces product loyalty and woos many more to the company products. Furthermore, the effective leader must develop an apt acumen to network, identify and exploit opportunities through taking risks as well. Self SWOT analysis and frequent introspection and refocusing are critical. Further more, the leader must be bent on success and all out to win for his/her team.


As earlier intimated, leadership is defined generally as the ability to inspire confidence in others by influencing them towards a goal. This, among many things, includes the prowess to challenge others, give them confidence to and the “tools” to achieve a goal to which you are leading them. A leader is neither a boss nor a manager primarily but is robust, highly energised, resilient, astute, racy, inspirational, magnetic and visionary. He or she has a passion and longing to achieve something while carrying others along. In other words, leadership is the ability to challenge, attract & stimulate others to achieve worthwhile goals ο as well as to solicit support among the people in the organisation and otherwise. Leadership entails teamwork, partnership and an ability to build cohesive friendships with others leaving an indelible mark on the tablets of their hearts. There is a difference between a leader & a manager. A leader may not necessarily hold office but affects others while a manager usually holds office and basically ensures that the planned objectives are implemented and controlled towards an appointed end. In my research upon the subject of leadership, almost all the books I consulted had a section on “leadership verses management” and this for a good reason. I think that this whole area of leadership has been either veiled under management or indeed been assumed that all managers are leaders. As earlier intimated, in a way, that assertion is correct but needs to be qualified out because some managers have proved demotivators rather than motivators. Generally, as Harvey Maylor (1999) aptly puts it, that “Management is the technical discipline of applying and administering authority over others which is given through the formalised structural arrangement of Organisation.” While “leadership is the quality of obtaining results from others through personal influence…” Clearly, we can see that whereas management largely depends on the structural organisation make up, leadership is independent in the sense that the leader possesses certain traits and attributes that influence other to do something. The manager has authority by virtue of office and exists basically to control, direct and coordinate activity to their appointed ends while the leader may not necessarily hold office to have things done. Furthermore, the leader handles change, takes risks and influences new decisions while the manager has a delimited area of


operation. , ' !



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Ensures things are going according to plan


Can face change, leads into new frontiers optimistically.


Usually directs, controls resources


Inspires confidence in others



Authority base is the Office



Not necessarily an office holder


Usually limited in operations













Will not usually take risks



A dreamer & risk taker



Short term in out look usually- The manager is operational rather then forward looking.


Long term out look and visionary









Gets on well with people & solicits their support




Not necessarily creative and /seeks to maintain standards








Task oriented-Plan, implement and control budgets etc.


Not really task oriented but visionary & goal oriented


More concerned with results rather than mentoring


Builds others & hires other leaders


Is above everyone considered boss, self sufficient, always correct








1 1 People like Hary Chamers believe that one can be appointed a manager, not a leader, meaning that leadership is not automatic upon assuming management status. Executive excellence volume 16 # 12 August 1999.

2. Harvey maylor: project management pp168

Ο Dubrin: leadership, page 2

As can be seen from the table, the leadership function, although traditionally part of the management function (motivating) is quite a discipline on its own. The question that begs answering at this stage perhaps is,” is it possible for an individual to be both a manager and a leader in the same context? I think it is possible because effective managers have been leaders in their own right. Zalenik (1977) pondered over this and commented as follows:

What is the best way to develop leadership? Every society provides its own answer to this question, and each grouping for answering, defines its deepest concerns about the purposes, distributions and uses of power. Business has contributed its leadership to the leadership question by evolving a new breed called the manager. Simultaneously, business has established a new power ethic that favours collective over individual leaders, the cult of the group over that of personality. While entrusting the competence, control and the balance or power relations among groups with the potential for rivalry, managerial leadership unfortunately does not necessarily ensure imagination, creativity, or ethical behaviour in guiding the destinies of corporate

1 Harvey Maylor: project management page 170

enterpriseχ . We can see then that a person can wear both caps but the degree is what varies from person to person, though some will still argue that leadership is automatic when one assumes management status. Further still, another school of thought seems to suggest that all managers must of necessity be leaders Υ . Drucker’s statement is worth quoting at this stage in relation to management leadership:

The manager is the dynamic life – giving element in every business, without his leadership, the resources of production remain resources and never become production. In a competitive economy above all, the quality and performance of the managers determine the success of the business, indeed they determine its survival. For the quality and performance of its managers is the only effective advantage an enterprise in a competitive economy can have” Peter Drucker, one of the fore most respected management gurus of our time, is correct in asserting that leader- managers are critical to the progress and success of any entity. In a nutshell then, management and leadership are different in their functions, scope, power base and the extent of influence. The one largely depends on the office while the other (leadership) emanates from personal attributes and qualities. Having differentiated management from leadership, we do well to state that successful managers are usually faced with a mammoth task to the extent that their health degenerates leading to death, in some extreme cases. Stress builds up as a result of someone excessively exerting themselves without rest until the body begins to feel tired all the time as no avenue to vent out excessively piled loads. The first sign of

stress are fatigue, forgetfulness, restlessness & failure to concentrate for long. It is reported that it is almost like Japan, the stress levels are so high to the extent that it is almost a decree that people must go on leave at least once a year. Although on paper this maybe true, the vast majority cannot imagine abandoning their office even for a few hours. Thus, many a leader suffers health breakdowns later in life. Many have suggested ways to handle stress, and mailer suggests the four Ps* as follows:

1. Plan your way out of a situation – sit and strategise before hand.

2. Pace yourself – Don’t try to do everything alone and at the same time or at once.

3. Pamper yourself – reward yourself for goals accomplished or plans completed

4. Piss yourself laughing – the healing power of laughter is enormous – the Bible says “laughter is good for the heart” – Proverbs

Many a manager falls into the trap of wanting to achieve as much as possible at the expense of health but a good leader will recognise the danger and seek to avert it. But how can a leader protect him/herself against extremes?

1. Know yourself, limits, strengths and weaknesses

2. Do some exercise – don’t ever convince yourself that you are too busy to do some workouts, go to a club etc

3. Socialise – there is time for everything under the sun. There is time to work and time to relax. Walk around, visit friends, workmates and just take your mind off work

4. Switch off your cell phone or buy another sim card when on leave. Nowadays with the advent of modern technology, we can trace someone almost at every point on the earth. If you are to “switch off” the outside world, then give your

χ Harvey Maylor: project management page 168 Υ Harvey Maylor: project management page 172

mobile phone to another and get another number which is restricted to a select non- business folk.

5. Effectively train others to take over your functions. An effective leader is not afraid to delegate or teach others to do their job. This increases the knowledge base in the organisation and gives more time to the leader to concentrate on other things, thereby reducing the workload.

6. Involve your family at every point. Covey’s book on highly effective families is a handy guide on this. The goal is to have family members empowered to do any work so that they assist in some assignments. Half the time, spouces have no clue what the other is up to. Ironically, we hear of situations where one is dying of stress while the other is perpetually dead bored and on mental holiday.

7. Sometimes, stand back and relax. Take a deep breath, think through things and then commence the work. This usually applies to managers but leaders too do need time to relax. The best time is before beginning the day or when the settings in the brain begin to clog up. Disengage and then restart after some time. I have found great refreshment and reinvigoration afterwards. Meditation is helpful to recharge the brain cells.

There are other ways of protecting your health such as talking to people, about nothing big particularly, attending some social gathering such as church or indeed taking a holiday to some place for a retreat with your spouse. There is great benefit now and henceforth health wise. Remember: Don’t break the horse (your body) God gave you to manage!

,,,, 0000 1111 (((( 2222 ---- 3333 **** 4444 ####1111 ϕϕϕϕ “All managers develop a style of leading or motivating surbodinates”, says Edwin B. Flippo in his book “Personnel management” Κ . Flippo continues to define leadership style as ‘a pattern of behaviour designed to integrate organisational and personal interests in pursuit of some objective” κ . Obviously, the writer (Flippo) assumes that every manager is a leader! Υ This could be true to some extent but as to whether all are effective is an entirely different matter. Styles vary widely from the total autocrat to the almost total democrat, where people do as they please. In between these extremes are the various shades that colour the leadership spectrum. The total autocratic leader usually belongs to the traditional class where the influence is derived from the office rather than personal attributes. In this scenario, the person is given too much power by virtue of holding office and can do as he/she pleases. The selfsame leader rides a high horse, is untouchable, makes decisions alone and passes them down the hierarchy and all must bow to the “decree” or risk being chucked out. Further more, the autocrat does not interact with the operatives closely but revolves in a unique executive orbit, with little or no touch with reality. The autocratic is egocentric as seen in fig 1 below. Having asserted the above, we must hasten to say that the same autocratic leaders also do know that they need to motivate people and thus do once in a while declare a bonus or pay rise. Autocratic leaders differ in degree of assertion and yet do have a following as well.

ϕ Refer to appendix 1 for case studies Κ Flippo Edwin B: Personnel Management, page 397 κ Flippo Edwin B: Personnel Management page Υ Check also john kotters’ article “leadership engine”, Executive Excellence magazine April 2000 pp 7

Fig 1 The egocentric autocratic leader always centres on self, authority and power As we

Fig 1

The egocentric autocratic leader always centres on self, authority and


As we veer to the other extreme of the leadership chart, the total democrat almost has no control over the situation at hand. People do as they please; For example, they report or knock off work at any time, unless of course they belong to the virtual office. The underlying belief and principle is that people are completely mature, self- regulative will do the reasonable thing at all-times. Fig 2 below illustrates how the radiant overly liberal leader always gives out with little interaction and feed back from team mates. But nothing could be further from the truth because training alone does not straighten up people. People need an attitude change consistent with their profession & calling in life. In the total democratic environment, nobody questions or is accountable to any one. Varying views on issues will hold sway and the goal not uniform.

Fig 2 The overly liberal leader drives people away by not guiding them or showing

Fig 2 The overly liberal leader drives people away by not guiding them or showing the strategic direction

In dealing with styles, we must not fail to state that leaders are all persuasive and in a way manipulative though the effective leader is sincere and trustworthy in all circumstances. Other attributes such as the open consultative styles, the benevolent, the goal centred or the people centred are true and come in various degrees depending on what side of the pendulum one falls. Fig 3 below attempts to show the ideal effective leader that interacts with team mates thus leading to higher output.

interacts with team mates thus leading to higher output. Fig 3 The effective leader interacts with

Fig 3 The effective leader interacts with team mates, gives and gets prompt feed back

Thus, we have seen that styles differ widely and apply differently in varying places and circumstances. We now turn to zero in on Covey’s principle centred leadership approach because I believe highly effective people do not only have the seven habits reverted on the tablets of their hearts but these habits orbit around a central principle. In other words, all other orbiting traits emanate from a firm personal principal that directs and influences all steps taken. As earlier intimated Stephen Covey’s excellent book “Principle centred leadership” lays down many valuable truths that are critical for one to be effective and revolutionary. In as much as people must begin with the end in mind, have multiple paradigm shifts; they must have a firm principle base from which to propel their actions. Principle centred leadership, to borrow Covey’s phrase, is an excellent point from which to begin operating. What this teaching basically advances is that whatever we do, there are no short cuts to things. If a farmer wants to reap a rich harvest, he has to first clear the area, plough the ground, plant seed and wait for rain, or better still, irrigate the field. As the case may be, he will have to wait for the natural phenomenon like the rain to fall and let the plants germinate. This entire activity takes time and will have to be patiently followed through until harvest time. In a nutshell, for one to operate effectively, they have to work within a certain framework or else short circuit progress. No one has ever short circuited nature and escaped unscathed. Further more, the person must go through multiple paradigm shifts where they see things in a totally different light as well as put a finger on the source of strength-the inner self. Arriving at this stage requires one taking a critical and honest introspective look and then resolving to break with the past so as to achieve new and higher heights. Breaking with the past requires courage, maturity, humility and determination whilst working with a reasonable but highly set goal framework. The principle centred leader must at all costs avoid the ‘Seven deadly sins’ or pitfalls that seek to creep in the way. These are stated as the quest to quickly get wealth without labour, indulge in pleasure thoughtlessly (especially after some success), have an abstract knowledge minus character, go about business without ethics, using modern technology without human touch, being unsacrificial and finally waxing politically eloquent without principle. In every endeavour and sphere, there are rules to be obeyed much like the Christian Ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17, Bible) Having successfully surmounted and evaded the pitfalls, the principled person must know where their power base lies and from whence it comes. The knowledge is critical for prudent utilisation when needed. Also, the leader must leave all communication lines open so that information can freely flow to and fro the person. Clear and timely communication is cardinal for success. Finally, under this head, the person ensures that the family life is equally properly cultivated and not merely relegated to the terraces. Usually, the danger is to be so engrossed in the pursuit of excellence at the expense of the other equally important aspects of life. This is scandalous for a leader. To the contrary, the effective leader is balanced and well rounded recognising the centrality of the family unit. As we know, people thrive from a strong base of a highly effective family where every one is aware of what is going on, is participative and kept within the loop. The smaller private victories are achieved first within the confines of the home and then later mature to bigger and

Consult Covey’s 7 Habits of highly effective people-an excellent manual for all to read.

greater victories. The family is the foundation upon which the superstructure of success is built. In a nutshell, the principled leader sharpens all the family members from the youngest child to the spouse by way of coaching, interacting, complimenting as well as giving them the confidence and vision to succeed. The adage ‘Teach them how to fish today for tomorrow× holds true ultimately.

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Before we move further, and in the light of the changing trends World over, our job would be half done if we did not include a section on international Management/leadership. All along, we have assumed that a leader will apply the same tactics to inspire people. Many Managers have failed miserably on the international scene because of not appropriately applying their leadership skills. As you will notice, the profile of the global Manager is interesting because the said manager could be

recruited from any point of the terrestrial ball. Gone are the days when only local staff could be the only ones recruited for a job. Now, any one can take up the job as long as they have the right qualifications and the acumen to feature on the international scene. In that case, the Manager must be very versatile, active and multitalented to fit in well in varying environments. As such, there is need to be multilingual by mastering more than one language as well as the unspoken cues that go along with the local culture. (a) In addition to the aforementioned point, the International Manager can lead from any country and base. Thus, International experience is crucial for the present and future global manager having a wide mind and rich exposure internationally so as to objectively handle staff problems of various shades. For example, the need to empathise and understand the local situation yet to keep a global focus is key to the success of manger a diverse work force. Closely tied to what has been mentioned is the need to learn to motivate staff. How can one know without empathizing with the workers so as to know their actual needs? Were we to use Standard American motivation practices, they will most probably be out of taste with the local scenario. Thus, there is a way in which one must know the best way to reward and motivate a diverse cultured work force, although still keeping within the corporate culture and goals. The person who will be an excellent international manager and leader must possess the following cultural skills:

1. Maturity- One who is wise and able to handle diverse and sometimes

radically different cultures competently.

2. Emotional stability-The person must not be moody and unpredictable. In one

moment, very warm, friendly and sociable but in the next hostile, argumentative,

bigoted and throwing tantrums all over the place! The Manager must hold him/herself in all situations whilst keeping his/her head in all situations.

3. Considerable breadth of knowledge- It is not enough to have the financial

backing or the acumen, but rather, knowledge must be first resident in the brain and from that platform then launch to deal with each case as it rears its

multicoloured head! The Manager must have a broad knowledge in terms of geography, history, culture, local politics, policies and the possible strategic routes to employ. He/she must also know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that confront the fate of the organization.

4. Adaptability-Having acquired the knowledge and acumen; the manager must

also have an ability to adapt to the circumstances prevailing so as not to appear out of step with the times. In other words, the understanding must trickle down to

× Anonymous

the heart where it will affect the will to accept the situation and do the best to reap maximum benefits both for the organization, employees and the local community. Half the time, the will revolts to stay in a given place and thus, the manager, though knowledgeable and apt will pack his/her bags and return home as a failure. 5. Good attitude and effort- this aspect is closely connected to the above- mentioned point but has more to do with the mindset and the inward disposition

that one has towards life. If one is strictly ruled by his/her SRC | , they will display a bad attitude and thus put in very little effort. Usually, such have a defeatist attitude to a point where even their minds cannot think objectively or strategically. 6. Positive out look- having said the above, the good manager then must cultivate and have a positive out look to whatever situation that confronts him. Optimism should be the hallmark of a good International Manager. But that is not all, some further traits are:

(i) Communication- We live in a world of interdependence as well as an information age. It is therefore not advisable to keep to oneself and only release ‘Press statements’ at irregular intervals while the rest of the time, pitch darkness reigns within the organization. Clandestine, authoritarian and ‘commando’ like managers are out of step with the modern management trends. Effective communication is the key to every thing today.

(ii) Respect-The manager must have due regard for others and not ‘ride a high horse’

where no one is viewed as important as the self. Many an international manager has wrecked their potentially glittering career by arrogance and pride, although they had

unrivalled plans.

(iii) Tolerate ambiguity- The Manager must have a high tolerance of uncertainty

because of the nature of the international scenario. Some people cannot stand being in limbo for long and easily get frustrated, but not so the good manager. Instead, he/she watches the motions of the market and comes up with a pattern over time and yet always giving allowance for sudden change. This calls for patient endurance and resilience. Analytical and logical people are the most in need of this grace.

(iv) Display empathy-Must be able to feel and imagine oneself in the shoes of the

person needing help. Without empathy, it is impossible to appreciate and rightly apply the right remedy in a given situation.

(v) Non judgmental- half the time, without our consciousness, our SRC affects the

way we judge things and situations. Our prior training ,orientation and culture have a

more potent influence than we realize. For instance, what we have termed as ‘moral and right’ may not necessarily the same else where. Thus, the manager must not be dogmatic nor condemn others for holding on to a varying opinion and practice. (vi) Recognise and control the situation aptly and quickly. The astute Manager’s eagle eye must see things and quickly devise a solution long before it happens. This is a rare strength but the good International Manager possesses that discernment and uses it appropriately to handle issues.

(vii) A good sense of humour- Laugh off things and not take things to personal. Care

of course must be taken not to trivialise even important and critical issues. The work of the international Manager who leads people has to contend with various attitudes, beliefs, cultures, and values of the local condition. For instance, in the United States, the company business takes precedence over family and relations where loyalty is given to the entity. In Latin America, the opposite is true. Further more, in the USA, the entity concept of the organisation is espoused strongly while in

| SRC = self reference criterion

other places, the entity cannot be separated from the people. Another difference is the way people view their jobs in a particular organisation. In the West, working for a particular organisation is not viewed as life long while in places like Japan, people devote themselves to one for life along side other relatives and friends. The work relationships are more personal and founded from culture and family while in the States, the grounds of hiring some one is not family attachment or prior knowledge but largely on merit. We may even add the attitude towards working hours as a difference! A Japanese worker will toil tirelessly until the work is complete everyday without minding the knocking off time while an American will content him/herself with the 8 hour schedule, pack bags and go home, whether the work has been accomplished or not! All the above attitudes influence out put and reactions of people towards their vocation. The international manager must contend and contain all these variations. As we continue to look at leadership in general, perhaps it is fitting at this stage to reassert that leadership is different from management because the former has more to do with ones’ traits to influence change rather than to control activities. Various people have said that “leadership deals with interpersonal aspects of a manager’s job, whereas planning, organisation & controlling deals with administrative aspects× . This shows that the leader has to have certain attributes that are fitting to relate to people in a motivational fashion. Further, Dubrin says that “leadership deals with change, inspiration, motivation and influence” γ These attributes are essential for success of any enterprise. Leaders are not afraid to step into the future face change or effect radical transformations. Managers, on the other hand dare not risk anything and would like to keep the status quo as calm as possible. In relation to what we have thus far asserted, we can safely say that “leadership forms the bridge between organisational goals & individual goals and is a crucial element in determining the success of the Organisation.” Ζ We can see that a leader has the following traits. (1) Influence: The ability to change other peoples’ attitudes and behaviour un coerced. (2) Power: The capability to exercise influence over the behaviour of others by virtue of being over some of them. This power can be either coercive, positional or resource power. Many posses power due to either their status or personal attributes. (3) Authority: The right to influence and is equivalent to the legitimate power one possesses. Some people have authority that comes to them either by their magnetic, charming, visionary or maverick character. By these powers, they can effect great changes in an organisation or community. Such leaders are known as transformational or charismatic leaders. Others derive their authority by legal means. “Charisma is a special quality of leaders whose purpose & extraordinary determination differentiates them from others.” ς From the above stand point, the principled person progresses to accomplish more feats outside the home by being open minded creative, quality driven and passionate to transform situations into better places. This is done in a number of ways by firstly

× Dubrin: leadership page 3 γ Dubrin: leadership page 3 Ζ Mitchell Beasley: organization theory page 86 ς Dubrin: leadership page 19

having a personal and corporate mission statement. A mission statement is a summary of the objectives and why the entity exists. The self same statement will not only act as a reminder but as a benchmark to achieve higher heights of usefulness. In my opinion, I think all the people that have graced the leadership spectrum have been men and women of purpose and have operated from a strong principle base. That body of principles has so soaked into their cardiac systems to the end that they have conquered kingdoms upon kingdoms. There is no better way to begin each day and year than with a firm resolution to work within the framework of the natural laws. As earlier intimated, to have a mission in life, a goal, a vision, and a systematically priotised events and activities daily is a prerequisite to effectiveness. There must be a continual desire to improve and to do things more efficiently thereby cutting costs. Having laboured, to expound and define what leadership is in general, we naturally proceed to look at effective leadership in particular.

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When we take up the general subject of leadership, many people assume they qualify as they exercise some influence in one way or the other in their respective spheres of operation, but are all leaders effective? Do they reap the same results when they take up task? We hardly need to labour the point because the answer is clear: Not all are as effective. Highly effective people are leaders but they are much more superior in that when they take up a task; they succeed where others have failed or sweated to achieve similar results. In other words, an effective leader possesses intrinsic and internalised powers to get things done. For example, the effective leader builds teams, empowers people, coaches colleagues and has the capability to cause people to unleash their hidden potential to produce high results. Effective leaders are charismatic and possess certain unique characteristics to be highlighted later.


Having briefly defined an effective leader, we proceed to discover how an established leader can actually be even more productive.

How can a leader improve his/her effectiveness? What gadgets will he or she use to achieve maximum potential? A number of ways come to the fore but the following will suffice for our purposes:

(1) The leader must be able to make decisions timorously, with consensus having considered all options laid bare. It is a disastrous situation when one is indecisive or makes decisions late. A leader must have the courage to make tough decisions and that, quickly, (2) Ability to set goals: The leader must set high challenging goals and do everything to ensure that those goals are either met or excelled. Each year should bring new challenges. (3) Ability to develop a cohesive teamwork – The leader must be at the forefront to build a culture of teamwork. He/she must study the staff and place them in the right positions while providing a conclusive environment. The leader will do this by assigning roles, building multi skill capacity, rewarding people as well as visiting them. The leader is empathetic and helps people to willingly go across their departmental walls to collaborate with others. This paradigms shift takes time but possible. (4) By leading meetings and discussions. Regular meetings to discuss issues as a team is critical. When people are given room to express themselves, the feel “heard” and encouraged to be innovative. In such brain storming session,

people are not timid or afraid to make mistakes or to disagree to a proposition. People pull together. Furthermore, the leader gets to know people better, removes prejudices and ultimately let people make the decision to which they will all willing subscribe. These meetings could be daily each morning 15 minutes, weekly or monthly as the case may be. This helps to assess the progress and check the pace or bench markets set. This approach avoids delays, minimizes misunderstandings and binds the team with invisible cords that are not easily severed. (5) Analysing problems: The leader has to sharpen the prowess of analysing data, questioning where not clear and also intelligently interpreting issues, especially financial figures. The leader should come with a possible attitude and determined to apply ones mind. No longer are financial reports the private preserve of a certain elect few. (6) Ability to give support. Once people notice that you are empathetic and not only interested in them when they are churning out your expectation, they will gladly soak into your leadership wing shadow. The leader must make every effort to build trust, look after people, sit with them, impart confidence and provide a supportive back up wherever possible. I am sure that the above traits, once cultivated will increase ones’ effectiveness ten fold.

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The effective leader towers above peers in terms of abilities, creativity, achievement

and influence on others. The following seven traits mark out the effective leader! 1 (1) Great leaders identify, cultivate and inspire enthusiastic followers “Some people are successful but are not leaders” asserts Ken Shelton and I tend to agree. Some seem to blossom on the labours of predecessors or they themselves have a personality that forces people to do things, not necessarily that the people are inspired or challenged. These kinds of leaders work best alone and do not enrich others. Not so the effective leader! He/she is a source of comfort, self- acceptance & worth, cultivates a cohesive community culture that is of great help and challenge to others, to the extent that others want to imitate them. They are not merely content to have a following but an empowered following that is charged, visionary and highly result based at all times. In short, they enlist the cooperation, support and loyalty of others.

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(2) Great leaders focus their efforts Highly effective people have a goal all the time upon their mind and will neither look to the left nor to the right until the goal is achieved. Nothing will destruct or cloud their view of the destination unless it helps them to attain the goal. They think, ponder and move towards the mark diligently. In short, there are focused and will not waste any energy, time or let any opportunity flip by. He/she redeems the time as the time is short. One thing done at a time!

(3) Great leaders face and overcome great difficulties To the ordinary mind, a problem is a great stumbling block that can cause them to abandon ship or sit down to mourn over the apparent misfortune. On the other hand a great leader looks at hurdles as challenges and stepping-stones to higher

1 Point heads adapted from the Executive excellence magazine: “ seven traits of great leaders” April 1999 issue page 14

heights of service. In other words, the leader learns from mistakes and builds on the successes by the same token. Ordinary leaders struggle where proactively effective leaders sail plainly. The effective leader is resilient despite the many setbacks.

(4) Great leaders expect more from themselves than they do from others If you do not believe you are worth anything or able to do much, you will go as far as you believe. If you believe that, you can achieve much, you will obviously achieve success after success. The smaller successes lead to bigger ones until you excel by leaps and bounds. Effective leaders expect and believe that they themselves can do anything provided they put their head to it. In other words, the effective leader has a right self worth, a good head and a high confidence to achieve the objectives timorously and consistently so. In a way, they are “self contained” although they strongly believe in teamwork and net working. They master their functions very well. They demand more from self and willingly work relentlessly hours on end until the mark is reached. They are not only achievers but also self-starters and creatively so.

(5) Great leaders are not afraid to make tough decisions. Many a leader will shrink back to make tough decisions for fear of becoming unpopular, misunderstood or loss of face. The effective leader is not afraid of all these but will meticulously & wisely worm his/her way through the problem to communicate an objective truth. The leader will consult widely, think through issues and give the final verdict, ready to bear all the consequences of the decision passed.

(6) Great leader have a vision and utmost faith in themselves to fulfil that vision. If there is one attribute that marks any effective leader, it is that of having a vision to look into the future. With all the energies to hand, the leader sweeps across the present into the distant future, facing all challenges positively. Not only does the said leader have a blurred vision but a clearly distinct and attainable vision to which he/she will throw in all their weight to attain. Before launching out, the leader has great faith in the self to fulfil the activity according to expectations and beyond. Many a leader usually is chancing or makes pronouncements before hand, probably without even counting his/her troops for the challenge ahead. But effective leaders are resolved and determined to win, which is half the battle won. Are you such a one?

(7) Great leaders are ambitious for themselves, their companies and their people Many begin well as the set sail on the ocean of life, with much life, promise enthusiasm and energy, but alas, other things take their ambition away. Some of the robbers of a vision are marriage, sudden success, compromise or the wrong company and bad habits. All these cloud the ambition horizon to the extent that when people die, a “library” of great plans goes with them to the grave. But effective leaders are extremely ambitious both for themselves and for all those around them. They have plans and goals for each member of staff, envisioning them at a better plane in a given time period. Nothing destroys or corrupts the

vision! As Ken asserts, “No quality requires more guarding than ambition” Ambition is a tender and sensitive plant that needs constant care and nurturing every hour of the journey. “It will not live and keep growing if it is not nourished;

and the moment we begin to disregard it, we begin to go down hill

ω Thus, “if

your ambition is not alive, you should strengthen it in every possible way. Visualise the thing you want to be” γ . Further more, effective leaders are result based in their out look to leadership, they:

Begin with an absolute focus on results

As intimated above, the effective leader is not only vision oriented but is focused on the results before setting out. As Stephen Covey has asserted in his book “7 habits of highly effective people”, effective people have the end in mind and then begin to map out strategies towards the achieving of the said goals. They ask questions such as “where does my organisation want to be in 2 years?” And then launch out full throttle to achieve with a focus on results, people do not move aimlessly akin to one running a race without destination.

Take complete and personal responsibility for the groups results

Effective leaders never pass the buck to another person nor do they spend sleepless nights trying to locate some one to blame. They are pretty too busy and goal orientated to begin apportioning blame. Instead, they look at any failure as an indication of a problem in the system rather than a person. Thus, they set out to “fix” the problem source so as to ensure smooth & expeditious out put. Traditional leaders are tyrants who never sit with people and have no time, to listen in the modern leader however, accepts complete responsibility for any dysfunction.

Clearly communicate expectations and targets to people in their group.

When the leader is clandestine and hoards useful information to him/herself, the subordinates will feel left out and demoralised, as they will not be sure whether they are operating with the acceptable framework. The effective leader makes information available and also ensures that people know exactly their targets and expectations. This removes all room for excuse suspicious and prejudice in the event of a problem. But we must assert that the leader does not only communicate dry facts, he/ she effectively communicates the urgency, importance and the warmth of the task such that people will not rest until the goal is attained. Priorities and sequence of things is laid bare and any queries are clarified in a prompt and personal fashion.

Determine what they personally need to do to improve their results.

The effective leader does not spend his/ her entire life to coach and coax others to perform better but he/she also takes time to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of life for an internal introspection as well as retrospection. It is good to take time off periodically and think through

: Executive excellence: "seven traits of great leaders” Page 14 Vol 16 N o 16 ω : Executive excellence: "seven traits of great leaders” April 1999 Page 13 Vol 16 N o 16 γ : …………………………………………

issues, evaluate and then set personal goals afresh. This has a way of “recharging the brain cells” so that one is fresh to clearly plan and improve performance. This is a trademark of effective leaders. Some take a deep breathe and relax in their chairs before they begin any business each day. They also plan the day hour by hour.

Use results as the litmus test for any leadership or management practice in use new, proposed or initiated. The effective leader is never content with part achievements nor does he/she sit on the laurels or past glories. Each day has new challenges that must be faced as they come. As such, closely knit to the aforementioned points above, effective leaders always set high goals segmented by bench marks against which periodic evaluations are done. From the results, the leader learns whether the practice is convenient, efficient or indeed ideal. Furthermore, the leader always looks for easier and better ways to achieve the same goals. The results act as a litmus test for either leadership or management style.

Know and use every group member’s capabilities to the fullest and provide everyone with appropriate developmental opportunities. The effective leader is one who spends time studying the various members of staff to ascertain their strengths and weaknesses and thus know which part of the team to put them. Like a football team coach, he/she identifies strengths and shuffles people around, of course having consulted them, in the various positions so that they fully develop their potentials. In addition, the leader throws challenges to people by allowing them to lead groups, from small ones to big ones over time. In this way, people will exhibit leadership traits that were hither to latent. Also this motivates people and adds to their self esteem. For example, at the Namuso ADP 1 , almost all members of staff have acted as manager, and others have respected them!

Experiment & Innovate in every realm under your influence, looking constantly for new ways to improve performance. The effective leader is diligent learn new things from anybody whether superior or not and quickly grasps things. In this way, he / she is constantly updated and never caught unaware at all. In addition, the said leader is not afraid to take risks. There is always a thirst to try out new things and ways of doing activities to the end that current practices may be improved. The effective leader is not archaic, rigid nor autocratic but ready to venture into any realm.

Increase the number of standards you measure and the rigor with which you measure them. Effective leaders have a broad mind and by that token are able to have a comfortable appreciation of other spheres different from their speciality. For example, the leader is able to intelligently interact with and interpret figures and metrics thus drawing conclusions. Apart from maths, the leader should have a technically analytical and yet pragmatic mind so that he/she

1 Namuso ADP is the name of the World Vision International Program at Mongu. “ADP” stands for Area Development Program. Refer to Appendix II for a case study at Namuso ADP

can use various parameters to measure the results that come to the fore. Results tell a story and must thus be measurable in some way.

Constantly take action; results won’t improve without it.

The effective leader must act to produce results rather than just sitting back

storing at a glaring problem or a past success. Rather, the leader must be proactive, and never be satisfied with the status quo. Leaders focus on opportunities for results. This entails focusing on what people can do rather than what they can’t. Exploiting their strengths encourages results and avoids paralysis.

Increase the pace or tempo of your group

Not only is it good to get results but it is equally important to ensure that the results are timely. Thus, the effective leader ensures that each time, the pace and tempo of the group gets better and faster. This may well mean doubling up efforts as people become experts and thus reduce on the time spent doing a particular job. When people visibly see it in the leader (in increase in pace & tempo) they will emulate. The leaders’ pace usually sets the pace for the entire group. “ To some extent, leadership traits an ‘ infectious’”

Seek feedback from others about ways you and your group can improve your out comes. Sometimes, it is good to stand aside and observe how you do things. Better still, it would be good to ask other objective people to assess all of you and give a feedback, giving ways you & other group members can improve outcomes. Effective leaders are not afraid to be evaluated by out siders who will give an objective report whether good or bad.

Make sure your colleagues perceive that your motivation is the achievement of positive results and not personal or political gain. Many aspire for leadership for the wrong reasons. Effective leaders cannot afford to have such a calibre of colleagues whose egocentric and clandestine agenda will not help anyone but themselves. Usually, such selfish people are shrewd organisational politicians who gravitate towards the “warm side” and flee when the going gets though. The effective leader ensures that he/she is sincere and consistent when he/she does little things to motivate people rather than using the rewards and compliments to bait people so that they are forever tied hand & foot.

Model the methods and strive for the results your group wants to use & attain. When a leader is chosen, usually they are role models for others to imitate. This means that hither to, the person was a good example of consistent good behaviour. Good character is a powerful advocate for leadership. It goes before the person. Effective leaders deliver on their promises and are faithfully consistent on promises no mater how insignificant.

Have an internal locus of control of the whole scenario but this leadership is not the assertive sort, this one is interactive in nature. In other words the leader is above

everyone in the organisation in terms of abilities and acts as a resource person and facilitator. The same does not bash everyone in his or her way but rather works side by side with colleagues to achieve a particular goal.

Trusts people and delegates many tasks to them while he or she concentrates on other things. He or she is not bogged down with the details of planning and implementing (although he /she has the ability) activities but rather looks for easier and better ways to do a job and the shares it with team mates

Never clandestine in his/her dealings but is open, communicates effectively and ensures that no one is left in the dark. Since this is information-sharing age, the effective leader shares skills, information that enables others to work well too. Another colleague educated and empowered is one way of freeing oneself from that load to concentrate on other more important needs. This communication is through e- mail, person to person, visitation or regular reflective meetings that brain storming sessions.

Never high goals and goes full throttle to achieve them. In the quest to appropriate, he/ she involves everybody and makes them see the urgency and importance of the matter. In the end, people view hurdles as a challenge he/ she carries every body along.

Have an unusual analytical eye and yet does not suffer from analysis paralysis. In other words, the leader ensures that they receive data, process it and analyse the results. Where issues are not clear, the leader freely asks or gives information as the case maybe. Effective leaders need not be experts in every field but they have enough grey matter to capture issues and articulate them to all without much ado.

Not only have analytical powers, they are the best resource person available. As

intimated earlier, he/she has an interest in every area and is able to grasp things fast so as to sit back and lead from behind. In other words, the leader is an oasis of data, information and skills. The effective leader can articulate issues outside his/ her sphere of training having appreciated other areas. Gone are the days when managers would say “ask the

finance people, it’s not my area!” For a modern leader to speak like

spells disaster. In a nutshell then, the effective leader is in control of all his faculties and in constant up date, with the whole picture in mind. In a capsule form, the effective leader motivates others, creates and establishes a vision. In other, words generates ideas, manages openly, an achievement booster and is competitive.


Keeps their heads in all circumstances. Some people lose focus when they succeed but the effective leader can handle the limelight and sustain their leadership.

Are not easily flattered nor rest on their laurels. They do not get bogged down with the trappings of past success.

Have great visions that turn into reality. Such leaders can change entire towns Θ In summary form, we can say that effective leaders are:

1. Visionary

2. Have an excellent “whole picture”

3. Excellent strategic thinkers and planners

4. Creative & open minded.

5. Trust others

6. Team players, coaches & mentors

7. Empathise with associates

8. Value people

9. Determined

10. Good time managers

11. Disciplined & keep the right priorities “Not all urgent things are important”

12. Systematic

13. Free to delegate tasks

14. Consistently setting high goals

15. Inquisitive & have a wide range of knowledge

16. Ever learning

17. Achievers & performers.

18. Motivators & inspirers

19. Approachable

20. Influential

21. Proactive

22. Self replicative

23. Work Smart rather than only hard

24. High capacity to forbear and forgive

Θ Refer to the United States Information agency magazine entitled “Leadership: Seven profiles in local Government” We have live pictures of individuals that changed towns.

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n talking about developing leadership skills we cannot avoid encountering the question as to whether leaders are born or made. Admittedly, this is a very difficult question upon which thousands of writers have shed their blood, with no conclusive answer. There are basically three schools of thought and each school has it’s own variations. As hinted before, many authors either support one doctrine in opposition to the other two. The first school asserts that leaders are born and not made because certain people and families seem to have a natural flair for leadership that hallows them unsolicited. Examples abound in that regard. But this school has one problem because they cannot tangibly prove that leaders are born. The second school of thought is that leaders are made, that is, built up due to various environmental factors such as background, training, exposure, circumstance and opportunity They argue that given the opportunity of in a vulnerable situation, one realises & reactivates their latent leadership traits. Further they argue that these leadership traits have to be developed over time as circumstances show themselves. They state that one only discovers their potential when confronted with a situation that they have encountered before and from that situation, they pluck some lessons to apply in future. For example, while a towering leader to whom everyone looks is in their midst, the others will lie low and be subservient to the said hero but should that person leave, another will arise to take over, although s/he may not be with the exact traits and degree of charisma as the predecessor. Thus, the new leader first encounters the challenge & is afraid and feels inadequate, looks around and decides to rise to the challenge as best as possible. This scenario happens again and again and in some cases, the new leader brings in innovations, which the previous did not focus on. Unconsciously, we learn from our leaders and members, while in the same breathe taking note of their pitfalls and strengths. When the circumstantial leader rises to prominence, s/he avoids the pitfalls and imitates the positive traits from the predecessor before finding his/ her own feet. In my own experience, this has repeated itself so many times. Before the illustrious leader departs, I have tended to sit back and support the same but as providence would have it, the leaders upon whom I relied heavily have either moved town or been transferred. There has been as initial fear tremor that has passed through my heart and mind but then I discovered that no one else would stand in for me. I pulled my self together and went ahead to achieve great things. This kind of leadership thought appeals to the natural mind but is it true? Can we verify it by way of research? Isn’t it true that those people are already born leaders but do not simply have an opportunity to express themselves? This theory also fails to stand on its own feet when we consider myriads, which have miserably fallen by the way side after attempting to be leaders against their nature. The third school of thought is the contingency theory where it is believed that no particular style of leadership is the best but depends on the situation. When considering leadership, we assume that the answer to the question at hand lies somewhere in between the two extremes. I think every person is a leader of some sort in their own right and also that the leadership ability can be developed. What differs is the degree of manifestation – some are more expressive and sanguine while others are choleric or melancholic. Each of these differs and add colour to the vast array of the leadership rainbow. Since we believe that leadership powers can be developed, how can this be developed? We assume that the answer to the question at hand lies somewhere in between the extremes.

How can a leader develop effective ways of doing things? How can one do a job of one morning rather than the whole day? The answer lies in the ability of the leader to get hold of certain critical factors and master them. The primary thing that the leader must do to is begin

The rare jewel of effective leadership

Billy C Sichone

focusing on quality in all his spheres. The said person must set the right priorities and exert him self to attain the highest and best results in all spheres, whether in ethics or product output. Many times a leader is content to church out results enmass but is that result quality? Does it add value or send good massages abroad? The second thing is to be willing to learn from others, no matter their status learning, background or profession. Half the time, people are selective and prejudiced against certain areas. The leader must be willing to cross the invisible departmental borders and grasp all he/she can. There is great value in willing to learn, knowing that no man is entirely complete in knowledge in any profession. Having learnt from others, the leader then resolves to gain experience and in the process master the various factions. In the long run, the person becomes more proficient resulting in immense cost cuts. As time goes on, the resourceful leader will become a resource person who will be there to help strengthen other peoples’ abilities. As he/she helps others repeatedly, the same person sharpens their own lot.

Thus, although some quarters believe that leaders are born, we can safely see that people can develop sharpen their abilities with exposure and continuous training.

Further more, the leader is very strategic in outlook, highly organised and focused towards the goal. Whereas the manager ensures things are going as per plan, the leader is an instrument of change with clear goals and mission. The leader is proactive and works by plan though open to any changes in the environment. The leader is a strategic risk taker and an agent of change. The leader is on a journey and as such constantly finding innovative ways of doing things. The status quo is not a resting place but a stepping-stone into higher lights orbs of service. To achieve all these goals, the leader keeps focus & prioritises all the time. The burning motto is “First things first” It is true that many things seem urgent but not all are important. Thus, the effective leader must have the ability to pick and choose the critical issues. Sadly, many leaders are buffeted by a plethora of urgent issues and try to do all things at the same time. In the end, there is no tangible progressive achievement although much energy has been evoked. In a nutshell said leader is clear minded, methodical, focused and consistently mutating to suit environment.




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The results and effects of a good leadership are manifest as we commence by dealing with the marks of a good leader and then consider the effects of the same. The following is what I have gathered and concluded as I have read books and interacted with effective leaders. Where an effective leader has passed, the following blaze will trail:

The quality of the output will be high as opposed to mediocre. The effective leadership is resilient, undaunted by quick tasks, threats or new challenges. The effective leader is a fast and open learner and thus diffuses the same to others. The said leader gains experience and masters roles that he or she freely and willingly passes on to others. Strengths are built upon and people are helped to identify and cultivate their core competencies. This is done via challenges and reflective training workshops. Cohesive teamwork is built where every member feels responsible and part of the team. The results do not belong to one person but to all.

Cohesive Team work

High out put

A highly motivated team who willingly tackle their tasks diligently.

Mutual concern for each other

Absence of infighting and jostling for positions or status

Goal focus & congruence

Innovation and creativity are enhanced where people are free to bring in ideas from which the best practices are fished.

Flexibility, agility & open mindedness on the part of the leader that ultimately rubs on to the rest of the team-mates.

People feel free & secure whenever they think of their jobs. There is little uncertainty though the modern trends of re engineering occur often. Because people are empowered, they could either get another job or start another business altogether.

Self replication

More proactive rather than reactive

Continuity after the leaders’exit

Impediments to effective leadership

1. Character flaws: a. Integrity lack, inconsistency, indecision, unethical practices,

2. Little desire or passion. Low pulse for success or any cause.

3. Little or no self discipline

4. Blurred vision and goals

5. Little or no determination

6. Despair

Expected challenges for the leader

1. Misunderstanding

2. Threat

3. Resistance to change, refer to the Butros Ghali case

4. Dysfunctional parts in the chain and system

5. Organisational politics e.g. passive resistance, back biting, little buy in, different egocentric ambitions etc.

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Having scanned through the wide avalanche of books available on effective leadership, I fear that true and real effective leaders are exceedingly few and far between. The times demand people who speak less with their tongues than those who vocalise their mettle by their effects on a task undertaken. When I look around, all I see is a great mass of theorists across the Globe. It is gratifying however, that there is a new generation of Managers who are arising over the horizon who will not stop at anything until they get the real genuine thing-Leadership. In my own prediction, I see a time when we shall see more of an informal office set up where people focus more on results rather than on petty squabbles such as what attire to wear and which office to occupy etc. More frequently, people will not need to be supervised and will be disciplined enough to work from home and churn out high

quality timorous results through the use of IT. Today’s talk is focusing on the paperless office as well as the virtual office. Now for these to be realities, people will need to reach a certain professional level and be self-governing. Already, we hear of self- managing teams with all the members of the team qualified professionals. I envision a time when every team member will have multiple talents and skills so as to take up any task undaunted. The time of strict specialisation is fast coming to an end and is being replaced by having a workable knowledge of many disciplines. Today, people are being paid for their knowledge rather than on the amount of time they spend doing a particular job. For a long time to come, leadership and teamwork will carry the day for organisational transformations.

Tomorrows’ scenario will be pretty the same but at an accelerated level. More and bigger challenges will surface and dynamic minds equal to the task will arise to meet them.

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I have thus laboured to bring to the fore what proper leadership is in the modern society, and having also zeroed in on effective leadership, it now remains for me to give some recommendations of what I think is the best strategic way forward. We have seen that much has been written on leadership lately, resulting in a plethora of volumes and manuals on the topic. Although much has been documented on paper and otherwise, I fear that very few people actually believe and practice what the purport to espouse. I make this assertion based on what I have observed in various forums including my short working stint. Thankfully, I worked with an excellent manager whom, in many

ways, I am indebted to because for three years I read and watched his life, exemplifying an ideal leader. He was far more than a manager. Turning my scope to other work places within and without world vision, I see vast stretches of work places infested with autocratic managers rather than leader/ managers. Having asserted the last statement, let me hasten to say that it has equally been gratifying to see people change, open up and mutate to some semblance of the ideal manager after embarking on leadership training. If I were to paste a “before and after” picture in your mind of those people, the stark difference would be so great. But that is what continuous training and exposure can do. What is my recommendation for the future? What ought we to do to salvage the office from being a “tyrants dungeon” to a sunshine peace haven where people work freely and diligently? A number of recommendations come to the fore, some new, others old:

1. There must be continuous & constant training for staff people.

2. There must be extended exposure of people to other environments, either in the same industry or otherwise.

3. There must be increased encouragement of adopting methods of best practice. Knowledge must migrate freely.

4. People must be given more opportunity to take up responsible leadership positions re- to act as managers, directors etc-This worked wonders at the Namuso ADP.

5. People must be challenged to believe they can do much more than they presently envision.

6. People must be sometimes abandoned in risky & vulnerable circumstances so that they are forced to use their latent leadership

skills/survival instincts. This drags out to the fore the hidden strengths. This also strangles the laissez faire attitude. 7. Leaders must be consistent, visionary & full of integrity. They earn their respect. The road has been long but enjoyable. We have successfully ploughed through the whole subject of leadership, having zeroed in on effective leadership. The question paused at the beginning, “What is effective leadership?” is now answered and as such, I happily rest my case here!



Bibliography (1) Stephen Covey: Principal centred leadership – New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore (2)

(1) Stephen Covey: Principal centred leadership – New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore (2) Robert Heller: Effective leadership, Dorling Kindersley. London. New York. Sydney. Moscow (3) Robert Heller: Managing teams, Dorling Kindersley. London. New York. Sydney. Moscow (4) Executive Excellence Publishing 1999 – April 2001 issues. (5) Andrew J. Dubrin: leadership: research findings, practice & Skills. (6) Bower, Bastkett, Uyterhoeven & Walton: Business policy: Managing Strategic processes, McGraw-Hill, Boston, Massachusetts Burr Ridge, Illinois Dubuque, Iowa Madison, Wiscosin New York, New York San Francisco, California St. Louis, Missouri 8 th Edition

(7) Zambia Daily Mail 05/03/1999 issue (8) Cateora Phillip International Marketing: 9 th Edition, 1996 Irwin McGraw-Hill, Boston Massachausetts, (9) Donald R. Cooper & Pamela S Schindler; Business research methods, MCGraw – Hill International Editions, Boston Burr Ridge, IL Dubuque, IA Madison, WI New York San Francisco (10) Kereitner & Kinicki: Organisational Behaviour 4 th Edition Irwin/ McGraw Hill, San Francisco. (11) Stephen Covey: 7 habits of high effective people 1990/91 Pocket books, London, Sydney, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Toronto. (12) Moi Ali: Marketing effectively: Dorling Kindersley. London. New York. Sydney. Moscow (13) Mary O’hara – Deveraux & Robert Johansen: Global work Jossey Bass Publishers 1994. (14) Ariffin Ricky W. : Management 5 th edition Houghton Uifflin Company Boston, Toronto, Geneva, Illinois, Palo Alto Princeton, New Jersey. (15) Thomas I Peters: In search of excellent: Warner books, 1984 edition. (16) PJ Smit & ApduPlessis: Management Principles workbook 1994 futa & Lo ltd. (17) P. Bryans T.P Cronin: Organisation theory 1983, Mitchell Beazley Publishers (18) Charles B. Handy: Understanding Organisations J 2 nd Edition. Penguin book (19) Edwin B. Flippo: Personnel Management 6 th edition. McGraw Hill. Book Company. New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, Aukland, Bogota, Hamburg, London, Madrid,

Mexico, Montreal, New Delhi, Panama, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo & Toronto.

New International Version,

International Bible Society, 1984. (21) Chuck Swindoll: Leadership, wordbook publisher Waco, Texas 1985. (22) United States Information Agency: Leadership: Seven profiles in local government. This is a magazine. (23) Wendell L French, Cecil H Bell Jr: Organisation Development, Prentice-Hall of India Private ltd New Delhi- 11001 3 rd edition, August 1989. (24) John L Thomson: Strategic Management, Chapman Hall, London New York, Tokyo, Melbourne, Madras (25) Samuel C Certo, J Paul Peter: The Strategic Management process, Austin Press, Irwin Chicago, Bagota, Boston. Buenos Aires, Caracas, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Sydney, Toronto, 3 rd Edition. (26) Harvey Maylor: Project Management, Financial Times, Pitman publishing, London, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, Johannesburg. (27) William J Stevenson: Production/operations Management, Mcgraw- Hill companies, Inc., 1996 (IRWIN) Chicago, Bagota, Boston, Buenos Aires, Caracas, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Sydney, Toronto 5 th Edition (28) Vroman H William, Vincent Luchsinger:

(20) The Holy Bible:

Managing Organisation quality, Richard D IRWIN 1994 burr ridge, Illinois, Boston, Massachusetts, Sydney, Australia (29) Mark Graham Brown, Darcy E Hitchcock, Marsha L Willard: Why TQM fails and what to do about it, Irwin Professional Publishing. Chicago. London. Singapore 1994. (30) John Maxwell: 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership-Audio tapes. (31) The Leadership pill (32) Servant Leadership

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---- ! ! ! ! !!!! ; ; ; ; # # # # The Kambule

The Kambule Baptist Church Scenario


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>>>> @@@@ >>>> From about 1979 a Mini religious awakening swept across

From about 1979 a Mini religious awakening swept across Zambia. The said revival, among many things, Occasioned the conversion of thousands to Christ, people suddenly had a lively desire to know Christ and to do his work. Everywhere people were conscious of the presence of God and attended every prayer meeting as well as evangelised when opportunity availed itself. Among the key revivalists at the time was a man called Jack Sokoni, who was a fervent and fine expositor of the word. He adopted a systematic approach to expounding the Holy Scriptures to the end that many people might be built up as leaders. Every Sunday, he exercised a powerful and affecting ministry. He guarded his pulpit jealously. This activity went on for nearly ten years when he suddenly left the Kambule Baptist Church to pursue further studies abroad. An interesting phenomenon occurred because there was a latent leadership crisis that surfaced. Having been such a fine sound leader, people thought Pastor Sokoni would be there always and as such, never made plans to prepare to take over his shoes after his departure.

As a result, no one was found equal to the task for over 3 years, yet his powerful influence still lingered many years afterwards.

In the fourth year, the Church felt they needed another Pastor and thus called another to take over but unfortunately, the new person did not last many years because Pastor Sokoni’s ‘Ghost’ still lingered powerfully in people’s minds. The question that still begs answering in peoples’ minds today is why a vacuum was created and how that crisis could have been really avoided. Could that problem have been avoided? Was Sokoni a leader?

(((( 5555

After much careful thought and research we observe that though Pastor Sokoni was a great leader, he probably did not successfully pass on the “Body of Divinity” to a

wider body of faithful men . He seems to have been a great crowd puller, though not a very good one to one coach and mentor. Being Charismatic and magnetic, he dealt with crowds rather than individuals and as such did not pick many understudies except those who had a high IQ and could follow him through. The following were my findings:

1. The Church had grown in knowledge but people were not given opportunity to exercise their leadership qualities.

2. The preacher appealed more to the intellect rather than causing people to apply those truths in real life. Although the pastor tried to address that much too late.

3. The pastor became too powerful and no one could question or advise him

4. The said clergy, although a leader, was not a team player in the sense of delegating to others. He was one of a kind genius who had all the attributes in built.

II Timothy 2:2, Holy Bible


The Church members were so influenced (Positively of course) that they forgot that they needed to stand on their own feet!

6. The intellectuals in the Church caught up with his teaching and been to question him on many things surpassed him.

7. The said Pastor did not particularly invest personally in many up coming

leaders in the church and as such, they were unprepared. We must however hasten to say that he pronounced one world class preacher in the person of Cain Mweemba who has ascended to higher orbs of leadership and pulpit powers. Cain is an international roving preacher, quoted often everywhere he goes. Many do not know that J Sokoni nurtured him. The seven reasons advanced are not exhaustive but they shed some light on what happened leading to the leadership vacuum.


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We learn the following:

(1) Never let anyone be a “boss” no matter how gifted – team work is critical as no one person can succeed to do an activity, Organisations must function as an organism, with all players functioning and over lapping freely. (2) Always build capacity in people by challenging them to take up roles once in a while. This avoids a situation where people content themselves in merely sitting rather than functioning. (3) The leader must be always learning, a team player and willing to hear what is happening on the ground. (4) Leaders must aim to stimulate, not only the emotions but the mind as well towards action. My recommendations emanate from the afore mentioned lessons:

(1) Future leaders in all churches must be visionary, good team players and easily approachable. Sokoni was approachable but was way above people in his intellect. (2) Future pastors must be ones that we flexible and able to look at problems as challenges. (3) Pastors must be well taken care of and other Church officers must equally be active to ensure they “learn the ropes”. (4) Where possible, the Church must have more than one Pastor though both must be equally good team players. (5) The church must be involved in other social projects so that the members can have a way to express themselves. (6) Preaching, although central in a Church, is not the only avenue leaders can be identified and groomed from.

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8888 (((( ---- 3333 1111 ---- **** ####(((( I n October 1997, World vision International began

In October 1997, World vision International began running a large-scale program in Mongu, 600 kilometres west of Zambia. Apart from funding hiccups, the area development program (ADP) faced a lot of animosity from the community. With the passage of time, the problems worsened as they was no communication between the ADP office and the community. Worse still, as the interpersonal relations among the ADP staff were adversarial to say the least. Workers were discontent disillusioned and insecure due to the uncertain nature of things. It took a long time to discover the exact

root cause of the problem. With time, people with a strategic eye started to see that the problem lay at the ADP office. After much painstaking introspection, it was discovered that the management was at fault as a leadership crisis had crept in. Thus with time, the manager was replaced after a few months. The year was 1998, a few months into the second year of implementation when Mr Chikondi Phiri, a 29 years old fresh engineering graduate took office. Mr Phiri had just returned from Tanzania to pursue his masters’ degree in Engineering and was given a charge to come to the ADP to: -

1. Restore integrity

2. Restore financial discipline

3. Restore the Christian image

4. Restore moral character

5. Restore the vision

With a lot of enthusiasm, though a bit fearful, Chikondi assumed the mantle. He found a divided house; people disillusioned, fragmented adversarial relationships, a demotivated group and as earlier intimated a dark image of the ADP from the community’s point of view. The first few months and year were largely spent on house keeping issues such as putting records straight especially the financial section. The first was build an alter to the Lord- restore the office daily devotions, the next stage was to study the people and put them in the right positions, of course without their knowledge. The third stage was to improve the quality of reporting, bringing them to international standards. The fourth stage was to out and establish contact with the outside world by setting up community leadership committees. While this was going on, slowly Chikondi started to empower his staff as well by way of coaching them, sitting to work with them and generally be around for any help that would be needed. Finally, the ADP began to deliver its objectives to get the extended impact. As would be expected, hurdles were faced at every turn, but the Phiri led team faced each problem positively as a challenge and opportunity to accomplish more. The problem was compounded by the nature of people among he whom was to work. The Lozi people are generally a conservative lot who are averse to any “Manyukunyuku” or foreigner who threaten to take advantage of theirs and has no regard for them. Many a time, Chikondi Phiri used to work late and go home tired, exhausted and discouraged. At other times the entire

team would shift to his house to beat dead lines. A sense of community among the office members began to form, while the prejudices slowly fell by the way side. But what kept Chikondi running on? One of the things is that he was an all rounded person who involved his family in his work. His wife was a prime-encouraging factor

that took a keen interest in all he did. As such, she knew what was going on all the time at the office as though she was an employee of the organisation. Equally informed were his other family members who would frequently uphold him before the throne of grace. The other secondary encouraging factor was the change in attitude of the workers, from an individualistic approach to a team kind of cohesive approach. The workmate begun to love their jobs and would work long hours unsupervised and many times had to be reminded to go home. With all the hard work, the Namuso ADP slowly began to get back to its rails to what it was initially intended to be.

With much consistent labour, the relationships with the community improved greatly as they begun to grasp the new ADP concept from the unsustainable ways of helping the poor to sustainable ways such as capacity building. Prior to this, World vision used to give free hand outs but left no sustainable impact after the said project phased out of a place a vacuum was created the new approach was to halt the dependence syndrome and introduce new approach where people contributed in someway. In this way, people owned things better, so it was perceived. This was the most difficult stage as people kept referring to the past. At this stage, again Chikondi took bold steps to change to attitude, and amidst many avalanches of insults, the dawn begun to approach when people saw what he saw. Many times, even his own team-mates, thought he was myopic and insensitive but he kept pointing them to the goal.

Having scored successes in all areas and as people were beginning to feel comfortable, Chikondi was suddenly snatched to another ADP, having tirelessly laboured at the Namuso ADP for 3 and a half years (From 1998 to 2001). When people heard the news, they felt robbed but resigned all to God’s will. Interestingly, the team at the Namuso ADP held together and continued from where he left off.

As we come to a close, we ask, what made Chikondi Phiri tick, where others had failed? What did he possess that made him a pearl among fellow managers?


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1. Chikondi was a team player and adopted an open management style.

2. Chikondi was willing to learn and had a good head to grasp things.

3. Chikondi has a deep insight into people and situations.

4. Chikondi is strategic and always keeps one eye to the goal while using the other to drive things to the intended goal.

5. Chikondi is consistent in his words and deeds. He has the highest moral standards and integrity.

6. His quality of work speaks volumes for him.

7. Chikondi values people and does little things to show empathy & concern.

8. Chikondi has a strategic advantage as he has a deep insight into information technology and thus has critical information at hand.

9. Chikondi has the right priorities in place, able to differentiate between urgent and important information.

10. Chikondi is highly effective, systematic and highly goal oriented.

11. Chikondi runs a highly effective family too, who know and are interested in his work. He has such a sweet influence over them.

12. Chikondi is proactive and never seems to be caught in a panicky frenzy.

13. Chikondi does not needlessly make noise unless so warranted. Results speak eloquently for him.


1. We should emulate him in his teamwork prowess, coaching skills, right strategic eye and a crystal clear Christian testimony.

2. It is crucial to hire people who have no self-interest primarily at heart but who have an appropriate ambition for their organisation, associates, friends and family.

3. It is critical to hire people who, though highly educated, will wave around their results rather than rant their high academia.

4. It is high time we begun to shed off people who are non-performers although educated. But in the same breath, let us not be hasty but take care that we are not the ones at fault. Remember that to replace one leader is costly in terms of cash and corporate image.

5. People must learn to begin from below and prove themselves before aspiring for hire offices. In this way, the small private victories give more confidence to achieve greater heights. Referring to a magazine article from the Executive excellence, we note with shock that about 35% of executives fail to tick and have to be hounded out!

6. Powerful leaders must be exploited by constantly giving them greater challenges so that their leadership fragrance may spread far and wide across the organisation.

7. Powerful leaders are them selves mentored by others ahead of them. Chikondi is a classic case of one who is shining today, having served under other powerful leaders like Mr Nwilimba and Mr Richard Phiri as well as having interacted closely with Mr Stephen Tembo.

8. It is crucial to watch those stress levels at all times, for neglecting to do so would send one to an early grave.

9. Leaders some times get so engrossed in the quest to achieve more victories at the expense of their families. The spouse and children are not just an appendix to your life!!

10. Effective leaders are not afraid to face change or to implement it. They are ready to take tough decisions. Unlike the vast majority of people who spend their life jostling for positions, and that’s all they are known for, effective leaders have a goal, a purpose and are on a journey.

11. Effective leaders are found at any point of the Organisation either at the bottom, side or top of the Organisation.

12. Effective leaders tower above peers in their abilities and strengths. Thus, those to be hired must be exceptional or have the potential to develop. At the Namuso ADP, most of our IT problems for example were dealt with here, only reverting to the National office where things were beyond us.

Source: Executive Excellence, Volume 16 No. 7, July 1999, page 6


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What traits does Chikondi possess that have made him so successful?

How do you think Chikondi managed to fit in a totally different setting?

Do you think Chikondi is a leader? Substantiate.

Would you like to work under Chikondi’s management? Why/ Why not?

Give some traits that mark an effective manager.

The rare jewel of effective leadership

Billy C Sichone

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Various academic papers written by Billy Sichone on different leadership personalities

2. Clement Mugala – The modern change leader

3. Jack Welch – The Maverick leader

4. Anita Roderick-The eccentric leader

5. Guru Das – The international leader

6. Boutros Ghali – The organisational Politician

7. Loy Weston – The independent leader

8. Sam Walton – Builder of a Retail stores empire.

10. Bill Gates-The Feverishly creative leader

11. The Lincoln bothers-The innovative leaders

12. Chikondi Phiri – An Upcoming change leader


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BBBB %%%% ---- A lthough Zambia lies paralysed in the many layers of poverty among the

Although Zambia lies paralysed in the many layers of poverty among the 41 poorest nations of the world, it is comforting to that men and women of valour still exist there. Men and Women of purpose who are clear minded and know what the times demand. At this miserable rate in which the nation is wallowing in abject poverty, one is hardly queried when they exclaim, “can anything come good out of Zambia?” Among those giants of our times is Clement Mugala who has been at the helm of Building Society turn around from certain bankruptcy. The said company was at the brink of destruction when Mugala appeared and quickly instituted emergency remedial measures so that the company is now safely back on the trails, having recorded prior annual losses reaching an all time record of K 2.4 Billion in the 1997/98 financial year! But who is Clement Mugala? From whence does he hail? What secret has he employed to rescue the once renowned “lifeless” company? For one thing, Mr Mugala hails from the northern parts of Zambia, married to Ruth, a powerful help mate and possesses an unrivalled CV. Yet none of these qualifications radiate as brilliantly as his management style. He studied an a degree in Economics, an international professional Accounting course (CIMA), and now holds an MBA from the Edinburgh Graduate school in Scotland. Further more, he has vast experience in Government and private Accounting. As such, we can see that he is an “all rounder”. More importantly, he is a man full of integrity, objectivity, insight, foresight, determination and focus. Unlike other men, Clement is not easily daunted by difficult tasks. He confidently ventures into any situation, assured that armed with knowledge and vast experience, any hurdle is surmountable. But, the question still lingers, “what is the secret of his success and the Building Society?” How has he managed to arrest the decay and steer the ship back to safety? The reason is soon told from the article “ZNBS ekes way out of the financial doldrums” which appeared in the Zambia Daily Mail of 05/03/99. From the article, it is evident that the man has imbibed and pragmatically practices modern management principles. For example, he believes that teamwork is the way forward for the business of tomorrow. This belief shows itself in the way he associates and views his subordinates. He would rather be viewed as a leader not a boss, which culture, hitherto, has plagued almost all organisations in Zambia. This traditional approach has further been fostered by regular and constant political interference in the smooth running of the parastatals. Like hungry rats looking for nuts, these politicians hover around any seemingly profit- making company. The Building Society is no exception. Constantly, these “rats” are laying mousetraps for humans! But clement has flown above all these and has brought about team spirit that is beginning to pay dividends as output increases. Teamwork means that there is mutual trust, single common goal, less individual brilliant star performances and easier over lapping. Slowly, people are venturing out of their shells where they hid dreading victimisation from illiterate politicians and are now taking liberated bold steps towards teamwork. As though teamwork were not enough, Clement has through his management, adopted an “open management” approach where people from all ranks and levels feel to contribute, criticise, complain and be heard. Furthermore, the Mugala led team has introduced some incentives such as multiple salary increases in the year thus boosting the workers’ morale. Since the battle is not yet over, there has been a deliberate move to train and refresh staff so that they are


rather than morbidly inward looking. The effects of these capacity –

that staff respond to

customers, and when privately asked, the majority of employees speak in glowing tribute of the company. They say ‘we have the best products and a powerful top management team….” Waxing melodiously eloquent by the minute. Emanating from

; most of which are as

ancient as the company itself while others are new products. The old ones have been refined in keeping with the times. New products are churned out frequently. Thus as one walks into the hallway of the Building Society, it is a pleasant hive of activity and yet intense particular individual attention is given to every customer. Here, the

this training is the freedom

building manoeuvres are seen in the

speedy and



to innovate and have many products

customer is king

. With all these past rapid changes as well as the powerful strategic eye

to the future, the Society pulled out of the doldrums within a year-now that is record time indeed!

But what type of scenario did Mugala exactly find when he first stepped into the building society executive office in mid 1998? What hurdles has he encountered thus far? Firstly, we not that he found a divided house that was crippled by evil organisational politics. The Management and the union were at daggers drawn and constantly fighting with no strength left wrestling to do any positive work. The union spent all its time squabbling about wages, pointing fingers and daily fuelling more animosity in the company. If a PhD could be earned through antagonism, the union could have bagged a multiplicity of them!

Furthermore, the top management was paralysed by external influences from the politicians who actually run the company remotely. As such, there was no strategic panning because the rules came from outside. Therefore, it was pointless to even read the external business environment. Why talk about planning when some one else calls the shots?

Thirdly, the company was bankrupt with no resources, withered reserves, overdrafts, multiple law suits, a bad reputation, lost customer confidence and worst of all, erratic or no Government grants, which have ceased with the introduction of the cash budget. Those managers who sat securely like king frogs on their “thrones” were the most alarmed when the youthful looking Mugala stepped onto the stage. Sensing that some of their unnecessary jobs would be slashed with the advent of re-engineering the villains raised their antenna akin to police dogs that sense danger. Hence the resistance.

Fourthly, the people who were previously at the helm of the organisation were half the time not equal to the task but rather political appointees because of their patriotism to the party in power. This trend sadly has persisted to this very day. The lament is that these clown Executives were not original but did the bidding of the state and even more tragic was the fact that many had no heart for the entity. Of course, many with greater credentials than Mugala have traversed the path that he now treads but none perhaps has been as salty as he. Having proved himself both in public and private practice, the Government, in its usual unconventional ways, called him to resuscitate the ailing company. By all counts, the Building Society was headed for the company bone yard.

Time has gone by and many problems have crossed his path but he remains focused towards the goal. Problems such as low pay, low morale, bad attitudes, evil suspicions

and resistance from the “old guard” still linger. Happily, these green headed vices are slowly being mortified.

Having painted a gloomy picture in the last section, we now proceed to show the way forward for the said organisation. As earlier intimated, the Mugala- led team is strategic in approach. The company is now risen from the ashes and is now eking a unique path that will guarantee sustainability. Clement’s long-term goals are to make the company independent, agile, and fluid as well as be ahead of any possible new market entrants. The quest to that end is clear as he leads the company in embarking on an ambitious

project to computerise the entire organisation. Although the initial

in the long run that will

costs are whooping, this is powerful

increase efficiency across the entire company network. Since the 17 or so branches are

. Thus, speedy

littered all over the country, efficiency will result due to being

service and fewer hiccups in responding to customer queries and orders will accrue to

is necessary for decision making in these turbulent

the company good will. Also,

times. “Ignore IT at your own peril”, the common adage says. Further more, with

” on board to

employee capacity enhanced, moral raised and the right “

champion the new management practices, the entity will be a formidable force to reckon with in days that lie ahead.

US$ 1.5 million

competitive advantage tool


known quantities

As Mugala aptly concludes with the touching words, “ Whatever is true, whatever is right whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy, think about such things”, we too long more of such clear minded dynamic business leaders with a passion to salvage ailing businesses out of the corporate casket!


Jack Welch- The Maverick leader

CCCC Jack Welch- The Maverick leader W hen Jack Welch took over as chairman and chief

When Jack Welch took over as chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric (GE) in April 1981, the once Legendary Company was again at cross roads. At 45, he inherited a huge conglomerate that had a tall structure, rigid operations, bureaucratic, and highly diversified. The company; built originally to exploit Thomas Edison’s patents, was too large and complex and had thus become inefficient and potentially uncompetitive. Not only was it in many businesses, it had a large work force and had been divided into multiple smaller Strategic business units (SBU) and yet with only a limited successful life span. A solution had to be found, and that came in the person of Jack Welch.

Jack Welch has been known to be a maverick, tough, determined and resilient in his approach to management. An only child and holding a PhD, Welch is the man of the times as he has managed to achieve the unimaginable, due to his foresight, candour and resolve to succeed. As soon as he took over the mantle, he commenced his momentous revolutions by assessing the status quo and what ought to be done. He discovered that GE, though admirable, was in effect not as competitive as it ought to be. Thus, the changes of restructuring & re engineering the organisation. This meant among many things, destaff by 34%, giving more lee way to managers, developing a team work culture, brain storming, adopting an open management style, being customer focused, working in partnership with stakeholders as well as aiming for perfection in quality. Impeccable excellence has been the goal. He achieved this by hiring the right staff while relieving those that were not ready to change. As a leader, he has always been visionary, articulates the vision, & passionately owns the vision and relentlessly drives it to completion.

By 1993, GEC had achieved the unimaginable. It was by far the most complex and yet agile company. It had a lean work force, was continuously learning was aiming for the 1 st or 2 nd slot in every business and where not possible, it pulled out so as to concentrate on its core competences. It is on the road to success but certainly, the strides hitherto are significantly great.

But how exactly did Jack Welch accomplish these shifts? What roles did he play? Reading through his profile, one concludes that he had certain leadership traits, which translated into action. For one thing, he broke down GE into smaller manageable semi- independent businesses with managers freely making decisions on critical survival decisions. For another thing, the Organisation was at cross roads, whether to continue marching to the company bone yard or to mutate and live. Change was inevitable. Thus the changes needed a maverick, clear and strategically minded person. Welch, qualified on that score and went ahead to take bold fearless steps, setting goals and targets. He determined that GE should be better than the best in all areas. But as one would expect, his innovations were opposed, as they tended to threaten people or put them on edge all the time. Change is generally resisted but he undauntedly faced the opposition.

In the quest to improve GE after the rapid positive changes, which left thousands jobless, the organisation adopted a continuous training approach where everybody attended some kind of training. For chief executives, a program called “workout” was instituted in 1989 where the managers would go off to some location to brain storm, exchange ideas, recharge their minds and dream up new routes as well as share methods of best practice. Rather than discussing plans, GE executives discuss strategies, which they implement in their various companies, depending on their mission statement. The heart of the workouts is to bring about cultural changes overtime assuming and knowing that change is resisted at all times. Looking at the Lincoln philosophy and Jack Welch’s, one cannot fail to see that in principle, they are similar, only that Jack Welch is more aggressive and operating in a more hostile and dynamically competitive environment. Lincoln thought customers, suppliers and share holders were to be treated well in order to maximize on benefits, so does Welch. However, there is one fundamental difference between Welch and Lincoln’s style. Lincoln was highly individualistic and rewards depended on output while Welch believes in reduced numbers of work force while paying more as well as getting higher profits with a thriving teamwork culture.

When compared to other legends such as Riboud, Barnvik or Mccoy, one notices that the other people were excellent managers but conventional and working within a framework. Welch is different in that he believes in constant unpredictable change- his maverick traits again rear their heads.

Looking at GEC today, it looks very fine and alive once again, especially as it crosses into the 21 st century. A new lease of life has been infused into it and as such, we can optimistically look to the future for greater things. Sail well O’ GE.


Bower, Bartlett, Uyerterhoeven, and Walter, Business Policy: Managing Strategic Processes, 8 th Edition, Richard D. Irwin

Case study 5

Annita Roddick- The eccentric leader

Case study 5 Annita Roddick- The eccentric leader T he Body shops has been a dynamic

The Body shops has been a dynamic shop network that has been lobbying various social crusades especially those on the Environment. If one only heard about its activist works, one would never imagine that the same entity could possibly produce excellent products, whereas if one only knew about the excellent products, one could not have imagined that this was the same unorthodox, blunt, rough and riotous shop! Yet both these attributes mystically unite in this selfsame organisation! For the body shop, it has meant changing all the time depending on the social needs that confronted it. It has been built around the robust principles of Anita Roddick, whose

but highly relevant and profitable. Anita has had a

passion for social change and has successfully left her mark on the company work culture. The Body shop has been an exciting and thrilling place to work at because of the constant new challenges. But who is Anita and from whence does she hail? What has she done and where is she heading to next? What prospects lie ahead of the body Shop in ensuing years? Anita Roddick begun the shops in 1976 and developed them. She, with the help of her husband worked together and moulded the shop as they saw fit. Having owned a hotel previously, they sold it to pursue other life long desires before Anita begun doing a business based on natural herbs. The herbs business mainly focused on skin care, and thus attracted women. With time, people developed confidence in the products and thus, the shop picked up. It is now close to twenty years since the first shop was opened and today, the shops are dotted internationally on the globe. Its presence is mainly in the UK but plans are under way to conquer more and new frontiers. Although the body shop does not market its products, quality does it for the shops. But who is Anita exactly? Anita descends from Italian-immigrant parents and has some hind exposure to business although she never had any formal business training. She got married to Gordon and turned their house into a hotel. As earlier intimated, they sold it to pursue other things. It was whilst in that state that Anita begun a small shop dealing with skin care, using natural ingredients. From one shop, the business blossomed into a chain of shops that are a force to reckon with. Founded on Anita’s strong principles of social good and environmental protection, the Body shop has been so successful capturing international attention. But what has made the Body Shop tick? What has been the secret behind the phenomenal growth despite unorthodox business practices? For one thing, the body shops have been a hive of activity, constantly changing with the times. A lot of innovation takes place, is customer taste sensitive, strongly social and environmentally conscious, possessing appealing, natural and personal attention to the customer, responsive to the current needs and strategic in approach. In addition, the goods are of high quality, the leader is daringly radical, possesses a good franchising network with a unique anti animal testing stance. All these attributes have blended so well together so as to boost the company success while defying proven industry norms. Further, we assert that the most important sources of this success have been many. The first source has been the environmental protection stand. Today, with the frequent talk on the uncontrolled planet degradation, anyone raising a finger against this scourge will receive a hearing. As such, the environmental crusade has highlighted the body shop on the international scenario. For another thing, the unique and strong community

ways have been dubbed


contribution thrust is an asset. The company believes that the company has a moral duty

to pay back, in some way, what is got from the community. This stance alone is a

powerful competitive advantage tool. Still further, the head of this organisation, Anita Roddick, is a robust, diligent and candidly outspoken leader who can not be easily

ignored. When she yells from her tunnel, the world halts to hear her. In addition, the ingredients used in the products are natural and do not allow testing on animals. The use of the environmentally sensitive methods receives a lot of applaud from all corners

of the world, thus the global acclaim given to the body shops. It is a curious fact that

the shops do not advertise, but the ingredients utilised do the marketing. Anita has been the single most powerful force in the company. Her management philosophies are excellent though they are centred on her and are quite imposing. If any will not toll the same line with Anita, they are surely on the warpath with the iron lady.

That not withstanding, she is an asset to the company in that she has led the company to

a strategic position, etching out a unique niche. Although there is a lot more

competition today, the shops continue to tower above rivals because Anita has wielded certain potent attributes onto the company culture. For example, the company is very sensitive to environmental and customer taste change, vibrant, agile, and responsive maintaining high quality products. Further more, there is a lot of innovation and ideas constantly flowing from Anita’s fertile mind. She has brought about product changes, initiated projects, research and collaborated with powerful NGOs to get mammoth tasks and changes done. Single handedly, she has resiliently and valiantly stood against the world even in the face of major opposition from her own employees. For Anita, dead orthodoxy is not relished but hounded out through the window. Once she sees

something and approves it, she will unflinchingly charge like the Bull towards the goal,

of course minding that the business continues to run successfully.

Obviously, there are many lessons we can learn form such a dynamic company and individual. Firstly we learn that if a company is to be successful in today’s hostile business environment, it must be constantly alert and adjust with the times. This means continuous improvement of products, be constantly learning, be more sensitive to


contribute to the community, and add a “human face” to the company. Secondly, we learn that a company must hire “Known quantities” as much as possible for these will attract attention to the company. Not only should these be known people, but also they must be creative, robust, resilient and diligent risk takers who will not mellow at puny attacks. Anita is the very epitome of constancy. Thirdly, we must ensure that though star players are preferred, the must not be allowed to paralyse others. This is evident at the Body shop where Anita is almost everything and no one dares cross her path. This means that when she fizzles out from the business horizon, the company sinks with her. An ideal situation is to have a “pool” from which to tap leaders. Anitas’ eccentric manoeuvres are uniquely good but their sustainability is questionable. Fourthly, let it be noted that the company must be agile, fluid, unbureaucratic, flexible, customer sensitive and must provide that ‘personal touch’ to their business. Customers must feel individually appreciated and noticed. Myriad companies have staggered to the company graveyard because of the loss of that personal and good quality speedy service to customers. Fifthly, the company must maintain a clear strategic mission that should, like the star that guided the wise men, lead the company to its destiny without much ado. Sixthly, the unique and unprecedented product niche must be guarded jealously. Not only must this be improved and expanded, but also the products themselves must be improved continuously. The body shop is unique in its social goals as well as in its use of natural











ingredients. Others are copying this uniqueness today but they cannot attain unto its unique prowess. From the afore mentioned lessons, we can clearly see that the Body shop deviates widely from the normal business trends. Although one’s hair stands on end when thinking about this entity, yet a company can survive outside the norm, as long as it reads the times well and acts at the right time. Timing and the right moves are what count. Having asserted thus, let us be quick to say that it is safer to use the long tested and tried ways, though with a strategic eye. Looking at the way that the company has developed and evolved over the years, especially in the UK, we have reason to believe that the body shop has a bright future though this will be hard won. The business world is replete with companies that are moving towards the use of the same natural ingredients that have hitherto made the company have a strong uniqueness. The niche has scarcely been neither challenged nor eroded. In the light of the emerging threats, it is imperative that the company relocates to a more sustainable position that will strengthen the uniqueness. Among the many things it will have to do it its quest to evolve into a better company is to maintain and

” to clients, its sensitivity and responsiveness to the

changing demands and tastes of customers out there. Above all, the company must continuously be innovative, train human resource to take over from Anita, and not lose focus on its community contribution ethic. Now that the body shop is confronted with the titanic task of penetrating the American market, it must adjust its gears very well because the issues it will face are fundamentally different from the usual. For example, the American consumer tastes will differ. Further more, the big social concerns such as the environmental crusades are not as hot issues in the States compared to Europe. Added to the list of potential hurdles is the legal environment, trade restrictions, approval criteria of products by the American authorities, the difficulty to recruit people with a like passion as those else where in the body shop network and the threat from more apt “copy cats”. One other concern is the age-old stance of not advertising. On the American market, if a company will not advertise, it will not be noticed and book a place among the company graves. These and many strategies that have eked triumphs in Europe may not carry the day in the States. That notwithstanding, the Potential market is there as long as the following are observed; Firstly, the company should strategise, by initially carrying out a market research and then looking for the best way to enter the market. One way could be to produce some exceptionally high quality products that can be given free to some key clients for a start. Powerful policies and structures that will ensure sustainability over time must further support this strategy. I suggest that initially, only one outlet initially be open and then spread wings depending on the performance of the same. As such, there must be an allowance for a pay back period of say two years. This may mean running at a loss for a while before breaking even. It would be wises that the shop hires “known quantities” that wholeheartedly imbibe the Body shop ethics and who will fearlessly champion the entity causes. Alternatively, the shop could identify the “Big” social issues on American soils, adopt them and champion the same. Furthermore, The community contribution must be elected carefully so that it is relevant. Natives could be trained who will easily accomplish all these. In addition, I feel that the Anita grip over the company must be modified to allow more liberty for the shop mangers. Apart from franchising, the company must now reconsider its stance on marketing. In the UK, absence of direct marketing may work, but the American situation is different, therefore, due care must be given. It is true that what has made the shops thrive all a long has been the risky ventures and unorthodox methods, but this new prospect calls for walking circumspectly lest failure dents the company image. The legal environment

enhance its “

personal attention

as well ought to be watched carefully and if possible, the best lawyers and partnership/collaborations are sought. If an American partner can be found, a partnership knot could be tied. Lastly, the company must strengthen its niche by adopting new strategies that will highlight the uniqueness of the products. Topping those qualities should be the high standards and usefulness of the products. The community contribution must come in by and by though must be highlighted in the mission statement too. As Anita and colleagues peer into the future, I would encourage them to launch full throttle onto the American market knowing that the battle is not unique but inevitable!


Bower, Bartlett, Uyerterhoeven, and Walter, Business Policy: Managing Strategic Processes, 8 th Edition, Richard D. Irwin

Case study 6

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3333 DDDD % % % % ,,,, I t was scarcely a year after Gurcharan had

It was scarcely a year after Gurcharan had been seated pondering his company’s two unorthodox but crucial moves. The first was to be a major supplier of a raw material to the holding company and secondly, to manufacture a product not on the corporate list. Having laboured tirelessly but successfully to rescue Richardson-Hindustan limited (RHL), from certain collapse, the holding company, Richardson-Vicks (RVI) was suddenly bought in November 1985 by the internationally budding Proctor & Gamble. In many ways this sudden purchase brought with it many implications to Das as well as the company. Having been president for some time and having sufficiently set the company on the firm rails to success, it was time to switch allegiance and focus- a hard but unavoidable prospect. For one thing, the purchase of the company meant that the company had to be reorganised be refocused and had to change its focus. A year earlier, Das could safely state that “This Company (RHL) will live or die on its marketing”. That assertion was not so now, as the new owners focused on product quality and development rather than on marketing, as had been the case hitherto. This development meant that Das had to restructure the RHL management considerably to a participative approach, which was his preferred method. The new holding company brought a culture into the RVI that was different. For example, personal ties were closer, spouses of officials were more involved in the affairs of the company, cared for employees, did less paper work rather more interaction, had different management style, evaluated people by performance,

had more frequent internal job changes and had a

these were unlike the former regime and had to be learnt anew. In the past, for example, team spirit, grooming up personnel and a life long international career and otherwise was not the practice. But now, the times had changed and the promotion prospects enhanced, though potentially more elusive than before. In addition, P & G emphasised a standard international product image. Since Procter & Gamble (P & G) was hardly known in India, It was a challenge to RHL to lead the onslaught in the market penetration in the hitherto closed Indian market. Thus far, Unilever reigned as market king but now, RHL was to open up the door for effective expansion for P & G. Das did very well such that by 1987, the P & G management looked at him as one of “the most valuable players” on the Indian playing field. The company had spread, the market enlarged and the brand better known, though more still needed to be done. As a result, more responsibility fell on his shoulders such as managing Thailand and Indonesia. Here also, the man proved his worth, especially so that those areas were places hostile to Indian Nationals. For Das, this probably meant another challenge at his business acumen. Having been trained at Harvard University in the USA, he possessed within his chest multiple abilities and a strong affinity for motherland India. Although widely exposed internationally, with an excellent track record in management and with even higher prospects in sight, Das still orbited around India all the time. As earlier intimated, he was a man of many parts, possessed a brilliant, creative, agnostic, curious and sensitive mind. Not only so, he was diligent about his business, resilient, a risk taker and

. Most of

100% internal promotion

passionate about whatever cause he engaged upon. Even though he had a passion for business, his wide interests also lay in politics and writing, no wonder he had such a vast array of friends from all fraternities! This was the man who was confronted with this sudden change in November 1985. His destiny hereafter would be determined by the choice he made at this point. He could easily abandon ship and dive into politics or remain on board and prove his mettle in the new setting. By all likely standards, RHL was home for Das but it would appear that he hoped one day to flex his political muscle, given the opportunity. His peers knew fully well that a top Government job would be ideal for Gurcharan but in the same breathe, it would be a nightmare because of the lousy politicking and the monumental bureaucracy, which could not be shaken off as easily as in a private company. This vice stuck like algae on the Government walls. One potent blow would be enough to smash bureaucracy in RHL but a life long effort would not yield results in the Government. Yet the door remained open to him. Where as for RVI, the new management meant new philosophies imbibed, ideals and goals, for P & G, the new procurement meant many pregnant opportunities for international growth. Being a budding international company, The RVI ownership meant being propelled further onto the international scene, as RVI had a strong international presence. Further more, RVI had known quantities on board and could thus enter new markets without much ado. In many instances, RVI was regarded as an indigenous company because local managers who knew the way to go ran some of its subsidiaries. This was clearly seen in the case of RHL where Das was very key to the Indian market. All in all, for P & G, the procurement meant a wealth of potential expansion internationally. Having considered the options and life of Gurcharan, I could not help but be challenged by the life and prospects that confront me as a potential manager. When I look at this excellent and racy man, I am caused to ask myself many questions as to my readiness to grab the top management jobs that might come my way. Among the many questions that visit the shores of my brain are the following: Firstly, am I ready to work anywhere on this terrestrial ball? Das seems to have his heart securely anchored to motherland no matter where he goes, do I have such a pulse? Secondly, do I posses what it takes to be the manager of tomorrow? Excellent modern management facts are replete in my mind but am I equal to the task? In other words, would I make a good General manger? Thirdly, in my present company, what are the prospects confronting me? What doors lie open for my career advancement? How am I valued and what criteria are used to evaluate me? The future potentially looks bright but I must do my best now so that I can sow seeds for a better tomorrow. Gurcharan Das has eked an illustrious and distinguished international career weathering all odds due to his mental and pragmatic prowess, might I be endowed with similar and even better powers!

Case study 7 Boutros Ghali- The Organisational Politician

Case study 7 Boutros Ghali- The Organisational Politician B outros Ghali unceremoniously left the United Nations'

Boutros Ghali unceremoniously left the United Nations' top job at the end of 1996, having unsuccessfully fought to restructure and refocus the titanic global Organisation. He left amidst a lot of speculation controversies and unresolved conflicts with his foes that had mushroomed from every quarter. They ganged up to eliminate him. Despite all their evil machinations, Ghali stood his ground, akin to the stationary pyramids. This was a brave attempt by all standards.

But what really happened? What were the root causes? What was wrong with either the United Nations or Ghali himself? The article "Why Boutros fell from grace" from the October 1999 New African Magazine Issue attempts to answer these questions and gives us valuable insights into Organisational Politics and inefficiency. Boutros stepped into office in 1991 with a clear vision to succeed and turn around the world body to a more relevant and strategic position. Having scanned the Organisation, he noticed that among many things, the Organisation had not changed with the times, had bureaucratic hierarchical structures, was largely controlled by the U.S.A, had excess staff, no financial discipline and highly selective in its' operations. Worst of all, it was financially crippled needing immediate funding or risk closing its' doors. The United Nations’ operations are funded through national subscriptions of which the U.S.A is the highest contributor. Unfortunately, the USA had defaulted to pay and after much protracted negotiations by Ghali, the USA offered to pay a part payment of $680 million. This cash was far from making any significant changes to the financial doldrums. Ghali spoke out this and many other issues infuriated the Security Council as well as the Americans.

His determinations to cut down costs and proposed to restructure and re-engineer the inefficient Organisation were met with criticism prejudice, suspicion and scorn by all quarters. Objectively, the plans were good but viewed subjectively. The said plan was to lay off excess staff, regulate travel, meticulously watch all financial transactions, seek approval from the top and thus make the Organisation agile, fluid and responsive to the changing needs of the world. Back in 1945, the needs were different, needing a different strategy but the 1990s also needed equally different strategies to foster world peace and development. The post cold war era needed an Organisation that was free from either the USA or Soviet influence. Sadly, it still is firmly in the clutches of the USA.

What happened and what is the status today? As you will notice, there was resistance to change basically because certain quarters felt threatened by the potential job losses, hierarchical and bureaucratic dismantling as well as being "ruled" by an African! As such, the change never took place and pretty much the same today. Despite many strides towards change, the Organisation has remained complex, bureaucratic, inefficient, wasteful and not really focused. Koffi Anan, the man who took over, is basically an American pawn on the chessboard with no teeth to bite.

Scanning through the article, one notices a number of pitfalls in the Ghali’s approach to change. Despite having excellent ideas on paper, it seems to me that he largely worked alone, did not consult much, and was too quick to implement change and was largely naive at the venom of his foes. His pride scratched the equally obstinate enemies in the face and so, they hounded him out! In my view, the dismal failure at implementation stage could have been avoided if people had been given leeway to debate, train and made to buy the plans. This was not done hence the "still born" implementation. Change takes time, no matter how radical, and will always be opposed. This is when leadership and management are put to the test.

Today, the United Nations appears a Porsche organization from the outside with its fine glittering buildings in New York and yet lies in a financial and operational coma. It needs an organizational surgery with a new lease of cash into its system continuous change and training is a must. Unless quick action is done to realign it, the UN will remain a white elephant with one foot in the grave while serving the interests of only a selected few countries. The time to act is now!


Bower, Bartlett, Uyerterhoeven, and Walter, Business Policy: Managing Strategic Processes, 8 th Edition, Richard D. Irwin

Case study 8


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&&&& EEEEFFFF !!!! GGGG G etting started in a foreign new market can be a nightmare.

Getting started in a foreign new market can be a nightmare. This was the experience of the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan, where their products were not appreciated until certain unorthodox methods were devised. Back in the USA, the fast food sold like hot cakes but in Japan, it had to take the likes of Loy Weston and Shin Ohkawara. But who are these maverick individuals? From whence do the hail? Loy is American and has vast experience in the Far East, having laboured in Japan during the Korean War. Weston had been intrigued by the oriental culture and studied it thoroughly before returning to the States. In many ways than one, he was the right man for the job. On the other hand, Ohkawara is native Japanese and has excellent local contacts. He too has vast experience having worked for the giant printing firm, Dai Nippon of Osaka. The pair is simply marvellous when working together. For a long time, the Mitsubishi Company had desired to popularise chicken sales in Japan but had had problems. As such, the said company approached Kentucky Fried Chickens (KFC) with a view to start up a partnership in Japan. KFC willingly obliged as they were planning further international penetration. The only problem that confronted the partnership was the lack of the right human resource, which was solved when the above mention duo were hired. These were valiant men equal to the mammoth task. Initially, as earlier intimated the Fried Chicken shop went in with the all time popular American dish and menu, which to their surprise was a near disaster. The local people preferred other dishes! For the Natives, fish and not chicken was the meal! After several dismal attempts, the duo devised survival strategies. As would be expected, cash was the need of the times. KFC International came to the aid and got the KFC Japan on its feet once again. Weston and Ohkawara figured that their only survival strategy lay in the innovations that met the local needs best. As such, they introduced some local foods like fish on the list, though not formally approved by head office. This innovation proved extremely successful because the locals loved the taste, service and quality of the food. In a short time, KFC Japan begun to blossom and opened other outlets as the demand grew. Today, KFC Japan is a shining example of a KFCI outlet that has adapted to the local scenario and excelled. But as expected, the apparent independence of KFC Japan was not well received by all concerned stakeholders at KFCI. Their arguments run as follows: firstly, the added dishes are not on the list of the KFCI products world wide, why should KFC Japan be unique? Secondly, some feel that the shape, size and the design of the kitchens in Japan are not akin to the standard KFCI allowable. The Outlets in Japan are slightly smaller and slightly crammed together. Thirdly, the quality of food and the place where the food is prepared is not to the KFC international standards, although may be acceptable by the local standards. Fourthly, the apparent disregard of, and hostility to the KFCI by the KFCJ management irks many. KFCJ willfully refuses to neither obey nor implement uniform standards and also questions every suggestion that comes from KFCI. Quality standard auditors from KFCI also have a tough time with KFCJ. This situation has led to a situation where KFCI is seen to be interfering with local operations worldwide. In

general, KFC is not managing its international operations well because of two reasons. Firstly, for many years, the head office neglected the international operations and let them run independently as well as fend for them selves. They grew like ‘wild grass’. How then, can HQ suddenly come issuing orders at this late hour? Secondly, though closely akin to the first point, the HQ has not effectively communicated with the subsidiaries the new strategies. Having had such a weak and fragmented background, there is need to come in slowly while explaining the new approach. The top management must be sensitive to the unique views of each KFC outlet because the new and excellent strategies if insensitively and wrongly applied will lead to another disaster. So far, the KFCI has handled the situation badly. It must be realised that although international uniformity is required in multinational companies, certain standards are not applicable in some cultures, although the principle remains the same. This scenario is what obtains in the fast food franchising business and demands organisation, strategic vision, financial muscle, high quality fresh food, speedy service, wide menu selection and knowledge of the local cultural traits. Unlike the other products, food is very sensitive and affects the very foundations of some one. It takes time for one to convert to new foods, especially if they are exotic. That is what confronted KFCJ. Talking about these impediments means that the Kentucky Fried Chickens must alter its strategy to suit the prevailing local circumstances. In as much as a uniform international menu is desirable, room must be given for the local KFCs to add the perceived delicacies, of course bearing in mind certain principles. Firstly, these ‘offshore’ outlets must maintain the highest hygiene standards that cannot be faulted either locally or internationally. This calls for more accurate planning ensuring that minimum stock is kept thus lessening the mass destruction of the food, after specified

time limits. Secondly, The Company must “

”. This will

entail still delegating some muscle in the local management to make local strategic decisions, of course in consultation with the HQ. Effective communication is crucial prior to any implementation of plans. The Dick Mayer ‘stages theory’ of country management is plausible because it is progressive and fosters better overhead management. The three stages advanced were the following:

1. The entrepreneurial stage where there is a lot of managerial orientation. This needs goal-getters like Loy Weston. At this stage, very little bureaucracy or inflexible

think globally but act locally

control is applied. This is at the initial stages of foreign market penetration.

2. The second stage involves the involvement and appointments of local baronies as

management. This ensures that the same champion the cause locally and help the natives to accept the company easily. The last stage is marked by the appearance and hiring of professional managers who run the company henceforth. This has been the stage at which KFCJ has been at daggers drawn with the HQ. Professional Managers are generally viewed as strategic thinkers, objective and accurate observers, who can easily read the times and ably anticipate trends. In a nutshell, the professional managers are long term planners, as their plans are sustainable. By all standards, this approach is fine as long as it still remains conscious of the unique local needs. If the above management proposal is anything to go by, then it means that the KFCI management must change and standards set which all must imbibe. As earlier intimated, the background notes about KFCI are not plausible, but time has come when the house should be made orderly again. To achieve this, patience, training and much discussion has to go into it. Let the lessons learnt from the past experience serve as a beacon to avoid a similar mishap in future. This means KFCI getting involved from the initial stages all the way through to the maturity of the same outlet. We have reason to

believe that present hostile reaction from the foreign field is largely due to the past neglect by HQ, much like how a child would react to a long absent parent who suddenly appears issuing marching orders! This brings us to the question as to how to handle the present independent minded staff like Loy Weston. Though he has been elevated to vice president for the North Pacific, he still is viewed as obstinate. In many ways, the hot criticism is not justifiable for the following reasons; Firstly he was made that way by the company, when they did not support nor nip his unorthodox tendencies in the bud. As such, he is merely acting consistent with the past culture. Secondly, care must be taken to recognise that Weston is a goal-getter and by that token has certain strengths that others do not possess. Further, he has a thorough knowledge of the market, tastes, and the culture, which no other person from the West may possess. His vast experienced is unequalled as well. Thirdly, let it be noted that Weston is a “known quantity” in the north Pacific as well as all the Pacific rims of the Far East. This goodwill alone should make KFCI tread carefully lest they lose some market. Believe it or not, some people’s presence on board speaks connections and quicker market triumphs. My only appeal is that Dick Meyer should directly talk with Weston rather than the arm chair criticism tactics he has employed hitherto. Weston must feel valued, respected and saluted for the excellent feats he has thus far achieved and then reason with him about the new strategies. Let it never be forgotten that Weston has studied some law privately, and so, he is bound to react eccentrically if not diplomatically approached. Care must be taken to ensure that KFCI is not merely reacting with an individual rather than a wrong principle. I say so because the criticism seems to be aimed at an individual rather than a practice. Having laboured to table the new strategies, he must be gently told to choose whether to tow the same line or leave. Past follies must be acknowledged and then the new strategies asserted. Alternatively, Weston could be moved to new markets where penetration is needed. He may not easily countenance this frequent shuffling though! Lastly, he could be recalled to head office as one of the Directors so that he can see the dilemmas. If still unyielding, sadly, KFCI must part with the man, for the 21 st Century manager must be learning all the time and flexibly change with the times. This painful decision must be arrived at after the KFCI has done a critical self-audit. Could it be that the internal system is faulty? Having cleaned the house, it will now be possible to spread the wings wide, flap them and then fly to success!


Bower, Bartlett, Uyerterhoeven, and Walter, Business Policy: Managing Strategic Processes, 8 th Edition, Richard D. Irwin

Case study 9 Sam Walton-Builder of a stores empire-++++



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Wal- Mart was probably the best place to be in at the end of 1993, as it had been experiencing continuous phenomenal growth for a number of years. It was voted among

and had captured the fifth to ninth spots

of the richest Americans. For a number of years Wal-Mart had been an exciting place for any that worked there, especially under the inspiring leadership of Sam Walton who had left a huge complex company at his death. Wal-Mat had exploded from a small insignificant entity to a giant multinational chain of stores. Now it was by far the biggest in the market, with no rivals to benchmark with. By that token, David Glass and Don Soderquist, the CEO and COO faced a mammoth task to maintain the much- heralded triumphs of the past despite changes in the business environment. But what propelled it to such heights in such a short time? How secure was their leadership position in the market and how profitable were the diversification efforts?

After running some small businesses, Sam opened the first Wal-Mat shop in

the richest companies by the

Forbes magazine



slowly steered the store to success. The secret of his business, as is the case for many

discount stores, was to offer goods and services at a discount, say

standard market price. This was possible through bulk purchases and bargains with suppliers. The sources of this companys’ success lay in a number of excellent strategies. Firstly, Wal-Mat invested in technology where all the latest information was captured, analysed and sent around the Wal-Mat stores via satellite. While other shops were still using old methods, Wal-Mat had this powerful tool thus having a competitive

from the

this powerful tool thus having a competitive from the 10% advantage. This enabled the company also

advantage. This enabled the company also to put in place a just in time system where

goods were ordered and delivered speedily to the customer always. Inventory, although still very much part of the business was minimised. In this way, the customer was better served. Secondly, The quality of goods sold was excellent, at a lower price. This under cut the bigger shops which sold the same goods but at a higher price. Thirdly, the Wal- Mat employees worked like ants building a castle. Team work, modern management styles (e.g. “management by walking and flying around”) and customer focus all blended in so well and complemented each other to make Wal-Mat a force to reckon with. Those brainstorming sessions for example, made people feel important and heard so much that when they put their hand to the plough, all their souls were involved. Last but not the least, the choice of placing stores in the neglected “little one-horse shoe towns” was superb. In a nutshell, the company is what it is because of the technology, Satellite communication, speedy customer service, teamwork, management style, location, pricing strategy, cost consciousness and continuous customer taste sensitivity. Wal-Mat etched its niche very well.

But being at the market apex has its own nightmares. Every time, there is fear of losing the top slot to some unknown competitor. As such, the giant must watch out all the time. What are the things to be done to maintain market leadership, if we may ask? For one thing, Wal-Mat is far much different from what it used to be in those formative years. Then, it could afford mistakes and still forge ahead; the picture however, is different today. The company is big, complex, multinational and diversified. It is also the centre of attraction from the press. I think Wal-Mat still stands a big chance to

maintain its position if it sticks to the good old company ethics of teamwork, continuous ethical and quality improvement, and effective communication, though in a more complex setting. In addition, the company must continue to be customer focused, be a learning organisation and etch another niche in all new products. Company agility, Quality, timely customer service, aggressive frequently changing marketing strategies must be the hallmark of the company. Furthermore, the company must look for ways to ensure that the pricing system, although lower, is within the law because frequent lawsuits dent the company good will. Also, Wal-Mat must not tire studying rivals despite being the market leader, technological advances and excellent cost saving measures of the past must be maintained, if not enhanced. Having looked at the sustainability of success, we now pass on to analyse the effectiveness of the diversification into the food industry. As you will recall, Wal-Mat in those earlier years specialised in non-food products but in the last few years, the food service component has come in. As will be noted, this industry is potentially very

profitable if well managed. For example, in 1992, it was worth

lot of money! It is also on record that the presence of this food component increased the customer traffic because it was very convenient for shoppers. Under one roof, customers found a whole spectrum of needs from clothing to food, at a cheaper yet high

, seven days a week operating service were

convenient and flexible for the customers. In that way, Wal-Mat had loyal customers who would willingly walk in to buy every thing at whatever time they pleased. In my analysis, the food industry has come in handy as a complement and booster of the earlier business niche. In these turbulent days, a head start as well as another niche is crucial. Only a few things must be observed to maintain effectiveness. Firstly, the food quality must be second to none. This entails that the food must be fresh and of a fine taste! Secondly, the price must be lower than anywhere else. Thirdly, the customer tastes must be the driving force all the time. Fourthly, the service must be superb, including outside catering. Fifthly, this food component must be developed in such a way that it is integrated within the Wal-Mat brand name and always be enclosed within the large Wal-Mat product shops. At a later date, separate food shops could be opened when the fine Wal-Mat food brand name has been firmly established. With the advent of these potent developments, the spirit, focus and passion of Sam Walton must live on in principle, despite attacks from rivals, which attacks show that Wall-Mat is still feared and admired! Forward with strategic Wal-Mat!

quality standard. Furthermore, the

. This is a

$ 16.3 billion

24 hours
24 hours


Bower, Bartlett, Uyerterhoeven, and Walter, Business Policy: Managing Strategic Processes, 8 th Edition, Richard D. Irwin


Bill Gates-The feverishly creative leader




Bill Gates-The feverishly creative leader //// H e suddenly appeared on the computer horizon and has

He suddenly appeared on the computer horizon and has been there ever since. His name is Bill Gates, probably the richest and most influential man on this terrestrial ball. At 14 he had a company and by age 35, he was the Chief executive officer and Chairman of the Goliath Microsoft Company, except this time, this modern Goliath is invincible on the computer Market. Gates has sustained a powerful intense love for computers from his youth days and has continued to improve his mastery over computer software programs and this has surely rubbed on to the company teams. But from whence has Microsoft hailed and what has made it so powerful? What has been the “silver bullet” and who have been the major key players? For one thing, it is very clear that Bill has been at the helm of the Microsoft success. He, along with Paul Allen, a childhood friend started the small-unknown company in 1975, having had a short stint with MITS in New Mexico and then proceeded to open up Microsoft. The early days were rather rough because Microsoft was unknown in the computer forest where giants like IBM reigned supreme. Armed with only three workers, knowledge and determination, the company commenced business in New Mexico, later moving to Bellevue, Washington. Slowly but surely, Microsoft found its feet in the relatively new computer industry. Market positioning is a crucial stage. Knowing that for Microsoft to be noticed, there was need to be aligned to some big name, hence the choice to develop software programs for IBM was hardly surprising, this being an excellent strategy. Having noticed that many were more involved in hardware, Bill and Allen figured that the Software would be the need of the future, what insight they had! As such, they plunged headlong and developed many successful software programs such as BASIC and COBOL. These programs were excellent that Microsoft begun to licence out their products to the computer giants of the day. The said software programs were IBM compatible for example. In the fullness of time, Microsoft exploded and proved too big and independent. Thus, this entity has sailed to higher heights ever since… But what has been the secret behind Microsoft, when a myriad companies in the same industry have folded up? How has it managed to defy all company demise, but to the contrary, managed to blossom further? A number of reasons can be advanced when we analyse its progress against the competitive background from which it was hewn. Firstly, Microsoft etched out a powerfully unique niche. Its software products had such unique features, which rivals failed to copy, components like the operational and application packages. Secondly, Microsoft has always been customer focused, in most cases reading the “writing on the wall” as well as anticipating what features the customer would like. To that end, the customer has been the one to determine the end products. In addition, there has been speedy attention to the customer needs and orders. Thirdly, there has been continuous improvement on the programs ever so often, so much that the programs are improving every year. Microsoft has always had a special place for programmers and developers, no wonder the phrase “reverence for the Programmer” is strongly upheld. Not only is there a special place for the programmer, Bill Gates has created an intensely exciting atmosphere in the company as there is

commitment to graphics user interface and an efficient development process. This has been the backbone of Microsoft. Further more, the company has had aggressively strategic marketing ventures and teamwork has been the company culture from the beginning. The Gates leadership has cultivated an informal but highly charged atmosphere where people will do their job excitedly, many times working late. It has been fun to work at Microsoft, not so much the pay but the goals. A consistently watchful strategic out look has made Microsoft the trendsetter in the industry. As can be seen, Microsoft’s success cannot be solely traced to setting the standard for PC operating systems but rather its strength lies in the integration of programs so that one can work in more than one program at the same time. In the past, these programs were independent and could not be integrated, but now this hurdle has been overcome with the advent of windows. Further more, the dynamic and strategic leadership of Bill Gates whose insight into computers, zeal and determination to succeed has wrought success for Microsoft. The hiring and nurturing of the best college graduates and professionals is another way Microsoft has stood out from the rest. These graduates are sharpened and contribute brilliant ideas to the product development. Also, Gates has been careful to hire only the right people with the appropriate acumen, expertise,

” equal to the task. The products, by that

token have been of continuously improving quality, much to the pleasure of customers. As Microsoft has been becoming more complex, a deliberate effort has been made to

” culture so that the personal touch is not lost with time.

Contact with customers is vital. Whereas in the past, Microsoft only concentrated on churning out high quality impeccable programs, it has also gone further to cater for consultancy and customer service. This has been another plus. All the above has been achieved by the fiery zeal and determination of basically two men, Bill gates and Paul Allen. These men, as earlier intimated, worked closely together until Allen was taken ill in 1983. Bill continued to herald the Microsoft torch which has shone brighter over the years. Bill, possesses a peculiar simplicity about him that one cannot fail to notice. He is self-assured, creative, energetic and intense. The CEO also has a clear mind, insight into multiple issues and very daring too. When he is about a task, he works feverishly and relentlessly until the mission is accomplished. Software innovation is not for the fainthearted. Determination, diligence and hard work marks him out from other Chief executives. As one would expect, such a high profiled man is very passionate and demanding until results are produced, most of the products being time bound to keep a head start. The irony of it all is that this zest is contagious because Bill gives as much individual attention as possible on e-mail and other wise. He works closely with the developers and keenly reviews everything they do. Together, they have been able to develop such classic programs as MS-DOS, Word, Excel, Fortran, and PowerPoint. Apart from these programs, other developments have been in the operating systems and applications software, headed by Steve Ballman and Mike Maples respectively. This team has fought computer “wild beasts” and triumphed! Furthermore, Bill has continued to champion the development of other multimedia software programs. This man in particular has been highly inspirational and sensational, ideas never cease to flow out of that mind! Now that Microsoft is unquestionably the most powerful organisation in the computer software industry, many problems have begun to buffet it, which the Gates administration have and will wrestle with. That Microsoft is and will be the foremost software giant in the 21 st Century is beyond doubt, but to maintain that leadership is quite another another issue. For one thing, there is a general feeling that the

maintain a “

experience and must be “

Known quantities

small company

organisation is fast losing the “small company” culture due to its complex nature. Although vigorous efforts have been made to resist this decay, change is envitable, unless the company is fragmented into smaller units. The said complexity means that the company by bits loses the fluidity, agility and the “family-ness” of the entire organisation. Time was when Bill knew every one by name but with a nearly 14,000 workers world wide, it is practically impossible to know every one. Closely akin to the afore mentioned is the slow but sure increase of people who do not really identify with the initial passion, intensity, sacrifice, team work, high quality output and the continuous improvement goals that engulfed the forerunners to the present Microsoft. Today, it is feared, many join Microsoft with the self-gain motive rather than the love for the job as well as longing to see new products churned out, far ahead of any competitor. Continued growth and complexity has meant that the single Redmond

campus has proved inadequate. There is need to expand and probably explore other sites although this will lead to a further “unity” disintegration in the sense that the pace of development will not be uniform. Saliently, more professionals have had to be hired as well as train staff within. This is no mean task at all. Furthermore, the popularity of Microsoft programs has far outstripped the ability to satisfy the demand. Today, it is unthinkable to imagine a computer without the Microsoft programs, as the integrated operating and application programs are literary in every computer! This has led to a situation where even the newly introduced consulting and customer user services are far not equal to the demand. All these are business opportunities lost. If I were asked to advise Bill Gates on what to do to remain buoyant, I would suggest the following:

1. It is good that Gates has acknowledged that Microsoft is no longer the same as in those formative years. It is far more complex and naturally the centre of attraction World over. Thanks to his accurate foresight, Bill acted prudently long before hand in appointing Shirley and then Micheal Hallman as COO. But Gates should do this more often as need arises long before slothfulness creeps in and solidifies.

2. Bill should continue to be strategic in approach while the Hallman focuses on operations, ensuring corporate agility.

3. There is need to sharpen the customer sensitivity needs and to be as personal as possible.

4. Innovations and niches must continuously be explored. This means that Microsoft must not rest on its laurels but strive to be the trendsetter, where rivals find it difficult to copy. They must have a satellite approach where information is shared freely and quickly sent across the entire organisation.

5. Quality must run in all spheres of the organisation and products. The service must be speedy, timely, personal and customer satisfying. The products also must be excellent, always adding new features.

6. Every person joining the corporation must be a team player and have a similar passion for high quality and continuous product innovation. These traits must not be trifled with nor treated lightly.

7. In an extreme case, where Microsoft becomes too big to be governable, it must be split into small units. This is a very sensitive line to tow though.

8. Training of staff must be stepped up more vigorously than hitherto, so that they are inculcated into the company culture.

9. Effective communication is a must, more than ever before. Management by exception is becoming a must but this should not compromise detail and meticulousness.

10. The right information must be on hand all the time. As we know, one can have all the money but without information, all efforts are endangered because of the rapidly changing environment. Time and opportunity can only be redeemed when the correct information is at hand. This information is very crucial for strategic decision making. Also, everyone in the organisation must know what is going on at any time and no one relegated to the “information vacuum”. This tends to make people feel left out and as such, they will not put in their best due to lack of the same goal empathy.

11. Aggressive and constantly refined marketing strategies must be put in place.

12. Diversification is a welcome option where possible, but ensures that the core values of the company are preserved and enhanced. More computer accessories can be developed as well as an expansion of the present consultancy and customer services.

13. Give incentives to those who bring in excellent product innovations that are viable.

14. Continue to hire “


Microsoft. Having qualifications is one thing but being a team player is quite another issue.

Watch the market meticulously, and “benchmark” backward to ensure that the nearest rival does not get too close. Further, watch out for those unknown entities that might come up and undercut Microsoft. Recall that Microsoft itself was once a start up feeble company compared to the giants like IBM. The picture is entirely altered today because the “Big brother” despised the once “non entities” like Microsoft. Due to its size and power, it felt secure. Frequent market research and “market reading” are crucial, remembering that rivals are always prowling around looking for an opportunity to seize.

15. Watch out for bureaucracy that has crippled many powerful organisations. This “vice” tends to slow down the pace of development and corporate agility. The company structure must be kept as “flat” as possible, meaning that although a defined and organised structure should be in place, the layers must be kept at a minimum.

16. Keep information as secure as possible. Developmental secrets must not be leaked

to anyone or else rivals will pick them and outdo Microsoft. This means information must be classified and accessibility restricted to a few. This must be clearly explained to all employees that the issue at hand strategic rather than mistrust but a strategic move. As Microsoft hurtles into the 21 st century, and observing the above points, we are not afraid of the results. Let those who try to compete with Microsoft do as they please, we have the powerfully innovative and strategic Bill Gates team, and as such, we can safely rest our case!

Known quantities

” that have the same corporate goals


Bower, Bartlett, Uyerterhoeven, and Walter, Business Policy: Managing Strategic Processes, 8 th Edition, Richard D. Irwin

<<<< <<<< ,,,, %%%% #### 5555 5555 ,,,, !!!!

5555 5555 ,,,, !!!! O f the many successful companies that have hit the business

Of the many successful companies that have hit the business horizon, none perhaps has been so specially blessed to have a consistently growing loyalty and prosperity of all its employees as The Lincoln Electric Company. It has been around for nigh a hundred years and all these years have been years of growth, expansion and strategic placing of the company. Lincoln company is an excellent place to work at though it is not for the faint hearted who want to make a quick buck and dash off, rather it is for the resilient and hard working. Talking about the Lincoln Company today without the mention of the pioneers of this entity would be gross in justice. Due honour must be given. We will look at the two famous Lincoln brothers who graced the company horizon in those earlier days and put the company firmly on its rails, from which it has never departed. Who were these men, if we may ask? What did they do and why did they act as they did? Let us give them the honour that is due. The two were John C Lincoln and his brother James Lincoln. John initially begun the company in 1895 without his brother and ran it until 1907, a period of thirteen years in which time he, John, perfected the trade upon which the company was hereafter based.

He was a technical genius and as such, received

inventions he developed. His natural ability was perfected over the years such that by the time James joined him, the unique company products were fairly established on the market. But technical ability alone is not enough these days, John needed some one who had a management acumen, which was well packaged in his brother, James. We would not be far from the truth to assume that when James stepped onto the company premises, he immediately swung into action regarding the life long system reforms. The said reforms were so thorough that by the time the man left office, his ghost lingered in the company and has never been exorcised. The fact that his principles have never been altered or adjusted for over 30 years shows how timeless, excellent and useful his character must have been. His writings too, are also replete with evidence that James was a rugged individualist who strongly believed that anything was possible for any one as provided they elected to worked hard. These principles are reflected in the practices at the company. Thus, we have in a measure successfully sketched brief biographies of the two star pioneers, how excellent these men were!- each in his own right. But what did they do that has consistently propelled Lincoln Company to the market apex all these years? What are the classic management and employee approaches they have utilised that we may draw a leaf? In answering the question, it is fitting for us to state that arriving at a workable management practice takes time. Were we to judge the Lincoln management methods against the modern management trends, they would be somewhat archaic, but these are the ones that have fought and won battles for the company. The approach to the organisation is that the executives have endeavoured to

keep the “small company” feeling, akin to that at the

Microsoft except that here, thekeep the “ small company ” feeling, akin to that at the individual output matters more.

individual output matters more. In keeping with the resolve of being small, this has

for various apparatus

over 50 patents

being small, this has for various apparatus over 50 patents ensured that the company remains agile

ensured that the company remains agile in that the products are of consistently high and improving quality while reducing costs inversely. It is a firm belief that the costs and prices must be kept as low as possible. This means that as many ways of cost saving

have been devised to reduce cost such as maintaining simple but safe structures and furniture, designing and making own machines and having a “just in time” minimum inventory stock. Further, total quality has been the heartbeat because this ensures nigh zero defect products, which in effect pays back over time. The second key to the organisational approach is the strict adherence to the company objectives to which


and no one acts “ultra vires”. The company, unlike many modern

companies, is highly centralised in decision making and yet, ironically, the two chief executives are among the most accessible to every one in the company. The person with the lowest job has as much personal attention from the top as anybody else. This is seen as the executives walk around the company floor, people cheerfully talk to them with no dread, and also in the eating and parking places, no special places are reserved. Now this is unique! In the same breath, it means that the decisions are generally top-down though maximum communication is maintained. For example, the Chairman and president must both know what is going on to the minutest detail so that they can have a hand in making any decision. Having said the above, we hasten to say that Lincoln Company has a human face to it as well. The company practices are designed in such a way as to motivate the worker towards maximum output. This is seen in the incentive parameters which reward individuals according to the output, time spent, initiative and new ideas brought into the company. In this way, many feel attached to their jobs and will willingly work long hours so as to gain that extra buck. At Lincoln, it can be truly said that “Time is money”! Let it be noted that this arrangement makes people need minimum supervision because of the created conducive working environment guaranteeing freedom of expression, individual importance and worth. Another important motivational factor has been the preference of internal promotions, tapping local talent from those espousing the same company goals. This approach has caused the hard working sort to amass enough personal assets corresponding to their output. This feels good and highly motivates. Furthermore, the company pays handsome bonuses at the end of every profitable year as well as ensures that the employees are given permanent jobs, thus creating security and not stifling innovations. As a result of the aforementioned approaches, the work culture at Lincoln is that which people are hard working, diligent, have high morale, are cost conscious, aim for speedy high quality product and service output, have little idle time and are their own supervisors. If they relax, it means less pay, the reverse being equally true. These factors have kept Lincoln buoyant over the years. Having scribbled an excellent picture about the past, our concern now shifts to the future as to how these past successes will be maintained. What safety gadgets will be inserted to ensure sustained market leadership? The following strategic moves must be












highlighted. In the first place, the

cost cutting methods through new ideas and new

techniques must continue to thrive.

In the second place,


must continue to be

intertwined into all the products taking particular care that the external customer sets the pace. The internal customer (i.e. the employee) must also be satisfied continuously

too. Thirdly, the company must ensure it cuts out a

Further more, new innovations and products should be placed on the market waytoo. Thirdly, the company must ensure it cuts out a emerging as the trendsetter. Also, the

emerging as the

trendsetter. Also, the company must meticulously watch out for emerging and established competitors who may undercut Lincoln and take over the market, for many market leaders in other markets have realised too late that a once puny rival had

niche which rivals will not easily

puny rival had niche which rivals will not easily reactive, ahead of competitors. Lincoln should be

ahead of competitors. Lincoln should be proactive

rather than

overtaken them. Speedy and timely quality service must seal up the strategic manoeuvres of tomorrows’ Lincoln company. If I were asked to make some recommendations to Mr Willis, the current president, I would give the following advice; Firstly, the company must continue to remain unwaveringly loyal to the time tested attributes of continuous cost cutting maneuvers.

This is attainable when the

operations, as there will be minimal inventory storage over heads. Secondly, the company must continue to maintain improved high quality goods, and where possible, more innovations and new products launched on the market periodically. These must be according to current customer tastes resulting from frequent market researches. The company must know why people prefer the Lincoln product. Thirdly, the company must invest in modern technology, which will help in keeping ahead of competitors, as well in the making of informed strategic decisions. Fourthly, The Company, while

Just in time system is strongly engrafted into the company

Just in time system is strongly engrafted into the company attempting to be innovative, must ensure

attempting to be innovative, must ensure it keeps its finger on its all time



. This is a niche that has been etched out and needs strengthening at all












interaction and minimal structure levels. In addition to the aforementioned point, bureaucracy must be fought from all angles, as it has slain its thousands. The “small company” feeling must be maintained. Sixthly, as the company becomes more complex, there may be need to have a formal structure and to some extent, the executives must begin to delegate some of the minute details so that they concentrate on the strategic aspects of the company. Care however must be taken to ensure that slothfulness and bureaucracy does not rear its ugly head killing initiative, which has been the hallmark of the company hitherto. Lastly, the incentive system must be further refined though some time for relaxation must be introduced. Life is not all about work and money. The Lincoln Company approaches to personal motivations can equally work in other companies but this depends on the nature and maturity of the business as well as the established work culture. This motivation system has worked well at Lincoln because the pioneers set the pace and actually lived out what they preached. For example, they were consistently very hard working all their lives and maintained effective but simple communication with everyone. Also, they strove to know workers by name, this alone, is a powerful motivation to employees. If the personal touch and the ‘Earn as you work” system are absent, the motivation system will not work sustainably. The absence of company wide issue consultation and the autocratic tendencies accounts for the reason why many companies do not follow Lincolns’ example. On the other hand, some view the Lincoln motivation system as strenuous, inconsiderate when one is incapacitated and not a sustainable practice although the individual pocket is satisfied. Furthermore, the reward system is designed by the top executives alone, who do not consult or know exactly the stress levels each job evokes within a person. The given reasons suffice for our purposes as to why few companies espouse the Lincoln approach. Having analysed the reasons why very few companies would throw in their weight behind the Lincoln method, we move on to comment on the management practices with respect to the modern trends. The Manager of the year two thousand and beyond is one who is pictured as robust, strategic, team leader/player and one who is not the bossy type but rather, one who considers others as equally critical to the output chain. In fact, in modern management circles, teamwork is the buzzword and is emphasised far above the individual performance. These trends have been learnt from the Japanese who have employed teamwork effectively which results in high morale and commitment to the

company cause. Furthermore, the manger of today is not expected to be autocratic or to make all the decisions. Minimum management and informal structures are preferred so that bureaucracy will not creep in nor stifle innovations. Also, this makes the company remain strategic, agile and fluid, thus moving with the times. In addition, employees are expected to contribute ideas, brainstorm and be party to the final decision unlike in the traditional approach where all the decisions were enacted at the top and pushed down for implementation. The top-down approach has not been effective in that the actual implementers on the ground do not identify with the goal, as decisions are “Pushed down their throats”. The traditional approach largely, has been the adopted practice at Lincoln. Although some tenets found in it are also found in modern management. By that token, we could safely say that the Lincoln style leans on the past in decision making but in some cases also incorporates modern trends. With all due respect to James Lincoln, I think the company ought to shed off certain tendencies, which, in and of them selves may not be wrong, but need to be revisited in the light of the turbulent business environment as well as complex company status. For example, some decisions ought to be delegated so that the chairman or president devotes himself to strategic matters, which will see the company through to the next millennium. In addition, the time for a formalised hierarchical structure is now ripe, but in the same breath maintaining minimum structure levels and openness lest bureaucracy creeps in to wreck havoc. As I look twenty years hence, I think Lincoln will remain the place I would desire working at as long as the motivation patterns are constantly revised to match the modern trends. Today, there is the realisation that there is more to life than just money, into which we trust, the Lincoln Management will look. Fly on to higher orbs then ye Lincoln company!

Case study 12 Chikondi Phiri-An upcoming leader

Case study 12 Chikondi Phiri-An upcoming leader The interview at hand was carried out by Dr.

The interview at hand was carried out by Dr. Billy Sichone on 21 st September 2001. At the time of the interview, the respondent, Mr. Chikondi Phiri, was the Area Development (ADP) Manager for the Namuso ADP located 618 kilometres west of Lusaka. The said officer has been in the area for three and a half years and has been at the helm of one of the most spectacular transformations that have taken place in World Vision circles. Prior to his arrival, the program was riddled with multiple problems such as a demotivated staff, continuous running inter personal squabbles with the community and among staff themselves. At the interview time, he was about to launch out to another higher challenge having successfully turned around the mammoth program back to sanity. Mr. Phiri holds an MSc in Water Engineering and is currently pursing an MBA with the Redeemer College, Canada.


1. Mr. Phiri, I notice that you have been at the Namuso ADP for some

time, could you

briefly tell us about your self?

I first came to the Western Province in 1996 as a project coordinator but shortly became a Program Assistant. With the encouragement of my wife, we left to pursue higher studies at Morogoro University, Tanzania. Upon our return in 1998, we were again sent back to Mongu where I took up Management up to date when I leave for the Southern Province.

2. Is this your first Program to Manage? Yes. As earlier intimated, I was a Program Assistant until I returned from studies.

3. What, in your own definition is Management? Management is the art of getting things done through other people. This involves control, directing and coordinating the implementation of activities to their appointed ends.

4. What are some of the challenges you have faced whilst at Namuso? I have faced multiple challenges during my tenure in literary every area especially so that it was my first time to Manage a project. I found a diverse work force with different goals and attitudes to work and out look to life. I had to fit in and then meticulously turn the tide to the correct direction, having been charged by my former National Director, Mr. Bwalya Melu. There was a lot of disorder at the time but through consistent hard work and clear thinking, we have managed to undo the mess and put Namuso ADP on the map. It has been a team effort all the way through.

5. What is the workforce like at Namuso (Number of and type)? Presently we have a workforce of 7 members of staff at the ADP office plus 15 others located in the Program catchment area. In my estimation,

they are all unique but focused towards one common goal, to which end they exert themselves.


How have you managed to lead such a diverse workforce seeing that you took over whilst young? That hasn’t been a problem at all because I knew the source of my authority and carefully studied that people I was going to work with. I was open minded and ready for any challenges so as to handle them, which, in effect is what Management is about.


What was the situation like at Namuso when you first took office?


found an emotionally torn project as they had just lost a Manager. Due

to some prior problems, the office was disorganised and not systematic with staff highly demotivated and some what disillusioned. There were just too many unsettled issues at the time which needed to be carefully and diligently attended to. As though that were not bad enough, the ADP was in bad books with the support office. Thus, the first year was largely spent on clearing the past wreckage. For example, the community had no kind words for World Vision as they felt cheated at the sudden phase out of three previous Community Development Projects (CDP). This was the dark scenario in 1998.


What is the situation you leave now? You wouldn’t believe it, but the face of the ADP has changed drastically as people have a different view of World Vision. Our image has risen in the following areas:


Financial Discipline

Christian Image

Performance / Out put. Almost all our key staff are Christians of high standing and do their best all the times. They work as unto the Lord. We still have hurdles though but we are certainly far much than before.


What is the secret of your success?

wouldn’t say I have a secret per se but I think I attribute all this to the teamwork culture we have imbibed here. This has to do largely with the open management that we have had and also being open and truthful to the community as well. Consistency is very important when working with community.



What do you view as your most valuable assert in your work (people, machines, money)?

People! I value my staff so much as each of them is uniquely structured to contribute to the welfare of the organisation. As such, I ensure that each of them is treated well and each of case treated as it comes. With the right people at the right places, we can achieve phenomenal results. Unlike in the past where people were treated as things, I think if they are treated with the dignity that they deserve, they will sustainably go a

long way in doing good far above what I ask or imagine. Other things are but mere things to advance our cause.

11. Are there still some Managers who do not value people?

Oh yes of course but thankfully, the attitude has changed tremendously in World Vision

as the ADP Managers have been trained through the ADP 2000 leadership initiative as well as the 2003 programs in South Africa. We are moving on to higher ground!

12. Would you classify your self as a leader or manager?

I would classify my self as both though I think I am more being moulded into a servant leader who facilitates rather then bosses around, despite the constant temptation to.

13. What is the difference between a manager and a leader?

A Manager is one who merely controls, directs and implements the goals of a said

entity while a leader is one who inspires others by being visionary while helping others along to achieve a given goal. In other words, the leader is a coach, mentor and facilitator while a manager controls the implementation of plans. Now I use the word “control” guardedly because some people do not like the term because the connotation

of dictatorial tendencies.

14. What, in your own words, are the qualities of a good leader? The qualities of a good leader are that he/she is visionary and has the prowess to affect others towards a goal willingly. The said person has a clear mind, listens to others, empathises, and cares for the welfare of those he/she leads. Being a coach, the leaders possesses noble consistent characteristic upon his/her chest such as integrity, honesty, humility, open mindedness, willingness to learn and change, time for people, patience and a personal mission statement.

15. Obviously, you must have faced some challenges as a manager in this part of

the country, just how did you get round that hurdle? As I said in an earlier in answer to a question, I am a foreigner while my staff all largely natives. Naturally, but especially in Western province, there has been a prejudice against outsiders. I faced all that but I approached it positively and determined to prove my self over time. I think I have been vindicated by and large.

16. You have a family I suppose, how then do you manager to cope since you are

very busy and travel extensively?

I am married to a wonderful wife, Anne with whom we have two sons. From the beginning of our marriage, I have made sure that I have involved her in my work such

that she knows what goes on in the office, what I do and I even consult her on a number

of issues. When we went for studies, she was there with me as though she too was

actually doing the course! I remember the times when I would come home exhausted, she would read to me and help me to prepare for exams! This trend has continued though there are times when I have to do certain things alone when pressed with time. But at an appropriate time, she gets an update and then we continue. This is the only

way to balance things unlike a case where the wife has absolutely no idea what in the World the husband is up to!

17. You strike me as some one who is analytical and strategic as well, how did

develop those skills, has your previous professional background have a hand in this? Naturally, I like being clear minded and inquisitive, but this has been enhanced through training and being coached by some people.

18. Talking about strategy, what, in your own words is strategy and how does it help you in planning?

A strategy is simply a plan to achieve a goal. In other words, you come up with an

ultimate goal and then ask the question, “How shall we get there?” There after, you proceed to map out a plans and steps to achieve the goal. The route taken is the strategy. It is worth mentioning here that today, there is more and more on strategic thinking rather than planning, I hope you know the difference…

19. Would you classify yourself as a perfectionist, as we note that things that come out of your hand are of the highest quality?

I wouldn’t claim that I am a perfectionist in the strictest sense but I must say that I like doing a perfect job all the time. When I first took office at Namuso, I must confess that

I had more of those perfectionist tendencies. Obviously over time, I have learnt that we are at different levels necessitating the need to be patient while working to sharpen people to the required standards.

20. In your view do you think that World Vision in its implementation minds quality in out put? If not, how do you perceive that it could be improved?

If you looked at our reporting and way of doing things just over five years ago, you

would notice what great strides World Vision has made in the direction of improving

quality. This is further seen in the way people relate and do things in a team work kind

of fashion. At the National office, we have what is known as the Program Development

and quality assurance department (PDQA) whose main objectives is to largely ensure that reports and delivery systems in World Vision are of the highest levels. The other thing that PDQA does is to ensure that they refine project proposals from the various ADPs or indeed originate some themselves to source funding for World Vision Zambia

projects. In terms of improving the status, I would just say the road to quality improvement is a never ending one, I think World Vision could improve by being open and ready to change in these turbulent times.

21. How have you ensured that your staff is motivated, give us some insights in this.

I have tried my level best to motivate people in various ways such as complementing

them when they do a good job, being patient and ready to work with them, giving awards and in some cases, advocating for some people’s pay rise although I think money should not be the sole motivating factor. Other ways have been to encourage my staff to go for short refresher courses that will add to their CVs and build capacity in them. At other times, I have taken an interest in people’s lives and visited them at home when ill or just to say “hello!” Mastering peoples’ names has also helped things.

22. How do you handle people who are:

a. Younger than you?

b. Older than You?

c. Less educated?

I treat them all as equals, each unique, with something to offer. I am always conscious that I can learn something from each of them. In addition, when they are treated well, they feel motivated and will willingly do more. At other times, I have advocated their pay rise for example though not diligently. I believe that money should not be the single motivating factor to work but could be one of them. I would rather provide the best working environment.

23. What is your view of about training for staff? How often should that be?

I believe that training should be continuous and available to all without exception. We live in a dynamic world with new challenges every day.

24. Do you think the budget should be a limiting factor for training of staff?

I don’t think finance should be a limiting factor at all as training is essentially for quality results, which pays back many times over.

25. What is your view about the World vision staff training policy? Do you think every one is adequately catered for?

Potentially, the World Vision Zambia training policy is excellent only needing more funds. Before I left for Tanzania, for example, there were absolutely no training opportunities but now they are available for many disciplines relevant to the organisation. We may not cover every body presently but we are getting there having made a start.

26. What are some of the ways that you have managed to make people aware of the aims and objectives of World Vision in the Mongu Area?

We have had brochures done, been on the national and local radio, the National press as well as through our community leaders who have done a marvellous job explaining who we are.

27. I suppose that World Vision is now talking about sustainable development, how have you as a team ensured that this ethos is fostered and up held?

We firstly have had the task to uproot the previous mentality of handouts that the CDPs had employed and replaced them with new ADP approaches. Having “disinfected” their minds we have gone further to work along side the community, letting them identify their needs and learn to manage their own development. This has meant get them contribute something or offering them things on loan. In the way, they have cared for and owned things lastingly. In other words, we have taught them “to fish” rather then giving them fish. This has proved more sustainable.

28. World Vision is in the business of satisfying customers as well, who exactly are your customers? How o you ensure you satisfy them?

Our customers are the Donors whom we seek to continuously satisfy by providing timely and appropriate information at all times. In a way, the children, whom World Vision assists are also our customers. At all costs, the Donors must be satisfied or else World Vision risks losing support.

29. In your own words, what is teamwork and what is the place of it in World

Vision? Teamwork is simply working together across functional barriers to achieve goals. This means working as an organism where there is a free flow of ideas, information and methods of best practice. Unlike in the past, where people restricted themselves to their department, the modern office demands a matrix approach to issues so as to reap the maximum benefits from each person. This approach, akin to a football team is very profitable.

30. What are the goals of teamwork?

In my view, teamwork ultimately seeks to improve the product quality in a conducive enabling environment. In other words, team work improve and increases out put as people to achieve a goal as opposed when they work as “Islands”

31. Can you site an example where teamwork has been practiced or attempted in the World Vision partnership. What has been the result. Do you see this taking root in the organisation?

In 1999/2000, World Vision adopted the teamwork approach having noticed its benefits. Thus, the country was divided into regions with each region having a leader. These regions had a rotational leadership as each region was composed of many projects. This went on for some time but seems not to have worked much probably for a number of reasons. In my thinking, one of the main reasons was that we were not ready for the change and needed to be oriented much more, having all along been accustomed to an independent approach to work. There could be some regions still working as a team but by and large, we have informal ties where we consult each other freely as we meet in conferences or call each other on phone. It has helped tremendously. Having said the above, I think teamwork is the right way to go and as more people see the benefits, I have no doubt that we shall move forward.

32. At ADP level do you see any teamwork?

Oh yes! In fact that has been one of the greatest sources of my elation that I have witnessed whilst I was at the Namuso ADP. As I leave, I just marvel how people love their jobs and would willingly put in their best to achieve a goal. They work over and above to be reminded that they must go home to rest otherwise they would go on and on! People are focused and freely intermingle to share ideas and also to take over each others’ functions where need be. This emanates from the fact that people now take interests in each others’ domains as opposed to the past where they were content to remain within the confines of their departmental walls. For example, almost all our staff are studying, are all computer literate from the office attendant upwards and have all acted as Managers before, (with the exception of the office attendant) and each of them, though initially surprised have all performed extremely well. This has booted out put,

innovation, creativity and motivation in staff. This is simply marvellous! With respect to other ADP s, I have no telling exactly where they are, but I have reason to believe that they too are on the way to teamwork.

33. How has it been developed?

I think it is because of the approach that has been employed where as manager I have

taken time to study each members’ strengths, and ensured that I use them in the right places without the team members themselves knowing it. I have looked at Namuso as a football team with different players who can play certain numbers. In that way, as coach, I have strategically put each person in the best place. This has meant that I have taken the back role as a teacher, facilitator and coach, ready to give support when

needed. In the past I had perfectionist tendencies and wanted to be bossy but over time,

I have seen that it is more profitable to be there to guide and empower people to do the

right thing sustainable. It has been so gratifying to see the team members attempt new things, be creative and consult among themselves without my direct involvement. Now at Namuso, I do not worry about reports for example, because each department will do

its job diligently and timorously.

34. What are some of the benefits you have observed during the build up of the same?

The benefits are many as can be seen from what I have mentioned in the last two questions. Just to mention them again, there has been an improvement in the quality and timeliness of reports. There has been a marked improvement in the trust for each other and an appreciation of each other’s function. This has led to a situation where work will not be stalled or slowed down by the absence of any team member because others will quickly take over and over lap to cover up. By and large, we are achieving more result than at any time ever.

35. What are some of the challenges/hurdles you faced on your journey towards team build up of the same?

As in any process, I have faced many challenges. The first is the diagnosis of the problem as I found a demotivated and disillusioned work force that specialised in finger pointing. This was not only at the ADP office but from the community as well. The second was the process of getting people focussed without any prejudice as well as getting the right resources to foster the goals to team building. The third has been getting the cohesive and having people discard the mistrust they had of management especially so that I was not a native of the place. The fourth was to get people analytical and think systematically. Thankfully, the staff responded very well and slowly begun to find their feet in this new setting. Culture change is hard and takes time. It has taught me to be patient, humble and to lead from the back seat. We still encounter problems but am glad to say that we are above the fundamental problems at this stage.

36. How do you arrive at a decision, which ultimately affects every at the ADP?

I make the final decision ultimately in any case but I make sure I get as much input

from staff on many issues. In the past I would make the decisions and pass them down but now, I consult all the time and get the mind of the staff. Some times, I do not have

to make the decision because the staff discuss it and come up with the answer! This has been amazingly true time and time again. At the end of each decision, every body feels heard, valued and thus owns the goal.

37. Do you ever have brainstorming sessions? How helpful have they been?

Every morning, we hold an updating meeting after the morning devotions. This helps us to keep focused. It is during those meetings (about 30 minutes each day) that issues are brought to the fore discussion and debate. At first, people were reluctant to air their views for fear of being misunderstood or making a mistake but now there is liberty. We allow people to bring in all their ideas, including the crazy ones and then we begin to analyse and discount them one by one. In the end, we arrive at a decision that satisfies every one to the extent that no one has the audacity to claim that they had no hand in the decision. In that way, people will go full throttle to support the decision. To answer your question, we do have brainstorming sessions depending on the situation.

38. I notice that you are quite apt to handle Information Technology (IT) problems and that your staff are generally computer literate, how have you arrived at this stage (your staff trained as well as yourself)

When I took office, I noticed that there was a high dependence on the Admin assistant for every piece of typing. As such, there was always a queue of people waiting to be attended to leading to great inefficiency. I noted that if all were trained and had access to computers, they could each type their own work and thus increase productivity. Being a firm believer in IT knowledge, I determined to get as many computers as possible for all to use. Besides, this is an information age where one can not afford to be computer sills deficient. Therefore, we have slowly passed on information to each other over time. I was first exposed to the computer in 1994 and have made every effort to learn and master the operations of a computer and thus pass on knowledge to others.

39. What is the best way to train/coach some one?

I think the best way, which I have found effective, is to first teach them the

principles and then let them attempt something. When they get stuck, you can then come in to help. You must ensure that you are open, patient, approachable and reliable. You must be ready to help at any time an not seen to despise your student. In that way, your friendship will grow and go beyond that particular problem but to

other lawful areas of the work life. People must look up to you as a facilitator not as

a “know it all” kind of person who bashes every one else when they make a mistake.

40. You seem to be widely exposed, could briefly tell us about your travels abroad? What have you learnt?

I have not travelled much per se but I see myself to be on the road more often

hereafter. So far, I have been to Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Several times) and Canada. I have learnt just how different people look at the same thing in different ways. In some cases I have been stunned but have adapted. This has been a major paradigm shift for me and has thus helped me to fit in appropriately in

different circumstances while managing a culturally diverse workforce. The other thing that has helped me is reading widely all the time. I am the curious sort.

41. In your quest for excellence, who do you perceive as your mentor (s) and why?

I have mentors quite alright but the greatest motivator in my life is my dear wife Anne. She has always given me unwavering support and valuable advice that has proved accurate. There are many times I have felt frustrated but in her own soft way has prodded me on to greater heights of excellence. As such, I would say that she has been by far the greatest motivator. In terms of work performance, tow men stand out as having left an indelible mark on my life. The first is Mr. Stephen Tembo who exposed me to the computer and consistently lived the Christian life while I lodged with him for two years. The other is Mr. Mapanza Nwilimba from the World Vision National Office. He has always inspired me as a good, patient and consistent teacher. Despite being very strict, he is unmatched as a coach. Both these men are leaders par excellence in that they are resilient, patient, consistent, objective and focused in life.

42. Kindly give us some titles that you recommend and why?

I have many titles to hand but I respect Green’s Servant leadership, Covey’s 7 habits as well as principle centred leadership. I also enjoy reading periodicals such as Executive excellence that has fine articles that are pragmatically down to earth.

43. As we draw to a close, what are your future goals and what is your advise to those that are aspiring to be motivational leaders in coming days?

My chief goal is to go as high as possible in my work to do as much as I can while I have breathe. In doing this, I will be serving my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ who has safely led me hitherto! As for those aspiring for higher challenges, I would advise them to work hard, especially on their studies. I would urge them to study, study, study and get that paper!

Thank you for the interview Mr. Phiri and I wish you well in days that lie yet future.

You are welcome. End

Other papers portraying leadership. General Motors Corporation

papers portraying leadership. General Motors Corporation A few years ago, General Motors was by far the

A few years ago, General Motors was by far the most powerful and successful organisation in the Motor industry. By all standards, no other company could compare its market dominance, size or financial muscle! By that token, General Motors Corporation (GMC) bathed in its glory for generations. It is now over ninety years old, which record is rare to have in these turbulent and competitive times. To be around for such a long time is one thing but to maintain leadership in a particular market is quite another experience. Many companies have shot up like meteorites and have disappeared as fast as they came. This has not been the case for GM because it was the champion for many decades. How ever, GM has not had it easy lately. It had a crisis in 1992 when it recorded a net loss of $ 5 billion! It was at cross roads and any decision to be made was definitely going to affect the future of the company. But what led to this crisis? Why is GM transforming today? These are some of the answers that the article “Deeds, not Words” answers. This is a classic article because it begins where GM went wrong and what it is doing today to rectify the past follies. The following are some of the reasons why GM nearly collapsed without realising it:


GM grew too big and powerful as a multinational organisation after the Second World War. This led to Complacency, stubbornness and arrogance.


The company was highly focused on the financial figures, variances, and profits not quality. The Profit and loss as well as the balance sheet is what mattered most.


The products it made were not as customers wanted them but what GM deemed fit as “What customers were going to want and buy” There was no consultation or choice for the buyer.


The Management style was probably another reason. Since GM was huge, there was a lot of bureaucracy before any suggestion could be dealt with.


The quality of the products was taken for granted as of standards that customers would like, not knowing that the Japanese were rising slowly from the atomic ashes through the legendary lectures of Deming and Juran.


The company did not focus on its core competencies but because of its size, GM took on many other businesses, which were not competitive in the long run.

All the above led to the crisis of 1992 because the environment had changed so drastically over the years while GM remained static like monument. As earlier intimated, the Japanese entered the Motor Market with superior quality products which ultimately under cut GM`s market dominance. By 1991, the Japanese had triumphed already!

A critical decision was made to restructure the mammoth Company by carrying out drastic changes. Among the major changes implemented was the down sizing of the central workforce from 13,000 in 1992 to about 1,000 in 1999. Further changes included the following:

i. Adopting the best practices through out the system. Only the best methods of doing things were to be in place. This meant comparing how certain

processes were done within the international GM network and picking the best way to do some thing. For example, a number of ways how to fit an indicator on a car is tried until the best method is found, having zero defects.

ii. Be proactive. The company had to be agile and flexible, while anticipating customer taste changes.

iii. Meet customer needs. GM had to change to being customer driven. What the customer wants is what carries the day. No longer will GM determine for the customer. As such there was need to be constantly be in touch with the customer.

iv. Reduce the product introduction cycle time. Previously, it took many years to release a new car on the market, but a deliberate move was made to shorten the period to months and in some cases, weeks! We are told that GM plans to introduce a new car every 28 days on average! Now that is a feat but a necessity. This is to be achieved by having strong teams that will brain storm and come up with new models.

v. Do away with the businesses that are not directly linked to the core competencies. These may be profitable but if they are not competitive, they are to be divorced from GM so that they can fly away to success on their own. This has been the case with Delphi-once part of GM.

vi. Imbibe teamwork and continuous improvement. GM had to improve in quality and also never again rest on its laurels! This is the only way forward as time for individualistic tendencies in the business is long gone.

vii. Include customers in the planning stage. These are both the internal (employees) and the external. If these are included at planning stage, success is almost guaranteed because they will produce and buy what was agreed on at acceptable, if not superior quality.

GM went full throttle and implemented the survival strategies. Since the company is big, it has not been easy to steer it back to leadership in the industry but the said company has scored many successes, some of them unprecedented. The sales have gone up while the market loss rate has reduced and the profits have shot up again. From a net loss of $ 5 billion in 1992, to a net profit of $ 2.3 billion in 1997, this is by all means a feat! In five years, the Titanic Company is being steered to safety and is definitely going to avoid the iceberg! As earlier intimated, GM is in top drive to recovery though a few impediments still linger in the way. The President, John F Smith, is optimistic that his organisation will surmount all the hurdles because signs of new life are clear for all to see. For example, the company will introduce 23 new cars and Trucks within three years. Now, this is speed indeed! Among the major concerns is the fact that GM is still the High cost vehicle producer in North America. That not with standing, the important thing is that GM is on the right track having thrown away the relics of the past that made it rest on its laurels. It is gratifying to note that GM is determined to have agility and speed as its hallmarks. In all these efforts, TQM lies at the heart or else the giant will tumble and die! The market leader of the 21 st century must take heed of GM`s mistakes and sail to safety while the `Market dominance day`is yet young.

Teamwork is the key word” declares Vic luck, the Chairman of world-renowned Accounting and consultancy firm-Coopers & Lybrand. Teamwork being the keyword for the successful company of today and tomorrow, Collaboration is the Buzzword. Turn every where today; there is a shift towards collaboration and teamwork so as to

reap the best qualitative results. Vic Luck has vast experience having worked in big companies such as Philips, Ford and Chrysler. These are giants in their own right as they have well-established brand names. Reading the article “Teamwork is the key word” from the CIMA Management accounting magazine, one cannot help but notice how even the service industry is no exception in the march towards quality goods and


Coopers & Lybrand is in the service industry providing consultancy services all over the world. There is a sudden outburst of consultancy demands on the said firm every

where, especially in Asia. But what is the secret of this company’s success story? The chairman gives us a number of hints, which are condensed in the following fashion:

i. Teamwork is highly emphasised. The consultancy firm has