The African leadership shortage

James Middleton

November 22, 2007

2 Min Read
The African leadership shortage

The African telecommunication industry is constantly facing new challenges, but is an important channel for the continent as it provides communication pathways at lower rates that are vital for growing democracies and economies.

However, there are a number of challenges the industry has to face, in particular, finding the right leadership to deliver extraordinary results which is far greater than that possible with merely effective management.

Craig Yeatman CEO of South Africa-based consultant WorldsView, is presenting attendees with his views on leadership on Day 2 of the AfricaCom conference in Cape Town. According to Yeatman, there is a shortage of leaders with impressive managerial abilities who share a love for the traditions and people of the African continent. He says international telecom groups struggle to find the right balance between using the expertise of leaders from the international group who may not be experienced in the local culture, to that of using those of the local company who may not be sufficiently skilled. This, he says, can have an impact on their customers who may relate more to local brands.

While it is important that a multinational organisation maximize its growth, revenue and wealth, an effective leader of an African telecoms group should have a deep and intimate relationship with the local people, share their beliefs and traditional values and most importantly have a belief in Africa.

In his presentation, Yeatman will discuss various methods of building ones leadership skills, which include connecting with the community by building solid relationships over time, identifying African leaders and accelerating their exposure to the practices and knowledge required to be effective in a company, and outline the importance of a good support structure from global peers and senior staff members.

Yeatman will also discuss the significance of incorporating a long-term development process such as WorldsView’s Nine Conversations in Leadership programme.

He says a leadership development programme such as the Nine Conversations in Leadership must focus on all the tools of leadership and encourage people to consciously decide what they stand for and voice a personal mission and destiny. A leader, who has a clear purpose underpinned by strong principles and beliefs, will be followed and supported.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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