Leadership in business is about welcoming opposing ideas

Posted on July 19, 2015 12:01 am

My uncle who was a technocrat before his demise three years ago, told me that leadership in business isn’t an easy task.In one of those chinwag moments we’d together, he argued that business leaders are the key factors that contribute to the sustainability and growth of a company. That is the reason big corporations run corporate universities, which develop leaders according to their corporate vision and encourage specific corporate initiatives within their businesses internally and externally. According to my Uncle who was also a business man, business has growth values, which really define what stakeholders and shareholders expect of leaders across the different levels in the company. Gugu Phiri,a South African/Zambian entrepreneur whom am working with in a business project shares the same views. According to her, the growth values are external focus, clear thinker, imagination and courage, inclusiveness and expertise. While Gugu Phiri define these growth values for every person in the company, the indicators are different for different levels.

So, Contador Harrison know what to expect of persons who have only two year-experience, what are the actions that that person are asked to do and demonstrate for each of these growth values, which will be different then from a managing director.In Australian business perspective,experts define the growth values across levels with behavioral indicators for each level and use these growth values to measure all employees in their performance, so when they do the annual appraisal each year,a company will measure a person on performance, and on growth values. Therefore, they can’t just do well.According to a Professor at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne campus, How company employees do, what behaviors they demonstrate are also important. If companies have all their numbers, it’s not good enough.The professor also told me that when they meet those numbers is very important and therefore, integrity is the foundation on which a company build these growth values. Performance is what makes matrix.

Growth values are how an employee should meet the matrix and have to do it ethically.They have to do it with vision and courage. Employees have to use their imagination because if they’re only doing it the way they’ve always done it,they are not going to get spectacular results. Growth values talk about the how, while performance talks about the what.Irrespective of which role one has in the organization, growth values are extremely relevant. One may become a little more important than the others, but all are important.And at the bottom of all these is always unyielding integrity, which is a core value for all company employees. In my Uncle’s words, anyone can be a business leader. But, it depends on what level of leader within the company they want to be and how they’re developing their skills, knowledge, ability and experiences to succeed in company leadership role. At a Melbourne company that I once traded skills with, there was a whole round of the development of the leaders and the senior management there offered opportunities in doing tough assignments and I recall one my colleague was assigned in areas company needed to develop and that enabled him to learn from experiences.At the end of the day, the company staff had both the training and experiences and that built their knowledge, skills and ability.

Companies should therefore define leaders as the people that deliver their performance by demonstrating the growth values as that’s what makes them leaders.Growth values are the key for any business to prosper.A business has to include humility in growth values, working collaboratively, respecting individuals and cultures because I personally know the business sector is so interconnected that we all need to be very holistic in our thinking. When Contador Harrison collaborates and work, then interact, I am respecting individuals and cultures because I need to continuously work across cultures and in different cultures but external focus and expertise remains. I think in African markets where I have deep know how, it’s really about driving growth while a company understand at the country level what is required. It’s really about how one can become a player in the highly competitive arena.Me think from any of African countries, the main thing is how to get leaders to be more regional as leaders as that would be a massive big factor. To be an effective business leader, there is need to know how decisions can impact on the wider organization and then harness opportunities at the World stage.The gap we have in the African market is more around how to make more leaders faster.

Contador Harrison