Every business is hard to crack into nearly almost all the time. You have to be patient but persistent when undertaking any new step in your work/business life. However when it comes to leadership in today’s business world you have to have a vision and be able to communicate it to the people you’re working with. To stress those points, last night we got to hear Eve Banda Nkumbula (Head of Human Capital at Stanbic Bank Zambia) and Frances Fraser (Head of Toastmasters in Southern Africa) speak on the subject of how to be a good leader in any business and how to communicate well at a Toastmasters “Leadership in Today’s Business World” Meeting held at Protea Hotel in Cairo Road.
Eve Banda Nkumbula – Head of Human Capital, Stanbic Bank
Eve started the topic by stating that leadership is about ‘you’ as a person and as a brand. Most people think they can not have it all but truth is, they can. She further broke this down into 3 parts: Personal Mastery, Skills Development and Knowing Your Business.
- Personal Mastery: Know yourself and discover your talents. There is nothing worse than entering into a competitive environment and not knowing what makes you stand out from the rest. Learn to understand yourself, your skills, your value and your talents. You can’t be a talent in an industry you have no passion for.
- Skills Development: Learn to develop your skills once you know what they are. Know what business you can and cannot do. If you know yourself, you will find that you’re better off delegating some business venture than actually being on the ground. True leaders knows themselves and what they can handle, and are able to assign people to jobs they can not do by themselves.
- Know Your Business: Research on every aspect of your business to avoid making huge mistakes in your decision making as a leader. Seek advice from others. Read a book. These help. Never get into a business just because your friends are doing it, unless you know exactly how to run it.
She then concluded that a good leader is one in the “Sweet Spot”, the intersection of all 3 values above. Those are the ones that make it in any business.
Frances Fraser – Head of Toastmasters Southern Africa, and Regional Director for Planet Finance
As a young girl growing up, Frances practised ballet and from it she learnt 3 valuable lessons:
- Be Considerate: always be aware of people around you, how your actions affect them when you are given a role to play, just like in ballet plays. Every opportunity should be used as a means of making yourself better and developing your skills and talents.
- Have big dreams: In order for you to succeed in life, have dreams and endure the pain that comes with achieving them. Frances had a personal mantra which she sticks to; “Your talents are God’s gift to you, but what you do with them are your gift to God”.
- Work really hard: Nothing comes easy. Everything you set out to do you can achieve if you just work hard enough. The role of a good leader is not just about making decisions but also about how you communicate those decisions and/or opinions to the people you work with. Toastmasters is an organisation that helps people become better leaders and communicators in any environment by teaching them skills development and the art of public speaking. You get to learn how to voice your opinion in almost any situation, in the right manner.
Finally, Frances urged everyone to align their values and purpose when running any organisation. Well thought-out decisions and plans make for a very stable business.
It was a greatly informative meeting overall and thanks go to Bongohive, Protea Hotels (Zambia) and ToastMasters International for putting this ‘Leadership in The Business World’ meeting together.