Enhancing African Leadership
Williams, Stephen, African Business
For any company, their most valuable asset is human capital, but only effective leadership can actually realise its true worth, as Stephen Williams learned from Dr Tunde Ekpe, a specialist consultant in management skills and coaching.
It's a science, explained Dr Ekpe, the founder-director of Optimentus as she told me about her consultancy services. "If a client comes to us and says 'please identify people that we desperately require for particular roles,' or 'we have many internal candidates, who should we promote to the next level?', I use rigorous, research-based methods to assess them based on the key competencies that are necessary to do the job effectively."
Because Optimentus has clients around the world, that raises the question of the very different cultural values that, even in a rapidly globalising world, exist in different countries and regions. "There are some aspects of leadership that are universal, that are common across cultures, that you can evaluate the same way," she adds. "But there are some that are not that easy to evaluate.
"For example, I am just making generalisations here, but a Japanese candidate for a management role might be a bit more respectful, a bit more reticent about saying 'no' or putting themselves forward, although they never say 'no' really!
"Then you have differences between Africans. You've got West Africans; they are generally more aggressive and more direct than say East Africans who will be more understated, but East Africans say what they mean eventually--just not in the very direct …
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Publication information: Article title: Enhancing African Leadership. Contributors: Williams, Stephen - Author. Magazine title: African Business. Issue: 366 Publication date: July 2010. Page number: 34+. © 2009 IC Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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