Virtuous Leadership at Strathmore Business School
On Wednesday 27th October at Strathmore Business School a Roundtable discussion was held at the culmination ‘The Effective Director’ (TED) program. The Roundtable was an interactive forum moderated by Sunny Bindra (www.sunwords.com). It was an opportunity for the course participants to hear from seasoned directors who have been through many a board issue in their time, and glean some wisdom from their experience.
The Roundtable Panel comprised Francis Okello (Chairman, Barclays Kenya and TPS EA); Njeri Rionge (founder, Wananchi Online, and member of local and international boards); Jim McFie (Kenya’s renowned accounting teacher, and member of several boards); and Alexander Havard, Director of the Havard Virtuous Leadership Institute.
The following board issues were discussed: Working with the CEO: what is the correct relationship between board and CEO? How should it be managed for best effect? What might cause it to go wrong?
Having a good board structure and composition are necessary conditions for board effectiveness, but they are not sufficient. A good collegial culture that fosters harmony, trust and openness is often the vital ingredient.
Crisis management: how should the board react to a crisis situation? What are the “do’s and dont’s” of board behaviour in a crisis?
Succession planning: this is a much-neglected process, often done badly.
Participants at the seminar included Mr Linus Gitahi (Group CEO, Nation Media Group), Mr Jeremiah Kiereini (Director, UAP & EABL), Mr Charles Njonjo (Director, CFC Stanbic Bank), Gideon Muriuki (MD & CEO, Co-op Bank), Ms Rose Kimotho (Director, CFC Stanbic Bank), Grace Ngigi (Director, Insurance Regulatory Authority), Mike du Toit (MD, CFC Stanbic Bank), Edward Njoroge (MD, Kengen and Chairman, NSE), Frank Ireri (MD, Housing Finance), Mahmood Manji (Chairman, DTB) and Zeph Mbugua (Director, Trans-Century).
On Friday 30th October at Strathmore Business School Alexandre Havard directed a session for people working in HR arena. Are leaders born or made? Is leadership an inborn talent or is it acquired? Is leadership about character or is it about reputation? These and more questions have been asked around what leadership really is. Strathmore Business School (SBS) took it a notch higher to impart what constitutes true and effective leadership: Is it about virtue or is it about talent?Havard spoke about Leadership being more than an inborn talent, but nurturing it within your character and virtuous character for that matter.
The world at large and Africa in a special way is crying for true and genuine leadership. True leadership involves directing others for the sake of the common good, and the obligation of leading others to the desired good. Although leadership and authority are often viewed as distinct realities, in practice persons in positions of authority shape the character of political communities. If leadership is to be more than mere manipulation, and public positions not abused for private gain, they must be understood within a comprehensive social and economic framework aimed at enhancing the common good.
The Conference put together a high level team of speakers to address issues related to the relationship between morality, leadership and law, including the ethical dimension of politics, the nature of political authority, the moral purposes of law and government, and the Media’s essential role in promoting the public welfare.