Management Magazine http://management-africa.co.ke Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:40:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Boost your self-confidence http://management-africa.co.ke/boost-self-confidence/ http://management-africa.co.ke/boost-self-confidence/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:36:10 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4629 By MERCY MUENDO We are all born with self-confidence but it often seems to dwindle as we grow older.  The people we mingle with on a day-to-day basis, our surroundings, the workplace environment or even everyday situations can break or make one’s self-confidence. One’s job and role at the workplace may present a boost in self-confidence but with work pressure and high demands to meet deadlines and targets, commendable performance may not be acknowledged. Having just graduated and fortunately in my first job, sometimes the workload may be overwhelming and...

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By MERCY MUENDO

We are all born with self-confidence but it often seems to dwindle as we grow older. The people we mingle with on a day-to-day basis, our surroundings, the workplace environment or even everyday situations can break or make one’s self-confidence. One’s job and role at the workplace may present a boost in self-confidence but with work pressure and high demands to meet deadlines and targets, commendable performance may not be acknowledged. Having just graduated and fortunately in my first job, sometimes the workload may be overwhelming and one ends up feeling insufficient, which may affect one’s psyche.

In the few months I have worked, I’ve learnt to completely focus on my work and deliver and not let some negativity bog me down. These four aspects have played an important role in surviving and thriving in the job market.

1. Start believing in yourself

One thing that makes us not believe we can achieve our goals is fear. It brings us down and makes us lifeless and not able to perform. Start slowly replacing the ‘I can’t do this’ with ‘I can do this’. Have faith in your abilities. If you believe in yourself others will believe in you also. Cut yourself a little slack and realise that you probably aren’t going to make a 180-degree turn when it comes to confidence. Set smaller goals and realistic expectations. Start by focusing on one thing you know you’re good at. Remember, you’re not saying you’re good at everything, just something. Eventually, you’ll be more comfortable recognising all of the areas of your expertise.

2.Stay away from negative thinkers, discouragers and bullies.

Bullies feel insecure and threatened but each time someone bullies you, prove them wrong. Having had a colleague who had a bad attitude towards work and worse spoke ill of the organisation, I realised our daily interaction was slowly affecting my performance. I took initiative to deliberately stay away from the person to avoid the negative banter and energy. This worked out perfectly and I was more productive going forward.

3. Face your fears.

Running away from your worries won’t solve them; they will still be back at some point. My supervisor once gave an assignment that I thought was too hard to execute. Fearing him, I tried to find an excuse not to work on it. Finally I decided to do it and as it turned out, I only needed to be keen on the details so as to execute it meticulously. Face your fears head on and just do what you are mandated to do.

4. Dress comfortable

People address you by the way you dress, Are you comfortable in your outfit? If not you should start making a change in what you wear. Start dressing in clothes that make you feel good about yourself. This will double the confidence you had before and help you get psyched up.

Mercy Muendo just graduated from The Kenya Institute of Management with a Diploma in Procurement.

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Redefining leadership http://management-africa.co.ke/redefining-leadership/ http://management-africa.co.ke/redefining-leadership/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:18:51 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4626 Leadership is not about the size of your office or having formal authority. Leadership 2.0 is a mindset, a way of being – the way we operate through the days. By PAULINE MACHARIA I once had a boss who reminded me he was the CEO 17 times over in a letter he wrote to me. I recall how that capitalised abbreviation stood out against all other small letters in the two-page letter, which left me wondering why he needed to emphasis that he was the CEO. The old model of...

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Leadership is not about the size of your office or having formal authority. Leadership 2.0 is a mindset, a way of being – the way we operate through the days.

By PAULINE MACHARIA

I once had a boss who reminded me he was the CEO 17 times over in a letter he wrote to me. I recall how that capitalised abbreviation stood out against all other small letters in the two-page letter, which left me wondering why he needed to emphasis that he was the CEO.

The old model of leadership taught us that to lead meant having a prominent position, a big title, a big office and high authority. So much has been written on leadership over the years and yet, just as much as technology has changed the way we do things, so has the definition of leadership.

Welcome to Leadership 2.0. If you want your company to win, your team to thrive, your craft to improve you must learn to show brilliant leadership even without carrying a title.

So, what is Leadership 2.0?

Great leadership is difficult to pin down to a singular thing or even to understand in its entirety. You know a great leader when you work for one but even then, if you asked them what makes them great leaders, they can have a tough time being specific on what they do that makes their leadership effective. Leadership is not about the size of your office, or having formal authority.Leadership 2.0 is a mindset, a way of being – the way we operate through the days.

Each of us today has the opportunity and a responsibility to show leadership, not only in our work, creativity, influence or impact but in our personal lives. They say, “Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders…they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role – always about the goal.”

And even the finest of leaders know to become better at what they do they must be dynamic, expansive and adaptive. In fact, adaptive leadership skills are what set great leaders apart and they represent the otherwise intangible qualities that great leaders have in common. This entails a combination of skills, perspective, and guided effort that enable true excellence and these adaptive skills can take a leader at any level to places others cannot go.

Adaptive leadership is….

1. Emotional intelligence

This is a set of skills that capture our awareness of our own emotions and those of others and how we use this awareness to manage ourselves effectively and form quality relationships.

2. Organisational justice

Great Leaders are not afraid of the truth. They know how to integrate what people think, what they want to hear and how they want to hear it with the facts. This makes people feel respected and valued.

This is all part of Leadership 2.0, whichis about our way of thinking. It’s an approach. Today we observe our leaders in politics and can clearly tell great leaders from the not so great leaders. Similarly, you can observe people – from the cashier serving you at a supermarket counter to a cleaner, receptionist or security guard – and pick out great leadership aspects by the way they carry out their work or respond to you. What this means is that regardless of what you do, no matter your position, you can make a choice to start thinking like a leader when you go out in the world every day. The more you practice showing leadership in your work, with your family in your community and in your private life, the more your performance as a leader grows and the more you install the mindset of leading without a title.

The other aspect of Leadership 2.0 is growing other leaders. The best leaders grow more leaders; in fact that’s their job – to develop others around them to become leaders. What this looks like at work is collaborating with someone who needs some collaboration or modeling mastery. At home that may include mentoring your children, exposing them to art and great books and simply being a positive force in your home life. That way you grow forces of other leaders in your household. Inspiring other people when you are inspired is a great leadership quality.

If you look at leaders like Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Sergey Brin, Elon Musk and locally acting Education Secretary Fred Matiang’i, these were or are incredibly inspired leaders and by extension inspire others.

If you can influence other people by your mindset, your productivity and your language and create an impact on them through action no matter your title, then you are leading and winning. So, regardless of what you do, see it as a craft and deliver world class value always. Go be great;go Lead!

Pauline Macharia is the Strategy Director, Ladybug Technologies.

Email:pauline.macharia352@gmail.com 

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Terry, the super multi-tasker http://management-africa.co.ke/terry-super-multi-tasker/ http://management-africa.co.ke/terry-super-multi-tasker/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:05:33 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4621 Terry McKenzie works as an international claims manager with a global health insurance firm, runs an online business called TMHoodies and has a consultancy involved in customer service. By MERCY KAMANA If you meet Terry Mckenzie and ask her, “What do you do?” expect a very long answer. Terry, a nurse by profession, describes herself as a ‘super multi-tasker’. She works as an international claims manager with a global health insurance company in the country. She also runs an online company called TMHoodies, which makes personalised hoodies for both private and...

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Terry McKenzie works as an international claims manager with a global health insurance firm, runs an online business called TMHoodies and has a consultancy involved in customer service.

By MERCY KAMANA

If you meet Terry Mckenzie and ask her, “What do you do?” expect a very long answer.

Terry, a nurse by profession, describes herself as a ‘super multi-tasker’. She works as an international claims manager with a global health insurance company in the country. She also runs an online company called TMHoodies, which makes personalised hoodies for both private and corporate clients. She’s also involved in consultancy, and together with three other professionals, runs Ackon Consultancy where they do customer care and staff training, bills for county government and other corporate training services.

Terry is also an avid reader and runs an online book club called ‘What Are You Reading?’ Moreover, she does an annual school greening programme back in her home county of Tharaka Nithi dubbed GreenTNC. They have so far planted trees in 85 schools within Tharaka.

How does she do it all?

“Ackon Consultancy is less demanding since it works on a fixed schedule and timelines,” she says. She gets clients for the trainings and out-sources the manpower.

TMHoodies, her major business, is a purely online business that started when a friend gave her a personalised hoodie. She loved it so much that the idea of enabling other people to get such a unique personalised gift for their loved ones was birthed.

Starting very small, she’d make hoodies for families before graduating to corporate clients. Today, she has made hoodies for about 30 companies as well as individuals. Her hoodies come already customised, complete with a Kenyan flag on the side. “Your imagination is our limitation,” she quips.

They have also started making technology-sensitive hoodies for the modern client. In these hoodies, one can put phones in the kangaroo pockets and fix headphones in hooks.  Terry says that being an online company, TMHoodies allows her to be focused on her day job while still successfully running the company. All hoodies are preordered, with those in Nairobi and its environs being delivered in 6-12 hours from the time of ordering; 12-24 hours for the rest of the country and 48 hours in East Africa.

Of note is the fact that Terry grew her Facebook page to over 75,000 likes without a single invite. She’d ensure that she had put enough details, have scheduled posts and ensure that what her team posted is exactly what is available. The team would then stand ready to react to the feedback and answer questions.

Terry says she give her staff lots of mandate and trust, which gives them confidence to make decisions on their feet.

“You’ll be amazed at how much people know and show when they are allowed to express themselves. Your employees are your face; they should be confident to present you to the clients,” she advises.

Terry admits to not being very much of a morning person. All the TMHoodies plans are made at night. By the time her staff is waking up, they already know what to do. She gets to her office at 8:30am and works all the way to 5pm. She then goes to the PMHoodies office to catch up with what happened and to plan for the following day. She says she’s always online, therefore she’s able to see what is happening.

“My team is well trained and they know what they need to do. I personally give them very good induction and there is a procedure manual on what needs to be done at each step of the process to get an order delivered,” says Terry. Terry, a strong believer in delegation adds, “Trust that the team is up to task and they can do what you instructed them to do.”

The entrepreneur’s vision is to expand the company to be the leading hoodie producer in Africa. She’d also want to have a company that outlives her. “I don’t want to run a company that dies when I die,” she offers.

Her management role model is Patrick Bet David, an American entrepreneur and financial advisor, and CEO of PHP Agency, Inc. She has listened to his tutorials for more than two years now and loves his ideas and management model.

“24 hours is a long time!” She quips! “Do all you can.”

Mercy Kamana is a freelance writer based in Mombasa.

Email: mercykamana@gmail.com

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Reading requires discipline http://management-africa.co.ke/reading-requires-discipline/ http://management-africa.co.ke/reading-requires-discipline/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:49:21 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4616 Loic Amado is the Uber General Manager, East Africa and loves a book that will challenge his views and give him inspiration. COMPILED BY: MURUGI NDWIGA 1. How has reading been instrumental to your career, personal life and contributed to your leadership roles? Reading challenges me because it gives me perspectives from other leaders; as I read I get to interact and debate with their ideologies. Leaders and entrepreneurs sharing their wisdom in business edify my intellectual curiosity. It’s always great to relate to some of the challenges that other...

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Loic Amado is the Uber General Manager, East Africa and loves a book that will challenge his views and give him inspiration.

COMPILED BY: MURUGI NDWIGA

1.How has reading been instrumental to your career, personal life and contributed to your leadership roles?

Reading challenges me because it gives me perspectives from other leaders; as I read I get to interact and debate with their ideologies. Leaders and entrepreneurs sharing their wisdom in business edify my intellectual curiosity. It’s always great to relate to some of the challenges that other entrepreneurs went through during the early days of building their businesses. For me, reading has been instrumental in helping me to reflect on challenges that other entrepreneurs went through and how I can learn from their mistakes.

2. Leaders read. Recommend top three books every leader should read.

The Art of Warby Sun Tzu, Tools of Titansby Tim Ferris and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.

3. What aspects of a book make you love it?

The relatedness, how it challenges my own views and the inspiration that I draw from it.

4. What was the best book you read in 2017?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s incredible how many different things can happen to a person during a lifetime. It’s a 900-page book but the story grips one with many life lessons revolving around forgiveness, redemption, love, among others. The writer describes events throughout his lifetime: A former drug addict, he escapes from an Australian prison, flies into Bombay, lives in the slum, gets involved with the local Bombay Maffia, fights in Afghanistan in the midst of the Soviet invasion. I will never forget some of the characters described in this book, super realistic and entertaining.   

5. What lessons/habits have you picked over your years of reading?

I wouldn’t say that I have picked most of my habits and lessons from reading exclusively. Lessons that I have learned in life have been a culmination of reading and experiences from interacting with different people and diverse cultures. Through these I have improved my interpersonal and professional skills.

6. What book are you currently reading and what is interesting about it?

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. It is one of my favourite memoirs so far. Phil Knight is very honest about his uncertainties and imperfections as a manager and leader but realises a passionate and driven team can offset these imperfections and drive a business forward. I love how much trust, autonomy and responsibility he puts in some of his early employees, despite the fact that some of them were driving him crazy. He gives them a lot of leeway and lets them learn from their mistakes and develop themselves. I was also pleasantly surprised about his perseverance. It taught me to never let anyone stop me when I truly believe in an idea. Phil describes himself as an introvert but had the courage to take the plunge, book a flight by himself to Japan (not long after the war with the US in 1962), meet with senior executives at Onitsuka and sign a contract with them to import shoes into the US.

7. What book are you planning to read next?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankindby Yuval Noah Harari

8. Do you have a bad book habit?

Not really. I guess sometimes I may take long to read a book depending on how busy my schedule is, but I try my best to make sure that I don’t have big reading gaps and end up losing interest in the book.

9. How do you plan your time to ensure you read on an everyday basis?

I have the discipline to really dedicate a portion of my time to reading and if needed, even block a timeslot in my calendar. I advise others to find a time that suits them best. I like mornings before getting to work as it’s a time where I get my creative juices flowing. I believe that you shouldn’t be directly diving into emails during your most creative time of day. A perfect time for me to read is in an Uber, where I feel as if I’m in a capsule and disconnected from the world and can really concentrate on the task at hand.

Murugi Ndwiga is the Sub-editor, Management magazine.

Email: ndwigam@kim.ac.ke

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The cost of broken promises http://management-africa.co.ke/cost-broken-promises/ http://management-africa.co.ke/cost-broken-promises/#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:37:52 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4613 Purpose to change the future by keeping your word. By SAMMI NDERITU It is a new year and like every beginning of the year, we all look forward to having a wonderful and more exciting year than past one. Promises and resolutions are made to others and to self; after all, optimism is in the air. However, as is typical of human beings, “laws are made to be broken.” In 2017, Kenya went through a draining political season. Politicians, in their pursuit for votes committed to ensure a peaceful election...

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Purpose to change the future by keeping your word.

By SAMMI NDERITU

It is a new year and like every beginning of the year, we all look forward to having a wonderful and more exciting year than past one. Promises and resolutions are made to others and to self; after all, optimism is in the air. However, as is typical of human beings, “laws are made to be broken.”

In 2017, Kenya went through a draining political season. Politicians, in their pursuit for votes committed to ensure a peaceful election but that didn’t happen. The cost of that broken promise saw the death of several people through post-election violence. We collectively pointed fingers at political leaders for inciting violence and the police for using live bullets. We lynched each other on social media while forgetting the promise that we always sing about in our National Anthem – “…may we dwell in unity, peace and liberty; plenty be found within our borders.”

Another broken promise

As we were smarting from the political turbulence, we were sadly reminded of another promise that we have constantly made over the years – to make our highways safe. But as we look back at the year that has gone by, we realise that our roads are anything but safe. According to the National Transport and Safety Authority records, 2017 took about 3,000 people to the grave while 7,000 others were injured because of our carelessness, drunk driving and ignorance of traffic rules.

Today, each one of us can certainly look back and point out a few situations where they have had to pay a heavy price because someone failed to keep their end of the bargain. At our work place, some people made commitments to give their best to the interest of the organisation but because of their short sightedness, took shortcuts of dishonesty and consequently lost their jobs or led to business losses.

At a family level, marriages have been broken, children have been lost to drugs and other negative behaviour because someone failed to honour a promise of marital faithfulness or parental responsibility.

This year, take a personal initiative to play your rightful role in keeping a promise to always do what is right. Give the best to your employer and be diligent and honest in all your dealings. Purpose to change the future by keeping your word always.

Sammi Nderitu is a writer, photographer and digital media expert.

Email: snderitu@kim.ac.ke

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Interdependence is the way forward http://management-africa.co.ke/interdependence-way-forward/ http://management-africa.co.ke/interdependence-way-forward/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:37:49 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4610 Great achievements are projects of huge teams, with each individual working to deliver the final product. By Antony Kairu Ihave a problem with how success stories are told. Narratives about companies like Facebook, Google, Safaricom or Tesla hang on the leaders who are celebrated for their inventions and theories. Most of these stories are told as a one-man show, many times honouring the CEO or chairperson of the company. But, a closer look at things shows that these achievements are projects of huge teams, with each individual working to deliver...

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Great achievements are projects of huge teams, with each individual working to deliver the final product.

By Antony Kairu

Ihave a problem with how success stories are told. Narratives about companies like Facebook, Google, Safaricom or Tesla hang on the leaders who are celebrated for their inventions and theories. Most of these stories are told as a one-man show, many times honouring the CEO or chairperson of the company. But, a closer look at things shows that these achievements are projects of huge teams, with each individual working to deliver the final product.

Independence is defined as the state of being autonomous. Social psychologist Hazel Markus in her book “Clash!”describes the independent individual as one who values being unique, making a contribution, being heard and influencing others. However, I believe there is something greater than independence – interdependence.

Hazel illustrates that the “interdependent” self emphasizes relationships, similarities to others, adjusting to others and fitting in with one’s social surroundings.

This comparison is also well done by Stephen Covey in his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” where he describes independence as the “I can do it, I am responsible and self-reliant attitude” while interdependence is the paradigm of “we” – we can do it attitude.

Joint efforts

In today’s business environment, we are on a daily basis doing projects and engagements that on the face value appear as individual effort but in the real sense are projects that need a joint effort to meet the expected aim. The same goes for our social lives. Be it achieving an economic goal as a family or overcoming a challenge, it is easier done together as opposed to individually. The interdependence concept is one which was valued in our traditional African societies. We had stories and songs just to illustrate how the community needed to stick together and each person to do their part to achieve a community living in a symphony.

There is a saying that a camel is a horse but was designed by a committee. This quote generally tries to show the great challenges that come with group mentality and complexities of working in groups. But how true is this? Working independently in management only yields inefficiencies since the strengths and skills of all are not optimally utilised to achieve the goal. This interdependence is achieved when we see effective teamwork, collaboration between various departments and managers and proper delegation.

Working in sync

Highly effective managers are able to link up various parties at a workplace and bring them on board to achieve the organisation’s target. This is a skill that one needs to learn to use right from the start.

Once your teams start working in this kind of synch, your work burden as a manager is significantly lighter and all you have to do is review and guide where necessary.

I recently watched an interview of Viktor Frankl on “Finding Meaning in Difficult Times”, where asserts that he believes that the human being was not created to serve self but others. In a bid to develop the self, our circumstances and our world as a whole, we need to come together, identify the issues at hand, identify each person’s contribution and let each person identify their responsibility in the big goal being achieved. This is the main purpose of management. I want to believe that a camel is a horse designed by an independent hardworking manager.

Running a business is challenging. One needs to deal with difficult customers, workers, authorities and partners, among others. How do enterprises deal with this? They try to overcome them as individuals, independently. They go ahead and device solutions and implement them. The aftermath is that real solutions are often never achieved. But had these businesses combined their efforts and become interdependent on each other, the challenges would probably be a thing of the past.

Interdependence a choice

Socially we tend to imagine that being in need of the other people is being needy, which in our perception, is a character flaw. Other words used are clingy, possessive or smothering. As human beings we are wired to need each other. We are all needy because we need each other. Interdependence in the social scene is about each person doing their bit to make the relationship become better.

The “7 Habits” concludes that being and acting interdependently is a choice only independent people can make. For one to realise that by themselves they can accomplish only so much is a reality only those who have overcome themselves can do and these are the truly independent people. As kick-start to the New Year, I hope this will be a year of working together to achieve as individuals, families, businesses, communities and most importantly as a country. We will continue empowering ourselves independently so that we strengthen our interdependence all round.

Antony Kairu is an associate in KPMG Kenya.

Email: Akairu285@gmail.com

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How to make devolution count http://management-africa.co.ke/make-devolution-count/ http://management-africa.co.ke/make-devolution-count/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:33:56 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4607 Former Presidential candidate Prof James Ole Kiyiapi talks about the issues that are undermining devolution and what we can do differently. By KAGENI MUSE Six years into a devolved system of governance and Kenya has many boasts- the first being that we actually have executed devolution and have 47 counties up and running. Second is that resources and power have been spread out to other centres across the nation and new economic hubs are evident. “The new Constitution was trying to address various problems, one of which was dispersing power...

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Former Presidential candidate Prof James Ole Kiyiapi talks about the issues that are undermining devolution and what we can do differently.

By KAGENI MUSE

Six years into a devolved system of governance and Kenya has many boasts- the first being that we actually have executed devolution and have 47 counties up and running. Second is that resources and power have been spread out to other centres across the nation and new economic hubs are evident.

“The new Constitution was trying to address various problems, one of which was dispersing power and creating new centres of power to move away from imperial presidency but more importantly it was a way of correction the marginalisation occasioned by the 1965 policy paper that came up with the philosophy of concentrating resources where you expect higher returns,” says Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi, who is a great proponent of devolution.

Kiyiapi believes Sessional Paper 1965 is one of the biggest eye sore in Kenya’s development history. The country was divided into high potential and low potential areas, defined only in one variable- rainfall.

“If an area was high potential in regards to agriculture, it didn’t matter if it didn’t have anything else, the rest were marginalised and these became the locus of development. This was a classical wrong because the areas we were calling marginalised are the ones that are now producing oil, minerals, they are the centres of tourism, they host the largest population of our wildlife and livestock. The whole concept was wrong and created in real sense marginalization. That’s where the rain begun to beat us,” says the professor.

He says Majimboismmight have given Kenya better returns instead of the centralized government we enjoyed post-Independence or the current devolved units which he says are too small.

“The writers of the 2010 Constitution did a good job but when it came to negotiating the units, the politicians were in a hurry; the Naivasha meeting did the country an injustice because the politicians were negotiating power with the point of view of the leaders who wanted to become president. They didn’t look deeply into how best to construct the units,” he says.

The result was a fall back to colonial units that divided Kenya into homogenous tribal groupings instead of creating mixed units, a thing the professor says may continue to undermine devolution. He supports calls for increase in the size of the units to make them viable economically.

Challenges facing good Governance

Besides tribalism and economic viability, Prof Ole Kiyiapi says the other issue that can undermine devolution is the issue of governance in terms of capacity and integrity.

“Integrity deals with issues of corruption, misuse of funds and misdirecting resources, which creates new local elites. You have taken hyenas from the city to the counties. And the economic opportunity in counties is huge as they are the new centres of disbursing resources,” he notes and adds, “Every year the Auditor General is coming up with lists of counties that cannot account for resources but there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency to correct that. It’s a yearly malice. Nobody is cracking the whip. Corruption is a national challenge. We have not yet accepted that corruption is not acceptable. We talk about it but there is no action. And it goes back to the President. The President of Kenya holds the biggest stick in the nation.”

He also notes that some governors do not have the capacity to hold office. They do not have the conceptual thinking required to think in a structured manner and deliver on tangible development. Capacity is also needed at the MCA level and in staffing as sticking to local enclaves of sometimes unqualified personnel denies counties the best human resource available in the country.

The other serious challenge in counties is the issue of planning. The professor says governors should spend the pioneer years of devolution coming up with good urban plans with help from the national government.

“Development is not just something we do. It’s a mental construct that we agree to as a society. We have to have a certain cultural mindset shift that says no to corruption and thinks about the future.”

This kind of cultural shift would also help deal with transition issues resulting from the high turnover of governors.

“Have county visions underpinned by a proper master plan. Project a county 50 years from now. Have a vision that goes beyond five years. Four governors can come and implement that vision incrementally but the cultural issue is still haunting us. Our counties are driven by people with a mindset of five years. From day one I’m looking at the next election. Leadership is Kenya’s Achilles’ heel. Do we have leaders thinking about the next generation, not the next election?” he poses.

Moving forward

Professor Ole Kiyiapi says that it is only after counties have dealt with corruption and planning and visioning that they can begin to develop county resources like improve agriculture, forestry, water resources or tourism.

He also says the national government should take a more facilitative rather than antagonistic role as the two levels are not in competition. It should be engaging governors on how to deal with challenges. His other call is for professionals to form groups and caucuses that hold forums and ask pertinent questions to governors, keeping them accountable.

“Professionals must stop whining on social media and take an interest in what happens in counties,” he says.

Finally, Prof Ole Kiyiapi calls on the national government to spread out big infrastructure projects, like airports, across the country to attract professionals out of the city.

Email: bmuse@kim.ac.ke

Kageni Muse is the Subeditor, Management magazine. 

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The six common leadership myths http://management-africa.co.ke/six-common-leadership-myths/ http://management-africa.co.ke/six-common-leadership-myths/#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 13:19:34 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4523 Leadership comes in many forms and so does myths associated with it. By SAMMI NDERITU As Karen Kimsey-House, co-author of Co-Active Leadership and Co-Active Coaching, observes, existing businesses are facing disruption at all levels. She notes that younger employees are not satisfied with just a “job,” but rather, want work that allows them to be involved and included in decisions. Traditional command and control leadership models are floundering, unable to adapt to the need for more collaboration and inclusion. “Flattening organisational structure is all the rage these days, but until...

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Leadership comes in many forms and so does myths associated with it.

By SAMMI NDERITU

As Karen Kimsey-House, co-author of Co-Active Leadership and Co-Active Coaching, observes, existing businesses are facing disruption at all levels. She notes that younger employees are not satisfied with just a “job,” but rather, want work that allows them to be involved and included in decisions. Traditional command and control leadership models are floundering, unable to adapt to the need for more collaboration and inclusion. “Flattening organisational structure is all the rage these days, but until we move beyond some of our long-cherished myths about what it means to be a leader, it will be difficult to truly generate change,” she says.

So, what are some of these myths? We look at six of them.

Myth One – Leadership is just at the top

Professor Michael D. B. Munkumba, the Director, Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) Business School and also author of the book, Essential Management and Leadership Toolkit, says that it is best if those at the top of the organisation are leaders. Yet many among those who hold top positions are anything but leaders. “Leadership is found at every level in the organisation. Some of the best leaders are found lower in the organisational ladder. Leaders are known by the influence they wield over those around them.”

Myth Two – ‘Results are everything’ leadership

Prof. Munkumba observes that leaders who believe in ‘results are everything’ philosophy exhibit the following traits; passion, vision, and discipline. “Obviously, this leadership may come up with results that are totally undesirable. Hitler belongs in this category. But those who add conscience to vision, passion and discipline are the legacy leaders.” He mentions Mandela, Gandhi, Luther and among others as leaders who did it noting that this is a legacy leadership which lives beyond the life of the leader. “Destination is not everything; the journey is important too,” he adds.

Myth Three – Leading and managing are the same

These two terms while they may seem similar are, nonetheless, different. Prof. Munkumba says that that a leader sets direction, a manager works to maintain that direction.

“A manager maintains while a leader innovates, a manager focuses on systems while a leader focuses on people, a manager asks how and when while a leader asks what and why. A manager focuses on detail while a manager focuses on vision and strategies.”

Myth Four – A position automatically makes one a leader

According to Prof. Munkumba, there are leaders who “hold positions of leadership”, but there are “people holding leadership positions.” He says that the latter are not necessarily leaders. A position puts one’s foot in the door, having an inherent authority. “Whoever occupies the position assumes that authority. That authority also remains behind when one leaves the position, but a leader walks away from their leadership. That trait is not put on and off like a coat.”

Myth Five – All leaders are born

Prof. Munkumba, also a finance and management lecturer, says that in a way, leaders are born just as all human beings are born.

“All human beings are born with a potential to transform or add value to something, to serve, to lead in an area of their talents, their gifting. Perhaps the questions should be, can leaders be made? You bet,” he says.

He adds that the preponderance of people known to be or to have been leaders is made through training. “So, while all are born with the potential to be leaders in their areas, leaders are made through a process of either training/education or by circumstances.”

Myth Six – A leader’s job is to give answers to questions from followers.

“A leader’s job is to help people find their own answers – to teach them how to fish,” explains Prof. Munkumba, who is also lecturer in management and finance.

He says a leader should “grow followers so that ultimately, they no longer need him but can fend for themselves. The eventual departure of a true leader should not leave a vacuum behind. That is the litmus test.”

This view is shared by Asma Zaineb, a leadership expert who says that it is a myth to assume that leaders know everything; they do not. “What leaders do have is a vision and a sense of direction. They too learn from others,” she says in conclusion.

Sammi Nderitu is a writer, photographer and digital media expert at KIM.

Email: snderitu@kim.ac.ke

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Tourism must adapt to climate change http://management-africa.co.ke/tourism-must-adapt-climate-change/ http://management-africa.co.ke/tourism-must-adapt-climate-change/#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 13:11:56 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4520 Sustainable tourism development aims at promoting the nexus between societal wellbeing, economic prosperity and environmental integrity protection.  By Dr JOSEPH NJOROGE Early in November, I came across an article in a local daily of a family that woke up one morning after camping in one of the national parks to find water at their doorstep. They called the hotel, which advised them to pack up their lugage and move to higher grounds. No sooner were they evacuated than the whole campsite was enveloped in flood water. Some campers were not too...

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Sustainable tourism development aims at promoting the nexus between societal wellbeing, economic prosperity and environmental integrity protection. 

By Dr JOSEPH NJOROGE

Early in November, I came across an article in a local daily of a family that woke up one morning after camping in one of the national parks to find water at their doorstep. They called the hotel, which advised them to pack up their lugage and move to higher grounds. No sooner were they evacuated than the whole campsite was enveloped in flood water. Some campers were not too lucky as their luggage got wet and muddy.

Climate change is posing a major challenge to tourism viability according the United Nations Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Tourism is seen as a victim and a vector of climate change.

As a vector, tourism is said to contribute about five per cent of global green house gases, contributing to anthropogenic climate change or that which originates from human activity. On the other hand tourism is seen as a victim of changing climate both directly and indirectly because of rise in cost of insurance, rise in heating and cooling costs, changes in the length and quality of vacation, alteration of key destination environment affecting its attractiveness (for example, inglacier reduction, biodiversity, destruction of tourism infrastructure, outbreak of water borne diseases, among others).

Adaptation strategies

In order to respond to climate change, adaptation and mitigation are considered. Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Mitigation is an intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.

Sustainable adaptation

It has been argued within tourism research that tourism adaptation has been forged with business-as-usual approaches. In this regard adaptation has been viewed as a means to reduce vulnerability of the tourism sector with the focus of the economic viability of tourism businesses at the expense of the society and environment. Considering that tourism exists in complex systems of social, economic and environment, it is prudent to ask: ‘‘Are our adaptation actions sustainable since not every adaptation is a good one?’’

Tourism researchers have attempted to interpret sustainability within tourism development. Early thoughts and contention include two extremes: the ‘tourism-centric’ to include the ones advancing the economic sustainability of tourism and those who view sustainable tourism development as a means to better livelihood for the society and protection of environmental integrity.

Defining sustainability

The World Tourism Organisation defines sustainable tourism development as one that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Therefore, sustainable tourism development aims at promoting the nexus between societal wellbeing, economic prosperity and environmental integrity protection. Since tourism is already considered as a strategic sector in achieving Millenium Development Goals there is the need to rethink tourism development especially now as the industry is already facing serious consequences of climate change.

Threats to tourism in Kenya range from sea level rise affecting hotel sea fronts, high tidal waves eroding the beach and threatening the safety of both human and properties, coral bleaching affecting sea biodiversity which is important for scuba diving tourists, flooding affecting lives and properties, loss of biodiversity, drought escarbating human annimal conflict in range lands, among others.

Sustainable adaptation is informed by the nexus between climate change and poverty reduction as sustainability is about continuity while adaptation includes strategies aimed at ‘reducing vulnerability’ and ‘enhancing long-term resilience’.

A critical issue to be considered is the heterogeneous players at all levels from local to global and from the origin region, transits region and to destination. For sustainable adaptation to be achieved, there is a need for wide consultation and inclusiveness in the decision making process. Tourism also highly depends on natural resources. However these resources are not exclusive to tourism. Ecological services are as important for the local communities. When biodiversity is under threat , most destinations are under threat and the local communities that depend on these ecological services face dire consequences.

Dr Joseph M. Njoroge is the dean School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Murang’a University of Technology, Kenya.

Email: jnjoroge@mut.ac.ke

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Let’s cut on plastic waste http://management-africa.co.ke/lets-cut-plastic-waste/ http://management-africa.co.ke/lets-cut-plastic-waste/#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:56:36 +0000 http://management-africa.co.ke/?p=4516 If current trends continue, roughly 12 billion metric tonnes of plastic waste will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050 hence the urgent need to rethink our addiction to plastic. By WANJIRU KANG’ARA Plastic is one of the most widely used and cheapest materials in the world today.  Polyethylene terephthalateplastic is used in soft drinks, juices, water, beer, mouthwash, peanut butter, salad dressing, detergent and cleaner containers. DEHP, which is an abbreviation for di(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate, is a chemical that is commonly added to plastics to make them...

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If current trends continue, roughly 12 billion metric tonnes of plastic waste will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050 hence the urgent need to rethink our addiction to plastic.

By WANJIRU KANG’ARA

Plastic is one of the most widely used and cheapest materials in the world today. Polyethylene terephthalateplastic is used in soft drinks, juices, water, beer, mouthwash, peanut butter, salad dressing, detergent and cleaner containers. DEHP, which is an abbreviation for di(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate, is a chemical that is commonly added to plastics to make them flexible. DEHP is widely in PVC plastics such as footwear, building materials and floor coverings.

Other types of plastics include high-density polyethylene (HDPE) which is used in opaque milk, water, juice bleach, detergent and shampoo containers, garbage bags, yogurt and margarine tubs and cereal box liners.

Polyvinyl chloride (V or Vinyl or PVC) is used in toys, clear food and non-food packaging (like cling wrap), some squeeze bottles, shampoo bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars, detergent and window cleaner bottles, shower curtains, medical tubing and numerous construction products (like pipes, siding). PVC has been described as one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is used in grocery store, dry cleaning, bread and frozen food bags, most plastic wraps and squeezable bottles like for honey and mustard.Polypropylene (PP) is used in ketchup bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, medicine and syrup bottles, straws, and rubbermaid and other opaque plastic containers, including baby bottles. Polystyrene (PS) is used in styrofoam containers, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, take-out food containers, plastic cutlery, and compact disc cases.

Where does all this plastic go when we are done with it?

According to a report on the Science World web site, global production of plastics increased from two million metric tonnes in 1950 to over 400 million metric tonnes in 2015, outgrowing most other human-made materials. The researchers found that by 2015, humans had generated 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastics, 6.3 billion tonnes of which had already become waste. Of that waste total, only nine percent was recycled; 12 percent was incinerated and 79 percent accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.

If current trends continue, roughly 12 billion metric tonnes of plastic waste will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050.

What happens to the plastic you throw away?

With a life span of over 500 years, it’s factual to say that every plastic bottle you have used exists somewhere on this planet, in one form or another.

According to the Plastic Oceans Organisation, the world is now producing nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says more than eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in oceans every year, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism, and cost at least USD8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration says plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes. According to estimates, by 2050, oceans will have more plastic than fish if present trends are not arrested.

There are many reasons as to why plastic bags are harmful to the environment. First, they are not biodegradable. They last from 20 – 1,000 years. All plant, animal or natural mineral based substances will over time biodegrade. In its natural state, raw crude oil will biodegrade but man-made petrochemical compounds made from oil, such as plastic, will not. They “photo-degrade,” which means they turn into little toxic bits of themselves.

Secondly, plastics escape and float easily in air and water, travelling long distances and end up in oceans or land used for farming. Thirdly, plastics cause blockage of sewerage and water drainage infrastructure causing floods during the raining season.

Plastics endanger human health when used for packaging food in particular hot food. DEHP was banned in February 2015 from general use under EU law in what was seen by many as a positive move for health and the environment. In Europe, DEHP, BBzP, and other dangerous phthalates have been banned from use in plastic toys for children under three since 1999.

The ban on plastic bags, by the Government of Kenya in 2017 is a welcome move and we can all be part of the solution by making a decision to say no to plastics.

Say no to plastic water and juice bottles. Use stainless steel water bottle or buy a glass-bottled drink. Carry your own shopping bag. This way you can save between 400 and 600 plastic bags per year. Stop chewing gum. Not only are you chewing on plastic, but you may also be chewing on toxic plastic.

WanjiruKang’ara is a communications professional with over ten years’ experience in communications research, strategy design and implementation. Email: wanjirukangara@hotmail.com

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