OVER 20 LEADERS OF some of Tanzania’s most important organisations, including banks, publicly owned corporations, permanent secretaries and private companies, participated in a 2-day “Chairpersons’ Leadership Retreat.” The Institute of Directors in Tanzania (IoDT) invited John Knights, Global Chairman of LeaderShape, as the main facilitator.
Participants explored the Transpersonal leadership development journey as a way to produce Radical Ethically Authentic Leaders that operate for the benefit of their organisations and country, rather than their ego.
Tanzania is fast becoming the hub for East Africa and is one of the most stable and high growth (7%) countries in the continent with huge potential from developing its natural resources. Said Kambi, CEO of IoDT, explains: “Leadership is a key issue in Tanzania if the country is to realise its potential. It is recognised by the major influencers in the country as the most important issue for the country. To integrate with the global community on equal terms, to further encourage international trade and investment and to manage its own growth, the leaders of Tanzanian companies must be world class and even more importantly they must develop the next generation of leaders. After a very successful initial event we look forward to continue working with LeaderShape to help make this a reality”.
As John Knights adds: “Leadership excellence needed for the 21st Century is not developed at top business schools where they will learn to administer, strategise and manage (all very important, but not leadership). Leadership is about learning to use the right behaviours and bring values to full consciousness in the workplace. It’s about understanding which leadership style to use in different circumstances and how these will impact the culture and performance of the organisation. Most importantly, we must choose leaders of the future who are ethical and live their values.”
Said Kambi concluded: “The overwhelming view of the Chairpersons at the retreat was that this approach was exactly what Tanzania needs and would speed up the development of excellent leaders in the country”.
The natural resources available in Tanzania include oil & gas, gold, diamonds, uranium and copper. Tanzania also has huge potential in tourism with iconic locations as Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and Zanzibar as its foundation. Currently a low income country, it has the potential to become a middle income country within the next 10 to 15 years. Any visitor will see that the Tanzanians are welcoming people; they have a unifying national language and harmony between Christians and Muslims. Women seem to have more potential to develop a career than in most other low income countries. It is a country where support will benefit of the whole of Africa and the world.
Of course, things are not perfect. As everywhere there are scandals and areas of corruption created by ego-based leadership but at least they are being discussed openly in parliament and shown live on TV. A post-colonial history of an authoritarian single party that is moving towards a genuine multi-party system creates hurdles that need to be overcome. Next year’s presidential election will be the most open yet with opposition parties continuing to mature. Tanzanians expect the election to be peaceful, fairly open and honest.
The global community is now recognising Tanzania as a key African destination for investment with the Chinese and South Koreans taking a lead, closely followed by the USA and the EU. Investment from the global oil & gas industry is now giving a kick start and the government has a substantial infrastructure investment programme. There are also major international aid programmes throughout the country. Development of a strong local private sector will be key to sustainable progress.
The UK is still the largest single investor country in Tanzania and, due to its common heritage and membership in the Commonwealth, foundations are there for maintaining this position. Unfortunately, it seems that for many UK companies Tanzania has not yet been identified for potential investment. For example, many European and Middle Eastern airlines have direct flights to the capital Dar es Salaam, but there are none from the UK. And although the UKTI (United Kingdom Trade & Industry arm of the government) see Tanzania as a priority country, especially because of the Oil & Gas industry, it has increasingly damaging visa regulations for Commonwealth business people and students.
LeaderShape Global’s partner in East Africa is Noesi Strategic Institute, a premier training organisation. Its CEO, Murtaza Versi says: “We chose LeaderShape because they offer the most advanced and suitable programmes for developing leaders in the 21st century that focus on improving behaviours, operating ethically and living beyond the ego. Traditional leadership programmes are no longer appropriate and do not embed the required change. Our shared goal with LeaderShape is to train local senior executives as facilitators, so our ability to develop leaders in a cost-effective way will be significantly increased, blending the use of local and international experts”.