Last week I was fortunate to meet Jon Foster-Pedley, Dean of Henley Business School South Africa at their campus in Johannesburg. We had a wonderfully stimulating conversation on so many topics and one of the questions Jon asked me really resonated. “What do you think are the unique challenges in developing Leaders in Africa?”
We both agreed that skills are the foundation, the bedrock of developing leaders anywhere, however in Africa there is another, more subtle issue. That of self-confidence and international confidence. I say subtle and yet once you tune into this, it shouts louder than any other dynamic. It is the African elephant in the room.
This issue of confidence is a deeply rooted one and is multi-layered. The history of the African continent, it’s third-world economic status and Africa’s perceived standing in the world all contribute.
Those of us who are involved in Leadership Development really do need to step up the game and focus on helping African leaders to develop a familiarity with international business practices, business language, cultural nuances and dynamics. All major contributors to a personal and business self-confidence necessary to operate successfully in the world today. Contact me if you would like to explore this further either for yourself or your organisations leaders.