Leaders Dare Move the Mountains.


Leaders dare move the mountains by often taking the unfamiliar routes as well as thinking and taking on the unthinkable. Photo Courtesy of dalmau.com.

In their full year financial briefing this year, Centum CEO Dr. James Mworia remarked of his ten years at the helm of the investment firm. From receiving a company with a balance sheet of six billion and growing the company to its current might of about 70 billion shillings in total assets is no small fete.

In their strategy 3.0 in which they, among other objectives, wanted to build a strong brand and also grow their asset base, the company has had to take a lot of bold moves towards the achievement of those objectives and top of the list is Two Rivers Mall as well as Pearl Marina estates.

To reach such level of success needs strong leadership. Leaders who dare move the mountains when everybody else is wondering if that is even possible. These are the leaders with a lot of faith that if they desire to move the mountains, they actually will.

In close relation is a story of Britam that has seen gradual moving of the mountains from its days as Britak with a handful employees to its current dominion. It is today the second largest diversified financial investments company in the country in the major areas of insurance, asset management and banking which actually encompasses the company key interests.

From a few millions in total assets in its formative years in the 60’s, 70’s through the 80’s, Britam has grown to its current asset base valued at about 99 billion shillings as of 2019. Strong leadership that is dedicated and aptly focused on the overall mission of the organization is what can be attributed to this tremendous growth. And the man at the top of it is Dr. Benson Wairegi, the current Managing Director.

Of the two institutions I have mentioned above, the two leaders have been in charge of those organizations for a relatively long time. This year marks ten years of James as the CEO of Centum Investiment Company while it marks 35 years of Wairegi as the Managing Director of Britam.

Arguably, they have been able to see the transitioning of these institutions, have been involved in coming up with the strategies for growth to as far as the implementation of those strategies. So beside the teams they work with, they have been able to offer great leadership direction in their companies.

The same would be said of Equity Group Holdings under James Mwangi who recently bought the second largest bank in the resource rich country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A wise strategic move especially when it is estimated that almost 90% of Congo’s populations is unbanked.

From a small building society founded in 1984 as Equity Building Society (EBS), with an injection of an initial one million shillings to the current assets valuation of about 500 billion shillings, it has been quite a journey. Transformation of these companies has been so much dependent on the directional pace set by the top leadership.

The great leadership is solely anchored on the four principles of where an organization needs to be, how it needs to get there and most importantly why it needs to be there. Besides that, the leadership must communicate these aspects properly to the rest of the team so that all can be in tandem with them.

And it doesn’t end there, the leader then has to invigorate a confidence that the big shots they need to make are not only realizable but also achievable by the team. It would be that within the team is an individual who doesn’t see in any way how such big goals can be achieved. The leader needs to give an assurance of faith to this individual that indeed it is very possible.

After the big goals are achieved, even the doubters then discover that it was, is and will possible. They get motivated even more by the simple fact that their input too counted in the overall achievement of the big goals. At the end of the day, they also become more daring with the big mountains.

It is this little faith the Jesus said in the Bible that if people could have, they could move mountains. Jesus as the supreme leader, had to make things happen before the followers could believe that indeed even they could make impacts in the lives of others.

That is the kind of leadership that organizational growth needs. That of the leadership going for nothing short of moving the bigger mountains. With such calculated risks, they need to induce the faith they have to the rest of the team who are part of the critical aspect of implementation. It is a matter of time before they swim in the success of the company too.

It is this faith that a woman without experience in truck sales took after eyeing an opportunity in her locality and ended up making a million in sales in a year a few years later. Perhaps our organizations only lack the leader with guts to take on the bigger shots.

We only need one such leader to take the first shot and making everybody realize that it is indeed possible before it becomes a normality to move the mountains. That one person to spark the faith that yes, the people who take on the big mountains are like us. Only that they have mastered the art of taking them with a lot of faith.

It is high time we start taking on the small hills in our life before we can start taking on the bigger mountains in our other parts of this life. It all starts small, often with a faith much smaller than that of a mustard seed.


Copyright @ 2019.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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