GOVERNANCE & PAN-AFRICANISM RECAP

“Young people are experts of their own experience. No one knows being youth today than the youth themselves”

It has been exactly a week since I graduated from my university. With all this excitement, I couldn’t get a better gift from ELF than this session. As I went through the session, I could clearly see it as a great gift to me. The session inspired me, challenged me and more so shaped my mental focus and strength for the life journey ahead. To summarize in one word, the session was – excellent!

The experience of going through a session, finding out that you have not really done and that you need to hit the reset button in your life in order to progressively move forward was an eye opener to me.

With the theme of Governance and Pan-Africanism, we started off with a training on “Letter to Self”

“Self–awareness is being conscious of who you are and who you are not”

We were encouraged to always learn to go an extra mile and that the self is the basis of your leadership journey. Before we started to write letters to self, we learnt about the basics of character (5Cs);

  1. Consciousness – Everything comes from consciousness
  2. Consumption – Our environments shape us to be who we are. This is the reason why President’s kids become Presidents
  3. Choices – Choices are the basis of our own lives
  4. Cheer yourself up – Learn to be your own cheer leader
  5. Correct yourself – If you don’t learn to correct yourself, someone else will

 

On Pan-Africanism;

  1. As a nation, we need to have a true conversation with ourselves.
  2. Pan-Africanism should start in our families.
  3. Pan-Africanism is about identity at a higher level. This connection should not only

bind us but liberate us.

  1. The love for our continent fuels Pan-Africanism.
  2. The future of any nation is dependent on the young generation. It cannot depend on us

if we cannot show interest/be involved in current issues.

  1. Africa is not interested in people who can die for it but those who can live for it.
  2. The importance of knowledge and information is that;

 It makes you a better person

 It is worth the sacrifice

 It helps you to write more, know more and read more

 It helps you in making intellectual conversations

 It creates value in you. When you create value in you, people notice it.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”-

Ralph W. Emerson

The afternoon session was led by Mr. Maliba. He started out with the above statement. We

had some basics on youth engagement. He informed us that youth engagement happens when

young people have sustained connections everywhere in their life. The determinants of

engagement include;

  1. Social and economic environment
  2. The physical environment, and
  3. The person’s individual characteristics and behavior

The spheres of youth engagement include;

  1. Self-engagement: Emotional, psychological, or physical well-being
  2. Families: Home, recreation, decision-making, food and nutrition, culture.
  3. Community: Peers, faith, communities, school, and other community settings
  4. Society: Mass media, industry and the economy, social service, their neighbor and

politics

Engagement is a cognitive process i.e. when the brain becomes stimulated by external

stimuli, in this case relating to politics, elaboration occurs. To engage effectively, young

people must understand where we are, get their context and global context right. The steps for

effective engagement includes;

  1. Seek to be included from the beginning – Be part of all steps
  2. Have a clear purpose and plan – It will bring the right people along
  3. Identify and secure resources i.e.

 Human resources: coordination, training, supervision and mentorship.

 Financial resources: power, requires energy a lot of it.

 Partnership resources: leverage resources, piggyback on existing streams

  1. Find role play clearly valued in dignity and be empowered because power responds to

power, speak power, be knowledgeable, be informed and know your stuff. Create a

feedback and learning loop that will allow continuous program modification based on

youth input sound boarding.

  1. Structural support and training –Support vs. Empowerment.

Lastly, Mr. Maliba finished the session with a discussion on the tools of engagement. In

summary, here is what he said,

a) Canvasing: Face to face is still king. People can be mean on phone or email; they

are likely to have empathy in one –to-one engagement.

b) Social media and technology: All of us are well versed with it but its use is still a

challenge.

c) Relationships: Be relational. This doesn’t mean that you are sucked up.

d) Protest: Like war, protest is never an end in itself. Protest in dignity is more

important than living in indignity.

In conclusion, all we can do is study the lives of people who seem to have found their

answers to questions of what ultimately human life is about as against those who have not.

Everything great is just as difficult to realize as it is rare to find.

Edward Kipkalya

Emerging Leaders Foundation Cohort 5 Mentee

Traits of a Leader.

The 2nd session of ELF Cohort 5 kicked off on the 25th of August, 2018 at Metta Nairobi. I was looking forward to this session having spent the last one week reading ‘The Seven Habits of Highly effective people” by Stephen Covey. I knew we would all dive deep into leadership and so I was eager and ready to learn.

Our first speaker was full of zeal and inspiration and I took as much as I could during her talk. Here are my best three take home messages.

  1. Leaders have clarity

It is very important to have a clear vision and a route map for your destination. That way, as a leader, you will not be sidetracked by the bumps on the leadership journey. As Marcus Buckingham said “Above all else, leaders must never forget the truth that of all the human universals – our need for security, for community, for clarity, for authority, and for respect, our need for clarity is the most likely to engender in us confidence, persistence, resilience, and creativity.”

Therefore, let us strive to have personal mission statements that will guide us in the leadership journey.

  1. Leaders give back to the community

There is a book I love and that I reread every year. It is called “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. It is about an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lessons. My favorite quote in the book is “All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here. Death ends a life, not a relationship”. This should inspire leaders to give back to the community because people never forget what you did for them even after you are gone.

  1. Leaders take care of the company they keep

It is said that you are the average of the five people that you spend most of your time with. This is because energy is contagious and it is very important to be cognizant of this fact. As harsh as this sounds, leaders are usually judged by the type of people they associate with. Hence the saying, show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.

There you have it leaders. The lessons were many and might not be conclusively discussed here. But above everything else, be a leader that reads. We can always learn more and great leaders know that the best knowledge is waiting inside a book. As Barrack Obama, the 44th president of United States of America said, “Reading is important. If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you.”

Gladys Maina listening through the session.

 

Written By Gladys Maina

Cohort 5 Mentee

 

 

Recap of Gender & Leadership Session.

25 of us (Mentees) kicked off our 2nd ELF session with a lot of zeal, power and energy.

“Leadership and taking initiative are two things that go hand in hand, while all leaders are born, good leaders are made.” Those are the words from Dada Power – Stella as she welcomed us to the session.

My take home:

Leadership is about value proposition. It is all about making an impact and empowering

someone/touching a life. Leaders have the following characteristics: they have

followers, they don’t remain static, they are made, they must initiate, they must have clarity,

they must have a balance, they must give back to their communities and they are shaped by circumstances. Why is leadership important? Human beings tend to be led. That

is the reason you hear the phrase – ‘you are a sum total of your leader’. The whole purpose of

leadership is accountability. As a leader, if you want results, participate.

Leaders have to be accessible, available and valuable. They bow out and are not edged out.

They negotiate and define their purpose. They learn from other people mistakes. As a leader

you must be vulnerable to be ready to learn. One must know that self-sufficiency is not a

virtue at all. There are 4 styles of leadership: Authoritative, autocratic, democratic and

transformational. Be aware of them and when to apply them because all of them borrow from

each other. Leaders must inspire and give hope.

Summary of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

“We crawl before we walk. Fix yourself first before having a meaningful impact.”

. Habit 1 – Be proactive: Effective people are response-able. They take responsibility

of their lives. They focus on their circle of influence rather than circles of concern.

. Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind: Effective people know that the most important

work is always ahead of them, never behind them. They focus their time and energy

on things that can be controlled.

. Habit 3 – Put First Things First: Effective leadership is putting first things first.

Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. Effective people execute on most

important priorities. Habit 1 + Habit 2 = Habit 3

. Habit 4 – Think Win-Win: Learn to work effectively and efficiently with others to

achieve optimal results. Think win – win is not a quick fix. It is a character based

code for human interaction and collaboration.

. Habit 5 – Seek first to understand, then to be understood: Most people do not listen

with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply. Effective people do

the opposite and communicate effectively.

. Habit 6 – Synergy: Effective people understand that ‘synergy is better than my way

or your way. It is our way’. Don’t mistake uniformity for unity and sameness for

oneness.

. Habit 7 – Sharpen the saw: Effective people understand that they must never become

too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw. Renewal is the principle – and the

process – that empowers us to move on an upward spiral growth and change of

continuous improvement.

ELF Cohort 5 elections:

Eventually, the time we had been waiting for eventually reached – to elect our ELF Cohort 5

officials i.e. the President, Deputy President and the Secretary. Being an aspirant of the

Deputy President seat, I was prepared for it with my massive campaign strategies. We were

given 10 minutes to do the last campaigns before pitching our manifestos in 2 and a half

minutes.

The Election Process:

The exercise was conducted in a free, fair and credible manner which was very impressive and the following were declared winners:

  1. Mr. Dennis Leiyan – President.
  2. Ms. Catherine Njeri Gathuru – Deputy President.
  3. Ms. Faith Wachira – Secretary

Lessons Learnt:

This was the first time I lost an election and I learnt that sometimes you have to lose to win, I also learnt that, failure is greatness waiting to happen. The more you dream at work, the

more you raise your standards, the more you say ‘I want to play world-class’…you are going

to get blooded/discouraged. The more you innovate, the more you are going to get stumbled.

Even in your personal life, the more you dream, the more you reach, the more you dare, the

more you are going to get hurt. That is just the price of ambition. The secret is to turn your

PAIN into POWER, turn your SUFFERING into STRENGTH and FAILURES into

FORTUNES. We don’t grow when things are easy. E.g. when things are falling apart, that’s

the chance to learn empathy; when someone has wronged you, you can blame the wrong doer

or learn forgiveness; when someone has lied to you, you can learn boundaries etc.

 

Edward Kipkalya

Emerging Leaders Foundation Cohort 5 Mentee