If CFA were to end today, I would still be happy because I have learned many lessons. I have learned to be a better leader and I have had a lot of paradigm shift. But since leaders are always learners, I would want to continue learning through CFA, because it is the best place to learn.
In the year 2008, when CFA officially kicked off, I was lucky to be among the first people in this organization. With the background of being a leader in various places like school, church and association, I thought I was better placed to be a leader. In fact I thought that I was in the highest level of leadership. Unfortunately I was disappointed.
I realized I was not even in a preschool of leadership and I still have a long way to go. I managed to mingle and read from the gurus of leadership like Mark Miller and Dr. Henry Cloud. I realized that they are among the most simple people on earth and always wanting to serve instead of being served. I grew up knowing and seeing leaders as very important people in the room and are always being served. I had to re-learn from these people that leaders are servants.
My friend Duncan and I could not believe that Dr Henry Cloud gave us an audience, a thing that has never happened to us in our own country because “leaders are busy and they don’t have time (especially for young leaders like us).” Recently in March, Mark Miller left his busy schedule to come to Kenya to train our leaders, something that those who were in attendance still appreciate to date.
I have also learned that leaders leverage themselves into other people. One cannot say that he is a good leader yet he is not mentoring anyone. While working with CFA, I have to change and constantly ask myself some hard questions like: whom am I mentoring now? Or, who is following me? CFA has made me know that I need to bring up someone as I also continue to learn.
Lastly, I have come to learn that getting the right leader to work with our organization starts from the recruiting process. I had always thought the process of interview is a one day thing. Only to realize from Mark that it can go up to 6 months. There are so many things to look for during this processes. But what stands out for me is the fact that during this time, it very important to look for character. I have always admired people with the best qualification. Most of the time when I am hiring, I have always leaned towards qualification more than the character. Unfortunately, I had to reconsider my position.
Qualification is very important, but qualification without character is dangerous. It is better to have character even if there is no qualification. Skills can be developed as opposed to vice versus. But the best take would be a person with both character and the skills.
I would have not learnt all these if I was not working with CFA. Thank you all who have been intentional in empowering us the Kenyan staff.