Former Bank President and Successful Businessman Zimbabwe
A person’s life needs to be seen as a whole, and the success or failure in the person’s life has to be measured multi-dimensionally and not one dimensionally. It is about balancing the personal, relational, and professional life of a leader and not being skewed in any one direction.
Through the years, although he believed that statement, Dominic Magwada didn’t always live it out. As a successful bank manager, he led a city corporate branch with over 70 staff and was responsible for another branch in a nearby country. Arriving home from work one day, he was confronted by one of his daughters. She wanted him to play with her when he returned from an important meeting.
Dominic realized that he felt he ranked lower in importance than all the meetings he was always rushing off to. The following morning he resigned from several of his responsibilities to allow more time for his family.
But this wasn’t a lesson learned from one incident. Several years later, he was starting early, working late and rushing to more important meetings. His wife’s statement that if he dropped dead, the bank would replace him before his seat got cold got his attention. He began accepting jobs that allow him to make his family priority.
There have been several sacrifices that we have made, many of them financial and social, but the gains have been substantial. I now feel fulfilled, useful, and serving others while making a living at the same time.
Founder and Managing Consultant Omega Strategic Resources, Ltd. Accra, Ghana
Once you understand your calling God will use you in strategic areas to bring Him glory. Coming from a small village and graduating from a lower ranked secondary school, Dr. Paul Buatsi considered himself one of the least likely to become a leader. But God had other ideas! Paul grew up in a Christian home with parents who were leaders in their church. His home was characterized by love and unity, and he considered his cousins as brothers and sisters. That strong foundation anchored him as he went away to school at age 12.
He credits those years as helping to shape his interpersonal and relational skills because he had to adjust to new cultural settings at school. I learned self-leadership, tolerance and patience in the process, virtues that have gone a long way to ensure that I am receptive and tolerant of people from diverse racial, ethnic, national, religious and other backgrounds with whom I have interacted as a student and in the world of work.
Earning a BA, Masters and PhD helped him progress from Lecturer to Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, and finally to full Professor. He has published many articles and served as Professor of Business at the University of Ghana. Then God prompted me to do something different as Chief Administrator in the Ministry of Education of the government of Ghana. Believing that his vision and mission affect key leadership decisions he makes, he communicates his convictions through writing and discussions with those around him. He is convinced that there is always an opportunity to discover hidden potential—we all have a time to manifest our God-given potential.
I believe there is a purpose to life and opportunities need to be created for people to develop their innate potential to the fullest for the common good. I realize that God has prepared and made me as a model and mentor to many, demonstrating to them that as a professional you can be used by God and your faith can cause you to excel in ways that you least expect. If He wants you to have global impact, He has to be at the forefront. God is raising men and women for His glory which means that when He sows the seed, no matter where we come from, no matter the size of the group, when we trust Him and rely on Him and we are persistent, the Lord makes it happen. God makes a grand design and I am glad to be part of that grand design.
International Leadership Foundation Global Board Member
Though he is blessed to lead a very successful and growing company in Nigeria, Jonathan Onigbinde doesn’t put that business first in his life – that position belongs to God and his family. God taught him at an early age to balance his life by setting priorities. He believes that LOVE for his family is better spelled TIME.
I have had to set time with my spouse and children to help meet their needs. I have had to shepherd my family; when that is done, it is amazing how the other things fall into place once the family is running well. If the family unit is not running well, then all of the other areas of my life are not running well. If you make a mistake in business, you can make amends. Perhaps you suffer economic loss, but you can always gain that back. But with issues of family, loss cannot be so easily regained. I have learned that my happiness and time need to be altered so that family gets priority in everything.
Because of his vision to help solve problems in society, the Lord led Jonathan to form a platform for peace and reconciliation during a crisis in Jos, Nigeria. That effort received recognition from international organizations. My goal is to see many people come to Christ and to see Nigeria and Africa transformed.
Jonathan has held leadership positions in numerous ministries. He attributes much of his success to the International Leadership Foundation (ILF). I have learned through ILF that no matter how successful a leader is (in business, ministry or government) he cannot be a good leader unless he has a strong character. Therefore, to be a good leader, I am to guard my own heart with all diligence and to lead with integrity of the heart.
Econet Wireless Burundi and Board Chairman of International Leadership University–Burundi
When Darlington Mandivenga earned his MBA, he thought he had arrived. But his spirit was restless. Having the MBA led to a promotion, more money and higher social standing. He was definitely progressing in his career. So why was he feeling so unsettled?
Darlington began seeking the Lord for answers. God revealed to him that he had earned the MBA and sought the advancement in his career for selfish reasons. He realized that he was self-centered, making the achievements all about himself. God showed him that He wanted Darlington’s motivation to be working in ways that would benefit God, Darlington’s family, community, company, nation, continent and the world at large!
I realized that while it was important for me to enhance my knowledge, it was critical that everything I learned be based on His will. It became clear that in all my endeavors, I needed to reconnect to my source, which is the Word of God. It was then that God led him to ALMA (African Leadership & Management Academy) to study for the Master of Arts in Leadership and Management. As he began the study of transformational leadership using Christian principles, he got so hooked on the program that he completed it in record time!
Since then, my life has not been the same at all levels. God is molding me into a total leader. I am developing into a leader who achieves a successful balance in all important dimensions of my life, i.e., family, spiritual, career, financial, academic, health, and social.
His initial response to the offer of Chairman of Econet in Burundi was that he was being punished because he didn’t want to move there. But after much prayer and receiving confirmation from the Lord, he accepted the assignment. Econet is now the fastest growing and most innovative company in Burundi, and Darlington understands that he was supposed to serve in Burundi for a season. And Darlington’s success led to him becoming Board Chairman of International Leadership Foundation in Burundi!
With the Bible as the key reference book, I am guaranteed of God’s wisdom. My wife and children have benefited tremendously from what I have learned so far. And Darlington sees the purpose in God’s plan for his life.
International Leadership University Nairobi, Kenya
Although Professor Eric Aseka grew up in a Christian home, he was an adult before he personally trusted in Christ. That decision led him to begin rethinking his life. Was he only to wake up, take children to school, teach and come home? No, he thought there had to be something more significant in his life, something that had eternal value. I wanted to make my life meaningful in terms of the purposes of God for my life.
A study of what leadership should look like turned into funded research in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. He came to understand that leadership is a matter of competencies: spiritual, intellectual, and physical, which require development. Understanding leadership from an ethnographic perspective, he began to compare that with his understanding of biblical principles of leadership.
He now sees teaching as not just a duty, but as an opportunity to develop an interactive relationship with people he should positively impact. I view it as a God-given opportunity to mentor and encourage them to rise to high levels of leadership. I emphasize teaching people the importance of the Word for transformation, which is bound to impact them at two levels: the spiritual level (where people change and realign their ways of thinking and producing spiritual capital) and at the level of reason (whereby God wants us to have the ability to think and solve problems).
Professor Aseka has seen students who have risen to very high levels of leadership in various capacities. It is my belief that a leader who does not produce other leaders is a failure. I want to produce leaders who will excel beyond what I have been able to do. I still have the conviction that my relationships with people and impact on them should make them greater.