Business Development

Strive Masiyiwa provides advice on leadership

Leadership is a subject that requires some special attributes for it to be effective. Business mogul Strive Masiyiwa shares some of the nuggets on leadership below:

Strive Masiyiwa# Reflection:

A leader sets the tone! When Nelson Mandela was President of South Africa he came several times to Harare where I lived at the time.

On one of those occasions, he decided to co-host a Business Breakfast meeting with his host Robert Mugabe at a leading hotel in the city. It was invitation-only: I was not invited by the Zimbabwe government, but rather by the South Africans who said, “President Mandela would be disappointed if I did not come.”

They obviously knew of my pariah status.

I was located right at the front next to the top table. Nelson Mandela was the first to arrive. He was relaxed and jovial. He went to almost every person and gave them a High Five.

It was so warm, and beautiful. He beckoned everyone to sit, and he shared a few jokes as he went around. Robert Mugabe was preceded by heavily armed soldiers who took positions at every corner of the room.

Everyone was made to stand as he walked in. An atmosphere of fear quickly filled the room.

A few minutes later he walked in surrounded by Secret Service personnel. One of them came and tried to move me, but the SA Ambassador intervened gently, and I was allowed to stay.

Robert Mugabe did not greet anyone, except Nelson Mandela. The leader in any vocation [be it politics, business, the church, or even in a home] sets the tone.

Some leaders set a tone of fear, whilst others choose love. What kind of leader are you? Are you the type that wants to be feared, or one who prefers to be loved?# Persuasion is better than coercion: Don’t demand respect from your staff, earn it!

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende