CEO speaks: 6 Valuable Leadership Lessons I Have Learnt As A CEO From 2017

    “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” Robin S. Sharma

    By Perminus Wainaina

    In all my 7 (+) years working as a CEO and leadership coach, I have gained invaluable lessons on what makes a phenomenal leader.

    2017 for me was a journey of 12 months that culminated in polishing my expertise both through success and failure.

    Looking back, it is clear that no great CEO has had a smooth ride to the top. It is always a journey marked with struggles, strategies, passion and commitment.

    Having what I’ve learnt more so in the past year, I write to share with you 6 fundamental lessons I learned as a CEO and how I plan use them to better myself in 2018.

    What are these 6 lessons?

    1. Be open to change

    Change has been said to be the only constant in life and sure enough, it is. In 2017, I observed that some changes I implemented did not directly translate into the results I had expected and hoped for.

    On the flip side, I realized that I was rigid in terms of taking a new idea on board when in essence it would have had a positive impact on the organization.

    Perminus Wainaina, Managing Partner Corporate Staffing Service Ltd

    In 2018, I have become more intentional about accepting change even when it seems to be outside of the scope of the organizational mandate.

    Additionally, I plan to be more open-minded in terms of receiving new ideas especially when they appear unconventional.

    1. Success is built upon a vision, strategy and commitment

    The process of attaining success cannot be done haphazardly.

    It is a thorough process that should involve a clear cut vision, a strategy of attaining the vision and an unrelenting commitment to the vision.

    Last year I came to understand that as a CEO, it is not enough to have a vision; you also need a comprehensive well detailed strategy of attaining that vision.

    Similarly, my commitment to the vision and strategy saw me attain new levels of success in my career and personal level.

    1. You must have a strong and self-driven team

    In my position of leadership in 2017, I realized the need to energize the team and constantly keep them motivated.

    In the bigger part of career path, I have been privileged to work with a team of diverse members who exhibited different personalities and skills that blended and propelled us to realizing our annual objective.

    In 2018, I am more prepared to take up more team members who possess a good deal of technical and ideal soft skills that will contribute towards obtaining the organizational goal. Strong-willed and diverse skilled personnel are a sure bet in bringing new ideas in the firm that can pull the organization to new heights.

    1. Remain focused; keep your eye on the prize

    In my profession as a HR professional working with a reputable recruitment firm, I have learnt that there are a lot of distractions in the world.

    There is need to remain focused. I work in a firm that offers tailor made services for employers and job seekers; I have noted that I need to exhaust all possible opportunities in my field.

    In 2018, there is no room for mediocrity.

    1. Become more technologically savvy

    The world is becoming more and more digitalized. With competition increasing every other day, the importance of being adept with new technology cannot be over-stated.

    One of the crucial things I needed to learn in digitization was the intricacies of digital marketing and technological tools such as Google analytics and Search Engine Optimization.

    1. Encourage feedback mechanisms

    As a CEO, you must by all means champion for a system of feedback. I learned that this is how you make informed decisions that not only affect you as a leader but your team members, your clients and ultimately your organization.

    In 2018, I am intentional about encouraging my team to offer me feedback that is bent on bettering the organization.

    With this in mind,

    I truly hope that you can draw personal lessons from mine and become a resourceful and successful CEO.

    Perminus Wainaina is the CEO and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services Ltd. A HR consultancy firm based in Westlands Nairobi.