“Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy”. (Howard Stevenson, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University). To develop leaders who can create a culture that keeps a society focused on its cohesive set of skills and values, it is important to understand that the most valuable resource in every society or institution is its people. As can be expected in periods of rapid growth, many organizations struggle with the aspect of ensuring the institutional culture is not eroded as a result of different cultures and values are being entrenched into the system.
To address this concern, Strathmore University launched a Leadership Academy on 14th September 2018. This initiative will ensure that the institution develops leaders who are able to create a culture that keeps Strathmore focused on its values. The formation of the Leadership Academy was informed by a culture audit that sought to assess the current culture from the internal stakeholders’ point of view.
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor , Prof. John Odhiambo stated that the Leadership Academy will develop leaders within the University through structured programmes, themed modules, professional development and coaching & mentoring.
Speaking during the launch of the Leadership Academy, Mr. Sunny Bindra, a Management Consultant and Strathmore University Business School Advisory Board Member addressed the Strathmore Community on the theme of Leadership Unusual. He placed emphasis on six leadership unusual questions that all those seeking to be leaders must ask themselves: Can you lead for others- not yourself? Why should anyone be led by you? Can you stop doing and lead others? Can you earn and deserve leadership? Can you bring out the best in others? Can you lead from a deep-seated principle?
He further called on the staff members to embrace an attitude of high standards and values in all their operations so as to be the pace setters of integral leadership in the society. “When your cause as a leader is bigger than you, positive impact on the society becomes an achievable goal. Leadership is not your achievement, on the contrary, it is what you do to impact the life of others that matters. Have you uplifted others while leading? What is the byproduct of your leadership?
Evaluating where the institution stands and understanding its current state offers perspective on its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. It provides a view of what the institution can realistically handle and allows building of a plan around that knowledge.
Leadership training can increase the productivity of employees in an organization. It is with this background and knowledge of the dynamic environment that Strathmore University has taken the front seat in ensuring that its employees are engaged in leadership programmes that will provide platform to consistently share the values of the University, outline what is expected of a leader within Strathmore University, improve the ownership and accountability of leaders towards their teams’ needs and performance, and mould leaders who are able to leverage on relationships for the achievement of the University’s goals.