FOR SPURRING AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT : Developing outstanding and transformational leadership skills and capabilities

It is an inescapable fact that the highest orders of skills, knowledge, and capabilities (social, intellectual and technical), expressed as human capital, and collective effort and commitment, constitute the critical forces driving superior organisational performance in any sector.
This holds true at all levels, and particularly at the apex, with top personnel being entrusted with envisioning, strategising, leading and guiding the organisation to deliver on the intended objectives and outcomes, consistent with the espoused goals  and missions.
There has been over time a growing realisation that sub-optimal functioning and system failures are directly linked to corporate ineffectiveness, to instances of ethical and procedural infractions, unsafe working environments and practices and overall poor employee performance, with lack of training and development being clearly implicated, aside from macro-level adverse conditions. Possible political interferences/ manipulations, particularly in public sectors, may be severely constraining factors, and inimical to rational-technical processes.
Such shortcomings do not necessarily arise from wilful actions, omissions or dereliction of responsibilities. However, it is important to have the necessary insight to recognise the existing negative signs, the foresight to anticipate likely ominousness, and in all cases to take timely and pre-emptive remedial steps.
Senior executive and director level leadership development programmes enhance the capacity to be self-aware, to be analytically astute and have a rounded complement of competencies to recognise the challenges organisations face, to spot the opportunities to leverage core capabilities more advantageously and raise performance profiles.
Where resources, be they financial, technical and logistical, are constrained, there is a premium on capitalising on human ingenuity and professional expertise, innovative workings and products, in order to transform fortunes and prospects.
Whilst Africa continues to chalk up impressive rates of economic growth, there are a host of other challenges and impediments to sustainability.
In this context, the honing of top indigenous talents and harnessing these, is paramount.
Some tentative and suggestive propositions are as follows:
Leadership training on the continent needs to be centred on Africa’s sustainable development goals taking into account all the intricacies and complexities of an increasingly and inexorably global environment.
Transformational leaders globally are in acutely short supply (according to Harthill Consulting Research, 2014, only 10 % of leaders world-wide, are skilled in this facet on leadership). Transformational leaders are needed to shift paradigms in thinking and practice, articulating powerful and realisable visions, while focusing on and supremely executing current tasks and challenges.
Paradigmatic leaders need to be sensitive to the wider issues in society. In view of the gaping disparities in incomes and wealth, and the starkly limited employability prospects, especially for youths in Africa, they need to be mindful of the socio-economic forces that impact on aspirations and opportunity structures and strive for an inclusive model of development and growth.
Leaders need to lead with both the head and the heart, exercising uncompromising ethical principles, ensuring good governance, accountability, high trust relations; creatively dealing with conflict and be highly accomplished in engagement; and in enabling collaboration and achieving cross-disciplinary synergy.