What Makes Good Business Leaders?

Duncan Mutembani, CEO, SparkSync

Good leaders know what they want to achieve and have a clear direction of travel. They pay a lot of attention to how they are with others, how they engage, communicate and enable others to be at their best. They are willing to use their courage, creativity and compassion to inspire collective action against a common goal.

They are willing to learn, to fail, to try again and to share success. They have high standards, always want more and are willing to work very hard for the things that are important to them.


If leadership skills are lacking in a business, it feels lukewarm, it is lack lustre, and either stays in the same place or goes backwards. Employees who want more look for other work. Morale is poor, energy is low, staff are in competition with each other, innovation is lacking, and profitability is elusive. It is not a good place to be.


Good leadership determines the success of a business, and employees who are rapidly promoted to leadership positions because of a company’s fast growth often need to develop leadership skills very quickly, in order to catch up with their peers.


This is especially the case in Sub-Saharan Africa, where, over the next few decades,  foreign direct investment inflows are expected to be the highest of any developing region. This will result in the rapid growth of African businesses. As these businesses grow they will need leaders who have the skills needed to steer their companies through periods of high economic growth and global competition.


Leadership training enables business leaders to find out what their strengths are and what they are already doing well. Also essential is learning about modern leadership theory, and how to apply leadership thinking in real, concrete and practical terms to their own business goals, teams and context.


Business leaders value being seen for who they are as leaders, that their aspirations are taken seriously,  and that the effort they are making are acknowledged.


We find that leaders value learning how to be honest, constructive and realistic about their blind spots and weaknesses. Most of all they value the encouragement they receive from tutors and fellow delegates, and that they are able to translate belief in themselves into a forward thinking, future focused plan for their business and their team.


During our training programme we teach business leaders to accept and value their innate strengths and capability and see these things as a resource to apply  in the pursuit of their aspirations. They also learn  that they are much more capable than they think, and that there are many more options available to them on how they can meet their goals.


They learn how to become  more effective team players and realise they do not have to solve all their business problems by themselves. They learn they are more creative, more courageous and more confident than they realised, and that they can use these qualities to accelerate their success.


SparkSync is holding a four-day leadership training retreat, targeting senior executives in all business sectors in Uganda, in November. This training will involve an intensive leadership development experience.

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