At times effective leadership sounds like a myth because leaders are considered like super human beings who are immune to life’s challenges.
When you are starting out in any leadership role, don’t expect everything to be easy. In fact leadership by itself is a challenge on its own because it involves leading other human beings are less, equally or even more gifted than you are as a leader. So in leading others, some days will be harder than others, and for sure, some days will definitely be better than others. Embrace both!
When I am asked the question, “you are so strong Victoria. How have you managed to be so strong and get to the top?”, my sincere response has been, “I’ve leant to embrace both the good and the not so good experiences that leadership brings, and in that way, I’ve leant to look at the end from the beginning and focus on the ultimate goal. I’ve taken each day of my life as a project on its own. I’ve leant not to give up so easily; and actually, not to give up at all”.
There are many times I’ve felt like giving up because at that point, everything felt so tough. However, what I’ve done in those instances was actually not giving up! That was the only difference I made. I have relied on God’s ability and supernatural power to carry me through stormy days.
This means that in order for you to be an effective leader, you first of all need to learn to lead yourself in a manner that you can say to others, “follow me!” Lead yourself before you can lead others. We live in an era where we are advocating for growth in the numbers of female leaders. This also means that every female must first of all ‘Lead Her Ship’ (#LeadHerShip) before she can engage in leadership to lead others. Actually, the same principle applies to male leaders as well!
Title or position is not synonymous to Leadership. If your actions inspire others to learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader! The true mark of leadership is the ability to develop greater leaders beyond you. I love the quote that says, ‘your candle loses nothing when it lights another’. Actually, the combined light from all lit candles shines brighter. Be sure to celebrate the successes of your followers; even the seemingly insignificant ones.
“Have you had sleepless nights because of leadership?” they ask…and I say, “Yes, several nights actually, but I rest peacefully immediately knowing that the ability to do all and achieve all, comes from one able God Almighty. He strengthens us in moments of weakness; all we ought to do is faithfully apply ourselves”.
Victoria Chanda Mumba
Chief Executive Officer – Zambia Institute of Banking & Financial Services (ZIBFS)