Leadership in business and at the workplace

Today more than ever leaders are needed everywhere in our society. In the home, in governance, in the church, in education, medicine, law, security, business, entrepreneurship etc.

As Robin Sharma puts it, leadership is a sport every individual should be involved in no matter where you find yourself. Leadership is the single most required discipline needed to win and excel in all areas of your life. John C. Maxwell puts it this way “everything rises and falls on leadership”.

Strong leaders in businesses will help organizations and businesses to grow, achieve their goals, thrive, excel and reach peak productivity. Poor leaders on the other hand will cause businesses to decline.

In today’s blog, I get to talk with Bismarck Sarfo Katanka on leadership. Specifically on leadership in business and at the workplace.

Senyo Inspires: Hello Bismarck. How has been your day?

Bismarck: Hello. It is has been okay by His Grace. Trust same at your end?

Senyo Inspires: Bless God. My day has been fantastic and am glad we are able to do this.

Bismarck: Bless God.

Senyo Inspires: Ok. I want us to talk about leadership, more specifically: student leadership and leadership in the workplace

Bismarck: Ok.

Senyo Inspires: You are someone who is very passionate about leadership, self-development and personal growth. Why is that?

Bismarck: Ha-ha. Yes because everything rises and fall on leadership. It is crucial in almost everything we do. Most of the problems we face especially in our part of the world is a leadership problem. Also, growth is crucial in our lives. Every living thing grows, so man also ought to grow.

Senyo Inspires: Ok. When you say it is crucial in almost everything we do, can you throw more light on that?

Bismarck: Our leadership abilities affect our effectiveness in all the things we do: at work, school etc. Our leadership abilities and skills is what helps us to navigate through life’s challenges, the problems we encounter and the decisions we make.

Senyo Inspires: Ok. So how is leadership important in business and at the workplace? And now, most employers, businesses and organizations don't just employ graduates but also leaders as well. I mean, graduates with leadership potentials, skills and abilities.

Bismarck: Business is about problem solving and taking tough decisions etc. and it takes leadership to navigate through them. Every cutting edge business or organization has a cutting edge leader at the helm. . A business can’t dominate the market place if their leadership isn’t strong.

Senyo Inspires: That's insightful.

Bismarck: If businesses employ leaders, the cost of equipping them reduces, more than that, they have the potential to bring on board new ideas and strategies, also they challenge the status quo aside many other innovative ideas they bring on board to keep the organization at the top.

Senyo Inspires: You were a leader in school. You served as The PRO and President for MASAG-UCC. How was that experience for you?

Bismarck: Great. Looking back it was a good decision I made. Balancing it with studies was not an easy thing for me but it helped me very well and also gave me platform to harness my leadership potentials.

Senyo Inspires: How has that helped you after school and in your workplace right now?

Bismarck: It has helped me to become more proactive and an initiative taker. For instance, in my new organization, I am always suggesting new and better ways of doing things. I keep identifying new ways of getting things done.

Senyo Inspires: That’s great to know. But before you served as PRO and President for MASAG, what were your initial ideas and knowledge about Leadership?

Bismarck: A person who occupies a position is a leader.

Senyo Inspires: do you still stand by this?

Bismarck: You don't need a position to be a leader. A position does not make one a leader but rather it offers one an opportunity to become one. Leadership is about influence. And you don’t need a position to command influence

Senyo Inspires: What made you change that view?

Bismarck: Learning, reading and experiences gained through the few positions I have I held.

Senyo Inspires: When it comes to leadership. There has been lot of misconceptions. What are some of the misconceptions about leadership in business and at the workplace?

Bismarck: 4 misconception about leadership?

  1. That leaders are Born. But I would say Leaders are Born and made. They are born by nature. Yes, it is true we have people who have the natural ability to lead, but I would say it is like a raw material and not a finished product. Anything in its raw state has little value and therefore the need to nurture this potential by serving when the opportunities present themselves as well as honing those potentials by reading books that challenges you. Leaders are Readers.
  2. Leadership is not a position we occupy. You can have a position and have no influence. Influence is earned. From Sir George's definition of Leadership, you see leaders “inspire followership through the manifestation of certain exemplary character traits and virtues" and presupposes that you don't need a position to lead, you need influence to lead. And influence is earned likewise once influence can also shrink.
  3. The notion that Charisma is all you need as a leader and so just hone your public speaking skills. Character is crucial to leadership and when ones charisma outweighs his character as a leader, he would one day falter. Experts attribute 60% to Character and 40% to Charisma and Competence. An Army General once said; Leadership is a combination of character and strategies but if you must do away with one, do away with strategies.
  4. Also the notion that leaders don't serve but they are rather to be served. If servanthood is below you then Leadership is above you. Leaders serve and find every opportunity to serve.

Senyo Inspires: Great insights here. Who would you say is a leader, with regards to business and in the work place? And how would you define leadership?

Bismarck: Leadership refers to the potential to influence and inspire followership through the manifestation of certain exemplary character traits and virtues unto the creation of impact. That’s by Sir George Charisma. A definition one of my mentors gave that I believe encompasses what leadership is.

A leader is one who influences and inspire followership through the manifestation of certain exemplary character traits and virtues into the creation of positive impact

Senyo Inspires: What are the most important traits or virtues needed to be a great business leader or show leadership in the workplace?

Bismarck: Integrity. Vision. Honesty

Senyo Inspires: Ok. How does one cultivate or exhibit these?

Bismarck: First, make a decision to pursue and live these virtues. Pick persons whom you admire you and emulate them. Learn from their lives. Enroll accountability partners.

Senyo Inspires: thanks for the tips Bismarck.

Bismarck: Welcome.

Senyo Inspires: Final words to young business leaders hoping to make an impact in their businesses and workplaces.

Bismarck: When charisma and competence outweighs your character, you would one day falter. Character is crucial to our success as a leader. Also, we need to continually invest in our development as a leader. We must become better at what we do every day. Read books so you can continually become relevant to the people you are leading.

Like I said before, be humble and serve. If servanthood is below you then Leadership is above you.

Senyo Inspires: Thanks Bismarck. It’s been a great time. Let’s meet another time to have another great discussion.

Bismarck: thanks and welcome.

Bismarck Sarfo Kantanka works as an Insurance Officer at Pacific Insurance Brokers Ltd and also a student of the Ghana Insurance College. He is passionate about serving and impacting others with his God given potentials and abilities. He loved reading. He is a Phobian and a Barcelona fan as well.

Live your dreams, and inspire the world…


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