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Executive Leadership: Winning Hearts and Minds

People, companies and institutions evolve into business and community leaders when they define a path guided by a clear vision and adopt an ethical stance, which provides inspiration and an opportunity for the positive transformation of others. Throughout time and space, our prophets, politicians, poets, and our parents, have passed down the wisdom of their experience, and their knowledge about leaders and followers - yet we still seek answers to the big questions of leadership: what is ‘leadership’, are we born to be leaders, can we learn to become leaders, which leadership qualities are respected and will endure over time and across continents? Why do we continue to explore the same questions? Because ‘leadership’ is dynamic: as the world changes, the speed of decision making increases and, the need to give quick answers leaves us little time to reflect and take stock. To survive with integrity, Mahatma Gandhi said (of leaders): ‘“we must be the change we wish to seek”. From Southern Africa, the Ubuntu philosophy joins leaders and followers by stating ‘I am who I am because of who we all are’. Archbishop Desmond Tutu echoes the philosophy that ‘Ubuntu’ applies to leaders and followers alike: ‘A person with ‘Ubuntu’ is open and available to others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished.’ This is remote from the philosophies embedded in the competitive, ‘winner takes all’ best selling leadership books sold in international airports, to international consultants. Mandela’s lifetime example and the success of the Ubuntu policy in South Africa demonstrate that change, in public and private sectors, is positive when it is ethical. Idilmat’s workshop does not recommend any particular model of leadership but invites our participants to learn from the principles that have guided some of the world’s most successful leaders, to develop a ‘critical perspective’ on current and enduring leadership concepts and practices. This Executive Workshop helps to reveal the richness of each participant’s own experience, knowledge and skill, by using our hearts and minds to unleash the creativity and awareness which we all share and which is essential for successful leadership. Leadership is a process, and moving beyond the constraints of the textbook allows us uncover and appreciate our many gifts and talents, and thereby transform our work in government, business and society. This three-day professional development workshop is designed for those in the public and private sectors, including development partner officials involved in the leadership and development of staff and stakeholders engaged in executive and managerial level positions, through the introduction of analytical frameworks and tools for leadership in the changing global context.

Upcoming training workshop

  • Course name:

    Executive Leadership: Winning Hearts and Minds

  • Dates:

    to be scheduled
  • Duration:

    3 days
  • Venue:

    Accra, Ghana
  • Price:

    1550 US$
  • Description

    The words of Mahatma Gandhi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Helen Keller in the introduction of our leadership programme are inspirational, and relate to beliefs and values, which are shared by all. The enormous achievements of great leaders like Gandhi, Mandela and others who have changed the world for the better, are the culmination of a lifetime’s commitment to a vocation, coupled with particular personal qualities deployed in a particular context. Yet, we are all leaders in certain spheres of our lives. How we understand the world we live in, what we do, what we say, how we use our influence has power to improve the quality of life for many people. This three-day professional development workshop is designed to help answer questions about what ‘leadership’ involves, how expectations of ‘leadership’ are dynamic, the importance of context, and how organizational performance can be improved through understanding and sensitive application of leadership skills and competencies.

    It explores the changing face of leadership and the new roles and responsibilities of those involved in leading and managing organisations and staff. The emphasis on an analytical framework approach provides the participant with relevant and effective tools to assess and understand a given organization’s structure and leadership capabilities. Further it looks at models currently recommended by leadership gurus as well as those recently introduced by the various governments, and assesses their appropriateness in the developing country context. Context is given a central emphasis in this workshop since leadership models which ignore a careful consideration of the local context are unlikely to succeed.

    The overview session reviews a brief history of leadership and tackles the new challenges facing leaders in today’s rapidly changing globalised environment. Upon completion of the workshop, participants should be able to evaluate, select and apply diverse approaches to leadership issues they encounter in their own workplace. Techniques included are transferrable and can be used at all organizational levels, in private and public sectors and can also be used in a wider community environment in developed and developing countries. Further the workshop gives an opportunity for participants to practice leadership techniques with other participants who are also concerned with and involved in leadership in their own countries.

    Key topics and questions for discussion in this workshop include:

    • What do we understand by ‘leadership’ today
    • What makes a strong leader: what the gurus say, what the textbooks say and what you  say
    • Why we are moving away from performance management and ‘target setting’ towards the more recently introduced ‘capability review system’
    • The new emphasis on particular skills sets
    • The leadership process
    • How results are achieved
    • Changing views of leadership

    The workshop will also provide participants with the opportunity to acquire a framework for professional leadership development.


  • Objective

    The principal objective of this professional development workshop is to help participants identify the opportunities to differentiate themselves as leaders and provide effective guidance to their colleagues. The course will give participants practical tools and analytical frameworks which can be used in an everyday work environment, within their own context in developing and emerging economies.

  • Audience

    The target audience is those working in the public and private sectors, including executive and senior managers, senior government officials and those with responsibility for directing NGOs and social enterprises who have experience of leadership, or who are about to assume leadership roles.

  • Pre-requisites

    No pre-requisites, but please bring one or two examples of leadership experiences and challenges you have faced or are currently working on.

  • Learning outcomes

    By the end of this professional development workshop, participants should:

    • Be able to understand the origins of current used leadership approaches
    • Be able to question the relevance and limitations of some commonly used leadership
      models in an international context
    • Be able to discuss key attributes, competences and skills of effective leaders.
    • Be able to link theory with practice by analyzing and applying a set of leadership tools and
    • Be equipped with some simple frameworks for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of
      commonly used leadership approaches
    • Be able to analyse their environmental context in which leadership is required
    • Be able to select suitable approaches for a given context
    • Be able to apply a set of leadership techniques
  • Learning methods

    The learning methods will include the following

    • Introduction to key concepts through “teaching and discussion” methods
    • The use of original source material from key writers/thinkers in this area
    • The use of international examples and case studies from countries with different experiences to illustrate the challenges and dilemmas of leadership
    • The use of participatory exercises (in particular short "buzz-group" sessions) to provoke and
      consolidate points raised
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