LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM 2019 GROOVE AWARDS

I got a call from Kavutha, CEO, MoSound about my ticket to the 2019 Groove Awards at Movenpick Hotel & Residences. I had a bunch of errands to run on the day and I feel a certain way about large gatherings of people, si kwa ubaya. In the background I could hear Baraka Mwaura- I have known him and his brother for a minute now- his voice sealed the deal for me.

Event day was chilly and I almost dipped but eventually I dragged myself there. Guys were at the holding area, chatting, catching up. I joined the back of a line to get my pass- Njesh came to my rescue and I skipped the line, yeah! Privilege of knowing the organisers, or maybe I was just on the wrong line before.

Surprisingly, 90% of the crowd was new to me. “...yaani, I have been this disconnected from gospel circles?” I thought to myself. Aidhuru. Pleasantries, selfies, nini nini... I got comfortable and touched base with Kelvin Mukiri, fan turned close friend. Show started and I sat at the back to observe things. I learnt a lot from the event, but what struck me most was how Groove Awards has grown to be an entity that has set the standard when it comes to event production.

Another surprise that had me like, Ala! was Baraka Mwaura being the team lead of this year’s Groove Awards, which brings me to my point- Kevin Mulei’s ability to let his people grow into bigger roles in his institution. I met Kev years ago and I have since been a student of how he does things. He still works with the people he started out with and they have grown into being leaders themselves. I am in awe of how he does this.

It was against this backdrop that I came across Pastor Ng’ang’a’s leaked video, where he was lecturing his leadership on how he made them who they are, how he met them at their lowest and made them millionaires- hence how dare they disrespect him and his wife?! His choice of words was vile, we won’t repeat that here. Needless to say the video is still trending. 

I am keen to understand what led to Pastor Ng’ang’a’s outburst over and above the obvious. It is telling about his leadership style when he says "you can't be nothing without me. I am the one who made you who you are." I liken him to a lion that kills its male cubs to prevent them from growing up and taking over territory.

Isn't good leadership supposed to nurture, grow and leave you room to fly and flourish? Shouldn’t it be like a father watching his son become better than him and being proud of that?

An example of this is Mike Okoth and his son, Origi from the Liverpool win. Origi managed to reach heights that his father prepared him for, isn't his father proud of this success? 

Forget the drama of the Obama senior, I’m sure if he was alive he would have been really proud of his son for going farther than he did. 

This really got me thinking of my work and the people I have worked with. Some experiences have been pleasant and rewarding and others not as much. I don’t lay blame on anyone. I choose, instead, to learn from each experience and acknowledge the part I played in both the successes and the failures. 

I feel the same about romantic relationships. I have always learned something and come out better, regardless of how long or short, deep or shallow the relationship was. Even when they end, I am grateful for the time spent together and I hope that I made them better. 

What are your thoughts around leadership? What’s been your experience as a leader?