Collins Lumumba: Head of Customer Experience, Metropolitan National Sacco
The difference between a boss and a leader, staying resilient during times of rapid sector transformation and being proactive about continuous professional development
About our Guest
This episode’s conversation is with Collins Lumumba from Nairobi, Kenya. Collins is the Head of Customer Experience at Metropolitan National Sacco, a financial institution where he has held a series of management roles for the past 11 years.
Everyday Leadership in Action
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Collins:
You can’t lead without followers: When Collins first stepped in a manager role, he thought he could assert himself in a way that he thought a boss could act. His overbearing attitude was not appreciated by his team, who ended up delivering on his assignments but causing the culture to diminish and innovation to disappear. Eventually he realized his errors and sought out leadership best practices to improve his leadership style. One learning during that time that he still practices today is ensuring that new team members are well supported during their first month and enter the team with a clear sense of how they will contribute and grow as a professional within the company.
In the face of rapid sector transformation, staff retention becomes even more important: In recent years, traditional financial institutions have faced pressure from new fintech solutions. Collins has found that its been increasingly important to do his best in developing and rewarding high-performing talent in order to ensure solid execution of strategies to remain competitive, as well as retaining critical staff.
Leadership requires proactive and continuous professional development: Collins has sought out a number of ways to improve his leadership skills over the years. Two recent initiatives include Toastmasters and CoffeeChat. With Toastmasters, he is able to practice public speaking. With CoffeeChat, he is able to practice coaching and also receive coaching from other managers through the Peer Coaching Network. He has adopted the GROW Model used in peer coaching, which he has even brought to some of his team members to apply in their own day-to-day decision making.
The Everyday Leader is a podcast featuring conversations with leaders from across Africa’s companies, organizations, and governments about their experience managing teams and projects throughout their careers.
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