☕ CoffeeChat Weekly
Opportunities & Insights from Across Our Community
Hi everyone, we’re back after a week off. Here’s what we have for you:
Are you bringing your personal superpower to work? In this week’s episode of The Everyday Leader, Ifedolapo Ogunjubee from YC-backed Termii shares how he uses his personal networking habits in his role as Head of Global Business and Partnerships.
Building a leadership culture happens one manager at a time. Chipo Phiri, the Director of Talent at UpEnergy Group, shares insights about how best to support managers.
Are you a manager working in Africa? Participate in our 12-question survey on how you feel about the leadership development opportunities and resources available to you.
Read on for more details…
Finding win-win roles for team members, building a culture of trust within a fast-moving startup team, and translating your personal superpower into a business advantage
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Ife:
Finding win-win roles for each team member: Ife learned early on about managing team members during an experience hiring and managing interns while working in marketing at Transsion. In his efforts of training and motivating these interns, he realized that the most motivated and productive interns were those where there was a clear sense of that their responsibilities were aligned with their interests, and where their output had the most direct impact on the company’s success. He has carried this learning with him when hiring and managing staff at Termii.
Building a culture of trust within a fast-moving startup team: Ife has reported to Termii’s CEO and Founder since joining over two years ago. One of the founder’s strengths that he has picked up on is creating a sense of trust and empathy by allowing for constructive learning. Ife shared an example when the company invested heavily in hosting a virtual event which did not produce the expected results. Afterwards, the Founder didn’t blame anyone but made sure to have the team reflect on the learnings. This environment encourages everyone to go beyond and beyond to move the business forward.
Translating your personal superpower into a business advantage: Ife says he’s always enjoyed building professional networks and establishing relationships. He has been able to bring this natural skill to his business development role. He uses networking activities for the benefit of his company as well as his own professional growth. For example, he regularly engages with peers and prospective customers through platforms like Clubhouse, LaunchClub and CoffeeChat.
Building a Leadership Culture One Manager At A Time
Chipo Phiri is based in Lusaka, Zambia and serves as the Director of Talent at UpEnergy Group, a company that fights poverty, improves health, and protects forests by making clean energy technologies available to more people in the developing world through carbon-financed distribution channels. Chipo oversees Talent across UpEnergy’s 7 operational markets across Africa. Prior to joining UpEnergy, she had 10 years of work experience building high-performing teams, scaling cultural, performance, and professional development strategies.
In June 2022, Chipo participated as one of three panelists invited to comment on our CoffeeChat 2022 Manager Support Survey findings. CoffeeChat's second annual Manager Support Survey captured important trends around leadership development at 50 top companies and organizations with an operational footprint across Africa.
When reviewing the survey results, Chipo was interested in the finding that there is strong interest in using executive coaching to address a toxic team culture. In her experience, she has seen coaching work very well in cases where someone is performing well and navigating a promotion, but has yet to see coaching be able to turn around a particularly bad situation. She recognized that often an executive coach is brought in at a point where it is too late for a leader or team to return to normal, and so a coach’s value becomes related more to change management due to a leadership transition.
Across the UpEnergy Group, there are currently around 12 senior leaders and over 20 middle managers, and they are in the process of rapidly expanding. Chipo was the first full-time HR hire, and the team has just revamped their official values. Two values are around leadership and accountability, which focus on empowering all staff to lead in their own way. Chipo will use this values framework to help guide her in developing a leadership development program going forward. Chipo and several other senior leaders at UpEnergy already work independently with coaches, and going forward, they are considering how to include this as a leadership benefit.
2022 Manager Growth Survey
Earlier this year we experienced a fantastic turnout for our second annual Manager Support Survey. While that survey captured trends from Talent and L&D leaders about their perspectives towards leadership development strategies and realities, we are now gathering views directly from managers themselves.
We’re now excited to launch our inaugural 2022 Manager Growth Survey, a 12-question pulse check of how managers at companies across Africa feel about the leadership development opportunities and resources available to them. If you’re a manager working in Africa, we encourage you to participate!