As Namibia pushes its economic emancipation agenda and the fight against poverty, competent leaders are said to be an integral part of the prosperity project.
The country’s biggest telecommunications company this week invited world-renowned Bishop Thomas Dexter Jakes to Namibia for the inaugural two-day MTC Leadership Conference at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek.
Jakes’ time in Namibia saw him rubbing shoulders even with President Hage Geingob at State House. Geingob also attended one of the famous bishop’s sessions.
Jakes, who jetted into the country on Monday on a commercial jet, is the bishop of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American church that has a minimum following of about 30 000 people.
Known as a charismatic, visionary, provocative thinker, and entrepreneur who serves as a senior pastor of The Potter’s House, Jakes took the stage in and shared some leadership tips with Namibia during the two-day event.
Jakes, First Lady Monica Geingos and South African Dr. David Molapo were the speakers during the two day event. Two sessions were held on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. A corporate leadership session was held in the morning followed by a worship session in the evening.
Although the turnout was not as big as expected, everything else went as planned.
Jakes, who has a reported net worth of at least N$2 billion, outlined the importance of being profitable when it comes to business “in your household, family life and career.”
He also lamented the lack of a people centred leadership model by saying, “Some Churches have lost their heart, some CEOs have lost their heart.”
“We have been created by a creator to be creative,” said the 58-year-old clergyman.
He went on: “Namibians need to recreate themselves over and over again so they can pump through the pipeline of God to be productive everyday of their lives.”
Jakes placed great emphasis on ‘fruitfulness’.
“Namibians cannot multiply in business or anything else if there is no sense of growth. Take what you have and multiply it by peeling off what is unproductive”, he said.
Jakes believes that everything that is fruitful should be franchised.
“To be profitable in the organization or anywhere you have to catch rhythm with the surrounding environment. If there is no beat, then there will not be a successful lead,” he charged.
Jakes stated that “one of the blood suckers of success is a lack of momentum. If you go to bed at five o’clock, sleep on the job or if you are lazy there will not be any growth.”
“God created everything with rhythm therefore it is important to hire people that catch the rhythm to ensure a profitable future.”
“You are a winner if you do not quit,” continued Jakes, adding that “letting others define you needs to be stopped so that the true potential of who you can be sparkle when needed.”
“A Giraffe does not let turtles talk them out of their possibilities, simply because they are not on the same level in terms of vision”.
He discouraged Namibians from limiting themselves from possibilities and strive for greatness.
“Do not hide your talent, rather expul fear rather expose your talent and hide fear,” said Jakes.
He further asserted that “you can hire intellect but you cannot hire instinct”.
Integrity cannot be legislated
First Lady Monica Geingos, who was also one of the speakers, spoke passionately on the fight against corruption in Namibia and the effects of social exclusion.
Geingos is adamant that the prevalent corruption acts are a result of greed.
She also stressed the need to root out structural differences to curb exclusion, adding that the situation needs fixing. “At Independence, we inherited a flawed system which we never rectified. Government can have good plans in place and be free of corruption but the people who are to execute the country’s vision should be committed and ethical, or else there would still be problems within the system,” she said.
“We cannot legislate integrity, we cannot legislate ethics. Each of us has a responsibility to remove someone from poverty,” Geingos said.
Government fight against corruption has been robust over the years, but loopholes within the system are often abused by some officials for their own gain. The First Lady responded to questions raised by the audience specifically in regards to mentorship. Geingos highlighted an economic study group of 45 Namibians who will soon embark on a six months study program to deepen their understanding of African markets. Soon to launch her foundation, MTC’s Tim Ekandjo announced a N$50 000 as seed capital towards the worthy cause.
Shed the past, embrace the future!
“The three important aspects to succeed is vision, passion, and taking risks. Be compassionate and take risks to strive to become a better leader. You must have a positive outlook on life and avoid being cynical through negativity”, said Molapo.
He also added that the people have to remember that they are paid according to skills, not according to their bills.
“The nation needs to listen, and have a ‘hot’ communication, engage with one another and know that even if you are in a high position, you need to learn how to serve and stop patronizing others because of past happenings.
“Your past is a point of reference not a point of residence,” he remarked much to the delight of the audience.
Molapo also underscored the essence of living a balanced life, one which accommodates time to work, social time and personal time.
“There has to be a balance between the three. It is pivotal to avoid going descending into mediocrity and pursue excellence at all times,” he lectured.
According to Molapo:“You can be a CEO at work, but know how to be a husband at home.”
Corporate leaders came from as far as Botswana, Angola and South Africa to attend the two-day Indaba.