The customer is king and is even more important in these uncertain times we live in.
NAIROBI, Kenya — Today marks one year since I joined Safaricom PLC, and I can’t help but be filled with a deep sense of gratitude both as a leader and as an individual.
I am truly grateful for a smooth and successful transition back to Kenya and into the company, and I am happy to be part of this wonderful family.
It has been a tough year for humanity and business, but I am thankful for good health and a good support system.
As I take stock of this past year, I would like to share 10 things I have learnt along the way:
1. Managing major transitions is a critical leaders job (both personal and professional). It needs careful thought, a clear vision and remarkable resilience.
2. In times of crisis, lead with purpose and follow your intuition when making decisions. Tap into your previous experiences and do not wait for all the facts to guide you as they will not always be there.
3. Teams can do anything when challenged positively. For people to deliver their best, you need to communicate clear goals and instil a sense of mission in a purposeful way to ensure that everyone actively works towards achieving it.
4. Do not underestimate the power of partnerships. We worry too much about competition when there is so much more power when we collaborate. Covid-19 forced us to come together and collaborate on matters that benefit society as a whole, and I think we should definitely do this more often.
5. The customer is king and is even more important in these uncertain times we are currently living in. Customers will remember how you made them feel in times of crisis, and it was important for us to stand with Kenyans and cushion them against the negative impact of the pandemic.
6. Covid-19 reminded us of the power of purpose and as a purpose-led organization, we are dedicated to transforming lives, ensuring we leave no one behind.
7. Deal with the crisis, but also continue to build the future. Despite the uncertainty we face, maintain a sense of mission and be devoted to achieving it.
8. As we navigate through this pandemic, the role of leaders has changed in this new world of working from home and virtual meetings. Keeping connected while we are apart is an even bigger imperative as we ensure that business continues as usual. It is ok not to know everything but lead with empathy and have the courage to deal with situations as they occur.
9. We can adapt to any change, never allow anyone to say you cannot. The situation may seem grim, but we must remain optimistic and work towards a better future.
10. In this social media age, listen for real feedback but learn to filter and depersonalise the “noise”.
Peter Ndegwa is the Chief Executive Officer at Safaricom PLC