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Brian Johan Oyaro / 4 min read
How Africa Venture better prepared Brian to Lead Beyond Authority in his community.
When Brian received confirmation that he would be part of the Africa Venture programme, he was thrilled. Like so many young people in Kenya, he was becoming increasingly frustrated with his own inaction around the many prevalent issues, and wanted to know how he could be better operating as a leader in his community. He felt that if his mind was more results-oriented, he would be in a better position to transform the world around him.
The Africa Venture delivered so much more than Brian bargained for. Not only did he learn the skills to enable him to Lead Beyond Authority, he also felt that it helped him become more proactive and decisive – to tap into a potential he always knew he had, but had always been a challenge to access due to indecisiveness.
"The entire program was illuminating but two particular moments stood out for me. The first was understanding Safaricom's success story in Kenya. Understanding how Safaricom was built from the ground up, and the effort and sacrifice to be the best, was incredible. I understood that for a brand to be strong, it constantly had to innovate and not count on its past successes, but rather on its future conquests. The experience made me realize that I had the ability to lead beyond authority by being the best at what I do."
In particular, the in-person modules on Africa Venture really offered Brian the opportunity to discern his potential. "My favourite moment thought the Africa Venture program was in Nigeria. It was a lesson in persistence, courage and determination, and Lagos presented the best of Nigerian culture. More so, it presented my second illuminating moment - I was amazed at how the First Consultant Hospital coordinated with Governmental and International organizations to curb the spread of Ebola. The result of a well co-ordinated purposeful initiative filled up with Cultural Intelligence of how Lagos functioned led to the prevention of a major catastrophe."
These two moments in particular, in Kenya and Nigeria, really inspired Brian to continue to push forward and achieve his goals. By starting to make bold and innovative choices, Brian was able to re-brand his organization to have clear objectives, purpose-driven outcomes, and is now more prepared to build a better future in Kenya and across Africa.
"What made Africa Venture worth every minute were the people I was with throughout the programme, and I got lots of insight and advice from more established leaders. I was able to talk and interact with people who shared different opinions, who were from different cultures and religions. The Africa Venture programme showed that despite the differences we have as human beings, we can live together in harmony and can share certain ideals that make us human. The programme is unique and results-oriented. Through the programme I was able to meet and learn from the best leaders in both private and public sector who have great influence across the African continent.”
Brian Johan Oyaro is the Executive Director for Signature Journal. He took part in the Africa Venture Leadership Programme, in 2018.