I have spent the last two days with the British Council team who is working to roll out an innovative leadership programme called InterAction. The programme started in Africa and has run for four years and trained over 1000 African leaders, and 40 African facilitators. I was very happy to have been a part of the original design team and work through the first year of the unique leadership programme with the African facilitation team. The programme is starting to scale up has just started in Pakistan and this meeting was to discuss a global programme.
Yesterday we had a discussion about the focus of the programme – one person asked, “What difference can you make if you just focus on personal development?” We had a passionate response from the Ethiopian facilitators, Selome Tadesse, who said, “We get the leaders we deserve. Our leaders do not fall down from Mars or Venus at 45 years old and are bad people. They grow up in our villages, and communities, they go to our schools and they belong to our families. ” Personal leadership development that starts with community level leaders, people with local or neighbourhood spheres of influence, or young people in institutions, rather than the elected officials or heads of organizations and programmes might take longer, but will certainly help guarantee that the leaders we get in the future are the leaders we both want and deserve.