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  What Kind of Leader Will Thrive in Africa?  Premium

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This article discusses the context-specific factors that leaders must take into account when managing people and doing business in Africa, mainly sub-Saharan Africa and in particular, Nigeria. The author draws on several studies she has done as director of the Center for Research in Leadership and Ethics at Lagos Business School. First, she describes the general sociocultural context of sub-Saharan Africa. Then, she highlights the appropriate leadership qualities that are needed to succeed in this context. Finally, she reflects on whether the same principles hold true for the Millennial generation, based on her research of young Nigerian graduates. Their shifting preferences must be noted, she says, both to engage them today and also because they represent the African leaders of tomorrow.

Tools and Frameworks:
> "Succeeding in Sub-Saharan Africa" suggests the appropriate action to take to adapt your leadership in accordance with the social dynamics at work.
> "Same but Different" acknowledges that certain experiences may be common across cultures, but stresses that it is vital to understand the unique ways in which leadership is expressed in Africa.

Examples Cited:
General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, MTN Group, Computer Warehouse Group, Guaranty Trust Bank, Standard Bank, Equity Bank, Nelson Mandela, Austin Okere, Tayo Aderinokun, and an expatriate CEO sent from London to a subsidiary in Nigeria

Research Basis:
Draws on several studies by the author, including a comparison of work attitudes and norms between Nigeria and the United States, and research on the values and aspirations of different generations in the Nigerian workplace, which are contained in Change Leadership in Developing Countries (Routledge, 2014) and the book Talent Management in Nigeria.

About the Author:
Franca Ovadje is the founding director of the Center for Research in Leadership and Ethics at Lagos Business School.

This article is based on:  What Kind of Leader Will Thrive in Africa?
Publisher:  IESE
Year:  2015
Language:  English