Lessons from the Top: Francis Kamulegya,
PWC Uganda Country Senior Partner
As PwC’s Country Senior Partner for the last nine years, Francis has spent his career advising and interacting with a wide range of CEOs from across the private sector. As a guest speaker at an event with the Uganda community of The Africa List. Francis shared the leadership lessons he’s learned on his way to the top.
LEAD FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Before making partner, my measure of success was growing myself into the senior position of leadership. However after I became the leader I realized that my success was now about growing those I lead to became even better leaders than myself.
‘Learn to lead yourself first before you can lead others.’
Choose to adopt a positive paradigm about life. I don’t dwell on failures and things that have gone wrong but look at every failure and setback as an opportunity to learn.
‘Accepting that I do not know it all, and that this is not a sign of weakness has turned me into a lifelong student.’
Commit to learning something new every day. I spend at least 1 hour every day reading about key business issues, whether it’s an audio book while I’m driving, or listening to webinars and podcasts and reading books and online articles from websites like the Harvard Business Review (hbr.org) and the Economist (economist.com).
Just like the body becomes weak without regular exercise, I regularly exercise my mind by actively engaging in debates and discussions on lots of different topics.
BECOME A VISIBLE EXPERT
Be so good at what you do so that they (society, clients, people, employees, the world) cannot ignore you. I committed to becoming a visible expert by building a track record of consistent performance at the highest level possible.
As a leader, you are always being watched and you should always be mindful of this all the time. I developed what I call the Front Page Test. Whatever I do, I ask myself, what if this was reported as a story on the front page of the papers tomorrow, how would I feel?
Think about the kind of leader you staff want you to be. I always strive to come across as genuine and authentic, especially during staff performance appraisal meetings. I also try and be approachable, trustworthy, reliable, knowledgeable, social, supportive, inspiration, humble, loyal and accountable.
DON’T BE TOO BUSY FOR BALANCE
Understand that work is not an end in itself but is just one component of a meaningful life. In the past I used to be so busy being busy that I never had time for myself. Make time for yourself to do things that you really enjoy doing.
I say yes to most requests I get and make the time to honor them. I try to attend all invitations to business events or functions, social functions, religious events, cultural functions and I also attend all wedding invitations from my members of staff.
DON’T TRY TO CONTROL EVERYTHING
‘The people I lead do not want to be managed. They are very intelligent people who are capable of managing themselves. I realized that what they want from me as their leader is to be: guided, mentored, supported, empowered, trusted, valued, challenged, trained, advised, informed, recognized, rewarded, and of course paid.’
Learn to differentiate what is important from what is urgent. Attend to what is most important, and avoid what is urgent from turning into a crisis.
Make it clear to the people you lead that you are in control, but do not try to control everything.
Getting the job done right
with limited resources