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Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with

David Obonyo

helps you in your leadership.

David Obonyo

David Obonyo

Name: David Obonyo

Title: General Manager- Health


David Obonyo is the General Manager of Britam Health, a leading provider of health insurance and wellness solutions in Kenya. He has over 15 years of experience in the Insurance sector, spanning health financing, health systems strengthening, and health policy. He is passionate about improving access to quality and affordable health care in the region. David has an MSc in Management from USIU, Bsc. in Statistics, and is a chartered insurer from Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK.
He is a certified coach and mentor, who enjoys supporting young professionals and entrepreneurs to achieve their personal and professional goals. He is married and blessed with 2 beautiful children

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

The most challenging aspect of being a leader is to inspire and motivate others to be at their best. I have learned that different people have different styles, preferences, and personalities, and I need to adapt my approach accordingly. I enjoy learning from my team and helping them grow as professionals.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Becoming a leader was not easy, but it was worth it. I always had a passion for helping others and making a difference in the world. I started my career at AAR Health Services as an underwriter, I had a great boss who challenged me to be intentional….by investing in my personal and professional growth. I started volunteering in my community and taking on leadership roles whenever I could. I learned a lot from my mentors and peers, and I also made some mistakes along the way. But I never gave up on my vision and goals. I worked hard, stayed humble, and listened to feedback. Eventually, I earned the respect and trust of those around me, and they recognized me as a leader. My family has also contributed a lot in my leadership journey.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I structure my work days by following a simple routine. I wake up at 5 am and do my daily 5 KM run. Then I have a healthy breakfast and check my email and calendar. Family is very important to me and I try and drop my kids to school when I don’t have morning meetings. I start working on my most important tasks at 8 am and take short breaks every hour. I have lunch at noon and resume working until 4 pm. I use the rest of the afternoon to catch up on some reading, hobbies, or personal errands. I have dinner at 7 pm and relax with my family or friends. I go to bed at 10 pm and make sure to get enough sleep for the next day.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

A recent leadership lesson I've learned is the importance of delegation. Delegation is not only a way to save time and energy but also a way to empower and motivate others. By delegating tasks to the right people, I can focus on the strategic vision and goals of the project, while also giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and take ownership of their work. Delegation also builds trust and collaboration among the team members, as they feel valued and respected for their contributions. It's also a great way for coaching, mentoring and succession planning.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

One book that has had a profound impact on my leadership so far is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. This book taught me how to align my personal and professional goals with universal principles of effectiveness, such as being proactive, prioritizing, and synergizing. It also helped me to develop a growth mindset and to seek continuous improvement. By applying these habits to my leadership style, I have been able to achieve better results and build stronger relationships with my team and stakeholders.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Be courageous and take risks. You have a unique opportunity to make a difference and you should not let fear or doubt hold you back. Remember that family always comes first.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

One meaningful story that comes to mind from my time as a leader was when I had to introduce a new goal-setting framework to my team. I knew that some of them were skeptical and resistant to change, so I decided to use storytelling as a way to persuade them. I told them about the origin and purpose of the framework, how it aligned with our company's vision and strategy, and how it would benefit them personally and professionally. I also shared some inspiring examples of other leaders who had used the framework successfully and achieved remarkable results. By contextualizing and humanizing the change, I was able to address their concerns and motivate them to embrace it.

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