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7 Questions with Henry Clarke Kisembo

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Jonno White

7 Questions with Henry Clarke Kisembo

Name: Dr. Henry Clarke Kisembo, PhD

Current title: Global Chief Managing Partner

Current organisation: Development Associates Link International (DALI)

I engage the enthusiasm and passion to make change happen and harness it to create rapid, impact driven, sustainable development; bringing 20 years hands-on experience in the Private Sector, Agrifinance, Development Finance, Project Design and Management, Remittances, Market Systems, Financial Inclusion, Rural, and Community development, Mental Health and wellbeing, MSMEs, Humanitarian Reason, Digital Finance, Agency Banking, Business Strategy, Policy and Regulation, Gender gap analysis and bridging, Value chain development, Fund and Resource Mobilization, Financial and Business Modelling, Institutional development, Investment and Finance, Qualitative and Quantitative Research, Micro Insurance, Humanitarian Response, Financial Services Development, Grant Management and have Undertaken small, large and complex projects within Sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia Pacific Region; worked under European Union, USAID, World Bank Group, African Union, UNCDF, AfDB, DFID, JICA, GIZ Frameworks, NGOs, CBOs, CSOs, Governments and Private Sector Cooperation.

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1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Aligning Strategy across all departments and units and getting teams aligned.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

During my school days i did Volunteer with different companies and organizations thus when I got a job i had been exposed to the workplace environment, I blended creativity, innovation and open learning, I focused on realizing objectives of the company a Multinational Telecom and growing in the ranks to senior Management, i was considered young for the next level which was CEO position, I was 26 then however after working about two other jobs in different countries, i focused on growing my company which i had founded but while working jobs to raise equity, i rose in the ranks of multiple companies, in my own company with partners i started off in Business Development while growing the company brand across East Africa, i rose in the ranks until i assumed the CEO role, grew the brand across continents and now am the Global Chief Managing Partner, we operate across five continents which i oversee; however hard work, perseverance, hope, resilience, networking, innovation and creativeness, strategic and focused leadership plus engaging teams, i now lead a Global company which started off as a small Rural based company.

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

I Start my day early with prayer, watching news on local and global TV to update myself with current affairs, i check my emails and align with my to-do list for the day, drive to office connect with my Team Leads and Department Heads, deliver on my work stream, many times after four hours I take a break from the computer, connect with Key accounts and clients, I return to the computer connect with the global teams and catch up on any pending work, i leave office by 4:00pm though at times could extend to 8:00pm, I dislike routine work so my hours adjust accordingly.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Building Capacity of teams and Delegating roles, enhancing and encouraging teams to take up challenging roles, one key lesson is that delegating doesn't remove responsibility and accountability from the delegating party or leader.

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?

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: It enhances Critical thinking, Analytical skills combined with Emotional Intelligence.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Through training, coaching and mentoring plus delegating roles.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

Poor Communication of some staff cost us a major client, however through flawless communication, reconciliation and enhancing value proposition got us back the big client, however we also re-aligned our strategy to engage and have all staff at all levels to understand the company values, philosophy plus customer centricity.