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7 Questions with Jetty Lungu
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7 Questions with Jetty Lungu
Name: Jetty Lungu
Current title: Interim CEO
Current organisation: FINCA Zambia
Jetty is the Interim CEO of FINCA Zambia. FINCA is a deposit taking financial institution regulated by the Central bank and it belongs to a network of 25 Microfinance banks with its headquarters in Washington DC. FINCA offers innovative, responsible and impactful financial services to low-income clients.
Jetty is a board member at FINCA and the Board appointed him as interim CEO for 1 year up to January 2021, to fill in an emergency executive management gap and to restructure the company and turn it around.
Jetty is a fellow of CIMA UK and an MBA Graduate from Henley Business School UK with over 20 years work experience from Africa and S.E. Asia. He has gained diversified work experience and expertise having worked in a wide range of industries and especially because of his management consultancy assignments.
He has worked in the private profit sector, non-profit sector and public sector. The industries he has worked in include Financial services, Telecoms, Audit and Consultancy (Big 4 exposure) and various donor funded projects (funded by EU, USAID, World Bank, UN) etc. He has also worked for multinationals like Ernst and Young (South Africa), Project Concern International, Airtel, Digicel Papua New Guinea etc.
Jetty has strong project management skills in transformational projects in both profit making and NGO environments. One example of the projects he led are Airtel Money (Zambia’s first mobile money product).
During his spare time Jetty is involved in other board activities or charitable functions such as: President of Association of Micro-Finance Institutions in Zambia, Board member of Media Institute of Southern Africa, Member of membership assessment committee for CIMA UK, member of Taxation Committee of Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants and member of Maluba Rotary Club.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The most challenging mission remains to be the easiest one of all, and that is ensuring that the culture that one builds remains connected to the values and purpose by all those who are part of it!
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
The single most powerful driving force for me was the fact that I felt the urge to be the change and not just talk about it, and never paid attention to negative forces that would surround me at times.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a 5:00am type of guy. I do most of my work between 05:30am and 08:30am after starting with a 30 minute meditation between 05:00am-05:30am. This allows me to jump start and by the time most of my competitors (and friends) are up I’m having my cup of espresso at 09:00am! During the day I isolate 3-4 time slots; depending on what projects I am working on; and do not allow any disturbance (unless it’s my from my direct family for any issues) to distract me from my work. I am also a strong believer in switching off unnecessary notice from phones and other technological tools ex. Email alerts etc. unless important and not urgent! I ensure that I take regular (2-3) self reflection breaks throughout the day to ensure I am on track and not heading off-road! One of my most important rules is “work smart” and this has been a personal moto since I was in my 20’s, and I learnt it from a danish general manager I used to work for in early years in hospitality. He taught me how to work 5-6 hours and do more than others can accomplish in 10-12 hours!!! I also have to finish my days with gratitude and looking back on the day and with self acknowledgment highlight 1 thing I did very well in helping others!
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
That kindness beats anything else in the long run! Covid19 taught me how my values were my guiding star and kept me on track with how I treated my associates (friends) and made a positive impact in their lives although going through some very tough moments, and that I had to stay kind as always and “human” in face of brutal change forced upon by owners.
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?
“The Speed of Trust”, by Stephen M. R. Covey.
This book made it even more clear to me the significant role TRUST plays in leadership and the way it is felt and perceived by other and above all how it affects a leader!
I have always been a trustworthy and trust building person in my people relationships, and yet I could not explain the “science” behind this matter.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
By embracing and empowering coaching across the organization, and make it democratically available for all! The immense power of professional coaching is equal to none and can uncover immense potential that no HR department can ever manage to reveal.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
It must be the time I was asked to restructure an organization through severe redundancy actions and I chose instead to coach and mentor those same individuals whom were accused of being “unproductive and unwanted”. The moral of the story is that through coaching without a hidden agenda, I allowed those individuals to sit in the drivers seat rather than be handheld and led to a specific goal. They were “trusted” and their diversity was “applauded” and in return I was able to see broken individuals heal and be proud again of their work, taking home bonuses the same year, and continue to be caring as associates and strong point of reference for the company and their families!