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7 More Questions on Leadership with Paternus Cleophace Niyegira

Name: Paternus Cleophace Niyegira

Title: Head-Centre for Advanced Leadership in Governance, Insurance and Finance

Organisation: Africa College of Insurance and Social Protection

Paternus C. Niyegira holds a Bachelor Degree in Supplies and Procurement Management (BSPM Honors) from Kampala International University and MSc. in Leadership and Management from Mzumbe University, Holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems from Africa Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife Osun State, Nigeria. He is a member of the Tanzania Institute of Bankers, A member of Tanzania Procurement and Supplies Professionals and Technicians Board. He has over ten years’ Leadership and Management experience with local and international NGO’s in Tanzania and in Sudan. He is currently the Head-Center for Advanced Leadership in Governance, Finance and Insurance at Africa College of Insurance and Social Protection

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.

I hope Paternus's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?

Building employee trust isn't an easy task since organizations have different cultures, politics, values, philosophies, visions, and missions and have varying objectives. Not only that, but human nature is also affected by the level of knowledge, experience, community culture, a nation's politics, and the focus of national policies on people's prosperity. Customers, on the other hand, need an organization that can provide them with services or products that save them time, energy, money, and other resources. Stakeholders depend heavily on organizational royalty and performance. Therefore, what I am proposing may not be one size fits all but rather some concepts that need to be built upon.


1. Employees need to be well vested with not only understanding but also living the organization's vision, mission, philosophy, and objectives. Employees need to understand what an organization is in and out so that they are confident to live by it and apportion their entire feelings to it. Organizations core values, for example, should be exercised in a manner that gives them glory. This will then, in wholeness, make them feel a part of owning the organization. Looking through various organizations vision, mission, core values, and philosophy speaks of the glory the organization is and what it offers to society.

Speaks of how efficient and effective the product shall be and should be. Staff must be employed on the basis of the organization's vision; this is not an easy task and therefore moves beyond an individual's experience, knowledge, and, so to speak, CV. The person in charge of organizational people and culture development should work as an intelligence professional whose work is to profile the best minds, skills, and professionals, and above all, those whose end goal is to explore their potential.

2. Customers and stakeholders

Developing an organization's brand is crucial to attracting customers and creating stakeholder value. Organizations need to develop effective service marketing, which starts with empowering and motivating employees. Organizations should move from employment to working partnerships.

Internal clients are the core of external clients attraction. Since number one above has been fused into the minds and spirits of workers, it will only take the motivation of the internal clients to ensure that they excel and exhibit that which is greater and better than what the organization stands for. Other stakeholders, such as employees, need to ensure that what they stand for, their philosophy, and their image are well lived.

The two above are matters of principle on which organizations, in my experience and view, need to stick; however, as the leader, you are required to go beyond principles. In fact, a leader has to exhibit the role of a father; a father is a source and a person who sustains; he is dependable and always imitateable. A leader needs to be there for his or her employees to ensure that he or she teaches them his or her point of view, the philosophy of the organization, and how things should be done in an organization.

This will give employees a sense of the fatherly approach, which will make them welcoming and concerned. Employees need to imitate what their leaders best practice: how they live by their organization's philosophy and core values. Rules and regulations set in organizations should, at best, be lived by the leaders so as to show an example of how joyous it is to live by rules and regulations. Ensure you are visible, approachable, accommodating, and above all, make sure that you are there for them.

Since you work with them and they see how inter and intra-relate, you spend above all 80% of your time with them confidently they will perform highly. Ask yourself, as the leader, how much time you spend with your employees. It should be noted that your organization is no better than your leader. If this is well done, then other stakeholders will be attracted.

2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?

Vision is the central point and focus of an organization. It is what defines an organization's programs, activities, products, and sense of value.

Vision is what makes an organization have the best minds, proper professions, and the right people to involve to get the job done.

Vision is nothing but a sense of what should be in an organization and community.

Where mission makes the organization be seen, operate, and exercise the mandate from which it was founded, Mission is the fuel of vision and the engine of the organization.

This is what makes everything move in an organization. In accounting and finance, this can be referred to as working capital, while others may term it petty cash! Working capital finances the day-to-day operations of the organization. Thus, the structure and style of a vision's manifestation in an organization

What does it actually look like to use them in real-world business to differentiate services or products? Vision and mission demand uniqueness, differentiation, and a sense of value that is different from others. This sense may be manifested through packaging, decoration, product design, marketing strategy, advertisements, nature of association, language of use, and communication. It is through vision and mission that organizations can do business competitively and comparatively.

The development in technology and the ever-changing world politics, global value chain, environmental, global pandemics, social, and governance issues have increased the visibility of vision and mission in the real-world business.

3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?

Leaders need to ensure that the people they lead feel their own leadership and are involved in each and every step of leadership, since a leader comes from the people. If people are the architecture of leadership, then it is wise for a leader to be there for the people. People feel empowered when a leader is there for them.

To be there for the people means to respect their interests, to aid them in standing up for laws and regulations, to generate laws and rules, and to involve them in each and every step of leadership development. To answer their short-term and long-term needs, to provide equitable ground for all to access services such as health and insurance, and to provide them with bonuses. Also, respect them and lead with character.

Character means to be predictable and unchangeable. Be a leader like the day; a day has morning, afternoon, evening, and night, and in all these categories, the length is the same, the behavior is the same, the intent is the same, and the activities are different. What exactly do I mean is that make sure you don't have two colors if is night is night, if is day is day. Don't mix the day with the night; treat each as it comes. Ensure you stand for values, principles but flexible and be inspiring.

4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?

I have been motivated by the life of Jesus of Nazareth and being coached by my mother. These two leaders exhibited love beyond limits. In actual fact, my mother and Jesus of Nazareth had one thing in common: to live by loving others and to die for one's cause.

As I was growing up, my mother, who was a midwife, taught me two things that have shaped my entire life and leadership abilities: one, how to cook, and two, to die for your self-image! Cooking and dying for self-image are two things that are the same. Cooking exhibits hospitality and love, while self-image manifests your hospitality and love for others. Cooking expresses the connection between human life and the living, the self-continuity of life, and a share of human values that can be easily seen in one's image. The way one looks is an exemplification of love; love apportions knowledge and skills and thus gives an image.

Jesus of Nazareth motivates me with his principle of love thy neighbor as you love yourself. Gives a fundamental base of love to start with a person himself or herself. The way you love yourself, the way you know yourself, and the way you define yourself will be the same as how you treat others. So the fundamental base of everything has to start with you. Leading people starts with you; making a difference starts with you; and a performing worker starts with a performing leader. A leader, then, isn't supposed to make others perform but rather to make himself or herself perform. When you perform, those you lead will perform as well.

The two leaders mentioned above taught me to feed myself, prepare myself, lead myself, manage myself, love myself, and be kind to myself in order to lead and be for others.

5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?

Doing everything by purpose, not by time! Time is a measure of what you can do to fulfill it, while time is what you can do with purpose. The time of my role is purpose; hence, I make everything with purpose. Purpose keeps me focused, but time makes me work on my purpose effectively and efficiently.

6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?

Planning is not an easy task; it requires high levels of self-discipline, commitment, comprehensiveness, science, and above all, a high spirit of self-focus and sacrifice.

My week's planning comes from what I want to achieve in a month, so I set the target of a month to help me have a plan for a week. A plan for a month emanates from an annual plan. I always plan what I want to achieve in a year first, and from there, I break it into months and weeks. So my day-to-day operations are geared toward achieving an early plan, which starts with a week and then a month. I always have a weekly plan and consider it a yearly plan so that I treat each and every dot, comma, and full stop with the bigger picture of a year. This helps not to lose sight of the bigger picture and thus pay attention to details while focusing not on the monthly plan but on the yearly plan. So every association I make in a day, every visit I make in a day, every area I visit, and every friend I make are all bridges to lead me to the yearly achievement of my plan.

7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?

Delegation is the art of power sharing, and sharing is the art of self-giving. How you understand power and how you care for yourself is the first pillar of delegation. Delegation has levels, just as organizations have levels; true delegation is guided by the principles of trust and non-interference. Delegation demands submission to the principles of authority and responsibility. Despite the fact that you delegate, you are responsible for the acts of delegation; therefore, when you delegate, ensure you are certain justice will be done. Delegation brings unity of thought and team commitment.

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