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7 Questions on Leadership with Brandon Gift Siagumpa

Name: Brandon Gift Siagumpa

Title: Executive Director/ Co. Founder

Organisation: The Master-Mind Leadership Foundation (MLF)

Brandon Gift Siagumpa is a highly experienced and accomplished leader with over a decade of experience in various leadership roles. He is the Founder of the Master Mind Leadership Foundation (MLF), a platform dedicated to nurturing and developing leadership skills in individuals.

Brandon holds a Bachelor's degree in Education, which has equipped him with a strong foundation in understanding the dynamics of teaching and learning. Currently, he is pursuing his second year of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) studies at the University of Lusaka (UNILUS), further enhancing his knowledge and expertise in legal matters.

As an Ambassador and alumnus at Travel For Change Adventures (TFCA) in South Africa, Brandon has had the opportunity to engage in transformative travel experiences and promote positive change in local communities. He has also served as an Ambassador and alumnus at United People Global (UPG) from Hurricane Island Network, where he actively participated in initiatives aimed at fostering global connections and collaboration.

Brandon's commitment to promoting literacy and education is evident through his role as an Ambassador for the World Literacy Foundation (MLF) in Australia. He has been actively involved in advocating for improved literacy rates and access to quality education for individuals around the world.

Recognized for his exceptional leadership skills, Brandon was selected as an African Development Series Fellow in Nigeria. This prestigious fellowship provided him with valuable insights into development issues in Africa and allowed him to contribute to sustainable solutions.

In his home country of Zambia, Brandon is an active member of the Young Professionals Network, where he engages with like-minded individuals to foster professional growth and development. Additionally, he serves as an Adjudicator for the Ministry of Education's National Junior Engineers, Technicians, and Scientists (JETS) program, contributing to the promotion of STEM education among young students.

Brandon's dedication to addressing critical issues on the African continent is further demonstrated through his participation as a delegate in high-level forums. He was a delegate at the African Union's 2nd Intergenerational Dialogue on how peace and security, conflict resolution, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation intersect. This platform provided him with the opportunity to contribute to discussions on fostering peace and security in Africa.

Furthermore, Brandon participated as a delegate in the high-level African Union Ten-Year Review of the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development in Africa (AADPD) Beyond 2014. His insights and contributions helped shape strategies for sustainable development in Africa.

Addressing environmental and climate change challenges is another area where Brandon has made a significant impact. He attended the high-level 5th Africa SDGs Summit, where he actively engaged in discussions and submitted solutions to combat these pressing issues on both the continent and the global stage.

Lastly, Brandon participated as a delegate at the African Union's Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development Program's high-level session on addressing substance use and related mental health disorders. The theme of the session, "Securing a Better Future for Youth, Women, and Children: Building Momentum towards the Africa We Want," highlights Brandon's commitment to improving the well-being of vulnerable populations.

With his extensive experience and diverse leadership roles, Brandon Gift Siagumpa continues to make a significant impact in various sectors, working towards a better future for Africa and beyond.

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

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


Jonno White

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

First and foremost, would like to appreciate the opportunity to participate in this wonderful Program. I should mention that I don't take it lightly!

Well, genuinely speaking I have experienced and sometimes still experience a number of challenges in my leadership journey. I believe in keep learning everyday. However, based on my own experience and general observations, there are several common challenges that leaders face:

1. Decision-making: Making important decisions that impact individuals or the organization can be challenging. Leaders often have to weigh multiple factors and consider the potential consequences of their decisions.

2. Building and managing a team: Finding the right people, building a cohesive team, and managing different personalities and skill sets can be a complex task for leaders.

3. Communication: Effective communication plays a crucial role in leadership. It can be challenging to convey information, instructions, or expectations clearly and in a way that is easily understood by everyone.

4. Adaptability: Leaders need to be adaptable and responsive to changing circumstances. They must navigate uncertainty, make adjustments, and find solutions to new challenges.

5. Time management: Juggling multiple responsibilities and priorities can be a challenge for leaders. Finding a balance between managing tasks, relationships, and personal well-being requires effective time management skills.

6. Motivating and inspiring others: Leaders need to motivate and inspire their team members to achieve common goals. This can be challenging, as different individuals may be motivated by different factors.

7. Handling conflict and difficult situations: Leaders often have to deal with conflicts, complex problems, and challenging situations. Navigating disagreements and finding resolutions can require strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills.

Overall, leadership can be a complex and demanding role, requiring a combination of skills, qualities, and continuous learning to overcome challenges. Given more time I would go on the list is quite infinite...hahaha

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

Becoming a leader is a journey that involves personal growth, development of key skills, and the ability to inspire and guide others. Here is a brief story of how one might become a leader:

It all began with a strong desire to make a positive impact and a willingness to take on responsibilities. The journey starts by recognizing the need for self-improvement and seeking opportunities to build essential leadership skills.

In the early stages, aspiring leaders often engage in self-reflection, exploring their values, strengths, and weaknesses. They set clear goals for themselves and actively seek out mentors and role models whom they can learn from. These mentors provide guidance, share their experiences, and help shape the aspiring leader's mindset.

The next phase involves developing critical leadership competencies such as communication, decision-making, adaptability, empathy, and problem-solving. This is achieved through a combination of formal education, practical experiences, and continuous learning. Aspiring leaders actively seek opportunities to lead, whether it's through small projects, volunteer work, or joining extracurricular activities.

With time and experience, the emerging leader starts to gain recognition for their abilities and the positive impact they have on those around them. They display integrity, authenticity, and a strong sense of purpose, which attracts others to their cause. They are skilled at rallying people together, building strong relationships, and creating a collaborative and inclusive environment.

As they continue to grow, leaders also understand the importance of self-care and reflection. They take time to recharge, seek feedback, and constantly evaluate their performance. They are open to constructive criticism and are not afraid to make course corrections when necessary.

Ultimately, leaders are those who inspire and motivate others to achieve greatness. They lead by example, setting high standards and empowering those around them to unlock their full potential. By continuously striving to improve themselves and the world around them, leaders create lasting impact and leave a legacy.

I believe I led by example when I founded the Master Mind Leadership Foundation (MLF) whose major aim is to provide Leadership Education and Community Development, to provide an opportunity for young people in my community and country at large. Realizing how challenging the journey of Leadership can be, , I thought of taking the step of creating an avenue and platform through which most of the young people and others can have an opportunity to learn more about Leadership.

In summary, becoming a leader involves a combination of self-awareness, skill development, continuous learning, and the ability to inspire and empower others. It is a lifelong journey of personal growth and making a positive difference in the lives of those around you.

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

As a leader, structuring my days from waking up to going to sleep is crucial for maintaining productivity and balance. Here's how I personally approach it:

1. Wake up early: I make a conscious effort to wake up early, giving myself ample time to prepare for the day ahead. This helps me start my day with a clear mind and a sense of purpose.

2. Morning routine: I begin my day by engaging in activities that energize and center me. This may include meditation, journaling, or exercise. Taking care of my physical and mental well-being sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.

3. Plan and prioritize: I review my goals and tasks for the day, ensuring that I have a clear plan of action. I prioritize my responsibilities based on their importance and urgency, making sure to allocate time for both strategic and operational tasks.

4. Focus on high-value work: As a leader, my time is valuable. I dedicate a significant portion of my day to strategic initiatives, decision-making, and guiding my team. I delegate tasks that can be handled by others, empowering them to take ownership and grow.

5. Manage meetings: I schedule meetings strategically, minimizing unnecessary ones and ensuring that those I do attend are productive and result-oriented. I set clear agendas, encourage active participation, and keep discussions focused to make the most of everyone's time.

6. Take breaks: I recognize the importance of taking short breaks throughout the day to recharge. Whether it's a quick walk, a stretch, or a few moments of deep breathing, these breaks help me maintain focus and prevent burnout.

7. Connect with my team: I make time to connect with my team members, providing guidance, feedback, and support. Building strong relationships and fostering open communication is essential for a thriving work environment.

8. Continuous learning: I allocate time for personal and professional development. Whether it's reading industry-related articles, attending webinars, or engaging in skill-building activities, I strive to stay updated and enhance my leadership capabilities.

9. Balance work and personal life: While my role as a leader demands dedication, I also prioritize my personal life. I ensure I have quality time with my loved ones, engage in hobbies, and take care of my own well-being. Maintaining this balance helps me recharge and bring my best self to both my professional and personal spheres.

10. Wind down and reflection: As the day comes to a close, I wind down by engaging in activities that promote relaxation and reflection. This may include reading, practicing gratitude, or spending quality time with my family. I reflect on the day's accomplishments and identify areas for improvement.

11. Sleep routine: I establish a consistent sleep routine, aiming for a sufficient amount of restful sleep. Creating a sleep-friendly environment and practicing relaxation techniques before bed help me unwind and prepare for a rejuvenating night's sleep.

By following this structure, I strive to optimize my time, lead effectively, and maintain a healthy work-life balance as a leader.

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

Well, one of the most recent leadership lessons I have learned or been reminded of is the importance of active listening. As a leader, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that I need to have all the answers and make decisions quickly. However, I have come to realize that effective leadership involves taking the time to truly listen to the perspectives and ideas of others.

Just a few weeks ago, during a team meeting, I noticed that one of my team members seemed hesitant to speak up. In the past, I might have brushed it off, assuming they were simply not interested or did not have anything valuable to contribute. However, this time, I paid closer attention and approached the situation differently.

I made a conscious effort to create an atmosphere of trust and openness. I encouraged each team member to share their thoughts without judgment or interruption. To my surprise, the previously reserved team member voiced a brilliant idea that had the potential to solve a critical issue we were facing.

This experience reminded me of the power of active listening. It taught me that as a leader, my role is not only to give orders and make decisions but also to create an environment where others feel comfortable and empowered to contribute. By actively listening, I am able to tap into the collective wisdom of my team, fostering innovation and problem-solving.

Since then, I have incorporated active listening into my leadership approach. I set aside dedicated time to listen to my team members, both in formal meetings and informal discussions. I ask open-ended questions, seeking to understand their perspectives and gain valuable insights. I have also learned to practice patience, allowing others to fully express their thoughts and ideas without rushing to respond.

This newfound focus on active listening has brought about several positive outcomes. It has fostered stronger communication within my team and improved morale. I have noticed that team members feel more valued and respected when they know their voices are truly being heard. Moreover, by listening carefully, I am able to make more informed decisions that incorporate diverse viewpoints, leading to better outcomes for the entire team.

To sum up, the recent leadership lesson of active listening has had a profound impact on my approach as a leader. It has taught me that listening is not a passive activity but an active and intentional practice that can transform the way I lead. By making active listening a priority, I am able to tap into the collective intelligence of my team, foster creativity, and ultimately drive greater success in our shared goals.

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?

I have read quite a number of literature on Leadership especially but one book that has made a profound impact on my leadership journey so far is "The Power of Focus" by Jack Canfield, Les Hewitt, and Mark Victor Hansen. This compelling book helped me realize the importance of focus and how it can significantly enhance my leadership skills.

Before stumbling upon this book, I often found myself overwhelmed by the myriad of tasks and responsibilities that came with being a leader. I constantly felt stretched thin, trying to juggle numerous projects and demands while struggling to make progress in any specific area. My energy was scattered, and I lacked a clear direction.

"The Power of Focus" provided me with a simple yet powerful framework to regain control of my time and attention. It taught me about the principle of identifying and prioritizing my most important goals and then devoting focused effort toward achieving them. The authors emphasized the significance of setting clear objectives, developing action plans, and maintaining discipline in staying on track.

Upon implementing the knowledge gained from this book, I experienced a remarkable shift in my leadership approach. Instead of being reactive, I became proactive in determining my priorities and aligning them with the organization's vision. By honing in on key objectives, I could effectively delegate tasks, empower my team, and elevate overall productivity.

Furthermore, "The Power of Focus" emphasized the importance of keeping a positive mindset and developing strong habits. The authors highlighted the value of daily routines that promote personal growth, such as journaling, visualization exercises, and meditation. I discovered the impact these habits had on my own confidence, resilience, and ability to inspire and motivate my team.

This book impacted my leadership journey by instilling a sense of purpose and direction. It taught me to be more intentional with my time and resources, focusing on activities that aligned with my vision and brought true value to the team and organization. It also helped me become more mindful of my thoughts and actions, ensuring they were in line with the positive leadership traits I aspired to embody.

"The Power of Focus" has become a constant reference for me as I continue to navigate the complexities of leadership. It serves as a reminder to regularly assess my goals, maintain discipline, and continually strive for personal and professional growth. Through the lessons learned from this book, I have been able to lead with clarity, purpose, and a renewed sense of energy and drive.

Finally , "The Power of Focus" has profoundly impacted my leadership by guiding me to prioritize, set clear objectives, and develop a focused approach to achieving success. This book has been a valuable resource, empowering me to navigate challenges with confidence and lead my team toward greater achievements. Its teachings continue to shape my leadership style, enabling me to inspire and drive meaningful results.

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

If I could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, I would say: never stop learning and growing.

As a young leader myself, I understand the eagerness to prove oneself and make a mark in the world. However, it is essential to recognize that leadership is a continuous journey of learning, adapting, and expanding our knowledge and skills.

To become an effective leader, it is crucial to have an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. Seek opportunities to learn from experienced mentors, read books, attend workshops or seminars, and engage in continuous self-improvement. Embrace every chance to gain insights, perspectives, and new ideas that can contribute to your leadership development.

The world is constantly evolving, and as a leader, you need to stay updated on industry trends, technological advancements, and societal shifts. This ongoing learning will help you stay ahead of the curve, make informed decisions, and lead your team through any challenges that may arise.

Remember that leadership is not about having all the answers; it is about cultivating a growth mindset and being willing to learn from others. Actively seek diverse viewpoints and surround yourself with individuals who possess different skills and experiences. Engage in meaningful conversations, listen attentively, and be open to constructive feedback. This will broaden your perspective and enable you to make well-rounded decisions.

Additionally, never underestimate the power of self-reflection. Take time regularly to assess your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Be honest with yourself and keep striving for personal growth. Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them. This self-awareness will not only make you a better leader but also foster trust and authenticity within your team.

Ultimately, leadership is a journey that requires continuous learning and growth. Embrace this mindset early on, and you will be well on your way to becoming a resilient and impactful leader. So, my advice to a young leader would be simple: embrace a lifetime of learning, remain curious, and never stop growing.

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

As a leader, one meaningful story that comes to mind is the journey of a young employee whom I'll call Sarah. When Sarah joined our team, she was filled with self-doubt and lacked confidence in her abilities. It was evident that she had enormous potential, but she needed guidance and support to realize it.

I took it upon myself to mentor Sarah and help her develop her skills. We began by setting clear goals, breaking them down into smaller achievable steps. I provided her with the necessary resources and encouraged her to take ownership of her own growth.

Initially, Sarah struggled with the tasks assigned to her. However, I knew it was crucial to establish a safe and supportive environment. I assured her that making mistakes was a part of learning and that I was there to guide her through the process. I celebrated her achievements, no matter how small, and provided constructive feedback to help her improve.

Over time, I witnessed a transformation within Sarah. She started to take on more challenging projects and became more confident in her abilities. She began to think creatively and proactively, even coming up with innovative solutions to long-standing problems. The team noticed her growth and started to respect and depend on her expertise.

One day, Sarah approached me with tears in her eyes. She could hardly believe her accomplishment. She had successfully completed a complex project that she initially thought was beyond her capabilities. She thanked me for believing in her and providing guidance when she needed it most.

Seeing Sarah's journey from a self-doubting employee to a confident and accomplished professional was an incredibly meaningful experience for me. It reminded me of the importance of mentorship and investing in the growth of others. Witnessing her transformation not only brought me joy but also reinforced my belief in the potential of every individual under my leadership.

Sarah's story serves as a constant reminder of the impact we can have as leaders when we empower and support those around us. It solidified my commitment to championing the growth and development of my team members, knowing that each individual has the potential to achieve great things when nurtured in the right environment.

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