Name: Teshome Gemechu
Title: Assistant Professor
Organisation: Madda Walabu University
I am Teshome Gemechu, currently a Department of Animal & Range Science at Madda Walabu University, Ethiopia. I hold a BSc degree in Animal and Range Science (2010), a cGPA of 3.83 out of 4.0, ranking 2nd out of 40 students in the batch), and an MSc degree in Dairy Science (2014), a cGPA of 3.69 out of 4.0, and Thesis preparation and Defense result “A” Grade (Very Good). I received different international and national training at certificate and diploma levels. Also, I have 12 articles that are published in peer-reviewed international journals.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Teshome's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
My country is a developing country with a rapidly growing population where
people suffer from poverty, poor governance, and discrimination between different ethnic groups, so on the one hand, as a young instructor at a public university, I took the initiative to overcome poverty, poor governance, and discrimination between different ethnic groups, and children. Leadership, to me, is an activity of guiding myself and others toward common goals. Before I can lead others, I must first lead myself. A good leader must be committed to his commitment, be open to change, and know where he wants to go.
Earlier in my career, I served as the department head of the Animal Science department and as a designated person for the college dean position on multiple occasions. My department has around 50 academic staff members and 10 support staff members. All members of the staff are responsible for teaching, research, and community service. However, some employees have personal issues, particularly with regard to the benefits acquired from the institution and completing volunteer work. Some members of the staff also disagreed.
Recognizing the potential harm it may do to the department, I attempted to settle the situation through personal conversation. It was difficult since it was my first time working with folks who were self-centered. As department chair, I should be able to inspire people to work for the benefit of our students and the university community. I was eventually able to reconcile them through strengthening conversation. I am confident in my leadership abilities, which I can display via organizational dedication, mediating staff and students, and engaging with individuals in tough situations for the sake of attaining a goal.
Every employee and other community group will experience a conflict of interest. When this happens, my leadership abilities are put to the test. A leader, on the other hand, is someone who is always learning and growing. Furthermore, I am a public university lecturer in Ethiopia, so the knowledge and skills I will gain from the fellowship will be put to use in the community through teaching, research, and training. Also, I am convinced that the Humphrey fellowship will propel my leadership talents to new heights upon my return home, allowing me to feed and educate disadvantaged children while transitioning into a global leader.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have a natural gift to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of an organization or a group of which they are members. Thus, people who know me have inspired me and nominated me to a leader.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
when the working environment or structure is not guided or led by qualified leaders, it is obvious the working days go from waking up to sleep.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I have recently, learned that as leaders are made but not born. That means the leadership is a skill that can be developed.
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?
There are many written leadership books, however, I am wondering about books which are more focused on how leaders acquire leadership skills and wisdom.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
I would say, to be a good leader you have to have integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, empathy, and gratitude.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Just as the leadership increases both individual and organizational performance in public agencies.