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7 Questions on Leadership with Wycliffe O. Aganda

Name: Wycliffe O. Aganda

Title: Executive Director

Organisation: Wibena Business School

Sub-Regional Coordinator DC48K; East Africa Chapter ;Former Diaspora Community of Kenyans in Rwanda (AKR) ;President , Wibena Basketball Club ;Founder and Executive Director at Wibena Institute & Wibena Impact, an executive premier training Institute (WI) and Non Governmental Organization. He is a dynamic, enthusiastic, resourceful and result oriented person with strong understanding of general rules used in Education, Administration, and coaching practice. An articulate qualified serial entrepreneur, IELTS &TOEFL Instructor, Leadership and Management expert who is able to effectively communicate from diverse background or varying degrees of ability.

He is proficient in developing and implementing successful work plans and monitoring and evaluation procedures. He believes in effectiveness and team building to ensure that duties are fulfilled efficiently and effectively beyond what is required and work in an organization that allows for personal development. He has over ten years’ work experience in both the public and private sector, specifically in education, administration, and project management.

He has previously occupied different positions and before his venture into entrepreneurship world, He served as the Principal at Premier Teachers College, where he hosted the First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda for the first Early Childhood Teachers’ graduation as the Chief Guest, He has proven abilities in strategic thinking, leadership, event planning, and problem-solving in serious and fast-paced environments that has seen tremendous growth of Wibena Institute and Impact respectively.

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

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


Jonno White

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

some common challenges faced I face as a leader are:

1. Managing people: Leading a team can be challenging as each individual has unique traits, skills, and attitudes. It can be challenging to manage a diverse group of people and motivate them to work towards a common goal.

2. Making Tough Decisions: Leaders are often faced with making difficult decisions that affect their team, organization, or stakeholders. These decisions can be stressful and require careful consideration of different perspectives, consequences, and outcomes.

3. Delegating Tasks: Leaders need to delegate tasks effectively to empower their team members and ensure that everyone's skills are utilized. However, it can be challenging to delegate responsibilities without micromanaging and maintain team productivity.

4. Communicating Effectively: Communication is critical to any successful leadership. The challenge is to communicate clearly, concisely, and persuasively to different audiences, including team members, stakeholders, customers, and the public.

5. Managing Change: Change is a constant in today's business environment, and leaders are tasked with leading their teams through transitions, such as mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and technological disruptions. Managing change requires a clear vision, strong leadership, and effective communication.

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

My leadership role began back in high school, however I never took it that much serious though. But progressively grew through community Based organization, that i was once delegated a role which successfully went on well. I later realized that I have got that zeal to serve, so later I tried a political seat at the lowest within my constituency, but I later dropped it due formal employment in Rwanda. For sometime in Kigali, I competetively won a hotly contested political to lead Association of Kenyans Living in Rwanda, and therefore I become the Diaspora Chair. This position polished me politically and as well-made connections that I strive at.

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

I always leave my home as early as 6.30am in the morning just to drop my daughter to school. Then directly head to work. At work, begin by a word of prayer and worship song. Clearing pending work left previously, send and respond to urgent mails. Attend business meetings and appointments planned by my executive assistant. I am a late evening person, most of paperwork and administrative work are mostly done in the evening to around 9.30pm.

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

One recent leadership lesson that many people have learned or been reminded of is the importance of effective communication during a crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of challenges for leaders in different industries and sectors, and the way they communicate with their teams, stakeholders, and customers can make a huge impact on the outcomes.

Effective communication in a crisis situation involves being transparent, clear, and concise in your messaging, while also demonstrating empathy, compassion, and a sense of purpose. Leaders who have successfully navigated the pandemic have shown that they prioritize the safety and wellbeing of their people and communities, while also adapting to new circumstances and promoting resilience and innovation.

Furthermore, leaders who have fostered a culture of trust, collaboration, and continuous learning have been able to inspire their teams to work together towards a common goal, share knowledge and resources, and find creative solutions to complex problems. By staying connected and responsive to their people's needs and concerns, these leaders have built stronger relationships and gained credibility and respect, which are essential aspects of effective leadership.

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?

One such book is "First Things First" by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill. This book emphasizes the importance of prioritizing our values and goals as the basis for effective time management and personal leadership.

One story that illustrates the impact of this book on leadership is that of a manager who was struggling with overwhelm and burnout due to a demanding workload and competing demands on his time and attention. He took the advice of the book to heart and started setting clear priorities based on his core values and long-term goals, which helped him to focus on what really mattered and delegate or eliminate tasks that were not essential.

By aligning his choices and actions with his purpose and values, he was able to become more intentional and effective in his work, build stronger relationships with his team and stakeholders, and improve his overall well-being and satisfaction. This experience taught him the value of self-awareness and self-management as foundational skills for effective leadership and inspired him to share these principles with his colleagues and peers.

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

My advice would be to seek out mentors, read widely, attend conferences and workshops, and actively seek feedback from colleagues and team members. Embrace failure and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. By investing in your own development and being open to new ideas and perspectives, you can become a more effective leader and achieve greater impact in your field.

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

One inspiring story I have come across is that of Simon Sinek, an author, motivational speaker, and leadership consultant. In one of his talks, he shares a powerful story about a Marine Corps general who overlooked a crucial detail during an exercise that led to the death of a soldier.

The general takes full responsibility for the death of the soldier and travels to the soldier's home to meet with his mother. In the meeting, the general apologizes profusely and asks the mother what he can do to make amends. The mother, stricken with grief, asks the general to ensure that her son did not die in vain. The general takes this to heart and makes it his personal mission to ensure that every Marine under his command understands the importance and value of what they are fighting for.

The general's leadership and dedication to his mission earned him the respect and admiration of his troops and ultimately led to the success of his unit in future operations. The story teaches us the importance of taking responsibility for our actions as leaders and the power of personal accountability in inspiring and motivating our teams.

This story has touched many hearts and inspired countless individuals to become better leaders.

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