The institution of Engineers of Kenya held their first cocktail party since the first council was elected. The event organized on August 12, 2016, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi was themed ‘Servant Leadership’.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Governor, Dr. Patrick Njoroge, who was the chief guest gave a very inspiring speech to practicing engineers and aspiring engineers. He spoke on five aspects of leadership which were: technical expertise, being bold, effective decision making, need for honest self-assessment and willingness to serve.
“Engineers need to have technical expertise in what they do so that they can be able to practice knowledge gained in their field specialization. This can be proved by what you offer to the country, your contribution to the development of this country. We need to avoid instances where if one is asked to do something, ‘they say they don’t know’or have the mentality of ‘I can do something’ but in reality, you aren’t in a position to do it. This creates a bad picture for us and our career, CBK Governor stated.
Secondly, he said that a leader needs to be bold. “Beingbold means that you are able to put out your ambition, mission, and sense of vision to challenge yourself and others too. Some of us fail because we aren’t bold and we keep doing the same thing over and over again. For prosperity in leadership, it calls for brevity and being ethical.” He concluded this point by quoting a roman philosopher ‘It isn’t because things are difficult that we don’t dare, it is because we don’t dare that they are difficult.’
Further, he urged engineers to make effective decision making. He posed a question, what is your principle in initiating decisions? If you are asked the basis of going right instead of left, would you be in a position to give an appropriate answer? To me, this is a key trait in a leader. For one to make effective decisions one needs to outline the cause or reasonsto why we should go that route.
Dr. Njoroge also pointed out the need for self-assessment, examining oneself and setting aside time to reflect and see what can be done better and more efficiently. Assessing others is also significant though it is good to not criticize or complain about other people’s performance.
Lastly, he commented on the willingness to serve. “As a boss or a leader, I need to show that I care, sense of fairness and that my aspirations are supported by my boss. Employees need to feel such traits being portrayed by their bosses or leaders.