LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Stanbic Bank Zambia has donated three state-of-the-art ventilators worth US$31,500 (ZMW 504,000) to the Ministry of Health to assist in treating COVID-19 patients.
Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer Leina Gabaraane said the unprecedented outbreak required nothing less than full commitment from all stakeholders if the country was to have any chance of defeating the virus.
He noted that government had so far done a remarkable job in limiting the spread of the virus through various interventions, adding that Stanbic was prepared to play its part in supplementing government’s efforts to fight the pandemic.
He said: “In this very difficult time of uncertainty, I wish to express our unrelenting commitment towards ensuring our clients, and of course the general public are safe and that their wellbeing is a key priority for us.
“As a good corporate citizen of the Republic of Zambia we fully endorse all measures taken by government and will consequently ensure that we fully abide with all the measures as stipulated by the Statutory Instrument (SI) No 21 and 22 of 2020.
“Containing the virus is not government’s responsibility alone; we must all play our part because Zambia is our home, we must fight for her health, and drive her growth.”
It is in this light that Stanbic has increased its contribution to this fight by donating three modern ventilators to the Ministry of Health to help increase their capacity to provide effective treatment to patients.
Its donation to the ministry notwithstanding, Stanbic Bank has been one of the leading voices among financial institutions providing practical advice and solutions to help local businesses survive the negative effects the pandemic has caused.
The bank boss explained that Stanbic’s support was not only directed at government but that it had also put in place support measures to help businesses of all sizes stay afloat until the pandemic passed.
“We are alive to the financial and economic stress that will result from this global pandemic. As the leading bank in Zambia we note our responsibility of playing a significant part towards ensuring that we help support our clients during this time wherever possible,” Mr Gabaraane said.
“We urge the public and businesses to engage with us and let us jointly work out how we can support you. We all have a collective responsibility of ensuring that we slow down the spread of this virus by observing the Government’s laid down measures and ensuring we limit the damage to our economy as much as possible.
“The quicker we all overcome the pandemic the better for us all and this we can achieve by working together.”
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LUSAKA, ZAMBIA - Stanbic Bank Zambia has pumped K150,000 into the hosting of the
2020 N’ cwala Traditional Ceremony of the Ngoni. This year’s ceremony is being held under the theme: ‘ Conserving our culture, for our heritage. ’
The donation was made during a fundraising dinner held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka on Friday (February 7, 2020).
The event was graced by Acting Minister of Tourism and Arts Hon. Alexander Chiteme, Senior Chief Mzamane and Go Go Mazimawe were among other high-profile dignitaries.
In her opening remarks, N’cwala National Organising Committee Chairperson M'kwinda Sakala expressed gratitude for the support towards the ceremony shown by various stakeholders including Stanbic Bank, adding that it was the committee’s hope that as the first traditional ceremony on Zambia’s calendar year, the N’cwala would set the right tone in showcasing the country’s national u nity and cultural preservation.
And when handing over the bank’s donation, Stanbic Bank Zambia Chief Information Officer Wisdom Shanengeta said: “In staying true to our philosophy which states that Zambia is our home and we drive her growth, Stanbic is pr oud to be the major sponsor of this year’s N’cwala ceremony of the Ngoni.”
He added: “At Stanbic we believe that sustaining the sponsorship of ceremonies like N’cwala is one way in which we can play a role in preserving our national heritage. It is ceremonies like this that safeguard our identity as a people and a nation.
“ Stanbic Bank is part of this heritage because we are part of the Zambian society and we identify with the country’s different cultures. As the saying goes, ‘ people without culture are a lost people. ’ Therefore, our contribution of K150,000 is meant to safeguard and foster the preservation of our own culture as a bank - which is shared by the people of Zambia.”
Speaking at the same event, Senior Chief Nzamane said Zambia’s culture refle cted the country’s unity.
He said: “ Our cultural heritage is a mirror of our national unity. Our diverse cultures unite us as a people. In embracing and celebrating our culture, we must also take an interest in the wider issues like climate change affecti ng our country.”
He called on citizens and traditional leaders to take keen interest in fighting climate change as it was negatively affecting the country’s rainfed agriculture leading to poor yields.
“ As traditional leaders we need to be societ y’s change agents as we stand ready to develop our communities in a responsible way that will be to the benefit of all ,” he said.
And in his keynote address, acting Minister of Tourism Hon. Alexander Chitema said Government was pleased to note that the N’cwala celebrated both the tangible and intangible aspects of Zambia’s cultural heritage.
Hon. Chitema, who was also the event’s guest of honour , urged traditional leaders to maintain the momentum of cultural preservation for future generations.
He noted that: “Traditional ceremonies are n ot only held to perpetuation and promote our cultural heritage but are also used to create economic opportunities for our people. ”
“Such ceremonies remain a dynamic activity for tourism development in Zambia – which is the fourth largest contributor to national GDP. It is for this reason that Government has prioritised the sector as one of the key pillars for economic diversification,” he concluded.
N’cwala is an annual thanksgiving ceremony held by the Ngoni people of Eastern Province to celebrate the year’s first harvest. The ceremony is hosted by Paramount Chief Mpezeni at Mutenguleni village in Chipata.
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Stanbic Bank Uganda’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce that Patrick Mweheire, Chief Executive has been appointed Regional Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group effective 1 st March 2020.
Patrick’s exemplary leadership has steered the growth and success of Stanbic Bank as the largest commercial bank in Uganda and sustained the bank’s leadership position in the market. Patrick has been instrumental in the transformation of the organisation and remains influential in contributing to the growth the financial sector in Uganda and across the East African Region. In his new regional position, Patrick will be responsible for Standard Bank Group’s growth strategy in East Africa which comprises of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
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Standard Bank is at the forefront in Africa with an innovative and dedicated sustainable finance business offering that benefits clients, communities, the environment and the corporate governance landscape.
Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (“SBSA”) has issued its first ever green bond, via private placement with IFC, a development finance institution focused on the private sector, part of the World Bank Group.
It is a 10-year facility with the express purposes of raising capital for use in on-lending by Standard Bank Group’s (SBG) Sustainable Finance Business Unit and achieving longer tenor financing.
The USD200 million, London Stock Exchange-listed green bond is Africa’s largest green bond and South Africa’s first offshore green bond issuance. The capital raised as a result will be used to finance eligible green assets (renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency and green buildings) aligned to SBG’s Sustainable Bond Framework. The IFC's Performance Standards, which are part of the IFC’s Sustainability Framework, have become globally recognized as a benchmark for environmental and social risk management in the private sector. Read more here: https://bit.ly/2TUJCTg
In Nairobi, Acorn Holdings (Acorn), the largest purpose-built student accommodation property developer in Kenya, has cross-listed its KES 4.3 billion green bond programme, on the International Securities Market (ISM) of the London Stock Exchange.
Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited and SBG Securities Limited acted as sole Arrangers and Lead Placing Agents for the Issuance. The bond programme first listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange on 13th January 2020.
The bond is a significant step in the development of green finance for East Africa, it is a testament to the bank’s revamped commitment to provision of housing which is one of the key development priorities of the Kenya government.
Kenyas Green Economy Strategy is geared towards enabling Kenya to attain a higher economic growth, which firmly embeds the principles of sustainable development in the overall national growth strategy.
For Stanbic Bank, sustainability is multi-dimensional and is part of the operations. It is about mitigating risks, building resilience, creating opportunities and transforming lives. It is the long-term goal of sustainable development which encompasses meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations from meeting their needs.
When it comes to financing, clients should be considering green, social and sustainable products as investors increasingly shift their mandates to sustainable businesses. Read more here: https://bit.ly/333oSgm
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With the said change, the Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Anne Juuko as Stanbic Bank Uganda’s new Chief Executive effective 1 st March 2020.
Anne brings on board a wealth of experience in the financial industry with regionally and global expertise in banking for 20 years. She has been a part of the Standard Bank Group for over 8 years having joined as Head of Global Markets for Stanbic Bank Uganda and was later appointed Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank, Namibia.
Anne Juuko holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and a master’s degree in Strategic Planning from the Herriot Watt Business School in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Anne started her banking career in 2001, worked in various roles before being appointed as Vice President, Head Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities at Citibank Uganda Limited and was later seconded to Citibank Kenya as Vice President, Customer Sales and Derivatives Marketing. She later joined Stanbic Bank Uganda in 2012.
Throughout her career, Anne has exhibited exemplary performance, winning the highly coveted accolades such as the Primary Dealer of the Year award for 6 consecutive years. She has also demonstrated exceptional leadership and stellar performance that will see her set to achieve Stanbic Bank Uganda’s strategy and vision.
Join us in congratulating both Patrick and Anne as they take on their new positions and continue to drive the growth and success of the organisation.
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Stanbic Bank Uganda has partnered with Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) in a new awareness campaign against deforestation by encouraging the public to plant trees to foster sustainable development and save the environment.
As part of the ROOT (Running Out of Trees) Campaign, Stanbic staff will take part in a marathon relay from Kampala to Gulu involving other companies, to highlight the dangers of deforestation.
The two-day 330 km run will take place on 7 th and 8 th February 2020 and will be followed by a National Day of Tree Planting in April 2020 under the theme ’40 million Trees in 8 hrs’. It is hoped every Ugandan will plant and grow at least one tree. In the run, 33 influential runners; both professional runners and volunteers from corporate companies will participate.
Speaking during the partnership announcement, Stanbic Bank Uganda Corporate Social Investments Manager, Ms Barbara Kasekende said, “At Stanbic Bank, we believe in doing the right business the right way. Stanbic’s sustainability vision focuses on Social, Economic and Environmental (SEE) goals, where we aim to ensure we create shared value in the societies and environment in which we operate. The ROOT Campaign speaks to Stanbic’s environment ambitions and our aim is to contribute to restoring and promoting tree planting in Uganda for sustainable development.”
She further said, “Stanbic will join UBL in the ROOT Campaign by planting trees in the over 200 schools as part of our Corporate Social Investment priorities.”
She said they are joining UBL through this initiative to create more awareness about the importance of planting trees and also lobby other agencies to commit land for the communities to have nursery beds and to plant trees and to raise money to develop and run a campaign in collaboration with NFA on alternatives to charcoal.
Speaking partnership press briefing, Mrs. Charity Kiyemba - Corporate Relations Director UBL said they decided to invite other companies to join the campaign to pool more resources together and face the challenge. An average 122,000 hectares of forest cover is lost every year due to human activities. The Ministry of Water and environment has an ambitious goal of planting over 100 million trees by the end of next year. We recognize that as a company, it is going to take collaborative effort. This is why we are coming together to rally other corporate companies to lend their support to this noble cause.” he said.
The high profile and diverse runners will each cover 10 kilometres to make the 330 km distance to Gulu. The event will take place during the day and over night. Each runner may be accompanied by others but not one of the 33. The designated runners will plant trees at different spots along the way.
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We sat down with Mark Nwaila who heads up Regulatory Operations and the Non-Resident Centre in Group Shared Services, to talk about the importance and essence of leadership. Mark has been with Standard Bank for nearly five years but before joining us, he worked at several international corporates.
In a nutshell, Mark is passionate about Human Capital Development, sustainable business driven by authentic leadership.
After spending time with other International Corporates – what attracted you to Standard Bank?
I believe that Standard Bank plays a much greater role in uplifting society through its customer and employee value proposition. Another consideration was working for a purpose driven organization that does more than talk about making a difference but is intent on directing meaningful change. Africa is our Home, we drive her growth. That’s personal, and that’s meaningful; and all our daily activities within this bank are aligned to the purpose of propelling Africa forward.
What is an average day like in your world?
My day is about enabling others by and making sure I share as much of my knowledge as possible. I relish the idea that knowledge is a transferable commodity. I believe that empowered people know what to do, they make informed choices and good decisions. I’m truly passionate about my responsibility as a leader. I need to empower my team with the right knowledge and tools to give them the best opportunity to being successful and in turn positively affecting those around them.
What do you do as Head of Regulatory Operations and the Non-Resident Centre for the organisation?
Essentially it is a risk mitigation role, which includes the risk profiling of our customers. The regulators need us, as a bank, to understand our customer’s risk profile so that we can always demonstrate that we understand our overall risk landscape.
From the Non-Resident Centre perspective, we look after emigrating customers or pure Non-Resident customers who have banking interests in South Africa. By way of example, Ntombi lives in the UK but travels to South Africa every year on a safari trip, she can open an account as a non-resident and deposit money that he can then use when she is in South Africa without having to do foreign exchange transactions, as the Non Resident account would have already catered to FOREX conversion when funds are sent to South Africa.
How is the role structured and why is it in Group Shared Services?
Regulatory Services and the Compliance environment are my biggest stakeholders as they are the ones that determine policy and guidelines; and we execute against the policy.
What have you learnt from your time at the other big international corporations?
In my experience, a high-performance culture is important because it embeds the belief that our success is determined by the work we do, and that if we don’t do the work, we won’t get the results we set out to achieve.
In your career at Standard Bank what has been some of your highlights?
One of my greatest highlights was to be given the opportunity to implement different operational strategies that would significantly uplift team performance and likewise exceed the goals of the teams I was leading.
We were purposeful by using an agile approach to work. What that meant was if we were working on something that was not yielding results – we would quickly change the way we worked (failing fast). This helped us to focus on being effective and impactful as opposed to keep on working on a process that was ineffective.
We also focused on a change of mindset and behaviour. We changed our performance rating system from one-on-one to a monthly stand-up where everyone has an opportunity to rate themselves on the work they have done and provide their motivation for their rating. The whole team has an opportunity to give input. This encourages honest conversations and collectively working as a team to achieve team goals. A transparent working environment takes away the negative behaviour around performance management.
The unintended benefits have been huge. We stopped the talk of “my manager says”, or “they do strategy and we implement” – we all work and contribute to the same goals. We manage effectiveness through directed and coordinated efforts.
It was an interesting journey to get people to change and adopt new ways, but now the expectations have changed and the expectation is that you have critical conversations with your peers and all levels of leadership. The landscape has changed for the better.
You have talked a lot about leadership principles, do you have a role model whom you think gets leadership right?
My philosophy around leadership is less about qualities and more of being, i.e. identity. In business schools and business seminars, the focus is often on leadership qualities. For me it’s more about how we show up as human beings, both consistently and authentically. A leader should own their emotions and show vulnerability. They should be able to admit they are not perfect and sometimes can be human just like anyone else; but the important thing is to remember the impact of your behaviour on others. If you make the right decisions, you can have a positive impact on those around you.
Leaders I have admired are those who have a sense of being and a deep sense of humanity. I appreciated and admired a lady called Roze Phillips who mentored me. She is authentic and calm. She taught me how to apply the calmness and make it part of my being. Another lady, Nicky Newton-King, a fantastic human being, she is dynamic, she sees business for what it is, and she is the one person who taught me to separate emotion and delivery. She showed me how to create a clear line between driving strategy and being empathetic within the workplace. The principle of work is work and there should be no cross over between how we relate as people. Those two things are mutually exclusive however intertwined. It’s an art to know the distinction.
Patrick Sithole from Tiger Brands is exceptional at challenging. He taught me that if things don’t make sense challenge them and Noel Guliwe from Medipost is the voice of reason, he understands the challenges of South African organizations in the context of South African socio-political landscape. All business models must be aligned to this phenomenon, if organisations are to see success in the goals they aim to achieve.
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The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is here with the 5IR not far away. As an organisation, we need to gear up to remain relevant in an agile, fast paced competitive landscape.
To help us get there, we partnered with IBM in their Global Elite Academy, where employees from across the company are represented to understand how to stay at the forefront of the of the changing data and technology landscape.
Digitisation is a strategic priority for Standard Bank, building and understanding AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities is key to this journey.
In recognition of the need to upskill staff in these fields, we engaged IBM to assist in putting together a two-day academy that exposed our staff to global expertise with in-depth knowledge on the latest trends and learnings in data and AI.
Simphiwe Phakathi, Head: Customer Insights and Analytics PBB Africa Regions at Standard Bank Group, who is tasked with driving development and integration of data and AI systems across the group, says that leveraging AI is the only way we will continue to exist.
He explains that enterprise innovation is linked to technology and AI development. By leveraging these capabilities, it will benefit customers, guide improved decision-making and lead to better outcomes for the organisation.
Phakathi says that as leaders, we have a responsibility to ensure that our businesses grow and equally our continent. “The skills of the future will look significantly different to that of today, we must prepare for that eventuality.”
The elite academy was an opportunity for Standard Bank staff to network with counterparts globally and learn about what they’re doing in the world of data.
Standard Bank is further leveraging its partnership with IBM, allowing access to a learning and development platform accessible to all of the bank’s employees in South Africa. The platform offers a host of tutorials aimed at helping employees build skills for the future.
This journey is critical for us as an organisation. Data has become a key resource in the world and within the bank, everything is about information. When we say Africa is our home, let’s leverage all the data, tech and insights to really drive its growth.
In a field that is moving as fast as data analytics, it is important for practitioners across the group to understand what’s possible and how to preempt what could come next so that data can be structured appropriately for the new wave of competitiveness.
Watch highlights from the IBM and Standard Bank two-day Global Elite Academy conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPcSXTv4XHc
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There is a lot of buzz and excitement around AI and Data. It’s often difficult to tell how much is hype and what the real impacts will actually be. Simphiwe Phakathi Executive Head, Consumer Insights and Analytics for PBB Africa Regions, firmly believes the impact of AI for the banking industry will be profound and far reaching.
He believes that AI and Data have the power to change EVERYTHING. Customer needs and preferences are changing at a rate of knots, to remain relevant we need to leverage AI so that we can create exceptional customer moments and experiences that will make customers feel valued and connected to us. If we fail to leverage this opportunity, the reality is that someone else will, so effectively we have no choice.
Starting at Standard Bank 13 years ago as a Junior MIS (Management Information System) Analyst, Simphiwe seized opportunities working in Card Division, Fraud Risk Analytics largely focused on detecting and preventing card fraud in real-time. He also had experience with Inclusive Banking from a risk management perspective and heading up measurement for PBBSA, then moving on to data quality management and the giant undertaking by joining Africa regions which has largely been unchartered territory. Simphiwe has embraced the challenge and says it is a privilege of heading up Customer Insights and Analytics for PBB Africa Regions across 14 countries.
When asked what makes him so passionate about his job, he commented, “Data has the ability to help us create impactful moments for our clients. Being in the role I am in I have the opportunity to ensure this a reality not just in one country but across 14 countries. The far reaching scope of the position is what fuels my energy, helping me play a part in living up to our purpose of “Africa is our home, we drive her growth.”
Watch the IBM and Standard Bank two-day Global Elite Academy conference highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPcSXTv4XHc&t=9s
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Adam Gottlich has a passion for decision science and consumer behaviour. He is a natural leader and is always searching to expand his knowledge and understanding of the world we operate in researching a variety of topics including neuroscience, cognitive science, behavioural economics and evolutionary psychology. He finds inspiration and content from podcasts, books and white papers and keeps a keen eye on the latest research emanating from the world of Behavioural Science.
Adam graduated from University of Witwatersrand with an Honours Degree in Psychology and added a Master’s Degree in the Psychology of Economics from one of the oldest and most reputable universities in Netherlands, Leiden University.
In his role at Standard Bank he is mandated to influence staff and customer behaviour positively in order to help people make better decisions. Behavioural Science is all about understanding behaviour in a variety of contexts and his work is very scientific in the sense that it involves a lot of strict testing to assess how successful various nudges are as well as rapidly testing hypotheses in various areas. Some recent projects include personalisation tests on the Standard Bank website which have led to an increase in clicks and lead submissions.
Adam also launched South Africa’s first Behavioural Science Academy where is he teaching 35 people from across Standard Bank Group the fundamentals of Behavioural Science. The course is going to be scaled next year as Behavioural Science has been identified as a future skill that can be used across the Group.
Adam’s aim is to make Standard Bank the world leaders in Behavioural Science and believes that this is not only attainable, but it actually something we are making great progress towards.
Adam’s aim in his role is to drive towards truly understanding customer and staff behaviour and believes in elegant simplicity. Adam hopes to complete his MBA and PhD in the near future.
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Stanbic Bank Tanzania today reaffirmed its commitment to the development of Tanzania and announced that in 2019 it provided TZS 177 billion in funding to various infrastructure development projects in the country. Providing finance and financial expertise to the private and public sector in Tanzania is a key focus for the bank.
Stanbic Chief Executive Mr. Ken Cockerill said, “Stanbic Bank is well positioned to play an important role in supporting Tanzania’s second Five Year Development Plan, which seeks to encourage industrialization and promote economic growth and social development.”
Mr Cockerill also mentioned that, “Infrastructure development is the cornerstone for sustainable long-term economic growth and competitiveness. With that in mind we are proud to be at the forefront of bridging the infrastructure funding gap to accelerate socioeconomic transformation in Tanzania.”
Unlocking private sector funding will create solutions to bridge Tanzania’s and the continent's infrastructure deficit and challenging business environment by developing and financing infrastructure, natural resources and industrial assets with a view to enhancing productivity and generating economic growth across Africa.
The Government of Tanzania has in 2019 dedicated over TZS 12.2 trillion (USD 5.3 billion) towards key development projects that include Africa’s longest Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline and Julius Nyerere International Airport Terminal 3.
On his part, Stanbic’s Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr. Manzi Rwegasira said, “Tanzania is well on its way to bridging the infrastructure gap which is critical to Tanzania becoming a middle-income country by 2025.”
Tanzania’s population is also growing at a rate of 1.6 million people per year and this is projected to reach 67 million people by 2025 and 77 million by 2030, hence the importance for modern infrastructure for an upcoming middle-income country.
Mr. Rwegasira added that, “It is through collaboration between the private and public sector, spearheaded by corporates such as Stanbic Bank Tanzania, that will drive inclusive development in our economy.”
Official data from the Bank of Tanzania shows that the country’s economy grew at an average GDP growth rate of 6.6% in 2018 with the infrastructure sector significantly contributing to this growth. This year, the economy is projected to grow by 7.1 % with infrastructure projects such as roads, ports and rail expected to drive Tanzania’s GDP growth.
Since, 2018 Stanbic has raised over TZS 300 billion in financing for Tanzanian companies and institutions across the agricultural, consumer, industrial, natural resources and government sectors.
The bank is committed to working with the government and key stakeholders to improve the investment and resource mobilization climate in order to ensure that Tanzania realizes its socio-economic aspirations by 2025.
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Josef Langerman’s unbreakable love affair with technology and computers started back when he was a lanky preteenager. When his father bought him a Commodore 64 computer and an IBM XT in the 80s, the first seeds for a long-lasting career in technology and innovation were planted. Josef went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Computer Science and Informatics. Fast forward decades later and he is now the Head of Technology Strategy, Architecture and Transformation at Standard Bank Group.
With the mammoth task of building networks for the largest bank on the continent, Josef always strives to not only make Standard Bank Africa’s leading digital bank but also make a lasting impact on the continent’s IT landscape. He’s “responsible for the transformation of Standard Bank Group into a high-velocity customer-centric organisation. This entails changing the ways of working as well as establishing the culture and industry communities that will enable this large-scale transformation,” he shares. With such a transformational vision, it’s no wonder Josef is a sought-after speaker on organisational transformation in his native South Africa and abroad.
While Josef boasts a glowing career characterised by senior IT positions in some of South Africa’s big companies, you’d be mistaken to think he’s only about machines. As a leader, the 47-year-old computer whiz is invested in people. With 100 people currently reporting to his structure, he gets a deep sense of purpose from developing talent and seeing his mentees grow in their careers. Speaking passionately about investing in people, he says, “It’s the only thing that matters. You cannot do big organisational change if you don’t build relationships with people. And that’s very hard for technical people because we always think it is how clever we are, how well we work, our specialist knowledge.” He adds: “The team runs guilds and coaching circles to help with personal and business evolution. As the world changes, so does the dynamic of how we do our work. People find themselves working in diverse teams, with diverse skills, where they must take direction from a variety of stakeholders.
So, how does one stay relevant and effective as a leader? For Josef, it’s all about talking to people and not being obsessed with details. “Being very detail-oriented is incredibly important early in your career. Subject matter expertise is what gets you promoted, but later in your career, when you start to manage diverse teams, you can’t be the expert anymore. Many leaders fall into the trap of trying to be the SME on everything and they end up neglecting a really important part of their job, which is building relationships,” he explains.
One of the defining moments that helped shape Josef into a leader and executive he is today came in 2014 when he, along with other Standard Bank executives, took a leadership trip to Silicon Valley. While he learnt a lot from Google, Microsoft and McKinsey, his greatest enlightenment came from Facebook. His biggest take-home from the social giant was that culture matters. The company’s culture left him in so much awe that he aptly describes his experience there as “freedom.”
That one simple yet powerful word has come to describe more than his experience at Facebook, it now embodies his qualities and ways of working as a leader. Freedom to experiment and try out new things. Freedom for his mentees to grow and define their career paths.
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