bridgingpositions together with our client and partner Axis Pension Trust Ltd. held the first Self Leadership Backbone in West Africa. The SLB took place in Accra Ghana and hosted 30 participants from Ghana with various different backgrounds. This is an article on the Self Leadership Backbone held in Accra by Zadok Kwame Gyesi published on The Daily Graphic, a Ghanaian daily newspaper.

When Axis Pensions brought self-leadership backbone to Ghana

By Zadok Kwame Gyesi 

“EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership” is one of the profound quotes by international motivational speaker and leadership coach, Mr. John C. Maxwell, that speaks to the importance that leaders play in the success or otherwise of their organisations. As heads of their organisations, departments or units, leaders determine the direction of their followers and those directions equally determine the health of the entire organisation. Thus, when leaders fail, the organisation suffers and fails in the long run. This is succinctly captured in the proverb “the fish rots from the head.” Conscious of this and more, many organisations have prioritised capacity building as one surest ways to develop capable and optimally functioning human resources that can lead others to create the value required of the firm, but not all those training programmes pass the test of quality and not all organisations have the ability to detect those that meet their organisational goals.

Leadership backbone 

Lead pensions service provider, Axis Pension Trust Ltd (APTL), is not one of them. The firm recently brought into the country BridgingPositions, a Germany-based organisation with a specialty in training managers, leaders and executive teams in leadership skills to help stir up the capabilities of its staff and stakeholders for optimal results. With BridgingPositions came the world acclaimed Self Leadership Backbone seminar, one initiative that has stood out among its competitor programmes. It was the first time that seminar was being held in West-Africa and for that matter, Ghana, to help nurture the caliber of leaders needed to help transform the country’s economy. The Self Leadership Backbone is designed to help participants deepen their personal and social awareness while fostering effective self-leadership skills, inner resourcefulness and professional best practices. The three-day leadership training, organised by the Axis Pension, was facilitated by BridgingPositions. Topics treated included ‘initiating development,’ the rhythm of our life; where do I come from? ‘what can you learn about yourself from your life timeline; ‘what can I give to the world; `how do I do what I do,’ where am I going; ‘what holds back me from pursuing my purpose, values and ambition; `personal force field analysis,” “how do I get there,’ `integration into life,’ and ‘What represents my journey.’

Participants and the trainers after one of the sessions of the Self Leadership Backbone Seminar in Accra

Moral compass 

The Seminar Facilitator, Mr. Julian Geuder, said the training engaged participants in an in-depth self-reflection on how to be authentic leaders and how to lead with purpose. He added that through intensive practice, participants developed a moral inner compass that allowed them to make the appropriate decisions in the midst of complex challenges. According to him, effective leaders had an intimate understanding of themselves and were aware of their own inner strengths,values, purpose and direction. “Leaders who consciously cultivate self-awareness and personal mastery tend to be far more effective when facing organisational challenges, uncertainty, transitions, and even new opportunities,” he explained.

First in Ghana 

Mr Julian Geuder, a consultant and coach, who is a specialist in designing, developing and facilitating change processes, explained that leaders ought to know themselves well to enable them to lead others. According to him, Ghana was the first country in West-Africa where the programme had been organised and he expressed the hope that the training would help the participants to make informed decisions in whatever they did. He expressed worry that many people were unable to do certain things in life due to long held beliefs or things they might have heard in their childhood or when growing up. He explained that people needed to do away with such limiting beliefs since they could hold back many people from realising their goals in life.

Essence of seminar 

The Chief Executive Officer of Axis Pension Trust, Mr. Afriyie Oware, said the seminar was organised by the company as part of its drive to help contribute to the development of the country’s human resource. He explained that as a company with a mission to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ghana by promoting a culture of savings and creating retirement wealth for workers, training people in leadership skills would help them to become captains of their own ships. He said the training was a beginning of “how we can shape ourselves individually”, noting that the company would soon organise another training in other areas. Mr Afriyie, therefore, implored the participants to make good use of the knowledge acquired at the training by influencing others in their respective fields. He also commended the facilitators for their dedication, pledging that Axis Pensions would continue to work with them. Some of the participants expressed their happiness about the training, pointing out that the training had helped them to discover many of their unknown potentials. For Ernest Elorm Attimah, Boni Solomon, Eric Tenkorang, and Esther Larweh, all participants, the Self Leadership Backbone training was necessary for everyone irrespective of what they were into. They, therefore, expressed the hope that the training would be organised for the benefit of many Ghanaians.