The CEO Forum and coaching programme, designed by African feminists, develops the individual and collective leadership skills of women leaders who are at different points in their careers (senior, mid-level and emerging). As a Capacity Building Programme, this space also addresses critical gap areas while strengthening institutional and governance structures and providing an enabling framework for their sustainability. With this 7th CEO Forum and 4th coaching programme, we have over the years gained specialised knowledge of the persistent challenges African women’s organisations contend with concerning resource mobilisation, communications, governance, leadership transition, safety and wellbeing.
The story below, is from one of the participants of the CEO forum and Manda program. She describes how the programme has changed not only her approach to leadership, but her approach to life in general.
Executive Director: Campaign for Good Governance
“This has been a mind-opening experience. I think of a quote that says, It’s not about you but it’s all about you. It’s not anything personal about you but there’s a lot you have to do about yourself to be a better person. As the CEO, you take the lead in making the organisation a better place. There have been quite a lot of conversations both in the sessions and informally that shows that you are not alone. You feel you are alone in the bad experiences – you have a feeling of, is something wrong with me? What am I not doing right? Am I not communicating well? But in conversation we realise that it is something common but we need to work on ourselves to make things better.
The Wheel of Life – the nature and pace of the organisation – we’re all paying attention to that rather than ourselves. We need to work on ourselves, reflect and set targets and goals and that will help us to strengthen the team. I want my colleagues to do some reflection. Our governance structure is not too bad but it could be better than what we have now. While we were doing the baseline evaluation, in practice we are doing a couple of things but in terms of formalizing and developing tools, written policies and structures, these are things we will work on when we return to the office.
I’m very excited about the coaching and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m in another leadership training program in Sierra Leone which is also a 9-month program and it’s almost similar. This is preparing me for the next level – I don’t know what – and so I am excited for being equipped to do this”.