Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Leadership Lessons: Silvanus David

I recently interviewed Silvanus David, SITA SOUTH AFRICA, to talk about the ins and outs of leadership in today’s competitive business landscape.  David is a keynote speaker at the upcoming ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts 2014 conference in Seattle taking place next month. He will be presenting a session entitled, “Cyber Security.”

Check out what David had to say:

IIR: How do you, as a leader, stand out in a crowd in this competitive business world?

David: I am a project management subject matter expert. I add value to the scientific knowledge base. I have something to offer that will make this world a better place than I have found it.

IIR: What are characteristics of a GREAT leader?

David: Humility is key. Focus as well – knowing how to keep the team focused and what is important.

IIR: How does a successful leader communicate?

David: Successful leaders communicate honestly. Good and bad news must be communicated.

IIR: Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

David: My CEO, Mr. Freeman Numvalo. He arrived at the organization when it was at its lowest from an employee satisfaction perspective. His engagement with staff and his ability for getting people to start believing in themselves was “messiah” like. His focus on the vision and objective of the organization was always core and he was “outcome” and “impact” driven.

IIR: What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization or team?

David: Strategic direction of the team. Ensuring that the outcomes of Government are adhered to and supported.

IIR: As an organization gets larger there can be a tendency for the “institution” to dampen the “inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?

David: Whatever we do has an impact on the service delivery for the citizenry of the nation. My team is inspired by knowing that the value they add makes the nation a better place for all.

IIR: How do you encourage creative thinking within your team or organization?

David: All for people to make mistakes within a controlled environment. Reward employees whose ideas thru creative thinking has added value to the organization.

IIR: Which is most important to your organization or team? (mission, core values or vision?) How do you communicate the “core values” to your team? 

David: Vision, Mission and core values are all important. The best way to communicate “core values” is by visibly demonstrating it.

IIR: How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organization?

David: The best way to help a new employee is to have a comprehensive induction program for the new employee. Also, the new employees should be assigned to a mentor for a period of time.

IIR: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

David: Every leader must know the end-game. And he must be able to change direction mid-flight.

IIR: What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

David: Staying relevant to customer needs.

IIR: What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?

David: Arrogance and the false belief that it is all about themselves.

IIR: Can you explain the impact that social media has made on you as a leader?

David: It depends on what interests you and what you are exposed to. Social medial can be very beneficial.

IIR: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

David: It’s not about you.

IIR: What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

David: Think hard about business and people.

David will be speaking at ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts 2014, taking place in Seattle, Washington September 22-24th at the W Hotel. The 2014 program is designed with courses for all training levels, a robust agenda, and most importantly tangible lessons which you can begin implementing the day you return to your office, making you even more valuable to your organization. PW&WCBA offers attendees 36 PDU/CDUs - that's more than half of the required credits necessary to maintain your certification in just one place.

To learn more or register for the event, click here: http://bit.ly/VPs7Ua

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