Final Ethiopia Trip Report: Speaking engagements at various institutions
Because of the unstable political atmosphere in Ethiopia, I have never gone back to Ethiopia since I came to the US in 2005. In April this year, however, the ruling party elected a new Prime Minister- Abiy Ahmed, who has been spearheading a reform that includes inviting political opponents, some of whom were sentenced to death in absentia.
Since then, thousands of Ethiopians in the Diaspora returned home after many years of exile. After 13 long years stay in the US, me too, I decided to visit my native country this past November.
During my four weeks stay, I had chances to:
- Visit my family,
- Give interviews to some government-owned and private media, and
- Conduct some keynotes and workshops for some universities and corporations.
Since I returned from Ethiopia, I’ve been reporting about my trip. If in case you missed my previous four reporting, you may check out the links below:
In this final report, let me quickly share with you the institutions I served and the main discussion points. I will start my reporting with the first event I conducted and end it with my final event on Friday, November 30th, 2018.
- Center for African Leadership Development (CALD). I group coached the coordinators and facilitators of the iLead program designed and delivered by the Center for African Leadership Development (CALD). I also got a wonderful chance to give a motivational speech based on my latest book “Unchain Your Greatness” to a larger audience who are also alumni of this empowering program.
2. American College of Technology (ACT). I conducted a one-day seminar for business owners and corporate leaders from diverse industries. The theme of the workshop was ‘Taking Your Management and Leadership Competency to the Next Height’. Some of the participants were owners of private businesses while others executives and still others department head. At the end of the session, we had certification award ceremony.
3. Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC). I gave a keynote on the theme “Overcoming the 4 Leadership Challenges in the Field of Engineering.” We have seen it again and again around the world where railways playing a backbone role for the transformations many nations experienced. The opportunity gave me a chance to show the leaders and engineers of ERC the four leadership challenges they should overcome and how to play their crucial and backbone role as the nation is attempting to come out of poverty and attain sustainable economic development.
4. Millennium Medical College @ St. Paul’s Hospital. The theme of my talk was ‘The Roles of Soft Skills in a Medical Profession’. Less attention has been given to soft skills, especially, in many technical professions including the medical profession. I was glad that the leaders of this institution saw the importance of developing the soft skills of their students. The insights, stories, and models were taken from my third book ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success’.
5. Bank of Abyssinia. As the nation opens its arms and invites FDI in some very crucial industries such as banks, airlines, energy, defense, telecom, and so on, for sure, there will be many global companies that will soon be flooding into the country to take advantage of the recent reforms and policy changes. One of the competitive advantages of these foreign companies, on top of finance, is world class customer service with a robust corporate culture and a team that functions like a well-oiled machine. That was why I facilitated a very interactive and dynamic session with the top leadership and district managers of Bank of Abyssinia including those who lead managers of up to 80 branches. The theme of our discussion was ‘Creating a Corporate Culture of Bank of Abyssinia that Motivates Continually.’
6. Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). I conducted a consultative discussion with the leadership of ECX, an innovative organization that continues to empower our farmers and traders. We talked about the need on how an institution like ECX, which has diverse stakeholders with varying interests, choices, and priorities should build its own team’s organizational and leadership capacity continually to serve its stakeholders with extraordinary excellence. The discussion was informal and very productive.
7. x-Hub Addis. The theme was ‘Leaders as Project Managers’. The Founder of x-Hub, Tewodros Tadesse, was asking me thoughtful questions about leadership, some of the most important project management competencies leaders should have, and more. In the end, the audience had also a chance to ask questions where we had vibrant conversations. Since one of the top challenges our country faces are failures in delivering projects within budget, on time, and by meeting the expectations of stakeholders, the theme of the discussion was timely and very relevant.
- I’m very much thankful to all who reached out to me, created connections, and supported me in many ways for the successful accomplishment of these programs.
- Ermias Legesse asked me to share my observation during my four weeks stay in Ethiopia in ESAT’s DC studio. We had also a vibrant discussion based on the book ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’. Below are the video clips: