My Reflections on the Perennial Leadership Training

By Emmanuel Lubaale

Uganda has had its schools closed for close to two years. Partners in the education sector are putting in place mechanisms to ensure a smooth process when they re-open in 2022. Strategic leadership will ensure that the process is seamless.

The covid-19 pandemic has revealed systemic challenges that need to be urgently looked into. Purposeful leadership will be key in the education sector in the post-pandemic period globally and specifically in Uganda.

Being new in any organisation can be a rather challenging period for any professional. I recently joined RELI Uganda as the country co-ordinator and this experience was not different from others. Luckily, this rather busy period coincided with a fantastic opportunity to take a deep dive into the network culture and aspiration as exuded in the leadership training convened by the amazing team from Perennial! 

I have worked with very passionate people in most of my professional life, and it was so refreshing to realise that excellent leadership was a priority to our network. I was glad to know that the management team and our funding partners are committed to building and supporting leaders! 

The training was a fascinating opportunity that gave the RELI members an opportunity to connect with and hear about leadership journeys from a diverse group of people. I gained a deeper appreciation of self as the very starting point of one’s leadership journey. This understanding defines not only who you are as a person, but how you turn out as a leader in the professional world and indeed in our real world!

Leadership isn’t just about abstract structures, management relationships and positions, but also about who you are as a person and how you leverage your persona and values to grow. For it starts with you!

There couldn’t have been a better choice of metaphor than conventional farmers grow plants, sustainable farmers grow the soil. This is so relatable to our lived experiences as people and before I knew it, I realised that growing my leadership abilities takes more than on the surface or routine professional behaviour, but a cultivation of my inner capabilities. I appreciate that I must be more honest and open about who I am as a person and do more – not in denial of my inner self, but on working on how I can learn and unlearn to become better.

I’m working to galvanise the realisation of a dynamic, ambitious network of diverse entities that set out to learn and grow to enhance learning outcomes for children. Therefore, I must invest in understanding the organisations and individuals that I directly rally and work with. It’s only natural that organisations and individuals have things they care about and have ways of working that are not exactly similar. For the most part, these things matter to them. To achieve together means listening more, picking up ideas, and agreeing collectively on what we should do to cause the much desired change.

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