Phocas Ngendahayo writes today’s guest post on Leadership is Heart. Phocas currently serves as the Rwanda Country Director for Kurumbuka Leadership Solutions, which was created in response to a felt need, to walk alongside a new generation of leaders as they fulfill God-given visions to transform their families, institutions, communities, and nations. Seven years ago, Phocas and I met in the Land of a Thousand Hills, where I began my service with the Wellspring Foundation for Education in Rwanda. Phocas was operations director for Wellspring, and from the time I met Phocas, I knew I had met a leader full of integrity with similar a similar passion for raising other leaders through collaboration and sharing. Our friendship has grown in seven years, and I am forever grateful that we continue to serve together.
Today Phocas not only defines why it is so essential for leaders to collaborate, but he also outlines the benefits he has encountered when leaders share around a table of many.
Leadership is Heart’s new initiative, “from one table to a table of many” is timely. The project emerged as a result of Claudio’s involvement with the Abundant Leadership Institute (ALI), which was a precursor to the establishment of Kurumbuka Leadership Solutions. During the birthing process of Kurumbuka, Claudio coined the acronym, DEAL, to summarize his purpose and mission of developing and empowering African leaders.
Faithful to the call, Claudio is passionate about empowering leaders, and his current initiative may suggest a military plan, a business breakthrough, or a lucrative strategy, but none of this is the case. One can see instead an expanded circle of friends, of like-minded people and professionals who share what they care about together, in a circle of common interests.
The initiative is just what is needed for leaders in Africa. It invites people from diverse backgrounds to come together to find a space of stimulating and constructive ideas. A collaborative table is a circle of trust, equity and equality, building an ecosystem of learning and resulting in mutual benefits. The collaborative table is at the core of what Kurumbuka has and will continue to strive for.
There are benefits to sharing. A Swedish proverb says, “A shared sorrow if halved, but a shared joy is doubled.” A Rwandan proverb says, “Biryoha bisangiwe!” which means “it is sweeter when shared.” In French, it is said, “du choc des idées jaillit la lumière!”. This can be translated as, “Out of clash of ideas, light comes out!”.
Sharing enriches and sets one free. As people sit together around the table, collective wisdom emerges, resulting in a gain for the entire community. Sharing dignifies both the giver and the receiver. It sets free burdened souls and troubled minds. Truth is revealed, lives are built up, and transformation can take place.
During the last five years, I’ve seen graduates from ALI/Kurumbuka report that the program has been stimulating, inspiring and transformational. Methode, who works as a director at Youth for Christ, shared with me that for fourteen years he used to be a leader with an authoritarian leadership style. When he came to the ALI/Kurumbuka program, he learned about servant leadership. He went back to his school and applied the principles he learned. It didn’t take long for his staff to notice that something changed in his leadership style. He became approachable, and staff retention improved. Children became comfortable to come to greet him and hug him. Where there was gossip, mistrust and social polarities, slowly and increasingly, a new culture started to emerge within the school. A culture of ownership, care, accountability and trust. A culture of collaboration around a shared table.
Let us continue to seize this opportunity to build a collaborative culture, to make our voices heard, to share our best practices, generate collective wisdom that will bless our nations, our institutions, our families and our communities. We will be amazed how, in the end, we shall be enriched, united in our diversity. Our horizons will be broadened, our hearts and minds inspired and play a role confidently to make a better world around us to live.
It delights me to be among the many to engage in this sharing.
Thank you so much Claudio for always telling great stories of our great leaders in Rwanda. Indeed phocas is an exceptional servant leader I have ever met. Very passionate to empower emerging leaders. Personally I am honored to be a friend to phocas
kabisa biryoha bisangiwe!
Gilbert, both of us have been fortunate to serve with Phocas. Your words define his leadership and service well. Thank you again for contributing.
Thank you Claudio for this initiative of having great leader’s passion and work being posted on Leadership is Heart. Phocus is a great leader, a servant leader and is passionate about growing other leaders. He has demonstrated true leadership and has inspired many of us. He also keeps praying for emerging leaders to achieve their dreams and become great leaders in Africa.
One of Phocas’ strongest gifts is his encouragement and belief in raising up leaders in Africa. He has already achieved terrific results and will continue to do so. You have seen and benefitted from his passion and so have I. Thanks again for sharing Florence.
Thanks Claudio for inspiring us with great stories to emulate from. Indeed Phocas is a great leader.
Your are correct Christine. Phocas is a great leader and is one to emulate. Thanks for sharing and contributing to the voices around the table.
Not only are you a great leader but an international figure who has the stamina to unite all of us across boundaries.
Everything about you is great
Phocas, I want to be like you
Claudio you and Phocas are like minded
Godfrey, I agree with you description of Phocas and the ultimate compliment you give him is wanting to be like him. I would also share that you are also a leader whom others would emulate. Thank you for contributing to the table.
This is wonderful; I enjoyed reading and discover who my Leader, Mr. Phocas is. I like it. Thank you for sharing his experience to us. Be blessed Mr. Claudio in your leadership.
Thanks for commenting Berthe. Learning about Phocas is indeed an inspiration.