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Sunday 18 March 2018
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In Pursuit Of Character: Renowned Entrepreneurs Have Developed From Just Being Mere Business Owners

In Pursuit Of Character: Renowned Entrepreneurs Have Developed From Just Being Mere Business Owners


Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. Everything rises and falls on leadership.

These are words proclaimed by the world`s foremost leadership guru, John C. Maxwell. Leadership is therefore at the very core of the character of successful entrepreneurs.

For the purpose of this article I will focus on positive leadership and how renowned entrepreneurs have developed from just being mere business owners to ones that have grown their businesses through leadership development.

Whether leadership is a quality you are born with is always going to be debatable. I am persuaded that leadership is mostly a quality that one acquires through several different means.

Anyone can thus develop leadership qualities and become an outstanding leader and entrepreneur.

Here are a few ideas:

Effective leaders in business ensure that they have a clear vision for the organization that they lead.

They learn how to articulate it well and work hard at getting a buy in from their team. Visions are written down, easy to repeat and have ubiquitous presence in an organization.

If the vision is caught, momentum builds. The ability to do this well sets a solid foundation for any organization.

The late Jim Rohn often said, “who you will be in the next five years depends on who your five closest companions are. Choose them wisely” Good leaders spend considerable time with other good leaders.

They are intentional about becoming great leaders. As the proverb goes; iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Being in the company of other good leaders helps you to learn and adopt good qualities, consciously and sub consciously. This results in continuously setting high standards for yourself and your organisation.

All great leaders have been mentored. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey to name a few continuously mention different mentors that they have had at different times of their lives.

Mentors give advice, share their experiences, encourage you, help you to see your blind spots and help you realise your potential. Getting the right mentor can be a difficult process.

Not many people are willing to give up their time to mentor. But as the Japanese say, when the student is ready the teacher appears. I believe the same can be said of the right mentor.

Leaders are readers. Leaders engage themselves in reading all kinds of books and articles. This keeps them abreast of what is happening around them and also helps to keep them relevant.

I recommend reading at least two books a month. As an entrepreneur, the books that you read most should be those that enhance your business and your leadership.

Another alternative to reading is listening and watching resources. Audio books and sites like YouTube have excellent resources for those less keen on reading.

Investing in regular, ongoing training is vital for any entrepreneur or leader. Training can be useful in developing you as an individual to acquire new skills and also for your own personal growth.

Make it a point to attend as many reputable courses as you can, developing your character and your leadership are things that must be done simultaneously.

When this becomes part and parcel of you, your achievements will be phenomenal.


Stirling Gapara was born and raised in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, he worked for Universal Leaf Tobacco, a leading international tobacco company where he rose to the position of Sales Leader. In 2007 Stirling moved to Uganda to work for another international tobacco firm, Leaf Tobacco and Commodities. There he held the position of GLT Operations Manager until 2014. After leaving Leaf Tobacco, Stirling founded Stirling Leadership Consults where he is the Managing Director. Stirling has always had a passion for leadership. He has held several leadership positions in both the corporate and non- corporate sectors. Currently, he sits on the board of Acacia International School in Kampala and is also President of the Parents Council. He is the vice president of Kampala Toastmasters. He also sits on the alumni board for the Institute for National Transformation. Stirling is a member of the John Maxwell Team. He is an avid reader, a keen sports fan and a keep fit enthusiast. He is married to Vimbai and together they have 3 children.