WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT AS A LEADER

Today we are glad to bring you an interview from Dr. Martin Nkundeki, the Executive Pastor of Gaba Community Church and Director at Wentz Medical Centre.

1.     Can you please introduce yourself:   

Thank you for this opportunity.  It’s a privilege I cherish. By God’s grace I am a Christian, a husband of one wife and two sons. I have been the  Medical Director of Wentz Medical Center since 2006; and right now I also serve as the Executive Pastor of Gaba Community Church.  I am also involved in some farming and business.

2.     In your very own words, can you tell us who is a leader, and what is expected of a leader?
 
I think a leader is someone who nurtures and moves other people from one set of circumstances towards a new and desired set of circumstances.  

A leader is burdened by multiple and different expectations.  First, he or she is human; he has a family to care for, he has his own life to lead, he has dreams to pursue and yet this same leader is expected to have the people he is leading in mind and at heart 100%.  A leader is therefore expected to have a big heart and an open mind, so he can carry the people as he carries himself. Whether he wants it or not, a leader is expected to love the people he leads.
 
A leader is expected to be an enabler: people are in your team, they follow you, they count on you to make things happen. They need you to enable them; your ways should release people to do more themselves, to inspire and equip the team to do more. As its written; John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father”.

A leader is also expected to guide: people are always moving somewhere, for better or for worse, and so leaders should guide people for the better. I think leaders should speak and make their proposition clear and persuade others to follow.

As an example, in a high competence place like a hospital, the leader should have been trained and qualified to lead decision making for the patient’s good. In the same setting, a nurse with a better understanding of a specific patient should speak up for the patient lest academic competence blinds the doctor from this one individual’s unique situation.  A bad decision may be taken when the nurse keeps quiet.
 
Therefore the team leader must create an environment that enables the team members to lead and make things work for the better. Leadership is not a one man show.  Leaders must speak up, provide guidance, and must steer group energy in a desired direction. Some times this guidance is tough love.  Leaders are expected to step up.

3.     Who is your Biblical model of a leader and why do you say that person is your model?
Definitely I long to be like Jesus, he is the ultimate leader.  He had a dream for us all, he spoke up, he demonstrated, he taught, he shared his life and he died for the cause.  He empowers and enables us to live this same life, and gives hope for eternity.  His followers continue to bring in more followers today.
I also love Moses.  He “owned” the people; between him and God, they had several exchanges about ‘’ your people’’. I love the way Moses desired to preserve the people and bring them to the Promised Land.  He owned God’s mission as His own.
 
Finally Paul, the man was sold out, deep in the scriptures, in prayer, in passion for Christ, and God confirmed his ministry.

4.     As a person who has been involved in leadership, what are some of the key things that have made you a successful leader?

Grace. God’s grace. There are always many more reasons to fail than to succeed. God’s grace made the difference. I thank God for mentors like Don Jones a retired pharmacist and Gail Fones a retired nurse. I had the open door of the Patron Pr. Peter Kasirivu and the Board Chair Dr. Okwero Peter, it’s important to have someone to look to, to coach you.  It’s also important to have a vision.

The desire to see God revealed to people through healthcare consumed me. No wall was then too high to jump or too literally break through! When this vision was before me, it consumed me.  A leader should be consumed me convinced of the vision or they will look back or so easily chicken out.

5.     Leaders go through challenges, can you please mention some of these that you have gone through, and how they have influenced your leadership?

Leadership can be lonely.  When you have to stand, it’s not easy, but you live to tell the story. Standing firm, sometimes alone is a big challenge a leader must learn to live with.
A leader will fail, and it may be out there for many to see.  You have to shake yourself, shake off the pain and move forward.

A leader should learn to keep the vision, even when personal needs are shouting. Many times the flame must continue to be held high. The mission must be protected with integrity, and a leader should endure hardship.
Plus all the problems common to us all.

6.     Are there any things that have happened in your life as a leader that     you regret?  Please mention some and the lessons you have learnt.

I have had to let people off the team.  For some, if I knew what to do early, it wouldn’t have come to that or be as painful and drawn out.
 
Also, taking up many things, many frontlines. I am very busy now, but I did and do let go of many things, and it’s important for every leader to count the cost and pick their battles carefully. You will succeed more doing fewer things with complete devotion. For me, this is a daily struggle.

Lastly, procrastination, holding back. I have seen great breakthroughs by being bold, clear and proactive.  There have been many times I have been shy and unsure, even fearful. I will never know what I have lost, or lost for the team. If only I kept consistent and un-apologetic about what we want. A leader should learn to expect and accept some failing.

7.     We have talked about Biblical models but I believe you may have other people not in the Bible that are your models.  Can you mention one or two?  And why do you say they have been your role models.

My mom, she raised us with a passion, became a widow with 5 kids all below 16, went back to school, and fought a good fight, worked hard, served the government school completely and served her family completely. She was such a fighter.  We are all through school and have a family home, and she has been gone 10 years but still inspires us. 

8.     Do you have a mentor?  And if you do, how has that mentor been a   blessing to you.  What advise do you give to our readers.

I have had several mentors through different seasons of my life. It’s like God links me to people I need, to learn from. Right now I am learning mostly under Pr. Peter Kasirivu.  To be frank about one of many lessons, the man of God has self-control, he does not react; he responds, he has his opinion under control and will listen and learn, with much tolerance and mercy, he is no pushover at all.

This fruit of self-control is one I so admire and crave for. It’s one fruit I have not seen very well-developed anywhere. He reminds me of Moses. God has also placed me under further practical training in church ministry. This I am learning as I serve. It’s a God ordained opportunity.  I guess a good bible school just end up giving me an honorary PHD!
To the Leaders, please humble yourself and find someone to listen to, to submit to, to learn from, and they can be many, but be sure to recognize that you are being helped to grow.
9.  Do you have young leaders that you mentor?  Can you share that experience please?
Yes, it’s awesome to share life with others. I am learning more than I think I am sharing.  About 4 active people in my network. It also calls for sacrifice of time and protecting those meeting times. It’s refreshing to me and I enjoy being in some way useful to someone growing.

10.  What final words would you like to tell our readers about leadership?
Leaders pick a pen and write what you have learnt.  I have several booklets of notes to myself, to my God and to many people.  They are in a bag somewhere at home.  I now see the writing and lessons are part of me.

Shalom

 

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