- It seems like the opposite day Martin Oduor-Otieno was operating KCB.
- He has not modified a lot within the eight years after his exit; nonetheless officious and considerate in demeanor, nonetheless erudite.
- After KCB, he began the Management Group.
It seems like the opposite day Martin Oduor-Otieno was operating KCB #ticker:KCB. He has not modified a lot within the eight years after his exit; nonetheless officious and considerate in demeanor, nonetheless erudite. After KCB, he began the Management Group.
“I feel good management can rework society. And dangerous management can destroy all the things else,” he says. Martin is spending the remainder of his life within the house of management; creating and rising leaders. He spoke to JACKSON BIKO not too long ago in his workplace in Nairobi’s Westlands.
I instructed a good friend of mine that I used to be coming to interview you and he or she requested me to ask you why your title is hyphenated. Martin Oduor-Otieno. What’s the story there?
I used to be attempting to be distinctive. My title is Martin Oduor. My father’s title is Otieno. In class, Martin Oduor simply sounded quite simple. It gave the impression of a reputation that may be replicated many occasions. I wanted to make it barely extra private so I connected my father’s title, put a hyphen and it has caught. So my surname is Oduor-Otieno.
Your father continues to be alive?
No. He’s not. He handed on in 2004.
What classes do you bear in mind from him?
He was a main college instructor. He taught me self-discipline, ethics, values, and religion. He was a really staunch Catholic, and that has knowledgeable my upbringing and even at the moment, I stay fairly near the church and so do my youngsters.
He was a disciplinarian and labored exhausting. I bear in mind him telling me, ‘if you wish to be taken severely, you have to at all times costume severely.’
Did that come to go?
Yeah. It did truly. The police will not often cease you while you look sharp. He was a self-made man, began from the fundamentals. He misplaced his mother and father when he was very younger and he needed to make do. By the point he received the educating job, he had achieved fairly a bit. He began a household and supported all people else. I feel a variety of the exhausting knocks in life have been vital for him and he handed a few of these onto us.
Do you miss your banking, company life?
It was a season in my life. I used to be in banking for 13 years, however I’ve been in different fascinating locations as effectively, together with the place I’m now. Banking was thrilling, it was transformative, most individuals bear in mind me due to it, particularly due to KCB. As a result of we have been capable of rework an establishment that folks didn’t suppose a lot of on the time, into one thing that is still a large to at the present time.
Do I miss it? Once more, there’s a time for all the things. I did the bit that I wanted to do and any individual else wanted to select it up from there. Management is sort of a relay race, take it to the following particular person. However it was an thrilling time, it was a satisfying time, and I loved it.
Figuring out what you already know now as a number one government coach, what would you do in a different way in your seven and a half years at KCB?
That’s an fascinating query. But additionally beforehand in my working profession which has been fairly lengthy now, one space that teaching dropped at me as an eye-opener was simply the realm of stakeholder administration. That is the way you relate along with your bosses, the way you relate along with your friends, the way you relate with the individuals reporting to you. For me, I by no means actually had an issue referring to my friends or juniors or individuals reporting to me. I feel the problem for me was at all times the individuals above me. And this was born out of the truth that I at all times believed that I used to be competent to hold out the work that I used to be doing, that I labored exhausting, subsequently, didn’t want actually to (Pause) to blow my very own trumpet. That it may very well be seen, it was seen. I didn’t have interaction as a lot upstairs or upwards as maybe I might. So, I’m not a celebration particular person, alright? I do my work within the workplace and I’m going residence.
Subsequently the query of interacting, participating, outdoors of working hours, was not one thing that got here to me very simply. I realised individuals wished to be engaged even outdoors on weekends, small speak right here and there, issues which I shied away from.
In teaching, one of many issues that has come up is that one wants to know their stakeholders fairly effectively. One wants to search out methods of interacting or referring to them. That your good work alone or your competencies alone might not essentially yield the type of outcomes that you just’re on the lookout for. So that’s one factor that I discover as I do teaching, that individuals are battling as a result of they haven’t mapped it out and understood who’s of their house and who will make or break them of their profession and their lives. They don’t have the technique for that.
Do you suppose some individuals are naturally born leaders or can anyone with sure qualities be groomed to change into good leaders?
I don’t have examples, however I feel that there are people who find themselves born with traits of management. Some individuals are born and naturally lead. They encourage individuals and counsel issues and folks stroll with them. They make individuals really feel that they’re valued, which is without doubt one of the traits of management.
Some individuals have these traits from the start. However there are some who via dedication and focus can develop these traits and change into nice leaders as effectively. So it’s a mixture of the 2. I don’t suppose you’ll be able to say you’ll be able to by no means be a frontrunner. Like all the things else in life, you’ve received to be deliberate about it.
I used to be watching one thing the opposite day a couple of mafia man who runs an enormous operation, main hundreds of individuals, cash laundering, and issues. He mentioned that his technique for management was getting a stability between individuals respecting you and fearing you. When you attain that equilibrium you’re good to go. Does that apply within the company world?
I’m completely satisfied that he mentioned that there’s a way of stability. I used to be afraid that you just have been going to say that he mentioned that for him it’s about creating worry in individuals after which they do all the things he needs them to do. I’m not a fan of making worry in any respect.
For me, I’m extra on the respective facet. Leaders ought to garner respect for themselves by the way in which they present up, the type of issues they do, and the way in which they lead individuals, the way in which they work with individuals. That in case you are a frontrunner who focuses on getting issues completed via worry, it’s a really quick time period answer. It leaves individuals with a nasty style within the mouth. They do it as a result of they worry you. But when they do it out of respect, it’s long-lasting, it’s constructed on a basis there.
When you have been to take a seat down with one world chief, lifeless or alive, who would that be and what would you ask them?
(Lengthy silence) However why would I be asking them stuff?
Since you admire them?
(Lengthy Pause). , my problem with leaders is that there’s at all times some extent at which they may do one thing that can allow you to down. Once I take a look at management, and I take a look at individuals, and I take a look at leaders, I choose up the nice issues that they do.
So let me provide you with an instance. Nelson Mandela. Nice chief. However I didn’t like the way in which he broke up with Winnie. Winnie had completed a superb job all alongside, supporting him. But it got here to a degree the place they might not resolve their variations. They needed to go their separate methods and die their separate methods. I maintain him extremely as a frontrunner, however I feel they might have solved the scenario. As I go searching, I see bits and items of this in leaders and that pains me. I see the nice and I see the dangerous. And but my function mannequin leaders must be on the nice. If that is sensible to you.
Possibly it implies that there aren’t any good human beings and that good comes with flaws. For the case of Mandela, what if it was only a query of emotional intelligence, issues of the guts?
Hmmm. However that is the factor, is management just for particular conditions or incidences or ought to it, or is it attainable to construct a healthful chief? A frontrunner who has received this emotional intelligence. A frontrunner who could be a good chief within the company scene and likewise be a very good household function mannequin. Within the West, for instance, just about all people is divorced as a result of within the Western tradition divorce is a simple factor. (Pause) So while you ask me to decide on one chief, I battle.
What would you say is your weak point as a frontrunner?
I’m in all probability not as outgoing as individuals would need me to be. I used to play golf. It should be greater than 10 years now since I final performed golf. I left golf for causes. One was as a result of my shoulders and my again have been inflicting me a little bit of bother, some golfers thought it was simply because my swing was horrible and that’s why that was occurring. But additionally, I discovered that I used to be spending a variety of time on or across the golf course discussing enterprise points and but I used to be going to golf to calm down. I discovered that I used to be carrying my workplace stress onto the golf course and I couldn’t shake it off.
I’m an introvert. That in all probability may very well be seen as a weak point in management circles, as a result of leaders are presupposed to be these guys who’re all over, scream on the prime of their voices, and host events daily. They’re out and about. And that’s not me.
Do you discover that there’s some kind of similarity or parallel between the way you lead at work and the way you lead at residence?
Yeah! I discover that I’m the identical particular person all over the place. I lead with respect. I attempt to construct a consensus kind of ambiance, camaraderie collaboration at work. Those that have labored with me will inform you an identical.
They may let you know that even when it comes to decision-making and elegance, that’s nearly the consensus kind fashion of choice making. It’s solely after I’m type of the final man standing that I’ve received to kind of say okay we’ll go this route. Equally, at residence, I lead in the identical approach. My youngsters are actually all adults and so they’ve received households of their very own but it surely’s been the identical within the household. We get alongside like we have been brothers and sisters. I don’t behave in a different way there than I behave right here.
What’s your creed of fatherhood?
Present up the identical approach you desire to your youngsters to point out up sooner or later. Be a mannequin. Lead by instance.
What number of youngsters do you’ve gotten?
The place I come from we don’t depend youngsters. (Laughter)
At 64, what do you bear in mind having dominated your 50s as in comparison with say your 40s?
So let me return. In my 30s, I used to be studying and attempting to get grounded in my career. We began having youngsters once we have been younger, subsequently I used to be targeted on the household. In my 40s, I used to be additionally attempting to work exhausting and get mature in my profession. I turned CEO at KCB after I was about 50 or 49. So a variety of that interval earlier than the 40s was dominated by profession. Within the 50s, my youngsters have been now getting out of faculty and my formal profession was nearly starting to taper off.
However I need to say that via all that the one dominant elements have been household and profession. The 2 have type of intertwined with each other simply because they began occurring on the identical time. I received married two years or three years after college so all the things then began occurring on the identical time.
When do you end up most unhinged?
Once I’m on vacation or over weekends. I’ve tried to not carry work residence and subsequently my weekend is for household and travelling. Once I was within the company world, I liked happening go away. I had 30 days go away and I might go to the village and simply go do nothing for 30 days.
Do you thoughts sharing some recommendation on cash and the pursuit of it? You could have some classes on cash.
So let me say this, Biko. One ought to earn his cash. I don’t consider in short-cuts. Individuals ought to work for his or her cash. When one works exhausting for his or her cash, they need to get pleasure from it additionally.
They need to not work so exhausting and wait sooner or later sooner or later to get pleasure from this cash. Similar to management is a journey, having fun with one’s cash must be occurring on the identical time that you just’re making it.
Do you play chess? (There’s a chessboard on the desk)
I don’t. However my son used to work right here, he’s a lawyer. He performs chess.
What makes you extraordinarily completely satisfied at this level in your life?
The best pleasure for me comes from the truth that I’m nonetheless in comparatively good well being, and subsequently I’m capable of do the issues I do. I’m capable of help different leaders of their progress. I get pleasure from that fairly a bit. Household can also be is one thing that I’m very grateful for. I used to be saying the opposite day, I don’t apply oil on my fingers, so my fingers are likely to look dry.
So a girl good friend mentioned to me, ‘Martin, your fingers look so dry. Let me…’ She reached into her bag to present me oil to use. I don’t know if she mentioned it or I’m the one who mentioned it, however by the tip of the dialog, I used to be like ‘I don’t need my 40 years of marriage to go down the drain as a result of I went residence with oiled and perfumed fingers.’ (Laughs) Household, well being, the church makes me very completely satisfied.