The first masterclass in our series for our 4th EMBA cohort explored the Leadership Practice and Responsibility module with Professor Emma Watson.
This module is practically focused, developing political, decision-making and motivation skills, and it allows the student to critically explore ideas on leaders, leading and leadership, and evaluate their own leadership practice.
The masterclass on “Responsible Leadership: Reflections and Challenges” was delivered by Mr Kwaku Addo Sakyi-Addo. Kwaku Addo Sakyi-Addo is the Chairman of the Board of the National Communications Authority. He is an award-winning broadcaster, strategic communications specialist and telecommunications policy advocate. His communications skills honed over 30 years in blue-chip local and international media covering print, wire service, radio & television, are top-of-the-shelf.
He was correspondent for the BBC from 1994-2007 and for Reuters, the world’s largest wire service from 1998-2007. He also hosted The Front Page, a must-listen weekly current affairs talk programme on Joy FM for 16 years (1995-2011), and was Presenter and Executive Producer of ‘Kwaku One-on-One’, a personality interview show on television for nearly 10 years until 2010. He had previously been editor-in-chief of the Ghanaian Chronicle (1993-94), and a reporter for Ghana News Agency (1984-1993) where he began his career.
He has been published by reputable publications including the Economist, and the Telegraph and the Mail in the UK. He has interviewed scores of global leaders including the last three Secretary-Generals of the UN. He currently serves on the Boards of several companies including Money Market Fund of InvestCorps (Chair), International Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Ghana (Chair), Tema International School, Ghana Cleft Foundation and Ghana Taekwando Federation Advisory Council (Chair).
This was a useful introduction, not only to the 4th cohort of students but also aspiring mindful managers as it allowed participants to gain substantial knowledge on leadership practices and also have a feel of how the Executive MBA programme is delivered.
The class had an interactive format where the lecturer of the Leadership module, Professor Emma Watson asked Mr Sakyi-Addo some questions about his experiences and students and guests also had the opportunity to ask questions of their own. Mr Sakyi-Addo stated that the most influential leader in his career had been the late Mr Kenneth Wood, who had been his boss when he had worked as a news reporter at the Ghana News Agency. He stated that he greatly admired Mr Wood’s approach to managing people, and he strongly believed it had shaped the way he managed people several years later.
Mr Sakyi- Addo stressed on the importance of leaders creating more leaders, and empowering people to also empower others. “Followership is important, but it is also important to make followers see themselves as leaders themselves. Leaders should therefore ultimately be able to create more leaders”, he said. He also stated that, “Self-leadership is important – always make time to take care of yourself.”
During the discussion one student asked whether leadership was inherent, or whether it can be learnt, and Mr Sakyi-Addo stated that strong arguments could be made for both, but the most important thing for every leader is to constantly better him/herself in order to hone their craft.
Following the masterclass students were able to have one-on-one interactions with Mr Sakyi-Addo at a networking cocktail on our campus rooftop.