Briefly tell us about the CEO Apprenticeship Programme.
The CEO Apprenticeship Programme (CAP) is an executive leadership training that started in 2013. In my view, CAP is a training, mentorship and coaching Programme aimed at accelerating the readiness of the next generation Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). It is a breeding ground for local talent and leadership that is visionary and ethical.
Over the past years, I have heard various submissions about the quality and quantity of Ugandan leaders; and also participated in studies about the need for impactful leadership development programmes as a fundamental requirement for economic growth. I believe this programme is a spot-on answer for such capacity-building for local leadership.
As an executive member of the CEO Apprenticeship Programme Alumni Association (CAPAA) and an EXCO The Executive Committee (EXCO) member of Housing Finance Bank, I can attest that we have seen the impact of this programme as evidenced by various participants.
The EXCO is the top leadership team that ensures the business works together to support staff and grow the business in the company.
From the list of the past and current participants of the programme, it seems to focus on the CEOs, Managing Directors (MD) and senior managers. Why is this so?
This is an intentional drive to improve and increase the quality and quantity of Ugandan leaders; this would ideally cover, MDS, CEOs, EDs, Senior Managers, Commissioners and ministers. Over the years, the focus has been mostly on this breed of leaders. I must say, however, that the programme advocate for what Robin Sharma terms as “The leader without a title.”
As part of the values advanced on the programme, participants are encouraged to exhibit personal and organisational leadership at all times, whether in appointed positions or not.
What are the qualifications required to join the programme?
To participate in this programme, a person must be nominated and seconded by their organisation’s leadership. One should at least be at a senior management rank.
What is the importance of this programme to a company?
Many organisations have invested in their staff to participate in this programme as a great way to raise leaders not only for the company but also the country. The programme grooms Level 5 leaders that possess a unique combination of executive capabilities and are well-equipped to ensure that their organisations are the best at what they do.
To this extent, I am eternally grateful for Housing Finance Bank’s leadership commitment to continuous learning for staff development and growth. More than 70 per cent of our EXCO has undergone this specialised training and HFB, the only remaining fully Ugandan Bank is also 100 per cent run by competent Ugandans for Uganda.
What is the duration of this course and how have you benefited?
This is a one-year programme phased down into four modules that are delivered in a typical apprenticeship manner as opposed to academic discourses.
The first module was delivered by the Strathmore Faculty, and the participants were coached and mentored by the best Tier One CEOs in Kampala including dfcu MD Mathias Katamba, VIVO Energy MD Gilbert Asi, Ex UNOOC CEO Josephine Wapakabulo, Damascus Capital Founder Kim Kamarembe, Ssebalu and Lule Advocates Senior Partner Gertrude Wamala Karugaba, NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba, and NSSF Deputy MD Patrick Ayota among others.
The Second Module, was conducted at Strathmore Business school, Nairobi. Here, the class was exposed to the best of leadership in the city including the MD’s of Equity Bank, Centum Investments, Msingi, Jubilee insurance and radio personalities such as Ms Carol Mutoka. All this was under the tutorage of the finest Strathmore University faculty.
The third Module was conducted at one of the best Universities in Africa, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business. The mode of coaching and mentoring was also different including several experiential and classroom lectures and discussions on values-based leadership in the C-suite, entrepreneurship and innovation in organisations, stepping into your future self through Lego, strategy simulation: Bank, Teleco, Fintech battle for dominance in financial services in East Africa among others.
The Fourth module that precedes graduation and wraps up all the key lessons learned was held at Serena by the Strathmore partnership.
Through this course, each one of us was assigned a personal coach that has walked with us throughout the year with both face-to-face and online coaching sessions.
This experience has enabled me to unpack my inner potential as a resilient, ethical and authentic leader ready to take on the next level. The Programme has further sharpened my analytical, decision-making, risk management, strategic planning, business strategy, marketing, negotiation, communication, innovation and leadership skills among others. I am ready to take the next steps in my leadership journey, with a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that underpin offices of leadership.
I also have a greater appreciation of how to strike the delicate balance between delivering results and staying human.