The burden of unemployment rests disproportionately on the shoulders of the youth. Due to demographic shifts that have created a massive youth bulge, today one-third of the country’s population is between 18 and 34 years old – far more young people than there are jobs to support them, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The situation grows worse every year: According to the World Bank’s Kenya Economic Update, while 800,000 youth reach working age annually, only 50,000 new formal modern-wage jobs are created. It’s because of this imbalance that 80 percent of the country’s 2.3 million unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 34.
Faced with this grim scenario, Kenya’s youth are flooding into the informal sector, which, in 2011, created six times as many new jobs as the formal sector did. Those with enough capital and technical know-how go about founding start-ups. Whether starting an informal business or start up, various skills are important in determining the survival of the business.
When it comes to achieving business success, most people think it is mostly because of the strategy that the business comes up with. Strategy is one part of a whole range of reasons but not the only reason for success. There are a lot of things that amount to the success of an organization, and leadership without a doubt is one of the main reasons for this success.
Some businesses succeed despite their leaders, but as a general rule, it’s the leader that determines the direction of the strategy, provides the inspiration and shapes the culture that will keep the talent motivated and productive. The leader employs the tactics and decisions that form, to a large extent, how the competitive advantage will play out.
The following ways can leverage your leadership to impact your business positively:
- Developing talent
* Effective leadership is about mentoring, coaching, and teaching your team. The more you can work toward developing the talent you already have, the more likely they are to increase their productivity. It also helps them stay loyal and committed. It will help them feel inspired to offer ideas that can further help the business gain a competitive advantage. Personally I’ve found it helps you reach your strategic targets faster.
* Your interest in developing the gifts of the talent already on your team illustrates that you are acknowledging they have a tremendous role in business results. It also shows them that you value them as individuals.
* In return, they will want to do more for you and the business. They’ve been made to feel more like an integral part of the organization.
- Creating greater efficiencies
* Your ability as a leader to see where improvements can be made is crucial. You should clearly communicate what can change to further efficiency gains. This includes providing the resources necessary to make those improvements.
* First, in being able to show how efficiency is needed illustrates to your team that you are interested in continuously improving the business and that you are willing to put the company resources into building greatness. This makes their job easier and alleviates some of the time-consuming tasks or duplication of efforts. Your team can focus more on your customers or other aspects that drive revenue for the business.
- Pushing innovation through organization
* This can help the business do things differently to press forward and succeed in a big way. Moving your innovation through can also be a means for developing the disruptive solutions that can set the business apart from the competition.