"If anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way."
A few years ago I was in the middle of an interview with the global news network CNN, when the interviewer suddenly turned her attention to my faith. She was intrigued by what she had heard about me and she asked if it was true that I sometimes spend several hours a day reading the bible. She then went on to ask me if there were any examples I could give on how the bible helps me in my day-to-day business. My heart just leapt with joy because the bible encourages us to talk about our faith, and always use any opportunity to show others what is the basis of our hope:
1 Peter 3:15 (The Living Bible)
If anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way.
I gave her the example of the discussion between Moses and his father-in-law, a man called Jethro, about how to lead people. This conversation took place over 3000 years ago and yet it is amazingly fresh in its counsel. What Jethro taught Moses is the very foundation of organisational leadership. For anyone who has ever led an organisation it is quite astonishing:
Jethro explained to Moses, that it was important to learn to delegate authority and responsibility;
He must focus on giving clear direction, and setting the values;
He told him how to select the right type of leaders; they must be competent, incorruptible, above reproach
The people he chooses should themselves, be able to delegate responsibility to others;
After he has delegated he must allow his people to get on with it, and just focus on the key strategic issues.
Ever since I came across this passage of scripture, which is recorded in the book of Exodus chapter 18, I have never come across a single management book that captures these issues with such great clarity. I could have used so many other examples. I could have talked about what the bible says about how to invest your money, how to manage people, how to enter new markets, how to handle promotion and succession, competition and competitors; about strategy and tactics; I could go on and on…. It’s all there, if you would dare to look.
If you want to see the interview, you can go to the link below (please remember that when you open any video link, it consumes more data, and will always cost you more); alternatively, you can read, the transcript of that interview, via the link below. Enjoy!
Watch CNN Marketplace Africa interview with Strive Masiyiwa:
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa