The Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr Alhassan Andani, has called for the need to ensure that leaders go through a very practical way of understanding the ups and downs in life.
This, he said would help the leaders develop better solutions and be in a better position to control resources.
“Leaders must experience and feel the pain of the people and that is why some of the world leaders have had to undergo military training and other forms of training that made them well-grounded.”
Speaking on Springboard, Your Virtual University on Joy FM last Sunday, [December 22, 2019] he said, “most of the leaders these days would try to solve problems they have never really experienced so their solutions at best will be paper-based and theories.”
This month on the Springboard Show has been dubbed, the Leaders’ Digest show which features renowned heads of institutions and people of repute in the Ghanaian society. The aim is to explore the principles and values that undergird their success, the secrets of their distinction and the lessons they have learnt over the years.
Mr Andani who started his corporate journey as a national service person with the then Social Security Bank now SG Ghana, where he cut his cut in banking and from there to Standard Chartered Bank as a Relationship Manager then to Barclays Bank Ghana as Executive Director, Corporate Banking, then to his present position in Stanbic Bank.
“SSB trained me and gave me a fantastic learning experience; StanChart made me work; Barclays put me to lead; while Stanbic put me to build.”
Mr Andani said: “Our leaders must be taken through a reality check of who they are as human beings and take them through the journey to where they have the privilege to try and provide solutions to problems and controlling vast resources.”
Sharing his journey to leadership, Mr Andani, whose journey began at a small village which is six kilometres away from Tamale, said he had seen both the best and worse.
“I have walked the tough roads in Ghana and these are the tough roads that any Ghanaian youth can imagine walking. I was born in a village, I walked naked till l was six to seven years. I went to school without slippers and did anything that a village boy would do.
“I have also journeyed the road of a privilege kid. By the time I was in secondary school, I was living with my elder brother at Cantonments and our house was one of the few houses in Cantonment that had a coloured television and also a video player so I’ve gone through that as well.
“Basically I have gone through every journey,” he stated.
He said experiencing both the best and worst of life had made him more grounded as a leader.
“All the things that I went through growing up was just the nature of the circumstances of my parents but in terms of building leadership, we have to do it in a balanced way. Leaders must be taken through from the early ages, the process of what it really means to be able to move people from difficulties and to be able to provide solutions,” he noted.
Touching people’s lives
Commenting on what makes him happy, Mr Andani said what made him happy was touching people’s lives.
“Touching people’s lives and making a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis is what makes me happy,” he said.
Values in life
Sharing his values in life, he said his biggest value was self-worth.
“I believe that God created me distinct with certain unique qualities and that if l am not around people will feel my absence, I guide that jealously. I believe in myself that I can make a difference.
“The best swimmer is not the best basketball player, the best physician is not the best surgeon, the best DJ is not the best radio presenter. So you need to find your place and you will be celebrated.
“Number two is I try to start from first principles and that is where my faith comes in. If it were me, how would I want it done to me so I try to understand the context in which I find myself,” he noted.
“The ‘nothingness’ of life means that everything by the time you live the world means nothing to you. You will realise that all that you achieved pales into insignificance.
The average middle-class person now probably is living a much better life than the last Roman Emperor.
He said his third value was execution, which was getting things done.
“You don’t need to get everything right. Just get things done. The little successes give you the energy to want to do bigger things.
“Execution is everything. You cannot execute without process because you may a very big strategy, but the processes in achieving it is absolutely important.”