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The Role Leaders have to play during a crisis - Family Bank Limited, Kenya

The world over has experienced disruptions for both individual and organizational levels. Businesses and companies have been forced rethink their future plans and leaders have been called to action to steer their companies towards overcoming the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a webinar organized by The Street University on Leadership through Crisis, moderated by Wale Akinyemi, three female CEO came together to discuss the role that leaders have to play during a crisis.

Speaking during the webinar Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi said that it is important for leaders to know how to position their businesses during this period and embrace a mind shift change.

“As a leader, it is your responsibility to properly lead your clients and your staff. This may call for businesses and companies to completely rethink their plans or change the plan entirely,” said Rebecca Mbithi.

“As a Bank, we have had to accelerate our digital agenda to meet the needs of our clients and this has opened up an opportunity to draw-in more people into the digital space,” she concluded.

In addition, Rebecca urged other leaders to be on the lookout for trends in consumer behavior change because consumer needs and decisions will open up opportunities for businesses to seize.

CEO of Amayi Foods in Nigeria, Kudzayi Hove stressed on the need to prioritize communication as a leader expressing that communication is key especially as businesses cut costs through pay cuts.

“It is highly important to be transparent and open with your staff and clients. This also creates an environment for feedback which is essential for the growth of any company,” said Kudzayi Hove.

While addressing the topic on women leadership, moderator Dr. Wale Akinyemi pointed out that in the public domain; nations led by women seem to have handled the pandemic better.

Director-General of Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) Mercy Wanjau expressed that as much as women leaders have the responsibility to mentor fellow women; men also have a part to play in advocating for women to hold leadership positions.

“It is the nature of women to have a more holistic view of things which goes beyond financial output. This pandemic has yet again proven that women are also good leaders despite the number of women leaders in the country and the continent being significantly lower than men.” said Mercy Wanjau.