Why the study trip to Rwanda was the best part of 2015

Written by Esther Muna, a Lapid Leader

When I first heard about the trip to Rwanda, I was super excited. I was finally going to visit Rwanda. The whole idea of travelling and being in a new country made me bubble with joy. For me it was more of a vacation/holiday,and having come in December,it would not have come at a better time. 

IMG-20151217-WA0003As the day drew near,the vision to go to Kigali became harder and harder to realise due to significant financial constraints. We all know without finances then the trip was merely an idea,a dream. However, Esther,woman of faith,did not loose hope. Day after day, she would post encouraging verses and words of wisdom. She always refreshed the vision and mission each time it got dim. I can say if it was not for her prayers and faith this trip would not have happened. Needless to say,we got the finances needed. Amen to God!

Fast forward to the day we were leaving for Rwanda, excitement  and anticipation was the mood of the day. It was a long 30 hour drive, passing through two countries. Finally we got to Rwanda!

The first meeting

Our first meeting a Business Leader in Rwanda, a Kigali Shaper, Ephraim Rwamwenge. Excited and syked up we attended the meeting, all ears, eager to learn. We however were not prepared for what we got. Sitting in that beautiful conference room of Rwa Business Group,came in Ephraim, a modest, handsome and well-kept seemly young man. We all introduced ourselves and the learning began.

He talked about leadership and spiritual wellness. He particularly highlighted Psalms 1:3; that talks about how a tree is planted near the riverbed brings forth its fruit and its leaves don’t wither. His interpretation was out of this world. He explained that we are the tree (Christians/believers) and God is our river. We drink and survive as a result of Him. Our fruits are what we give out as a result of us being rooted in God. Our fruits are what we are called for; we therefore cannot bare fruits if we are not directly linked with God.

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His success, he said, was mainly because he positioned himself in God; he positioned himself near the Riverbed(God). For me that stood out more than the talks about his success story. It made me realize that with God, you can have all the money you want; but being successful is highly dependent on my relationship with God.

Emotional Intelligence vs Intelligence

Our second meeting was at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kigali, with one of the Directors, Samuel Kariuki. This meeting was an eye-opener full of great insights. Samuel talked about a lot of things but he mainly focused on EQ vs IQ.

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Emotional Quotient(EQ) is the relationship a leader has with his colleagues. Intelligent Quotient(IQ) is your personal knowledge on a subject.

He noted that having EQ is more important than IQ. He also explained to us that there is a big difference between being a manager and a leader. A manager,he said, commands; a leader on the other hand, guides.
He emphasized that being leaders in our own space means developing a relationship with our workmates. For a company to reach its maximum potential everyone, including the watchman,must be sharing the CEO’s vision of the company; everyone has to be on the same page for me as a leader to be significant.
He highlighted the importance of understanding the people around us and highlighted that increasingly organisations like PWC are recruiting people with a high EQ.

IMG-20151117-WA0007We also held a meeting with officials of the Rwanda Development Board and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and ICT; among others (we will share more on this in subsequent blogs)

In summary, Rwanda trip has been a blessing to me. I cannot begin to imagine what I would have missed if I had not gone. I want to thank the team we went with for being a blessing and making the trip a success. Every one of us played a significant role in making it possible and fruitful. Last but not least i want to thank God for the great opportunity He gave us, opening doors that seemed impossible, going before us and smoothing the journey. It has been God’s unending love and favor that week in Kigali, and definitely a highlight of 2015!

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