#JobsMatter (Part 2)

__Allow people to do their jobs!

Over the years I have talked a lot about the importance of #People in building your business. Now let me tell you something which should be obvious: Allow them to do their jobs! This can be very hard because most entrepreneurs are “control freaks.”

They want to do everything themselves and find it difficult to let go. If you cannot go away for several weeks and leave someone in charge who is not related to you, then you don’t know how to allow others to do their job!

It all begins with trust. You have to trust the skills of the people, and you have to trust the processes. It is maintained in respect.

My friend came by once and asked me to give his son a job. “I don’t know how to do it,” I replied.

“But it’s your company, you just need to issue an instruction.”

“Out of respect for the people I put in charge, I can never issue such an instruction,” I replied.

These things are so difficult to understand for ordinary people who do not appreciate how high performance businesses operate. If I appoint someone CEO, he really is the CEO. I cannot issue him or her instructions like a schoolboy.

Remember my teaching on the Volunteer Prince? Go back and review.

When you let people do their job, trust them and give them respect, you will have mastered how businesses grow big.

To be continued. . .

by 30 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

30 thoughts on “#JobsMatter (Part 2)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    In Africa most of our business are still quite small and so most of us always see the “owner” as an individual. Large companies are rarely owned by individuals. Bill Gates has never owned Microsoft. If you still see your business as something you own, then it is still small; nevertheless, start thinking of the day when you will own it with others.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    I have never thought of Econet as “my” company. For a start, I have other shareholders and also I have stakeholders. Besides, it has a life which is separate from me and my family.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mukava writes,

    Doc Masiwa you promised us 3 weeks that you are going to add channels like Fox , E! & NatGeo world but you did not fulfil your promise

    My reply,
    You are right!
    Our team promised me too!
    Anyway they tell me all 5 x channels (four fox channels) and E! being tested before going live commercially.

    I guess I have to “let the guys do their job”.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    A few weeks ago I met a guy who told me that since he joined Amazon, six months earlier, over 50,000 people had joined his part of the group!
    This is only possible because such organizations are masters of #Process.
    The best Kwese Inc show for understanding #Process as an entrepreneur is The Profit.
    Let me know if you have seen it on Kwese Inc.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    When I first started to expand our businesses, I did not really understand the importance of building proper processes, and we lost a lot of money through dishonest staff. I knew, however, that we would not grow if I did not become a master of #Process. Gradually I learnt how to build proper systems and processes, and it allowed me to give people full freedom to run every aspect of the business.
    We have businesses today run by people I have never met. We have businesses in countries I have never been to. The men and women who run these businesses are professionals, just like you will find in any global company. They have power to hire, fire people, and sell goods, and even set up subsidiary companies. They are responsible for Profit and Loss (P&L).
    All this they can do with minimal consultation with me.
    This also gives me time to express myself on the field of play like a Paul Pogba or Mezut Ozil. We are members of the team together, even though I prefer to be the coach!

    Remember to watch The Profit on Kwese Know.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Jude writes,

    Sir, how do I get to watch Shark tank on my phone.

    My reply,
    You need to have a Kwese decoder first, this will allow you to have access to all the programming on the Kwese TV Everywhere App. This has all the Kwese Channels on your mobile phone. Talk to your dealer for assistance.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    When I left Zimbabwe in 2000, nearly 18 years ago, our mobile network had 60,000 customers. Today it has over 11m.
    The CEO, Douglas Mboweni has total authority for P&L. This means he has freedom to hire people, set prices for services, develop and launch services.
    Sometimes he and I can go for several weeks without actually talking on the phone. He does not even report to me.
    I’m proud of what he and his team have achieved in building their business, just like I’m proud of people in our other businesses.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    “Chairman, I would like to drop bye and introduce you to one of our senior executives that I recently hired, just in case you bump into her in the corridor.”
    This is how Joe Hundah, CEO of Econet Media, which controls Kwese TV, usually introduces people he has hired for senior positions.
    It’s his job to find the right people for his business. He has some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Maya writes,

    Interesting Strive, but don’t you think the person running your business has to report to you on a regular basis so as to keep you posted on what is happening on the ground.

    My reply,
    The key to effective management is putting in place #Process. This includes written [professional] reports which each person must file. There is also information which we require on a daily and weekly basis from the business.
    Even when your business is small you can still have Processes that allow you to know exactly what is going on in your business. It starts with simple things like stock taking, daily cash reports etc.
    If you go back to some of my earliest Posts, you will see that I spent a lot of time talking about #Financial Literacy. If you don’t know how to read financial reports you can spend all day with a guy who is stealing from you, and you will never know!

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    It does not matter when you joined this platform. However for the things I say to benefit you and your entrepreneurial venture (even Not For Profit (social) ventures):
    You must take time to go back to the very beginning, and read through EVERYTHING, that I have said.
    Study everything carefully with the “intention to do”:
    The moment you spot something you can do, do it!
    This platform is not a place to “follow” my activities as you would a celebrity. It is a living reference point for you as an entrepreneur.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    This picture of these young girls playing chess is the most provocative and exciting picture I have seen for a long time!
    Chess is more than a game; it is a way of thinking!
    Sometimes I laugh at things people do by saying:
    “We are playing chess against someone trained only in playing Checkers!”

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Prince writes,

    Sir I really thank God for sending someone like u to our generation. But I av been following you for fee yes now, you have talk about several business but not sch business. Sir what do u av for some of us young people that are into school business. I mean I own sch, a nursery, primary & secondary school. What ur advice for us, how do we move forward the point we are to the next level, having it in mind that we don’t have anyone to assist. Like in my own case, I started a school because I have passion for teaching five years ago, in an uncomplicated building with about 10 students but today we have grow to over 100 and 16 staff and we av gotten approval for our junior sch from the government. But @ this point, with a lot of vision to go beyond the ordinary usual sch, what do u have for us sir?

    My reply,
    This is a beautiful message!
    Focus on three things:
    #People: make sure your teachers, and teaching assistants are well trained. Keep training them and equipping them.
    #Product: you a unique product, which is also a sacred trust:
    Make sure you don’t just see this as a money making venture, but a way to build your country.
    Try and make what you do unique. Introduce new ideas, and keep things clean and attractive.
    Involve the parents fully in the education of their children.
    #Process: make it your business to understand the business of education. This is a huge industry and you can learn a lot from the top private schools.
    Keep proper records, particularly on financial matters. Use computers on the administration process.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Breaking News on Zimbabwe:

    Psalms 126
    “It seemed like a dream
    when the Lord brought us back
    to the city of Zion.
    We celebrated with laughter
    and joyful songs.
    In foreign nations it was said,
    “The Lord has worked miracles
    for his people.”
    And so we celebrated
    because the Lord had indeed
    worked miracles for us.
    Our Lord, we ask you to bless
    our people again,
    and let us be like streams
    in the Southern Desert.
    We cried as we went out
    to plant our seeds.
    Now let us celebrate
    as we bring in the crops.
    We cried on the way
    to plant our seeds,
    but we will celebrate and shout
    as we bring in the crops.”

    #I hope to be able to visit Zimbabwe soon, and perhaps do a Town Hall meeting with its young entrepreneurs.

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    I would like to extend my congratulations to His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa on his appointment as the President of Zimbabwe in terms of the constitution of the country.
    I will continue to uphold the country and it’s great people in my prayers, even as I have always done.
    May the Lord grant him wisdom.
    #God bless Zimbabwe.

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ownership control and growth:
    Reading many of your comments this week, I have decided to do a series on the issue of “ownership control and financing growth of a business”.
    It’s time for you to get some equity investors, and it’s going to be tough…but necessary!!!
    Hold on to your seat as I share some amazing experiences from my own journey.

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Jephthah writes,

    Are you thinking of relocating back to Zimbabwe sir?

    My reply,
    Sadly no:
    I left Zimbabwe nearly 18 years ago, a life time for a lot of young adults. During that time I built an independent and separate group from the one I originally set up in Zimbabwe.

    The businesses outside Zimbabwe are many more, and need my attention. They also have shareholders and partners who have poured billions of dollars into them, and expect me to meet my contractual obligations to them and the thousands of people that work in them all around the world.

    It is not possible at this time to run these businesses from Zimbabwe, even if I wanted to. Our Zimbabwe business is mature and does not need me.
    This is something an experienced and mature entrepreneur will understand immediately.

    I shall continue to support Zimbabwe, and invest there, as I have always done.
    During the most difficult time for the country I invested more money there than anyone in the country’s history. That will continue as long as its welcome.

  17. Nikingboung Enoch D.

    Woow! Thanks very much sir for the blog outside of Facebook for those of us who do not enjoy the social media. I’m also glad that I can receive updates via email. More Grace!!

    • Desmond

      Good day to you. I would like to get the same updates on my email without using the facebook platform to view the updates. can you kindly tell me how to do so please

  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Prosper writes,

    Thank you sir for what you have done for our country.How do you tuckle having multiple business ideas and no capital.having passion to create businesses that help your nation but not knowing which should come first.l have always had better ideas sometimes when l communicate with friends but as much as l have the ideas were to start or which idea to implement first had always been a problem.how do you handle that

    My reply,
    Having lots and lots of business ideas is normal for any entrepreneur. It just shows that you are entrepreneurial. However starting a business requires you to have the disciple to choose just one thing, and focus all your energy on that one thing until you have mastered it, and grown it.
    If you focus on just one thing that you are able to actually do, then it will also be easier to raise financing for it eventually, even if it takes time, as you learn the skills of raising money.

  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joshua writes,

    My encounter with this platform has total transformed and renewed my mind, most especially my perceptive about business. I have come to know that for one to really grow u must seek to learn from people who has grown in that area of ur desire, knowing that money will come as soon as u balance the equation of knowledge. Yes it is the high degree of knowledge and research that makes the tons of money not merely the desire to just make money. #my business is growing insanely, I have the magic code now. God bless Dr. Strive.

    My reply,
    You made my day!
    Thank you for sharing.
    It invigorates me to do more for you, and all the others on this platform.

  20. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Yaw writes,

    Wow, total trust for the one in charge. Glad to know about this.

    My reply,
    Trust based on the other person’s competence and integrity rather than their loyalty to you, is the most profitable form of trust.

    If I want loyalty I look for relatives, but if I want to run a successful venture, I look for the most competent person with integrity that I can find.

    Never put your need for loyalty ahead of your need for competence and integrity.

    I have never hired anyone or promoted anyone on the basis of their loyalty towards me. If ever you see a relative of mine in a position [very rare],it
    is because I consider them as being highly competent, and have demonstrated integrity.

  21. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mariam writes,

    Hmmmm!.This is deep. Meaning we really have to overlook so many things in order to give room for growth.

    My reply,
    It is not so much an issue of “overlooking so many things”, but rather a matter of changing the way we look at things.

  22. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Petronilla Ndanu writes,

    I left my cousin to manage my business while I was in maternity leave, she reduced my business to almost zero,I thought she could gain skills but all she was after most was to steal from me

    My reply,
    Sister you made some big mistakes, and it had nothing to do with the fact that you hired a cousin!
    In your own words:
    “I thought she could gain skills”!
    So you put someone over your business who had “no skills”!
    Look at my comment on “so called loyalty”. You put your need for “loyalty” over your need for “competence and integrity” and you paid the price!

    Unless you focus your attention on understanding #Process in a business you will make the same mistake over and over again.
    I suggest that you get together with some friends and watch episodes of The Profit on Kwese Inc and Kwese Know.
    This is not a show you watch for entertainment!
    Watch how other entrepreneurs just like you face this type of problem, and how it is actually fixed.
    There is nothing wrong with employing relatives, there are global businesses that are run by relatives, but you have to understand the principles around #People, and #Process.

    I ran businesses with people I have never even met, and they don’t steal from me. This should show you that it is possible, and is being done all over the world.
    So don’t feel sorry for yourself, learn from your mistakes, and build a bigger more successful business.

  23. Lame Kelelwetse Monnawathebe

    Hello Mr Masiyiwa

    I do not know where i can communicate these to you, you are a mobile network and a kwese TV owner, have you thought of combining these twon together. I want to subscribe for watching just that 1 important game i can not afford to miss on my mobile, and slot my simcard on that decoder and watch what i want to watch, you do know that we like sports but most Africans cant pay for monthly subscribtion. Who knows maybe it will give you an urge in the pay tv industry.

    • Lame Kelelwetse Monnawathebe

      Hello Mr Masiyiwa

      I do not know where i can communicate these to you, you are a mobile network and a kwese TV owner. Have you thought of combining these 2 together. I want to subscribe on my mobile for watching just that 1 important game i can not afford to miss , and slot my simcard on that decoder and watch what i want to watch, you do know that we like sports but most Africans cant pay for monthly subscribtion. Who knows maybe it will give you an urge in the pay tv industry.

  24. Tochukwu Ibe

    HELLO Masiyiwa
    You are transforming Africa and making it a better.. Your entrepreneurship teaching has really changed so many youths in Africa including me….


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