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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

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Making the transition to a management role is second only to divorce when it comes to traumatic life events.  This was a key finding from research conducted by the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development of 600 managers. Almost two-thirds (59%) of the 600 managers surveyed for CIPD Research Insight, Investigating Leadership Transitions, rated a career transition as “extremely” or “very” challenging. A sudden rise in responsibility at work therefore came ahead of bereavement (55%), becoming a parent (53%) and moving house (34%), with divorce or separation topping the poll at 71%.

So what can companies do to ensure that their employees are embracing the prospect of promotion into leadership rather than dreading it?  As with any new skill, the art of managing people calls for some guidance and training.  Placing people in a leadership role without the necessary tools and support is like asking someone to take over the controls of an aeroplane simply be cause they have been sitting beside the pilot for a few hours.

Supporting Leadership Transition

Being a leader calls for a different way of thinking and is made doubly difficult if the employee feels isolated or is afraid to ask for help in case it is perceived as weakness. For, as the research also showed, nearly half (45%) of managers would rather go outside the company for help, and seek out an external coach or mentor if they needed support. Less than a third would be inclined to go to their boss for support and, rather worryingly for that function, only 2% would seek out Human Resources.

Placing people in a leadership role without the necessary tools and support is like asking someone to take over the controls of an aeroplane simply because they have been sitting beside the pilot for a few hours.

If companies want to drive performance, they must look critically at the support systems in place for new managers and leaders. These could include external training as well as coaching and internal mentoring schemes that encourage a culture where people feel able to share their concerns and difficulties as they transition into management. Persuading your employees to strive for leadership will only work if those that make it are set up to succeed rather than to fail.

In this Issue

In this month’s issue of ReConnect Africa we turn out attention to sport or, more specifically, the World Cup to be held in South Africa in 2010. As South Africa battles both the demands of staging such a huge sporting event and negative perceptions, we report on how Dr. Danny Jordaan and his 2012 Committee are working to ensure the best World Cup ever. As Wharton Business School prepares to hold its 15th Africa Business Forum, we speak to its Chairman on how this event will promote a better understanding of investment and trade opportunities within Africa. Staying with the Diaspora, we report on the recent conference held in London aimed at channeling the support of Ghanaians overseas into Ghana’s development. Vincent Owen offers some advice for managers tasked with interviewing job candidates and our resident career coach, Helen Dupigny, tackles the question of careers in Human Resources Management. This month’s ‘5 Minute Interview’ guest is the man once described in the Financial Times as a ‘leading revolutionary’. Business transformation guru, Professor Eddie Obeng, shares his thoughts and lessons on life and business.

As ever, we bring you a round up of business around the continent and news stories from Africa and around the world. November is packed with events and we have highlighted a number of these dates for your diary.


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