Mkapa made the remarks when speaking to the 16 candidates of the CEO Apprenticeship Programme (CAP), an initiative being driven by the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania (CEOrt) and in partnership with Strathmore University Business School (SBS).
CAP is an initiative designed to train talented Tanzanians through mentorship and coaching sessions and prepare them to become future CEOs.
The former Tanzanian leader, who was the president of Tanzania from 1995 to 2005, said the future CEOs must have integrity of purpose and conduct.
He also urged the upcoming CEOs to demonstrate three key leadership aspects in order to strive for excellence in their purpose and goals as leaders.
“My mentor was Mwalimu Nyerere, He selected me from civil service and coached me into politics by making me Editor of the party's newspaper, and then promoted me as a press secretary then ambassador and later foreign minister,” he said.
Former President also shared with the candidates about his leadership journey including the sometimes tough decisions he had to make for himself, his family and the nation at large.
“In leadership, it is imperative to identify the right people to work with and make sure you know them thoroughly. Also learn to acknowledge those who have served in leadership and seek to understand the qualities that have made them stand out.
“Finally, it is necessary to revisit decisions you have made or decisions made by your superiors in order to make corrections or improvements where necessary in order to achieve your goals” he said.
Having recently launched his book; “My Life, My Purpose: A Tanzanian President Remembers”, CEOrt Executive Director Santina Majengo Benson said they invited the former President to be a special guest speaker for the CAP cohort so that they may gain insights as part of his leadership journey and vision for Tanzania’s development.
She added that the CEO Apprenticeship Programme participants learned a lot from the engagement with Former President Mkapa as they continue to develop their leadership skills towards becoming future CEOs and in order to contribute meaningfully to Tanzania’s sustainable social-economic growth.
“As a patron of the African leadership Forum (ALF), which is recognized as Africa’s dedicated space for open and frank discussion about the challenges facing Africa, former President Mkapa continues to contribute to both current and aspiring leaders in the Pan African community,” she said.
She said upon completion of the 12-month programme, participants will have acquired the right blend of skills, thus enhancing their leadership capabilities.
“Throughout the course of the programme, CAP participants have the opportunity to spend an evening each month with a visionary leader as part of the group-based mentorship sessions. The objective is for the CEO to share his or her leadership journey, experience and lessons learned,” she said.
She said that CAP aims to identify CEOs in waiting and through capacity building and knowledge transfer, equip them with the necessary skills to lead.
“With their wealth of knowledge and expertise these upcoming CEOs can make a significant impact towards developing the next generation of Tanzanian leaders,” she said.
One of the programme participants, Mr. Stanley Kafu, Marketing Director - Exim Bank highlights that his key take away from the leadership lessons shared by Rtd. President Mkapa is, “Define your vision, build your environment – get the right team, give credence to your goals, adapt as needed and leave a legacy you can be proud of.