September: WIN participants engage in leadership training led by regional media
Respect for deadlines, being
an 'active' listener, and learning how to make decisions are key qualities of a
good leader, said Paula Fray, expert trainer and Regional Director of IPS
Africa, in her opening of a four-hour training session on leadership developed
exclusively for participants of the WAN-IFRA Women in News (WIN) programme.
"All of this links up to the
culture of the organisation. If you manage your own time well and respect the
time of others, this sets the pace and culture of the organisation."
18 media managers from
business and editorial departments of newspapers in Botswana, Namibia and
Zambia took part in the workshop, part of a three-day conference that included
one-on-one coaching, multiple skills development sessions, roundtable
discussions and networking activities.
Fray went on to give examples
of how these qualities translate into every-day management practices:
Respect for deadlines -
project leader does not respect deadlines, no-one on the team respects them
either, causing backlog to build. A good leader keeps projects on track. A good
manager helps keep people accountable.
Active listening - even if you are able to give just 15 minutes of
your time to a team member, make the most of it and be an active listener. Bill
Clinton has been recognised as a very active listener - when he meets with someone,
they are the only person in the room. That is powerful leadership.
Time management - respect your own time as well as that of others.
Bad time management sends out mixed messages on priorities.
Building on the importance of
Time Management Fray reminded the WIN women of the old adage that "time is
money", and encouraged the women to do the math and realize just how
valuable their own time is.
Whenever someone wastes 30
minutes of your time, it is money wasted. Fray suggested that the women divide their
annual income by the hour to determine how much their time is 'worth'. When put
in those terms, you realize how important your time is. Don't let people waste
your own time, and do not waste the time of others.
"If you are feeling
unproductive and not achieving all you want to do in a day, keep a diary -
whether for one day or one week, and you'll see just where and how you use your
time. It is informative," suggests Fray.
Relating to time management
Fray candidly discussed the concept of "African time", asking the
women to consider. What is the concept of African time? Is it valid? Fray and
WIN participants agreed that the concept is outdated, citing the examples set
by the President of Botswana when he began shutting media out of his press conferences
if they were late. The doors would shut after the appointed hour, and no-one
was allowed in. This sent out a clear message and ultimately changed the
behaviour of the state media, who were chronically late for press briefings
until they realized they were going to miss the event altogether unless they
showed up on time.
Other concepts that Fray
introduced in her workshop with WIN participants last week were that of issue
identification and resolution; and setting guidelines in order to hold a
The final session of the three-part management training programme led by Paul Fray will take place in
Johannesburg on 12 December 2010.