Publisher’s Note: The 2022 Business Monthly East Africa Top 25 Most Influential CEOs Impacting Business Criteria for the selection and ranking

Business Monthly East Africa Top 25 Awards and Recognition, is not about the size of the organization, turn over or profitability. The awards and recognition are more about the leadership traits, corporate governance and ethical business traits and practices.

By Dr Hanningtone Gaya, CEO – The Knowledge Warehouse Kenya

As with any other media recognition and award that expects to remain credible, the Business Monthly East Africa magazine has refined its game. The publication has made the hard decision to use tangible support towards the realization of the UN Global Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) as the foundational framework for the selection criteria for the 2022 BUSINESS MONTHLY EAST AFRICA TOP 25 CEOs MOST IMPACTING BUSINESS. The objective of this decision is to build a critical mass of CEOs who are committed to providing an enabling environment for the tangible achievements of the SDGs.

To be shortlisted, a CEOs has to be seen to be personally displaying actions and activities that have direct impact to at least three or more SDGs in the preceding calendar year, through the different media platforms.

To qualify, a CEO should clearly position her/himself to the various stakeholders, including the citizenry, that she/he is the main driving force in their organizations, both in the conception and implementation of the projects, products, services or programmes even as they pursue growth through alignment with purpose and pursuit of profitability, which is obviously their main role.

Specifically, existence of good corporate governance and ethical business policies and practices should be indicative through practice, representation and communication, with clear multiplicity of beneficiaries among all the stakeholders, including minority groups and classes. In this regard, empathy and visible support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is critical, as this sector provides over 85% of employment and hence a major pillar in the achievement of the UN Global SDGs.

Of note is a criterion of the CEO as the driver of collaborations between the organisations key stakeholders by using his or her executive core competencies to ensure a seamless relationship and positive energy exists among all the stakeholders. In this context, the recognitions aim at encouraging the CEOs to view themselves as leaders of organizations, which is not only a privilege and also a service to the numerous stakeholders, who all look towards them, for intervention and guidance.

This is the contribution of this publication to the CEOs who view their positions of authority as having been personally earned and therefore, is their right and not subject to being questioned.

The objective here is to help stem the high practice of a certain level of feeling of superiority, arrogance and a sense of entitlement exhibited by a majority of CEOs in corporate or institutional leadership roles. Indeed, this position is well articulated by the institution of Leadership First, which dedicates itself to helping every leader create an excellent organization and to provide a daily cup of inspiration for all leaders. Of note, is the book titled, ‘The Inspirational Leader’ by Gifford Thomas.

According to Leadership First, ‘This book is a must-have and a must-read for any leader or one thinking of what it is to be a leader.’

An objective that is also an important criterion, is new faces to ensure freshness and top ten ranking for those who have show extra-ordinary and transformational leadership that promises hope for the customers and the larger community in general. Business Monthly East Africa Top 25 Awards and Recognition, is not about the size of the organization, turn over or profitability. The awards and recognition are more about the leadership traits, corporate governance and ethical business traits and practices.

Lastly, though not the list, is whether the CEO makes a deliberate effort to inform, educative and hence influence his or her industry and or sector, and the wider community the business operates in, at large, beyond the usual provision of leadership in their own organization, which CEOs are contracted to do. An influential CEO should be seen to promote businesses beyond their immediate horizon. Sectoral and industry leadership and participation and presentation in public discourses to influence policy is a major plus. Sustainability in these efforts, is of course, key.

‘CEOs are leaders. And leaders are placed in a position to provide service by leading. Leaders are accountable for the success and livelihoods of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people. The decisions they make on a daily basis impact a large and diverse community,’ as quoted from Leadership First.

Enjoy the read, agree or disagree and look forward to the 2022 Business Monthly EA Top 25 Chairs of Board, in the next issue. The process is a perception, hence, subjective.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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