Dr Patricia Murugami
FOUNDER & CEO BREAKTHROUGH LEADERSHIP TRANSFORMATION
“The future is not female. I am working towards making the future more human and humane, where each person can become their next best self” said Dr Patricia Murugami controversially in a recent media interview in a calm and composed manner.
Little did she know, as she walked out of the gates of University of Nairobi, Lower Kabete campus to graduate over two decades ago, that her career trajectory would turn out as it has.
Patricia began her career with an unlikely combination of skills – marketing and auditing, as an auditor at KPMG Peat Marwick. She later joined Deloitte Management Consultants, East Africa as a strategy and business process consultant.
Soon after, she was headhunted to join Bamburi Cement as a regional business controller and continuity management champion. During her time at Bamburi, she got married and together with her husband Murugami, they are bringing up their children while mentoring many young people. She is a Roman Catholic and professes the faith to keep her grounded.
She then took another big gamble to disrupt her career and follow her purpose of creating many managers with significance when she joined Strathmore Business School (SBS) as Director of Executive Education. She was responsible for innovation and business development which entailed designing executive education content in the area of leadership, management, entrepreneurship and board governance. She was then promoted to Vice-Dean Executive Talent Development where she spearheaded the engagement of practitioners in industry to become adjunct faculty and guest speakers as well as building global strategic alliances with schools such as Cranfield School of Management and Lagos Business School.
As she continued to work, she pursued her MBA having completed her CPA-K earlier. During her time at SBS, she was the founding academic director for the Women in Leadership Learning Series program (WILLS) and the entire Strathmore Women in Leadership docket. This docket grew to offer regional programs across East Africa impacting over thousands of leaders.
She then pursued her Doctorate at International School of Management, Paris where she gained a global learning experience from multiple locations focusing on transformational leadership and governance. Soon after she also certified as an executive coach and is a much sought-after conference speaker across the local, regional and global spheres.
Earlier on in her career, she got to a point where she needed a breakthrough as she had found it difficult to find her purpose. In the midst of starting her entrepreneurship venture, she discovered she was not alone in trying to find purpose and this would lead to the registration of Breakthrough Leadership Transformation (BLT) as a limited liability company. It is said that you become more courageous by taking bold decisions.
In 2019, she took a much bigger leap of faith and left SBS to run Breakthrough Leadership Transformation (BLT) full-time. She firmly believed that it was time for her to create and catalyze more leaders locally and globally. As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BLT Group, while leading a youthful and progressive team, she has influenced and reshaped leadership across over 15 countries in Africa with the innovative corporate breakthrough leadership and mentorship circles.
Patricia also launched a range of open learning solutions which include the Breakthrough Mastery Circle (BMC) for women who lead intentionally and with purposeful impact and the newly launched Breakthrough Board Readiness and Excellence Circle (BBREC) to enable leaders become board-ready and serve with excellence at board level.
Dr Murugami also raises the leadership impact of her clients through intensive coaching programs for high performance and inner transformation. As inclusive leadership is a critical cause for her, she has enabled many women and other minorities in Africa to serve as executive and board directors. Her work has reached over 70,500 people and counting.
In the year 2020, being a tough and unprecedented year, she overcame the odds, disrupted herself, gained more entrepreneurial and crisis management skills as she launched three new Breakthrough Leadership products:
• The first is her weekly leadership podcast Your Next Best Self with Dr. Patricia Murugami which has a global reach and is influencing leaders across many spheres.
• She then launched her first book: Rise. The four-way manifesto for life and legacy, in December 2020 as her part of the purposeful work to lift many people to become their next best selves. The four-way manifesto focusses on raising your heart, head and hand for a higher purpose.
• Lastly, in response to a call from clients, she launched the Breakthrough African Women in Intentional Impactful Leaders Global Network – BAWiIIL whose aim is to create a community of women leaders who aim to make a sustainable multi-generational difference through their leadership work in executive and non-executive roles. These members believe in the rise as you lift mission.
Dr Murugami has a deep purpose and calling to catalyze the growth of people, teams and boards by enabling them to rise and elevate and become their next best selves. In order to do this, she has served on various boards across the education, manufacturing, ICT, social enterprise and advisory sectors. She is an advisor to boards on board excellence, legacy and future ready boards. In addition, she is a corporate leadership strategy catalyst who endeavors to use her coaching and facilitation skills to enable her clients connect their personal strategy to the organizational strategy and become more driven and effective.
In terms of her public work, over the last three years, she has hosted the annual global conference called: Your Next Best Self Conference. More recently, as part of her mentorship agenda, she began a 28-day challenge on social media for leaders to have a positive mind shift before IWD 2021. She has gone further to begin a telegram channel for Woman of Substance which gained over 1,000 members in the first week. This is because she knows learning should never end and we each can mentor and be mentored to grow and go further.
Looking back, she now sees the value of having multiple and varied management skills and encourages her mentees and reverse mentors to develop a broad and deep set of skills. When developing leaders, she urges them to be fully present and focus on becoming future ready despite the perpetual change that is affecting all of us.
Her leadership work has been honoured with various awards such as Top 40 under 40 in 2010, Jacob’s Well Most Impactful 12 Women in the region in 2015 and the National Diversity and Inclusion Business Executive Champion Award in 2019.
Her dream and aspirations are to do her part to enable many others re-create a more human & humane world where each leader’s potential is harnessed for the common, higher good. This will enable brands to have a lasting impact and people to thrive due to a clear connection between their personal purpose and business purpose. The impact of her work continues to be seen as she tirelessly innovates to serve the people of Africa and beyond. One of her quotes that she lives by is:
“Let us all plant trees under whose shade we may never sit. Let us continue growing and lifting others as we rise.”