Technology is improving and changing at breakneck speed, affecting how business is run, and at the same time prompting leaders to act fast and think critically, or risk being obsolete. Management guru Peter Drucker affirmed it when he said that this is the era of three C’s — change, complexity, competition.



Jon Foster Pedley– Dean At Henley Business School


As to unpack all that, I (JN) interviewed Jon Foster-Pedley (JF), former airline captain and current dean and director of Henley Business School, Africa, the African operation of Henley Business School UK, a world top 1% business school and part of the University of Reading, UK.

For 15 years prior to joining Henley, he was the faculty member for strategy and creativity, designer and director of the executive MBA and director of executive education at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. Henley Business School has received the highest ranking of any business school operating in South Africa for their customised executive education programmes in the prestigious annual UK Financial Times (FT) Executive Education survey.

Foster has also been a visiting professor in creativity and innovation. In corporate life, he was an executive with British Aerospace and Airbus Industrie. He teaches, speaks, consults and advises numerous companies in Africa and internationally. I loved his acuteness on how leaders should learn to lead despite digital disruptions.

J.N: What is digital disruption?

J.F: Digital disruption is the way how digital technology changes the communication, human interaction and how business is done. It applies also to manufacturing processes; where we get one machine talking to another and them managing each other. It also works in terms of disintermediation, where we don’t need a travel agent anymore. You go on-line and book an air ticket or a taxi through Uber. It changes the nature of a number of industries such as publishing. It changes the way we talk. It changes the value proposition of businesses, enabling work to be done in an automated way.

Now we have what has been called automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) which solves and computes some intricate human problems. One publication by the World Economic Forum (WEF) pointed out that technology is rapidly changing the workplace and the skills needed, which is in a sense making some people less or unemployable.

Technology changes things radically as it allows people to communicate in-depth and immediately compared to how they were able to before. It gets around censorship by the state in view of traditional media, circumvents corruption and helps create mass movements.

J.N: It’s estimated that by the year 2020, over 700 million people will be connected through smartphones in Africa alone. As Africa, are we ready to empower people for the new jobs that will be created digital media?

J.F: Well I think digital media has a lot of effects. On the one hand, you need new higher expertise to use this digital media well, especially around the psychology of it. On the other hand, people get socially detached from each because of technology. So, I think, it is not a matter of whether Africa is ready or not. I don’t think Africa can change this digital disruption tsunami. People now have cellphones, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and many ways of communicating with each other rapidly. The question is whether technology can and is being used for development or not?

When you are talking about the ‘Internet of Things’ such mechanisation and robotics, it’s affecting the processes and the speed of business. Mining, for example, has transformed radically and makes it nonsensical not to use mechanised mining. You can’t stop that. The government may try to stop it, but the trouble is that in behaving in such a way and trying to hold the tide of digital disruption and globalisation, is that before long, the country will slide into uncompetitiveness.

You can’t hold the waters back just by saying I don’t like the inconvenience of power structures changing. Before long, other countries will be better connected, have better access to information and create better business growth processes. And countries that are not using that face the risk of sliding into oblivion and irrelevance. This is because they are not building the skills to be competitive and this will result in a population of people who are under-educated and not geared for the global and changing job market. What also happens is that you will find other people; especially young people who are embracing change will be using digital media in a creatively and disruptive way in business and changing how things are being done. So digital media is something that we should handle cleverly.

Africa is ready for digital disruption. This is because we are already in it. But it will not be at the same rate as we are seeing it in China or the United States. You will see people in Africa using digital media for access to information, the climate, farming, and market prices. Farmers have access to much better information such as how to use fertilisers. So what you are getting is the capacity to use technology to raise people’s living standards, learn new skills and create more but different job opportunities. The trouble is that lot of people the benefits.

J.N: Let’s re-imagine business in Africa; how do we re-define our companies and create competitiveness while at the same time bringing value to customers? What should leaders be doing to catch up with global trends, especially in business? How would you advise African leaders, especially political and business leaders, about digital disruption?

J.F: I would say: “Make reality your friend”. With African leaders, it is a very complicated situation because of the complex levels of different education access, degrees of poverty vis a vis very basic issues such as health, housing insurance. We have to create a society or country that is going to make information a priority. To continue, you must educate people. Something must be done about improving people’s skills around the subject of digital disruption. There are more than just basic skills such as basic labour, basic mining, and basic agriculture. We need to understand the effects of new communication methods, and how digital media can be used. One of the biggest challenges is that people have generalised information. Anyone can have general information, but companies need to understand that this can be destroyed by the disruptive revolution.

However, we should not fear this because; as soon people are fearful they become conservative. The solution is to educate people on how to use digital assets to build a developing country. We have to find ways to organise ourselves, use funding more effectively, waste money less, build assets, and save money by not importing things that can be substituted locally.

J.N: How do schools in Africa, re-align or align their business syllabi to be relevant to the current and future trends?

J.F: If leaders are to think long-term, they need to sow into education. This starts early in schools by giving children access to decent information and simple computers to do information projects. This is because the value of education in disruptive technology facilitates global interaction. You can now connect Italy, US, West Africa, or Europe into one classroom.

You can access information and data that is also cheap. This means that children need to have easier access in using this information. It will allow children to more easily understand marketing, accessing information on international markets, communicate with people, attracting investment, and develop new ideas. This will help young people learn and invent things. What digital technology allows you to do is to be accountable and take responsibility at an early age to develop their own ideas.

The problem is that we are not creating enough information that is relevant to our own countries. This makes it difficult to handle the demands of emerging trends and disruptive change. Digital disruption will result in a more sophisticated and global orientation towards politics and business management. For Africa, we have to find means of connecting with other people, whether it’s in China, the US or Europe, and learn lessons from them. Digital education creates more democratisation in a country and that is really good news because it allows your children and your children’s children to have better opportunities.

There are massive education opportunities available by going to the many online resources now available resulting in more ideas flowing in. The downside is that it can be more challenging to establish because of oligarchy in some countries, which still want to have a monopolistic control over digital resources. Economies that have embraced digital disruption such a Rwanda, are driving a number of initiatives that have increased the amount of available learning information, building employment, and empowering people not politically, but economically.

There are models that we need to look at. If we look at Taiwan and South Korea, these are strong political countries that have managed their economies in an excellent and democratic way. For you to educate people quicker, you the leader needs to be educated. What is needed is a good education system and critical thinking. On balance, digital disruption, like any tool, can be used for good or bad. What you can’t do is to stop this from happening.

J.N: Some people have argued that we need transformative leadership. What’s your take on that as we align it to digital disruption?

J.F: The first thing that is critically important in education is that once some people have learnt something new, it very hard to unlearn it. As soon as we learn something new, we should not allow it to prevent it from letting us see more new realities. Older people can be sceptical of this. But on the other hand, old people are critically important in mentoring and moulding new generations.

J.N: What is the favourite final personal quote that you love?

J.F: Be great for your children and children’s children.




6 Success Lessons From A Parachute

Posted: December 17, 2016 in Uncategorized
  1. The parachute functions well when it’s open: It has been said that your mind is like a parachute, it functions well when it is open. Expose and open your mind through personal development, books and quality mental food. The functions of a parachute become known as soon as it functions. As long as it stays down, its true purpose is not accomplished. It is as good as non-existent and so are you. Get to your field and work then can your destiny be fulfilled.
  2. The parachute seems useless as long there is no work: There are times when our potential is not realised or recognised, but that does not mean we are useless. In side you are hidden or latent abilities that must be unleashed. Don’t give up as yet, but use what you have.
  3. The parachute does not open immediately: At times, the parachute does not open immediately, but, as long as it does not have a fault it will work ultimately. Such is life; at times, we want our success to be instant. We want our business to be fruitful in an instant, but life does not always work like that. At times there might be nothing to show for your success, but as you remain consistent and concentrating on your goals you will begin to soar.
  4. The potential of a parachute is known when it glides: Your true potential is known when you action your dreams. Most people are wishing and wanting, but not working out their dreams. Don’t sit down and expect life to happen to you. Take the risk. Put some action to your dream. Manoeuvre in the market place of your dreams. Go and get your life!
  5. The parachute adapts to the wind; When the parachute is open; it takes the shape of the wind. It adapts so that it functions fully. The winds of change are always blowing and those that don’t want to upgrade, and adapt are soon left behind. Set your sail properly as to benefit from any change.
  6. The parachute looks beautiful when it’s in the air: You will never know the beauty of a parachute as long as it is not in the air. When the parachute is up, people begin to gaze at its splendour. Endeavour to soar and be on top in life.

By Jonah Nyoni- Author,  Leadership Trainer and Success Coach

As the year starts most people have high hopes of a greater year ahead. I have since realized that, this fire slowly gets doused as the year progresses if you don’t do anything to achieve your goals. Nothing will change your results for 2016 if you don’t make a conscious effort to make so. If you continue doing what you were doing in 2015, getting into 2016 will have been just a change of dates as you age. I have gathered thoughts that will help you live a game changer and enjoy your life.



There are better reasons to live with a proper mindset and a renewed outlook. Have proper resolutions about who you are and where you want to be. I have created an acronym out of the word R.E.S.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.S.

R– Reinvent your mindset. Learn from the past, but don’t stay there.
E– Excellence should be your core value so as to build confidence from other people.
S– Set clear and precise goals that affect you intellectually, relationally, spiritually and financially
O– Organize yourself by having a written daily growth programme.
L– Learn through books, seminars, and success experts.
U– Understand that failure is not the end but another chance try more wisely.
T-Try new concepts and be a leader of change.
I-Invest financially into your dream.
O– Observe experts so as to be mentored and get a model
N– Nurture other people from what you have learnt in.
S– Seize every opportunity in faith, prayer and with a focus.

You carry so much potential. Potential can be simply defined as latent ability or unused success. Your brain power is so un-measureable it will even surprise you if stretch is a little bit. It’s time to stop moaning and musing on your grave of your past mistakes because other people are waiting for you to take them to the other side of life.


1. Inspiration For Success- 100 Simple Quotes For Extraordinary (US$5)

2. Success Within Reach– Reconditiong Your Paradigm  (US$10)

Telephone: +236 (0) 772 581 918.



Power of Personal Branding

Posted: October 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


Most people associate branding with companies, but it is a great tool that makes you stand out and shine as an individual. It is about the unique trademark that you stand for as an individual. Proper branding sells you well. Being a brand is how you are perceived or known to people or your audience. A brand is what you build over time until people know what you stand for. This article derives lessons that learnt over time in making myself known as a speaker and a motivational speaker.

  • Think of your brand!
    You cannot be accidently become who you are not. The first thing is to make a conscious decision to build a brand. Create a mind picture of a brand you want to be. Think widely and vividly of what you want to become. Probably, the first step is to change the way you think of yourself, and think yourself as a brand of value. Believe in yourself before anyone does. At first it might be hard for people to believe you, but you must be the first person to have a stronger belief about yourself. Think of what you want to be known for.
  • Pose like it!
    The first time you meet a person they usually judge you by how you look. You might have become who you really want to become, buts it’s good to behave like the person you have created in your mind’s picture. Your looks matter and they attract specific reactions from others. As human being we dress for three major reasons. We dress to impress, express and cover our bodies. Cultures are expressed through a particular dress code. You go for an interview dressed in a certain manner so as to impress the interviewer. Lastly we dress naturally to cover up our bodies from a number of factors. Do not dress sloppy or as a slut. It has been said that you should not dress like a suspect but an expert. Keep a greater and grandeur standard of yourself.
  • Speak like it
    The other way to express ourselves is by vocal means. We either create or crash our reputation using our tongue. Words have energy. As a man thinks so is he. From the fullness of the heart, the mouth utters. Some people speak crap and by so doing the cripple their brand. They have a right skill and a great talent, but they cannot control their months. People never know how dim-witted you are until you speak. People are stuck in their past and in all they did not do right to an extent that they dwell in that and forget to speak of a great future and their brand.
  • Confidence
    Exude an aura of the best personality that you can be. When President Barack Obama came into office, he used confidence. The YES WE CAN catch phrase made people to believe in him. Square your shoulders up and keep moving! Be enthusiastic about what you believe in. As you greet people use a firm hand shake. Smile confidently. A smile is infectious and most people tend to associate well with people who smile. Have you not realized how unpleasant it is to try engaging a tense person?
  • Stay on top of the game!
    Complacency or contentment has led big brands to be forgotten. What makes some companies such as Google and Facebook to be on top of the game? It’s that they are never satisfied with what they have achieved. They believe there is more to life than they have been able to achieve. Mark Zukerberg the founder and President of Facebook has a personal wealth estimated to be $38.6 billion, but as we speak this past Thursday (8 October 2015) he launched a “test of reactions”. If it was someone, they would sit on their laurels, spend their money and forget that there is about brand building. In other teams Zukerberg has not stopped to explore what works and what keeps him competitive in the marketplace.
  • Improve your internet presence
    Social media is a tool that you can use to your advantage. Some people choose to abuse it, but you can use it to enhance your internet presence. As your exercise, just type your name on the Google search engine and see how you fair. Internet is a tool you can use to reach audiences that you might not have a chance to meet in your life time. Past Thursday, I sold my book to someone in Florida because they have known the value I have added to them through the social media. Become a trusted source of invaluable information on-line. Publish consistently and post what is in line with your brand. Use free platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Instragram, Google+, different free blogs and have a personal website.
  • Use the power of direct marketing
    Engage one-on-one with people in your field and potential customers. Increase your networks. This is an old tool which has not lost is strength. Go out of your way, invest in meeting people and meet them in person.

Like a flower or garden your brand needs to be constantly cultivated, watered and pruned to keep it growing and glowing. If you leave your brand to chance it will fade and fall away. Be a brand to reckon with.

By Jonah Nyoni

+263 772 581 918

AS a leader rises up the ladder, he gets susceptible to enticement. There is always an easy access to most things like networks, people and property. Going up the ladder is a process that could take some time.

As one is on the crest, some may try to drop the ladder. Some are those who want to be with you up the ladder. Others want to be identified or attached with you because they know that there are privileges that come with leadership. Today let’s zoom our focus on five things that destroy a leader:

Ignorance Someone once said: “your mind is like a parachute, it functions well when it is open”. In other terms, the mind is also like a muscle; it bulges or grows with exercise. A leader’s mind is the core engine that keeps the whole structure in motion or where most things are generated. To keep the engine functioning, it should be constantly fuelled, cheeked, cleaned, and upgraded. The contrary leads to malfunction.

Oliver Wendell Holmes had a famous saying that I have adopted over years. He once said: “Once a mind has been stretched by a new idea, it never returns to its original state”. It’s easy to flee ignorance; simply ask questions, read books, learn from mentor, attend seminars, listen to DVDs and CDs. All in all, you are a sum total of what you feed your mind with!

Carrot/ Corruption When everyone started they thought no one knew. When they continued to enjoy, they thought they will never be caught. When they were caught they told those that knew that it was just once. You could be asking, Jonah what are you talking about? Give it a guess, it’s a bribe or corruption! A bribe is not as good as it tastes! Strive Masiyiwa in his Facebook articles (6 November 2013), gave us a great motivation applicable even to the leader.

He said: “Corruption will end in Africa, when some of us, say “enough! I don’t care, that I have to walk to work, I am not getting on a taxi that pays a policeman, a bribe at a checkpoint whilst I watch. I am not going to give my cousin a job, in government, because he is my cousin.

“I am not going to take a bribe when I am a judge in a court case. I am not going to pay a customs official. I am not going to pay anyone a cut for a contract, even if it means I am out of business.” And when we do this, one morning we will wake up and find there is no corruption in our society, and there are no corrupt leaders, because if there are corrupt leaders, they come from our societies.”

Infidelity The image of most leaders has been marred by sexual immorality. Leadership always brings with it more money in one’s life. Money has a tendency to amplify who one is and it this case, money comes, especially to males, with women of all shapes, sizes and status. Don’t allow your hormones detect your head because you have easy access. You can do all the good that there is, but if you want that to be forgotten and be remembered only because of wrong motives, be a pimp or prostitute.

Snobbery Wise words say: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before destruction” (Proverbs 16: 18). In life one lesson I have leant is to value anyone despite their financial standing or their level of education. You never know, what becomes of the person that you belittle today. They might be cleaning your office today, but tomorrow they might be your leader.

An American scientist, inventor and educator, George Washington Carver has a fine saying which goes: “How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the week and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these”. With pride you can’t do that!

Wrong company The people that you stick with determine how high you go in life. Some people have negative attitudes, motives and mindsets. As a common idiom says, attitude determines our altitude. We might be skilled in doing a specific task, but our attitude has an underlining factor as to how well we will do the task.

Wrong friends give us a wrong attitude. A demeaning and disparaging crop of people is also a bad. One of my favourite writers, Mark Twain, tells us frankly: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.”

Parting Point: We are as strong as our weakest point. Intelligent, skilled, and intuitive leaders have succumbed to the above baits. They built a strong empire, only to ruin it in a split second. Building is always tiring and time consuming, but to bring that down takes no much time. We have been taught how to drive forward, but little have been we taught how to check blind spots. 

To book Jonah to speak:Tel: +263 772 581 918. email:

Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and motivational speaker.

All rights reserved. Initially published in the Southern eye Newspaper:


Posted: February 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

WITHOUT question, the world that we are leaders in continues to

change significantly and this change is driven mainly by people

who have mastered the power of influence.

What this, therefore, means is that every leader should re-tool,

rethink and restrategise or they face ill-retirement. It’s no longer

business as usual, or about the position that one holds, but the

acumen and intuition they possess.

Warren Bennis said it right in his book called On Becoming a

Leader (1989:168). He succinctly pointed out: “Traditional

leaders are having a hard time explaining what’s going on in the

world, because they are basing their explanation on their

experience with the old paradigm and if you place the same set

of events or facts in a different paradigm, you may not be able

to explain them.”

Continued on……..

Eight qualities of a great leader

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


A great leader has a special aura that follows him. It’s not only people that are following but special attributes. These attributes are subsequently followed by specific results. Below are precise and profound points to learn.

  •  A great leader has people at heart

This is what sets a difference between leadership and management. People are led and equipment or systems are managed. A great leader cares about people he leads. This makes people buy into his vision without being coerced. 

  •  A great leader has growth or progress in mind

A great leader grows other leaders. By so doing results are multiplied. The leader has to grow personally. Where there is no growth there is no life. Personal growth and people growth leads to institutional growth.

  •  A great leader has a great team.

A good leader has personal achievements and a great leader has team achievements. Willy Amos has a great acronym that every leader should stick in their office.  It’s from the word ‘team’.

T– Together

E– Everyone

A– Achieves

M– More

  •  A great leader inspires others

At times a leader does not force people to do a task, but people that are led should feel obligated to produce even in the absence of a leader. A great leader makes his vision clear to others and leads people to buy into his vision.

  •  A great leader praises in public and chides in private.

There is nothing so degrading and demoralizing like being reprimanded in public or in the presence of your colleagues. A hearty genuine public praise is what all people want. It lights my day! It sets my spirit on cloud nine!

  • A great leader sees into the future 

A leader has to have a prophetic insight and begin to work towards that. This makes the leader be on a better stand to adjust priorities and plan for the future. When danger is approaching, it’s the leader who should anticipate that before followers. When a great opportunity is approaching a great leader should create capacity in others and himself to handle it. 

  • A great leader does not stop with current or on past achievements

Past achievements are at times the greatest enemy of future achievements. Most people stop and bask in their previous victories forgetting that the future has more to offer than we have seen. John Maxwell in his book The 21 Indispensible qualities of a leader says, “…If what you did yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today”. 

  • A great leader is measured by people following

A Chinese proverb says, “He who sayeth he’s leading yet hath no one behind him is only taking a walk”. That’s the frank truth that most people, especially managers fail to acknowledge. Take stoke of that and start to lead! 

  • A great leader upholds good character.

Good character is like glue that sticks together all pieces in the puzzle of leadership. Talents and gifts can take a person up the ladder, but its good character that keeps him up at the top.

 Parting Point: A great leader is a person who acknowledges that leadership is not a one day stroke, but a daily process of learning and unlearning. It is also the ability to influence people to work towards a common goal.