Bancy Kubutha never expected her curiosity and determination to turn into a passion for leadership. But in just seven years, the 28-year-old from Nakuru, Kenya, has become a committed advocate for growing leadership in her hometown and throughout the region.
At the age of 21, Bancy agreed to lead a church youth group while she pursued her university degree. “I was not prepared for the role,” she recalls. “I had no exposure to any leadership concepts and had no understanding of what being a leader meant.”
She sought information and advice about how to lead others — not through a course or library or mentor, but on the Internet. When she found CCL’s Leading Effectively newsletter, the information in it captivated her. “The articles were a great resource. Although some of the concepts were extremely complex to me at the time, they were useful and provided insight to real situations.”
Later, as a program administrator for ERMIS Africa, a regional non-governmental organization (NGO), Bancy was inspired to help more Kenyans access leadership resources. A simple e-mail request to CCL — “Could you help me set up a leadership library in Kenya?” — resulted in a donation of books and resources to ERMIS. And, unexpectedly, an ongoing connection to CCL.
At the time, CCL was exploring avenues for reaching underserved populations through what is now its Leadership Beyond Boundaries initiative. Bancy’s enthusiasm opened the door to collaboration with ERMIS, with a half-day leadership workshop for NGOs in Nakuru. In 2007, ERMIS, CCL and Leap Africa jointly delivered a three-day leadership program for leaders working in business, education, government and other organizations.
By 2008, CCL had identified a strategy of putting its Leadership Essentials tools in the hands of local leaders so that they, in turn, could teach others. Bancy participated in one of CCL’s first Training-of-Trainers programs ? a two-week, in-depth workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “This comprehensive training opened me up to a whole new world, stretched my vision and mind,” she explains. “It was an opportunity that challenged me, built my confidence and ignited my passion for leadership development.”
Since then, Bancy and her colleagues have designed and delivered leadership workshops to more than 200 university students, high school prefects and university lecturers. “The support I have received from CCL has been overwhelming,” says Bancy, who continues to work with ERMIS while serving as the chief executive director of the Center for Transformational Leadership — an organization focused on fostering leadership skills among young people in Kenya. “CCL has followed my work over the years, celebrating my little achievements and always encouraging me to move on further.”