Ten leadership fundamentals from the President of Entrepreneurs Organisation Kenya Chapter

When you first meet Jamie Pujara, the impression you receive is that of a humble and smart individual. He shared insights on how entrepreneurs can execute effective leadership skills during the first bootcamp of our Acceleration Programme. To provide a bit of background, our Acceleration Programme kicked off on Monday 12th March. The objective of the programme is to scale ventures, make them investment ready and to develop entrepreneurial leadership.

Jamie Pujara is the President of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) Kenya Chapter and co-Founder of BuyRentKenya.com. Before BuyRentKenya.com, Jamie taught English in Japan and practised film making in New York, USA.

Jamie Pujara, President of Entrepreneurs Organisation Kenya

He shared the following insights that have guided and continue to guide him;

As leader, you should develop a habit that adds value to your life, all round. For Jamie Pujara, he applies a morning routine where he spends 10 minutes exercising, 10 minutes of giving thanks and 10 minutes of positive journaling. Performing these small daily disciplines produce great success

Fall quickly and fall forward
Failure is part of being a leader, but you should learn from the failures and move forward. The faster you fall and get up, the higher the possibility of becoming an exceptional leader and influencer

Be the favourite
It is better to have 100 people who completely love you than 1 million people who sort of like you. Seek to be the best even for just as small group of people because this will give you power to influence their behaviour positively. Your customers for example need to think of you as their very best service provider and this way, they won’t go seeking that service elsewhere

Hire based on values
Jamie Pujara admits that when they first started hiring, they concentrated on experience and academic qualifications. They realised that most people they hired didn’t possess certain values prompting them to shift to value-targeted questions during interviews

Everyone is an individual
Don’t look at your team as a general entity. Seek to learn what unique offering each team member brings to the table. There is beauty in diversity and understanding the different skill sets in your team will assure you of an upward trajectory in your leadership. This goes for your customers as well. Seek to understand your customers more so on individual basis if it is a B2C company. It helps you better cater to them

Listen to your stakeholders with the intent to understand not just to respond. Active listening will involve hearing, processing, understanding and then responding

Customer service
Your customers are a great asset. Therefore, ensure that at every point you understand their needs and concerns. Though not easy, customer service is recommended since it gains you credibility with your customers thus cementing your relationship with them

Question why things are done as they are
Don’t just do something based on tradition. Question why things are done in that certain way and not another. The importance of this is that it will allow you to create room for innovation. Don’t be tied to what has always been, evolve!

Clarity of vision
The vision should be a constant reminder of why you do what you do. Loss of vision creates a clear path for distraction and failure to come in. Explain your vision to your team constantly to ensure that they remain on the right track

As a leader, you should ensure that you prioritise on tasks that are urgent and important. You shouldn’t allow some tasks that are urgent but not important or important but not urgent to take up most of your valuable and limited time.