Monday, July 30, 2012

Leadership, Caroline Mutoko and why I'm happy about KTDC

I am fascinated by leadership.

I constantly ask myself what it is about leaders that make them stand out, or how they manage to be the ones charting out the path for others to follow. How do they convince others that their plan, strategy and ideas are what others should believe in, and take them up as if it were their own, with such passion and infectious energy?

When I heard that Caroline Mutoko had been appointed the chair of the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation, my leadership alert perked.

Caroline Mutoko is a leader. No doubt. We have seen her in action, on the streets, on Radio, and when recently watched her on CNN's African voices, I wondered, how one person can garner so much leadership essentials, and how she manages to not only run a high level career, maintain a genuine patriotism for a country whose leaders she constantly contests, and still be a doting mother.

Now, Tourism is topmost in the Kenyan agenda. Ms Mutoko displays through her steel hand a constant thrust for excellence. People who have worked with her speak of her unwavering resolve in pushing boundaries. We need such leadership at government level.

I hope Ms Mutoko takes up the position.

If (when) she does, I will be among those cheering her on, hoping that her infectious vitality will be felt in the not so much known KTDC. I hope, also that she will be part of the leadership that will examine and rewrite Kenya's tourism strategy, as we are, without a doubt still playing way below our league. I hope she will steer KTDC into the ICT century, to take advantage of the online world and to create new conversations about Kenya.

I hope Caroline will help create a visible brand out of the organisation that facilitates the growth of investment in Kenya's tourism Industry; it is the cradle that births the millions of dollars that come in every year to our economy.

I hope Caroline will lead a team that shares in her sense for determination and tenacity as we have seen her do in other matters.

My fear though, is that this is a Public Institution, and it may swallow her the way I think it has done to MIT’s Fiery Mugo Kibati, of Vision 2030. I digress.

Nonetheless, I have learned that every organisation requires a leader that is constantly seeking sustained excellence, one who will transform it from good to great. By appointing her, the government has stamped her leadership status. I know, that these are the leaders we need to take Kenya to the next level.

I wish Caroline the very best.


  1. She should take up the post and give us what we kenyans want! she is vocal n now lets see what she can do hands on!!

  2. Thanks Terry. It's been astounding how many people have forgotten to see the skillset that Caroline has and what she would be bringing into this job, instead focusing on her 'lack of talent' and her singlehood. I'm like wth, does it matter if you're single to determine whether you can run a corporation?

    A lot of people don't know that Caroline holds and MBA in Business Admin.

    I applaud her for taking a chance on such a parastatal and knowing she can make a difference, instead of sitting on her laurels and enjoying her job. At least there's one Kenyan who's working hard!

  3. Nice article. Caroline Mutoko is a force to reckon with . She inspires lots of people, me being one of them.

  4. True. If she was consulted about the position, we all wish her the best as she can bring visibility and some dynamism to the KTDC. I also hope that working in government bureaucracy is not going to frustrate her. KTDC has a legacy of developments (some of which are marked for privatization), but needs new funding, partners, and ideas to develop more hotel properties for ordinary Kenyans to access.

  5. Bankelel, thanks for stopping by. It would be interesting to know whether or not she was consulted. Red tape would be the stiffling point, it's become un-cuttable in some areas. Tourism though has made considerable progress compared to most other ministries. Anonymus..True, she can help shape the Kenya we want, both on the mic and in the boardroom. Rachel thank you for your comments, and yes, she is very inspiring.

  6. Good read. I have learnt that the best way to make a contribution is not by shouting loudest from the sidelines but by jumping headlong into the fray and making some meaningful contribution. We (Kenyans of certain generations) are known as armchair/clicktivist experts.

    Good to see a younger person from our generation getting the chance, as has Agatha Juma (CEO of Kenya Tourism Federation) - and they accepting the challenge. The best we can do is support them or leave our comfort zones and take up the mantle.