Odgers Berndtson introduces CEO For A Day programme in South Africa
In September 2014, Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa launched CEO For A Day, a programme that matches MBA students from the country’s top business schools with some of the country’s top CEOs. Launched seven years ago in Europe and run successfully in various countries, this is the first time it has been implemented in South Africa.
Leon Ayo, managing director of Odgers Berndtson Sub-Saharan Africa, says CEO For A Day aims to help executives gain insights into the next generation of leadership and how to leverage those skills. “At the same time we are helping the students gain access to a practical display of leadership, which will give them an idea of what it takes to get to an executive level.”
Participating CEOs included Louise Cooke of Parmalat, Nicky Newton-King of the JSE, Peter Wharton-Hood of Deutsche Bank, Phuti Mahanyele of Shanduka, Richard Pike of Adcorp, Richard Brasher of Pick n Pay and Shameel Joosub of Vodacom.
After a thorough selection process, seven students from top business schools namely, Henley Business School, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and the University of Stellenbosch were selected and paired with a CEO. They spent the day shadowing the CEOs and were exposed to the practical side of leadership.
A common view emerged, authentic leadership – characterised by developing true relationships, a deep sense of respect for people from all walks of life and a genuine commitment to learning from others – is the only way to help the modern organisation realise its full potential.