James Mwangi: Learning from Failure, the Urgency of Greatness and Leading as a Collective #CEOLifeHacks

This talk was given as part of a CEO Night with The Africa List community in Tanzania in 2017 as part of a series of ‘CEO Nights’ where a range of senior CEOs and Chairs from across Africa spend time with the community of 'next-in-line CEOs' that make up The Africa List community. They unpack what the jump from C-suite to CEO really looks like and how best to prepare for it.


About James Mwangi

During the 2017 CEO Night event we ran in Tanzania in partnership with Dalberg Group, we asked our keynote speaker James Mwangi, Executive Director of Dalberg Group our #CEOLifeHacks questions. James founded and built up Dalberg’s presence in Africa, beginning with the Johannesburg office in 2007, Nairobi in 2008, and Dakar in 2009, and he served as Global Managing Partner and Chief Executive of Dalberg’s consulting business from 2010 to 2014. Prior to Dalberg, Mr. Mwangi worked at McKinsey & Company. He is a 2009 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow of the African Leadership Institute, a 2013 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He also currently serves as a member of the Global Entrepreneurs Council of the UN Foundation and holds an AB Hons Degree in economics from Harvard University. 

    Leading is a collective thing. It’s not about the leader, it’s about how a group can get to the best possible outcome by bringing the best out of each other.

    In this talk James shares: 

    • Why leaving McKinsey to join a completely new start-up with no track record, no business plan and no clients, was his best career decision so far (00.08) 
    • How he uses his morning routine to shape the rest of his day (00.29)
    • How he structures his time to achieve peak performance (01:00)
    • The habits that keep him learning as a leader (01:20)
    • The only thing he doesn't accept in the workplace (01:50)
    • Why leading is a collective skill (02:25)
    • The one thing he's committed himself to becoming world class at (03.00)
    • What happens in his team when someone fails (03.31)
    • Who has had the biggest impact on his career so far (04.14)
    • How he structures his downtime for work/life balance (04.40) 
    • How he pushes beyond mediocrity and why good just isn't good enough (05.15)
    I am learning even as I am hanging out with my friends, and I am enjoying myself even as I am in the middle of a hard week at work and I’m pushing myself quite hard.

    For more information about The Africa List in Tanzania please visit the Tanzania country pagehttp://theafricalist.com/tanzania/