Learning to lead from the inside out with PWC's Uganda Country Partner, Francis Kamulegya


Sometimes we get carried away thinking about how to better lead our teams, but how often do we pause to think about how well we are leading ourselves? As a guest speaker at an event with the Uganda community of The Africa List, Francis Kamulegya reflected on the importance of developing yourself as leader and where to start. Francis Kamulegya has been PwC’s Country Senior Partner in Uganda for the last nine years where he has spent his career advising and interacting with a wide range of CEOs from across the private sector.


The people I lead do not want to be managed. They are very intelligent people who are capable of managing themselves.

What they want from me is to be guided, mentored, empowered, trusted, valued, challenged, trained, advised, informed, recognized, rewarded, and of course paid.

Lead from the inside out

  • Before making partner at PWC, my measure of success was making sure I got into a senior position of leadership. Once I'd made it though, I quickly realised that my success was actually going to be determined by my ability to grow those I lead to become even better leaders than myself, which meant I had to start by looking at how I can improve how I lead myself. 

Stay Curious

  • Accepting that I do not know it all, and that this is not a sign of weakness, has turned me into a lifelong student.
  • Commit to learning something new every day. I spend at least 1 hour every day reading about key business issues, whether it’s an audio book while I’m driving, or listening to webinars and podcasts and reading books and online articles from websites like the Harvard Business Review and The Economist.
  • Just like the body becomes weak without regular exercise, I regularly exercise my mind by actively engaging in debates and discussions on lots of different topics

Become a Visible Expert

  • Be so good at what you do so that they (society, clients, people, employees, the world) cannot ignore you. I committed to becoming a visible expert by building a track record of consistent performance at the highest level possible.
  • As a leader, you are always being watched and you should always be mindful of this all the time. I use the 'front page test' where whatever I do, I ask myself, what if this was reported as a story on the front page of the papers tomorrow, how would I feel?
  • Think about the kind of leader your staff want you to be. I always strive to come across as genuine and authentic, especially during staff performance appraisal meetings. I also try and be approachable, trustworthy, reliable, knowledgeable, social, supportive, inspiration, humble, loyal and accountable.

Don't be too Busy for Balance

  • Understand that work is not an end in itself but is just one component of a meaningful life. In the past, I used to be so busy being busy that I never had time for myself. Make time for yourself to do the things that you really enjoy doing.

Don't try to control everything

  • Learn to differentiate what is important from what is urgent. Attend to what is most important, and avoid what is urgent from turning into a crisis.
  • Make it clear to the people you lead that you are in control, but do not try to control everything.

Find out more about Francis on his LinkedIn profile here, and more about the Uganda group of The Africa List on their country page here