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Although we are always emphasizing how good is to have great leaders, how these improve productivity, innovation, confidence, self-management etc... ( Theory)
I think in the end due to our human nature, the pressure of the economical environment, the lack of respect for ethics and the rare appliance of the principle "is just important to obtains the results but also how we get there" the results will be always the main factor (Practice)
With this i am not saying that all corporations or companies will do that i am just being realistic and predicting that the common practice will be almost always the results unless the world change in a way I had never say in the next decade.
I'd expect that the countries or bodies providing the funding for such infrastructure projects will be doing so under the expectation of strong leadership and expected results, otherwise that funding will dry up.
In some cases, that may be done by providing their own leadership for the more challenging projects or in other cases, that may inspire the local customers to provide (or contract in) qualified leaders.
Great leaders do not need to be reminded or rewarded about their leadership skills and see their reward in the results that they deliver.
At the start of a project, greater leadership do not make greater promises but work within their remit and resources to deliver results that exceed everyone's expectations. So they over delivering as apposed to under delivering.
The mega projects that are required to sustain Africa's accelerated growth will occur over many decades and will require numerous equal great leaders to continue on the projects and will involve multiple hand overs.
So the most important aspect of great leadership is to ensure a continuity in quality, execution and dedication for the future project managers so that their is no leadership vacuum and skills gap that could occur that would slow down the delivery of projects and inadvertently slow down growth on the African Continent.
The country where success can be measured will be the countries who layout detailed long tern development plans over decades where growth is sustainable, debt levels are manageable, skilled and trained local resources are available and the desire of the local indigenous population is the main driver for this growth.
Africa has been through numerous starts and stops in growth over the last century so only by engaging and involving the general population of each country will this level of growth be realized.
I hear your concern and at the same time I tend to agree with Kiron. I am a member of the PM4NGO's community and I myself originally come for a developing country where there are lots of NGO's and projects based on funding.
Strong and supportive leadership are important from both parties (The receiving and funding) otherwise great results might be short term only. In developing countries, normally results are evaluated long term not short term and this requires solid commitment from all parties to ensure benefits are delivered as planned, continuously and without interruption.
There is no great leadership without great results. There is no great results without great leadership. There is no "first", they come along.
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