The sudden demise of former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore shocked the nation and triggered an unprecedented outpouring of grief from millions of gutted Kenyans.
Many took to various social media platforms to mourn the man whose infectious smile lit up a room and whose battle with Cancer was hard-fought and gallant.
From President Uhuru Kenyatta to the most average Kenyan in their villages, many hailed Mr. Collymore for his selflessness, bravery, brilliance, strong leadership and cheerfulness.
And as we continue to mourn his passing, we might as well draw a couple lessons from the man who laboriously steered Safaricom to some of the greatest heights ever.
Here are FIVE Lessons we learn from the man.
Life is NOT that serious
Despite the fact that Bob had one of the most important jobs in Kenya, actually in Africa, he never carried himself with the usual aloofness and cold rigidness usually associated with such high-flying CEOs. Bob was fun. Bob was a happy man who would loosen up sometimes. Have a huge chuckle. Throw a couple jokes around. Taunt his friends on Twitter and just allow himself to be silly sometimes. Even though he was the Head of a Billion-dollar company. He was never the stone-faced Big Boy who takes everything seriously.
Smile Smile Smile
Many psychologists have hailed the power of a smile. According to researchers, a smile actually makes you feel lighter and more carefree. It also brings about happy thoughts, bringing you to an instant happier mood. And no one knew the power of a smile than Bob Collymore. His face had a permanent smile on it. A smile also makes you approachable and takes away social inhibitions. Bob knew how to smile. And always walked around with a huge beautiful smile. And it always worked magic.
Don’t be Bossy. Be A Leader
Bob was the Biggest Kahuna in town. Like, seriously. He was a big shot. He was the Head of Safaricom, a company that is almost embedded in the DNA of 40 million Kenyans. But you would never tell he was the Boss. Because he never carried around a bossy vibe. He treated all as equal. Co-existed easily even with the most junior employees. And would never stamp his chest to make a statement. He was a Boss. But still smooth and humble. Unlike some dudes I know.
Bob was friends with Presidents. Friends with the biggest Media stars. But still, friends with everyday people. Friends with the lowest people. He was chill like that. You wouldn’t expect that a man of such an eminent ranking would invite a boy from the ghettos of Dandora to his high-end wedding. But he did just that. And invited Juliani to his wedding. Alongside big shots like Jeff Koinange. He was cool with all. The mighty and the lowly.
READ ALSO: The Other Side of Bob Collymore
Bob Collymore is an exemplar Of Integrity, Fortitude & Leadership Excellence. Inspite Of Heading the biggest company in Eastern Africa & having Cancer, he had time for his friends. He always saw me when I asked. Always called or texted back. Few Kenyans in top leadership compare.
— Donald B Kipkorir (@DonaldBKipkorir) July 1, 2019
No One is Always Busy
People like Donald Kipkorir and Eric Omondi have talked about how easy it was to reach Bob Collymore. He was probably the busiest man in Kenya. After the likes of President Kenyatta and William Ruto. But still, even with crazy schedules and a shitload of responsibilities on his desk, Bob would pick up your call. Reply to your text message. And get back at you. Not many CEOs even check their phones. But many have lauded Bob for being so accessible, so easy to reach and being always available when called or texted. Yup, no one is EVER Busy, Baby! It’s a matter of responsibilities.