Uganda is not a country where people would normally look to find the poster child for great leadership. When the world thinks of Uganda, it remembers war, corruption, poverty and brutal dictators like Idi Amin. But the Summit is awakening something uncommon in Uganda that is disrupting the culture in the best way.
“How come things are different in Uganda with the GLS?” asks Betty Byanyima, lawyer, leadership trainer, mentor and key leader for the GLS in Uganda. “Why is it that when we share our story, people see such an impact? I think it’s because we are from a country where leadership has been so bad, and now people are witnessing something good that is changing the country!”
There are 3 major ways the GLS is disrupting the corrupt culture, and increasing momentum for growth:
1. The GLS offers hope to the next generation
“At the GLS in 2016, John Maxwell talked about giving a presentation to a group of leaders. Five minutes before he walked in he was told all these young people had lost hope in leadership. This was happening in our country too. Everything you think can go wrong has gone wrong with leadership in Uganda. So when I joined the GLS, I wondered if people would even really buy into this teaching. But as we’ve gone around the country training leaders, the most exciting thing for me is seeing that people have a renewed hope! People say, ‘We’re in!’ And this is what we’ve wanted all this time. We want to learn how to lead better in Uganda. We want to be a different generation.”
2. The GLS creates a ripple effect, opening doors in the government
“For example, I asked one leader in charge of the leaders of the opposition in our government if I could show her a message by Colin Powell. She not only agreed; she brought in 30 members of Parliament to watch it. They wanted more! So we showed them Condoleezza Rice’s session. They liked it so much the head of the department in the lead opposition group invited us for a retreat. We shared Summit messages to 20 of her leaders. It is so moving to me for people who have done leadership so badly to say they want to hear how we can do it better! That is the beauty of the GLS—the messages are timeless.
“The Deputy World Health Organization Country Director was so interested in the GLS, he sponsored 37 members of Parliament to have a GLS. They were so excited by the messages, they asked where we had been all this time. Then they offered to pay to bring these messages to them regularly. That warms my heart! You don’t know where we’ve come from as a country, and just to hear leaders wanting to change, wanting to lead better, is amazing.”
3. The GLS rallies people around the real possibility for a better Uganda
“We have a slogan here with the GLS: Creating the Uganda we want. We want to move from a heritage of war, corruption, bad stewardship, hopelessness and a bad economy to a country where we espouse five values: stewardship, work ethic, integrity, patriotism (just loving our country) and servant leadership.
“What does a better Uganda look like? Our big dream is for us to permeate all sectors of society and build a leadership legacy we will pass onto our children and our grandchildren of a country we are all proud of. And we are getting there one sector at a time.”
“We have witnessed this change happen in government, and we’ve also witnessed it happen in the tourism industry, which is having an impact on our economy.”
When you think of the Global Leadership Summit as a tool, you imagine what can happen when leaders begin to apply the knowledge—when they begin to lead better. It impacts their families, it impacts their communities, it impacts nations.
Thank you from Uganda
“On behalf of the GLS in Uganda, and the whole movement, thank you.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your giving that has changed lives and made a difference in the way we lead our nation. Thank you for sponsoring the tool that has opened doors for us to go to leaders in places we never thought we’d reach. Thank you for supporting us in discipling our nation—one leader a time.
“Sometimes, as we do this work in our country it occurs to us that, this side of heaven, you may never know what your contributions have done. But every time we hear a message or a testimony of lives changed, it is our prayer, that just as the Bible says in Proverbs 11, God would water you, and bless you and your families. We pray that God would enlarge your territories as you serve him. I would like to challenge you to go that one extra mile.
“With every gift, you touch a leader, and every time a leader is touched, a nation gets better. We’ve seen this in Uganda, and we know it can happen in any other country. May God richly bless your heart. Thank you for your giving.”