On 04 September the World Customs Organisation (WCO) announced that it had organised a Leadership and Management Top Executive Retreat (TER) for the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) from 20 to 23 August . The highest priority was to install a new management culture that focuses on the LRA’s guiding policy summarised as “building a service culture through collaborative leadership”. The TER is an important part of other capacity building support to the LRA and was funded by the United Kingdom (UK) HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and UNCTAD.
All executive managers (10) from all departments of the LRA participated in the retreat. Over the last few years the management style in the administration was characterized as hierarchical and focused on enforcement only. With the entrance of a new Commissioner General, a year and a half ago, a lot has positively changed but further development of the executive team was necessary. The agenda of the TER was shaped to the LRA’s needs and focused on behavioural change in line with the LRA’s strategy, team introspection and on how to deal with uncertainty present on all levels of the organization and resulting in lack of motivation, fear and frustration. During the four days all these topics were discussed with the top executive managers on a deeper level, resulting in a clear and shared view on how to further implement the LRA’s strategic plan as a team.
Dialogues on the situation and too slow implementation of the strategic plan of the LRA were alternated with the presentation of relevant models and theories on modern leadership and management. Especially the ‘diamond of leadership’ with focus on knowing yourself - managing yourself - really understanding others - having a positive influence turned out to be a revealing and appreciated inspiration for the participants.
Story by: Riaan de Lange