Reflect, Rediscover and Roar- We CAN, We MUST

Thanks to all my sponsors, I joined the 14th African Nutrition Leadership Program (ANLP) in Potchefstroom, South Africa. I arrived filled with enthusiasm and courage to learn more about leadership, myself, and network with colleagues from other African countries, as well as share experiences.

The quite, green and well preserved area of Elgro River Lodge along the Vaal River was my first WOW moment and impression. The course soon became the other one. I had attended a few leadership and management programs before. For me, the unique thing in the ANLP, is that the learning is primarily from self rather than from the outside.

I have never thought of myself as a learning object, and this contradicted my expectations. On the contrary, it has really given me a unique opportunity to start thinking of and rediscovering my leadership abilities/potentials, challenges, and opportunities. I am excited.

Reflection, reflection and reflection is my number one take home message from this ANLP for my future leadership development. It is through self-reflection one can openly critique oneself rather than relying on externals. It is through self-reflection too that we can rediscover our potential, raise our emotional intelligence and thereby shine for people around us and be seen as a rising and blossoming flower that everyone wants to be around.

Listening from personal experiences of self-reflection from some of the speakers, including Alice, Averalda, and Jane, encourages me to further question how honest and critical am I of myself, my skill, and potentials? How honest am I about my gaps or weaknesses? Who am I not to take myself and team to the next level?

It is through self-reflection one can responsively learn new ideas and thoughts. Some of the greatest leaders, who have changed the world to a better place, are consistent and open self-reflectors. This helped them change themselves first before they tried to create followers. A quote from Rumi reads, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. But, today, I am wise, so I am changing myself”.

It is through self-reflection too that one can unleash one’s team’s potential by being the servant, respectful and unnoticed leader. The open and continuous learning of these leaders helped them rediscover themselves too, and unreservedly helped their teams grow and roar confidently in their fields of services.  

I want to extend my message to my nutrition colleagues in Africa, to journey with me to embrace the habit of self-reflecting. Let us continually rediscover our nutrition leadership development processes in order to help people around us unleash their potential and then roar with confidence. Through us as leaders we can create a better Africa and a better world. Leadership has a great part to play to improve nutrition.

I am prepared to play my part when I leave here. Will you join me? Together we CAN!


Anteneh Girma

Ethiopia- ANLP 2016



+1 #7 Zione K 2016-03-16 23:19
Great read Anteneh. I share in your reflections. The reflection time at ANLP was one of my best moments and continues to be (though hard to come by). This is time when I truly self evaluate but also conceive the ideas I need to fulfill my vision. There is so much power in "me time".
+1 #6 Karim 2016-03-16 06:40
Thanks Girma for this nice and insightful blog on reflection. I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on the ANLP. In fact, if you had your first ''wow'' on arrival at the sight of Elgo, it was my second ''wow''. My first was when I heard about the ANLP, ''Karim, you have to go to this programme, you will come back transformed'' Indeed, it was so true! We got a lot of fun (Rule #6) but we got also a lot of mirrors, alone when reflecting or during the feedback after hosting or on a daily basis when discovering the humanity and care coming from fellow and the organizing team. We had mirrors when hearing about social responsibility, giving back, when exercising on locus of control. Growing is a continuum path we should not get far away from. To all the 2016 ANLP alumni, here come the time to say goodbye but what are you taking back home? Shuut, whisper it to yourself!
+1 #5 Oluwaseun 2016-03-16 04:59
I had never thought self reflection could be a wonderful moment prior to the programme. It makes time for me to understand myself and my personal strengths and weaknesses. I discover that I am the greatest obstacle to the desired change and I can start to make things happen from my end.
+1 #4 Rosalyn ANLP 2015 2016-03-14 12:55
A good challenge and reminder, thanks Anteneh. I also really like your quote from Rumi.
+1 #3 Bianca 2016-03-14 05:55
Another truly inspiring blog!! It makes me think back on my reflection and the important role it plays in my self discovery and growth! Thanks for starting up the fire again!
Your first week is almost done, make the most of the remaining days!
+1 #2 Oluwatooyin 2016-03-14 05:51
Thank you Anteneh, I agree that we should reflect on all we learnt. It is said that we start dying when we stopped learning or growing. Great idea.
+1 #1 Esther Nduku 2016-03-13 22:16
Learning the reflection ropes has been one of my great moments. Learning to commune with self deep from within is such an experience.....thanks Anteneh

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