Charles Mudiwa: My reflections of 2022 and era in banking

(Last Updated On: January 24, 2023)


Zimbabwean banker Charles Mudiwa stepped down from Standard Bank at the end of last year after 20 years with Africa’s largest bank by assets. His last posting was CE of Stanbic Kenya and South Sudan. In this article, Mudiwa relives his time in banking.

Having stepped down from Stanbic in December 2022, I took time to review my time and the lessons in that period.

My journey with the Standard Group started in 2002 in my home country of Zimbabwe. Young, ambitious, and audacious, I took the role on with gusto and with determination to make an impact.

From the beginning, it was very clear that I needed to deliver on not just profits for the shareholders, but the right products and services for our people and customers.

Through the many years, locations and relocations, two things clearly stood out:

1. Relationships make the difference:
Having a support system cannot be underrated. This includes your family, friends and others who make a difference to the path you choose.

Knowing who is in your corner early on matters, as they can be your pillar when you must make difficult but necessary decisions, cheerleaders when you’re on a winning path, and your conscience to keep you grounded, making the right choices.

These people will be a solid anchor in life, and will help you build your networks too.

2. Leadership comes from Kindness:
Being human needs us to learn to be around others and collaborate with them to achieve success. One truly cannot do everything by themselves.

Kindness comes in many ways: mentorship and coaching of your team members, listening to the concerns from your teams – and acting on them, challenging your leadership team do deliver better for their people, taking tough stances for the overall good of the organization (and taking the hits that come with it), and standing in for those who need a helping hand in one way or another.

As shared by Samuel Gikandi recently, Consistent Kindness allows us to be abundant, and to leave a place better than it was before.

Move with kindness, always.

I came to Kenya looking for a job, but I found a home. I’m thankful for the countless opportunities and advances we delivered for our people, our customers, and our countries.

As for now, I’ve been on a break and taking time to rest and indulge, but certainly not retiring. Africans don’t retire, we just move on to the next thing.

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