Deep roots, generosity and realism will see you through it all

December 22, 2020

As a business person what are you rooted in?  What is the purpose of your business?  The reason you started your business makes the root of it. It is the thing that determines how far you’re willing to go to keep your business afloat.

Marion Mwangi, the current managing director of BOC Kenya PLC gave the example of a Baobab tree. The roots go as deep as possible so as to find water and as a result the tree never falls despite growing in a desert. If your business purpose is solely for the money, then the business is not deeply rooted. A purpose should be to solve a certain problem in the society. It is not bad to want money but there should be a higher reason than just making revenue.

Generosity is another thing that Marion brings up. She asks, are you generous with your information? Are you generous with your employees? It is important to treat your employees as fellow human beings and also part of the organization’s mission. When employees are treated this way then people work as a system as they are aware of what the organization wants to achieve in the long run.

Resilience this year has been quite the topic. No one ever thought that such a pandemic would hit the world. So every business person this year was forced to practice this virtue in one way or the other. According to Marion, if your business is properly rooted then you can withstand anything. Hits and disappointments are bound to happen, but a business with core values can withstand them all.

Lastly make sure that you are always real. Ask yourself why you want to do something. Do you want to buy that car because someone else is? Is your business making enough money? Make sure that you are honest with yourself. Make sure that your business has a purpose and a mission that drives it so that you will be okay even when the times get tough.

Marion Mwangi, managing director at NSE Listed BOC gases was a guest at Unthinkable roast in October 2020. Click here to apply for membership in Un.thinkable.

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