LMD Top Executive Retreat in Malawi builds strong executive team

04 September 2019

As part of Capacity Building, WCO organized a Leadership and Management Top Executive Retreat (TER) for the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) from 25 to 28 August 2019. The overall objective of the four-day interactive retreat was to strengthen senior management capacity to lead and drive reforms within the MRA and to do so as a team. The TER is an important part of other capacity building support to the MRA and was part of WCO’s Mercator Programme support to Malawi. The TER was funded by HM Revenue & Customs (UK), UNCTAD and the Finnish government.

Fifteen executive managers from all departments of the MRA participated in the TER. It started with an interview conducted with the Commissioner General of the MRA, Mr. Tom Malata, to find out his personal objectives and expectations of the retreat. In his answers he focused strongly on creating a team based on openness, trust and true cooperation, with direct, open and honest communication as key elements. Over the four days of the retreat also other important topics were discussed, especially the personal involvement of executive managers in the fight against corruption and improving integrity.

Dialogues on the situation and challenges of the MRA were alternated with the presentation of relevant models and theories on modern leadership and management, especially the ‘diamond of leadership’ based on knowing yourself – managing yourself – really understanding others – having a positive influence on others. Next to that the focus on the importance of how to manage more strategically, based on clear role responsibilities, was highly revealing. The full agenda also spent time on practical management skills, attitude and behaviour, as well as on developing interpersonal communication skills and team building.  

The MRA’s executive managers described the value of the retreat with words as ‘energised’, ‘born again’, ‘enlightened’, ‘challenged’, ‘inspired’, ‘light’. ‘transformed’ and other words that indicated the MRA’s executive team indeed had grown enormously. At the end of the retreat, with working hours from 9 AM until after 11 PM, participants left with full commitment to personally work on all aspects, as well as to help and inspire others to do so.

For more information on the WCO Leadership and Management Development Programme, please contact Capacity.Building@wcoomd.org.