Frank Adu, CEO of Cal Bank, one of the most innovative banks in Ghana, addressed the community of entrepreneurs at ServLed last Friday. The highly engaging and affable CEO, who has a passion for youth and entrepreneurial development, thrilled the audience with his candor on key lessons learned throughout his career as an executive and as an entrepreneur.
Mr Adu commenced his talk with a strong statement, “Nobody owes you a living, I repeat…Nobody owes you a living.” As with other speakers who have previously addressed the ServLed Friday gathering, he touched on the sentiment of entitlement we observe in our work force today.
He used the chronicle of his ascent to the top to highlight the need to pursue ones goals with confidence, hard work and determination.
At a time when investor confidence in the nation is dwindling, as demonstrated by the most recent downgrade of Ghana’s credit rating by Moody’s, Cal Bank continues to attract investment.
The Bank recently signed a US$28.5 Tier II facility agreement with PROPARCO, an investment and promotions company. The bank’s strong financial position and success is a testament of Mr Adu’s strong leadership.
Frank Adu used Cal Bank’s over two decades of success to provide some key lessons on building a high performance culture.
“Hire the right people, develop them and empower them to succeed. Let your people own their targets, hold them accountable for those targets and reward them when they exceed them.”
He fondly recounted how his father encouraged him at an early age to question whatever he didn’t understand. This boldness helped build confidence that has immensely contributed to his success as a leader. Our educational system and society as a whole does not encourage development of this trait but he stressed that to succeed as an entrepreneur one needed to be bold. He also emphasized the need for resilience in the pursuit of ones business goals.
Mr Adu used his experience starting Roman Ridge School as well as other entrepreneurial ventures to share some advice. Like Kwasi Twum, CEO of MultiMedia, who also spoke at ServLed Friday last month, Frank Adu highlighted the need for entrepreneurs to live within their means and not scale up their lifestyles with increase in income.
Instead, he encouraged the entrepreneurs to save towards their entrepreneurial ventures. Investors and lenders find business owners who have significantly financed their businesses organically with their own money more attractive.
He ended by encouraging the entrepreneurs to do their part to aid the ailing economy by focusing more on exports versus imports which in the long run will also generate stable income for the business owners.
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