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Communicating Your Vision: The Case of EWLA
Communicating Your Vision:
The Case of EWLA
April 6, 2023, at 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Non-Members 850 ETB
Communicating Your Vision: The Case of EWLA
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~Jack Welch”
AWiB, in the month of April, presents “Communicating Your Vision: The Case of EWLA” as part of the AWiB 2023 theme, “Honing Our Leadership Skills”. Leaders must communicate their visions in order to influence the outcomes. Influencing is a major tool of leadership; hence communicating our vision is the major vehicle that we, as leaders, must employ, learn how to and practice.
The Need For Communicating Vision
When a leader is able to communicate their vision with the same level of intensity and autonomy to their team, a sense of ownership and responsibility will be planted in the mind of their brain, which will unequivocally inspire within them an automatic thought processes that originate from the center of the common shared vision. A vision is a universally agreed and expected position that an organization takes.
Communicating a Change Vision
A vision can be as powerful as intended by the visionary. There have been real-life phenomena that are simply regarded as “miracles,” but if we were to look in more details, each “miracle” has a concise and clear image of the outcome and, even in the face of unlikely circumstances, materializes. A vision communicated sufficiently inspires the intended subjects. It will eventually be the driving force in the other person’s consciousness and become the origin of thoughts thereon. The degree of understanding and belief in the significance of the vision dictate the effectiveness of the outcome. An organization without a vision is an arrow without a target to hit. As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Because every plan serves as a guide to a missile; the missile is the employee’s focus and energy in the pursuit of something. Anyone that wants to cultivate creativity from its team members must understand this principle. A vision is far greater than the visionary. This greater purpose comes into fruition through the cooperative effort of the qualified team members. A vision’s power is clearly and equally demonstrated in each endeavors of life.
The Case Of Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA)
Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) is the epitome of the power of vision and the impact it can inspire. EWLA is a non-partisan and non-profit organization that was founded by Ethiopian women lawyers and law professionals in 1995 to fight injustice against women courageously. EWLA’s bold vision of promoting women’s basic human and democratic rights served millions of destitute and otherwise helpless women through relentless and tactful community works, awareness creation, and free legal aid services.
The issue of women’s rights was the elephant in the room; not only were the rights of women unrecognized and violated, but laws existed to justify the unjustifiable. With a burning desire and clear vision to see Ethiopian women enjoying equal rights as men, the founding members of EWLA were committed to deliver. They went through trials & tribulations from political as well as communities only to come out as a strong and powerful entity with a voice. They knew they had the right vision and worked tirelessly on communicating this noble yet powerful vision. They knew what they stood against had roots deep inside of the patriarchal society. They all had the vision as their anchor in each setback.
EWLA’s founders dedicated their lives to connect their vision to the community and serve their purpose of benefiting women to win justice. By working relentlessly closer to their vision, through intense research and advocacy, free legal aid and consultancy for economically disadvantaged women, and awareness creation in the community, they managed to bring about the changes they wished to see. EWLA has a track record of convincing the national policymakers to revoke, correct, and make new laws in the nation and at international conventions using a very powerful movement that has become a savior for millions in Ethiopia. EWLA has a shared vision–a clear and articulated future state that members of the organization identified and internalized—a vision created by the founding members.
A vision shared is a vision realized. If all stakeholders have a clear concept of how their work helps to contribute to broader goals of the organization, they can work harmoniously to achieve them. A leader who masters communicating a vision is like a conductor leading an orchestra. It is about writing a score for each section and showing them how to effectively play their part while blending with the others; then, truly beautiful music can be made.
1. How do you articulate your vision?
2. How do you know if you are effective?
3. How likely is it that we communicate our vision here in Ethiopia, or do we know we have to have a vision in order to lead?
3. Does culture have anything to do with grooming effective leaders?
4. Do all progressive societies have leaders with vision and communicating their vision well?
5. Many don’t know to even recite the vision of their organizations? Why?
6. How do you communicate a vision that people are not connected to?
Lensa Biyena, is an Executive Directress of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA). EWLA is a non-partisan and non-profit organization founded in 1995 with the overall objective of promoting the cultural, legal, economic, social, and political rights of Ethiopian women under the FDRE Constitution and the relevant human rights conventions. Currently, she is responsible for executing the organization’s mission and goals of the organization by overseeing strategic planning, restructuring initiatives, seeking grants, and conducting policy reviews.
She pursued her postgraduate in International Gender Studies at the University of Iceland (First class with distinction) and Law (LLB) at Mekelle University and pursuing her MSC in project planning and management. She has worked as a law assistant, paralegal, and legal researcher for law firms and civil society organizations (CSO), including the Ethiopian Lawyers Association (ELA). She delivers various trainings on peace and security, advocacy, leadership, and gender budgeting.
With a specialization in women’s rights in Ethiopia, Lensa brings 10 years of professional experience and expertise in leading, coordinating, researching, advocating, and implementing programs related to human rights, gender equality, and democracy. She has also been serving on as a board of director, founding member, and research & advocacy advisor of several CSO organizations. Lensa is a youthful professional and advocates for human rights who displays a fervent passion for promoting various causes such as human rights, democracy, public policy, and the Women’s Peace and Security agenda.
Meron Aragaw is the Deputy Bureau Head of the Addis Ababa Women, Children, and Social Affairs. Through her position, she initiated and contributed to enacting over six directives that benefit women and children. Meron also serves in the Board Leadership of the Addis Ababa Women Association and in the Executive Committee in the Addis Ababa Women Federation.
Meron has accumulated 14 years of experience in both the civil society sector, as EWLA’s Executive Directress, and the government section. She has acted as Board Leadership at UN Women’s Civil Society Advisory Group at a regional organization called the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network),and EWLA.
Committed to advocating for the protection of women’s and children’s rights, Meron has taken a passionate approach to raise awareness of gender-based violence, policy advocacy tasks, and promoting the amendment and implementation of laws for the establishment of gender and child rights-sensitive structures.
Yasser Bagersh, an experienced art curator, communication strategist, and businessman. Furthermore, he runs the What’s Out publication and Lime Tree Restaurant, in which he occasionally delights patrons with his culinary masterpieces. As the founder of Our Father’s Kitchen, an organization providing food to 300 children daily, Yasser is an active volunteer. His cooking classes are popular and always sold out ahead of time, particularly for traditional dishes. He was a distinguished theatre performer and producer for 25 years & was the founder of Cactus Communication, an advertising agency.
With an extensive background of cooking for esteemed clients such as the Pulitzer family, Brad Pitt, and Candace Bergen, this master chef is a connoisseur of Ethiopian spices, offering his consultancy services to major corporations like Unilever and Nestle in the creation of seasonings suitable for the Ethiopian market.
An ardent admirer of art, he hosts a number of art exhibitions each year to aid the artistic society. By setting up workshops and speaking engagements, he endeavors to build bridges with people and organizations in Ethiopia and beyond.
Mekdela Mekuria is a freelancer managing Edelweiss Marketing Consultancy offering trainings on various personal and business development areas. He is a passionate Marketing & Entrepreneurship lecturer at St. Mary’s University. Mekedela’s creative teaching–inspirational & story-telling has huge impact on assimilating knowledge. He is also a Business and Finance Coach at E4Impact, an MBA program.
Mekdela carries out the tasks he takes part in with a great sense of responsibility and always strives to make a positive contribution. He considers himself a full-time student of life and never misses an opportunity to learn. He is part of Toastmaster and is dedicated to improving his leadership and public speaking skills.