My first AGM as Secretary to Council
If you don’t get out and try new things, you will never learn. I learnt a lot in three hours during and just before the AGM, than I’ve done in over a year. The experience was terrific.
I conducted my first AGM on 15th Nov 2013, at the Institute of Corporate Governance’s 11th annual general meeting, held at Grand Imperial Hotel.
As leaders in corporate governance, ICGU practices what it preaches. The ICGU membership is made up some of the top business executives. I needed to be at my best. How do you present to such membership with fluency in your materials?
And my journey to understand the role of a Secretary at an AGM started. The best person for this was Sam F. Owori, one of the prolific professionals, distinguished executive and the #1 Rotarian in the whole of Africa. As the incumbent CEO of ICGU, he was naturally the best choice. Sam took me through the Agenda, and gave me all the insights I needed, during one of the most memorable 30 minutes. “The AGM is a Secretary’s event. Make sure you read all the papers to be presented. And we don’t need an MC. You will do it”, he intoned in his trademark gentle voice.
At exactly 1:30 am I was at the venue, and got chance to interact with another great mind, Joseph Baliddawa, the man who has just retired as PWC Country Managing Partner. Learning never ends, and I had to get close and pick his mind about how to conduct business at the AGM. As if reading on the same script, he told me almost word for word, what Sam F. Owori had briefed me.
It became clear that the role of Secretary is not just for any one. You’ve got to think on your feet and be well informed.
The good news is, ICGU Secretariat and Council makes the role so easy – all papers are circulated in time, well compiled and things are generally organized. I had Mr. Leo Kibirango the President, Chairing the AGM as provided in the MEMARTS. Mr. Leo Kibirango is a past Bank of Uganda Governor. Next to him was Mr. Geoffrey Kihuguru former Lion Insurance CEO and current CEO, Pentad Insurance Ltd. And Hon. Albert Oduman (MP). These are some of the members on ICGU council who make it a special one.
The good news is, the AGM ended and no one was injured.
There were moments where the floor were too hot for me, but that is what makes an AGM: ensuring that all members’ questions are clearly addressed. Agenda item of adopting the revised MEMARTS was a tough call on me. I had read through them the previous night, but one thing was missed: the incomplete section, which had a question mark for further clarification. We forgot to update it.
Thank God I had been mentored, “ensure that all resolutions proposed are adopted, as it may take another year to have the AGM”, I had been cautioned. I had to propose to members to adopt the revised MEMARTS subject to the highlighted corrections, which will be shared via email with all members. And it came to pass.
Overall, if you don’t try new things, you will take long to learn.
My new motto is; try new things, seek guidance and do it. You learn a lot in the process.
If you have a business and are not yet a member of ICGU, what are you still waiting for? ICGU provides some of the best practical guidance, mentorship and training is corporate governance and leadership. So, call the ICGU secretariat NOW and register to become a member. This is the best investment you will make before this year ends. The # is +256414250238.