“Bridge the Gap” - 2020 JCI世界會長Itai Manyere

This year, Mr. Itai Manyere’s theme is “Bridge the Gap”. He is convinced that young people are responsible to shape the future they want. They should make the best out of the opportunities presented, turn around the fortunes of the present-day society to deliver a tomorrow fit for future generations to enjoy.


Back in early January, Manyere stopped over in Hong Kong on his visit to the Eastern Asia region. He proclaimed that members of JCI Hong Kong are young people who are passionate to serve. Frankly, we are looking forward to building a bright future – the best is yet to come…

“I like it when we see ourselves as a team more than staying right at the top…...as young citizens, we are equal.”

To describe his leading style, Manyere emphasized that he is a practical minimalist. He likes to keep things simple and easy to understand for his teammates. He humbly conveyed, “I like it when we see ourselves as a team more than staying right at the top. It is important that we find ourselves able to serve. That is what I tell myself every day.”

As the presidentship begins, it can utter mixed feelings. However, President Manyere considered it as a fantastic opportunity. It is very important on his JCI leadership journey as he is planning to serve his duty to the next level, “make sure that when you become a leader with a title, do not let it get to your head so much. Or else, your judgment would be clouded. When you make a big deal of your title, more than the opportunity for you to lead, to serve. That is my encouragement to anyone with a title or without a title; just be yourself, be the best that you can be.” Thereby, it is important for a leader to be modest.

The young entrepreneur always tries to understand his team members to unleash their potentials and capabilities, encourage them to exert wisely. “When you connect with your teammates one-on-one, understand them, you will find that you can get more out of that. That is my style over time, I have carried on that style as a President.”

It is important to bridge the gap – taking off from the title and work towards the same goal together. Manyere highlighted, “No one is at the top! As young active citizens, we are equal. That is how we work with members of our local organizations.”

Not only within the same nation but Bridge the Gap should also be implied to the world. When it comes to common interests among nations worldwide, it is essential for world organizations to plan ahead. “365 days – a very short amount of time, therefore when you are given the opportunity, make the best out of it, make it happen !” Motivate yourself by believing in yourself.

“I continued to believe in myself after the appreciation, and the positive feedback.”

Here’s the secret of the JCI President on realizing oneself’s potentials, “You reach your full potential when someone makes you believe in yourself.” Here is a glimpse of his experience, “I was encouraged by someone because they saw the capacity I have. That is the critical thing of effective leadership. It is not necessary to keep looking at yourself but look at others. Express compliments such as, I like the way you lead this project, so I would think you can lead on the next level, what do you think?”

Great leaders recognize, appreciate teammates’ accomplishments and would always be thankful for their effort. Having someone to acknowledge your capacities and give you positive feedback restore your faith in yourself.

He continued his story, “In 2006, I was the local president. Then I asked my mentor what the next stage would be, as I was really tired. I would rather be a trainer.” He later received a reassuring reply, “It is good to be a trainer, but it is also good to be a trainer with the content to train others. In order to do that, you need to be a leader.”

“You will be leading from experience.”

His mentor’s encouragement motivated him to continue the leadership journey. In 2014, He became the National President of JCI Zimbabwe; later in 2015, he put himself forward and became the JCI Vice President.

Reading books is the best way to evolve one’s leadership skills. “I like to read leadership books that I find simple to understand. I do not like complicated things,” Manyere chuckled. The inspiring book that he enjoys the most – Slight Edge, advised readers that with the right attitude, simple disciplines can lead to massive success. This book is full of surprises! It teaches you how to achieve success in every aspect of your life – health, finances, relationships, and family life.

As young active citizens, it is our obligation to create positive changes by posing the right attitude and bringing in energy and insight to solve problems locally and internationally. Bridge the Gap – a brighter future is right ahead of us.

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