About US

The Center for African Leadership Studies (CALS) transforms African medical, business, governmental, and nonprofit institutions and individuals with training, coaching, and organizational development that produces effective, values-based servant-leaders. The Center translates international evidence-based leadership development best practices into local cultural circumstances to meet specific needs with indigenous forward-looking solutions that respect tradition.

About us

Our Journy

In 2000, Tewodros “Teddy” Tadesse Araya began his search for a business model that would contribute to the growth and transformation of his country of Ethiopia. At the time, the nation was still recovering from the economic devastation and horrors of the 17-year long civil war. Teddy was seeking "the one thing" that would contribute to a societal change that would build upon his unique talents and lessons from his studies in history, philosophy and law at Addis Ababa University and that had potential to become an example to other underdeveloped countries on the Continent.

As common with many creative and intuitive people, Teddy had a “Eureka” moment where realized the missing lynchpin. The moment came when he heard a sermon on "leadership."

“Everything rises and falls with leadership,” Tewodros says. “If you change the leader, you will change the organization, you will change the system, you will change people’s perspectives so they understand why they do what they do, how they do it, what it is, and do it in a better way. If we succeed with leadership we can succeed with lots of other things. For me, it is leadership that can transform the world.”

 

In 2012, Teddy’s dream of creating his own leadership training organization became a reality when he founded the Center for African Leadership Studies (CALS). The mission of CALS is to develop an enlightened next generation of leaders empowered with the techniques and networks to revitalize their respective organizations and countries. 

Since Tewodros started CALS as a one-person business five years ago, the agency has grown to 15 employees with diverse education and background. CALS practices its own teachings – salaries reflect contributions, not rank, the founder and its directors have each served as janitors for the organization, and there is a shared culture with a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. 

In its first five years, the Center has trained some 70 organizations and 6,000 individuals, including college and medical school students, government officials, news media, and teachers. In health care alone, it has worked with 500 doctors, 700 nurses, 15 medical schools, and numerous departments across hospital organizations.  

Clients included the African Union, the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Operation, the National Planning Commission, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Berhan International Bank, the Ethiopia School Meal Initiative, a farmers’ union, and more than a dozen universities across eight nations in Africa. 

The Center holds half-day, one-day, two-day, three-day, and five-day sessions for up to 30 participants and larger seminars with hundreds of people as well as group and one-on-one coaching. These activities aim to help individuals and teams articulate their vision and values, including humility, excellence, and commitment, to produce transformative leadership for the community, the continent, and their respective institutions. 

Drawing upon his life in a diverse, populous, and vast country with rich traditions and fascinating ancient history, Teddy weaves elements of Ethiopian culture into his leadership coaching and workshops. Tewodros, whose family has been in Ethiopia for generations, grew up under the exemplary servant-leadership of his mother, who maintained a home life and education for her six children in the midst of famine and war during the 1980s when his father was imprisoned by the communist regime. His intimate understanding of African history and culture ensures the relevance of the Center’s services. 

The training identifies leadership gaps, promotes long-term positive culture as essential complement to the more common results-based approaches. The Center provides tools for incorporating progress into individuals’ evaluations and measuring success. Organizations’ executives must attend the training or receive briefings to ensure seamless implementation. 

The programs, including the center’s flagship three-day Fundamentals of Leadership Development, included carefully-crafted storytelling, relevant examples from current affairs, history, and daily life, an interactive environment of networking and socializing, and follow-up coaching aimed at supporting participants’ growth in skills, self-awareness, and empathy. 

In 2014, CALS launched xHub, with the mission to incubate and mentor young entrepreneurs to develop businesses and services in the fields of information technology, agribusiness, communication, health, transportation, engineering, art, design, and education. Teddy strongly believes the unique convergence of leadership and entrepreneurship elevates both individuals and communities for positive social and economic change. 

“We believe that a community’s growth depends on the growth of the individuals who are its members,” Tewodros says. “As such, we work to empower, develop and grow young people in order to grow our society.”


2016 Impact

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5th Floor Morning Star Mall Bole Medhanealem,

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