The African continent is experiencing a significant economic development characterised by many challenges as its emerging 21st-century leadership is finding its own path. Forceful and often uneven integration into the global economic system causes many of the issues that many African nations face. The leadership gaps, gender inequality, bias and multigenerational workforce coupled with inherent lack of strong institutions capable of driving the development agenda in the continent remain an impediment to a full realisation of responsible, accountable, relevant and ethical (RARE) leadership. This article presented two Fulbright quantitative descriptive research projects, which were presented at Mulungushi University in Kabwe, Zambia. The first Fulbright project aimed at educating Zambian faculty and students on how to develop leadership skills appropriate for the 21st- century workplace. The second one aimed at conducting a comprehensive assessment of the current Zambian leadership across 18 different industries. A mixed-methods approach was adopted for this study with a convergent parallel mixed-methods design. Data were collected using a survey questionnaire triangulated with focus group data from 246 Zambian leaders across 18 different industries. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software, whilst qualitative data were analysed by thematic analysis. The results revealed that Zambian leaders face challenges of lack of proper talent management and poor infrastructure, effective mentoring and human resource gaps. The findings also indicated that offsetting leadership gaps will require a focus on education, talent management, empowerment of women leaders and finding a unique African path of leadership. The findings of this study pointed to the need for Zambian industries to deal with leadership deficits so as to enhance workplace sustainability.

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Empowering global leaders through workplace