Archive for category Leadership
Building a National Brand is not about a mass of marketing and the amount of advertising expenditure thrown down. A brand is not what you advertise, say you are, or believe you are – it is fundamentally who you are. As the guru of nation branding, Simon Anholt, says: “There is “absolutely no evidence” that governments can alter their international image through marketing and that spending millions on propaganda is ‘futile’. “Countries are judged by what they do and make, not by what they say…”
How in touch are the senior executives with the repercussions of their comments both within and outside of the organisation?
This last week, BP Chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, stated that “we care about the small people. I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies or greedy companies that don’t care, but that is not the case at BP. We care about the small people.”
As a manager or owner of your organisation, let me ask you this question: Do you think your organisation is going to attract the new generation of talent and customers?
I watched a fantastic video last week which explored the idea of what employees want.
South Africa is a country with a completely unique set of circumstances. Admittedly we are diverse, passionate, misconstrued and a still developing nation. One of the best things about our developing nation is that we have such a strong, free and open private sector. Ours is a country where any individual can take an idea and work towards making a living, business and
I often bleat on about the fact that South Africans seem to have a sense of entitlement as opposed to industriousness and so I find it encouraging to actually be proved wrong. Michael’s story is a prime example of an individual who created his own opportunity in the face of adversity and who got off his backside to create his own future.
Everyone is familiar with the old saying that ‘You can’t teach an old dog a new trick’. Sadly, the more I consult to the business world, the more I believe this statement to be mostly true. But perhaps it should be rephrased slightly…‘You can teach an old dog new tricks, but whether or not they want to learn it is the real matter.’
So often I see senior managers in companies who spend valuable time and effort sending out young people to do training courses, workshops and skills development. The question that I want to ask them is if they believe they do not need to develop themselves at the appropriate pace of change as well?
A précis on Joseph Jaworski’s book – ‘Synchronicity – The Inner Path of Leadership’. The world today is desperately in need of leaders to take their place and help guide the world into a commonly beneficial future. The reality is that there has been a general retreat from community and national service on a global scale, and self-absorption is prevalent among the people of our generation, as well as a kind of civic cynicism. People are materialistic and bent on making more to get more. The focus in our schools and universities is on choosing a business or profession, becoming preeminent in that field and rising to the top. No emphasis is placed on becoming community leaders to give back and serve others. Old style authoritarian leadership will not be effective in our new world, where more open, flexible and participatory kinds of leadership are necessary.
In this world of constant change, the Purpose and Values of your organization are the only constants that should not change. Everything else in your organization should be open to change, flexibility, agility and derision.
True leaders will do what is right for their country or their company, for the whole, for the collective and for the system that is providing graciously to all those who make it work. This is very clearly not the case in South Africa. The tough decisions are not being taken, personal popularity is far more important that the countries future. Sitting on the fence whilst the country deteriorates is non- existent leadership – that is the reality of what we have – non existent leadership.