Posts Tagged Leadership
“The longer you are down in the trenches, the more you mistake the edge of your rut for the horizon.” – Gary Hamel. This quote by Gary Hamel summizes how many organisations seem to be run. Not with clear vision and perspective but rather with panicked trench warfare and crisis management. Whilst this is sometimes necessary, it is critical that the leaders of the organisation get out of the trenches to be able to see which direction to guide the organisation.
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…”
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.
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.
The primary reason for Toyota’s mess is based on the pursuit of growth. In plain, simple terms: Toyota pursued growth to rapidly too ensure that their focus of standards, quality, safety and product was being met. As current CEO Akio Toyoda blatantly admitted: ‘Toyota became too big too quickly to uphold complete product safety’.
I was chatting to an international business consultant who has done a multitude of work in the US, Canada, Europe and South East Asia. He observed that in contrast to his experience internationally it is increasingly difficult to get South African line managers to implement agreed upon action plans. Only on rare occasions does it happen to the agreed upon international standards committed to in the planning and strategies phase. It would appear that business units discuss, strategise and agree upon a course of action, the plans are put in place, the deadlines set, then it just doesn’t happen. Why is this the case?
I have been facilitating another Ubuholi Nobuntu (Leading with Humanity) Leadership Course and pushing the delegates to think about this: when people connect with others, seek to give them something as opposed to take from them, their sphere of influence grows and they have a far greater propensity to lead. If you are not prepared to connect and give them something of value – time, ideas, opportunity, perspective – you cant hope to lead. Yet is seems to me that organizations don’t understand this – they incentivise their leaders to behave contrary to this. They push their leaders to keep extracting things from people, as opposed to enabling them. It all seems so short sighted and about short term gratification. This is not leadership.
Is Africa undergoing a 21st Century colonisation? This question may seem strange and rather out of place in our newly maturing democracy of 15 years. There is however, good reason for questioning this.
South African rugby is having an unbelievable rugby season. The Springboks won the series against the British & Irish Lions and are currently setting themselves up to win the 2009 Tri Nations, with two victories over New Zealand and one over Australia. The team is working together beautifully, efficiently and most importantly with a renewed sense of confidence. One of the most important things is that the 15 men can run out onto the field to play hard, safe in the knowledge that they have a bench of 7 backups supporting them as well as capable of taking over from them should they be unable to play anymore.
In these recessionary times, so many companies today seem to be obsessed with attracting and retaining talent within their organization. I see many managers with the opinion that offering a higher salary and increased benefits/status/privileges will make a talented employee stay longer and work harder.