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The sword of leadership is criticism, embrace it!

It is your birthday today and your significant other get you a nicely wrapped package with a note “Happy Birthday, With love X”. This gesture clarifies the appreciation and love that this person has for you. Likewise, leadership comes with its own packages, albeit not neat. Frustrating moments, tears, joys and criticism are part of what is in the leadership bag. In other times, a package with a note “My dear leader, with due respect, you suck and seriously so” adorn your ears. What do you do when you are encountered with such words? Do you take this criticism constructively  and fix your inequities or do you go on a defensive mode?

I am a young fellow, very young to have not witnessed Nelson Mandela’s release from Robben Island. In the past I have been a member of few societies on campus because it is in these societies that you drink wine [sic] and meet dazzling and radiantly beautiful ladies. However, moments later you realise that wine and cheese do not matter any more, and real issues needs to be confronted and addressed if circumstances permit. It is in this stage that problems arise and your character as a society leader gets tested. Senior members will hold you accountable to the very last word as promised by your annual plan of action.

At this hour wine glasses are broken and bottles empty. Fortunately enough the corkscrew is still intact – it is the human mind that is tinkered with fermented fruit juice. You, as a society leader might believe that the members’ questions or any utterances they throw are informed by the irrationality of fruity water they just consumed.

Those you lead will always have grievances with the manner in which you conduct business.They will seek clarity and question whatever looks suspicious and more often than not doing so while criticizing you. The emotional intelligence required by this turnouts from your team or members is that you embrace whatever criticism that might come your way.

My membership in these campus societies taught me that there will always be opinion leaders – often mistaken as echo-chambers – who will criticize you and question every line item on the financial report. In most cases their thoughts are valuable and emotionally charged. You need to keep calm, shut your mouth and open your ears when you are being criticized. When you have heard these “echo-chambers” you will be a better and effective leader. In fact keep these people at bay, never let them sail away from your harbour for they are the most important resource in your society.

You hear something along this lines “You are a pretty crappy leader”, take this constructively,  gather your thoughts, down a glass of water and give a calm response that is not driven by emotions!

The sword of leadership is criticism and your shield humility. Embrace it and do eat a humble pie should situations dictate!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Leadership

 

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Empower thy woman, ignore the brilliance of guys!

I am an ardent reader of a certain industry magazine called Accountancy SA. Those who have been fortunate to read the magazine will agree with me when I say it somewhat boring, somewhat interesting, and somewhat controversial. Am I writing a letter to the editor? Hell no, I am not.

Actually this post is about the empowerment of women and their leadership potential. In her article titled “women as authentic leaders”, Ms Mulder, Senior  Executive for Transformation and Growth at SAICA, wrote that “Women are ‘hard-wired’ to be authentic leaders, as most of these qualities are in-born. Our male compatriots are too often hindered by oversized egos and the need to compete, which is reflected in the troubled societies of today”. After reading this, I got an impression that Ms Mulder suggests that the world is in chaos it is because of men. Interesting…

I feel like more and more women are empowered this days. It can be argued that this is done to address the imbalances of the past. I am not insensitive to the fact that women were oppressed for far too  long, however the empowerment afforded to women comes with great cost of ignoring the brilliance of guys. These women are obviously empowered to be able to fend for themselves, to become authentic leaders as Ms Mulder puts it and more importantly to contribute to humankind.

The question we should then be asking is “Are more women becoming leaders, given the opportunities they are offered or is it still an investment in vain?” I am of the opinion that, even though great deal of investment is planted in developing women and their leadership capacity, the train is moving slow on the rail.

Ms Sheryl Sandberg – the COO of Facebook – diagnose the problem as to why we have few women leaders, and the answer lies in the video embedded below:

On conclusion, I believe that in order to live in thriving, sustainable society, we need to get away with the gender stereotype, because to do so is to ignore the brilliance of guys.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Leadership

 

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Aspire to Inspire before you expire

Yes, it is 2011, and am back from a long well-deserved break. I hope that 2011 promises new hope, aspirations and dreams. Leaders around the world are trying to come up with solutions that might change the world for the better. Corporate leaders are trying to inspire change through motivation so that the labourers can be inspired to work hard, use resources efficiently and increase profitability.

So the question of interest is what are we as young people doing to be inspired? Do we aspire to inspire? What are we doing to live up to that quote? At least few young people are taking volunteerism in a name of social change to live up to this quote (ASPIRE TO INSPIRE).

I believe that the leaders of tomorrow, (of course you) must be able to inspire their teams. How do you get inspired?

I am a young leader who believes very much in INSPIRATION. I mean I need it to go forward, to wake up in the morning and to sit down in my study desk and hit those books as hard as I possibly can. I have lot of people whom I draw inspiration from, and one such person is Billy-Guy Bhembe. He inspires me because he calls himself a “young billionaire” and yes I call myself “The CEO”. Billy-Guy is a motivational speaker and a founding member of the foundation black child its possible. Black Child its possible is an organization that inspires young people and possible leaders of tomorrow to be the very best they can be.

On his website Billy-Guy says “BLACK CHILD ITS POSSIBLE is an inspirational movement for the African Child who never thought it would be possible to see the other side of the coin. It is about pulling together and understanding that it is only when we do away with pessimistic thoughts and self-hate that our destinies will be shaped“.

As we are 47 days into 2011, young man, young woman let us awaken our  dreams knowing that the power of  inspiration is within us. Let us have people who inspire us and in turn let us be the agent of social change.

Indeed Billy-Guy inspires me more when he say “I speak one language fluently and that is inspiration.” I mean this words are so profound that they remind one that he truly has a compelling cause in this world.

Give a leader of tomorrow hope, inspire and lastly DARE TO INNOVATE!!!

From the mind of a young person, aspire to inspire before you expire and you will see this world will be a better place to live in and to lead on.

Truly inspired….

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in General, Leadership

 

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A term “Leader” explained

Is a leader made or born? Can you say, when I grow up I want to be a leader?
In fact, What is a leader?

A leader is somebody who is able to communicate through all
spheres of the organisation, the vision and the mission, while ensuring that the team stays as motivated and as inspired as a midday sun. Can you really be a leader without personal dreams, goals, objectives and a will to be a better person the next day? No I doubt.

As a leader I personally think that you must lead by example. The things you envision must be communicated to your team. While doing so make sure that they understand you. Bear in mind that to succeed in any team work, great ideas must be explained to, and understood by, all who will implement them. If you are a leader who lacks communication, your picture of a great idea remains in your head and that means the great idea is kept in your “secret place” and it happens that you do not share it with those
to whom you are delegating it. You tend to speak in generalisation and leave the one that was delegated to, to come up with the interpretation of your picture.Soon, this person’s confidence is reduced by utterances such as “I didn’t understand” or “I thought you meant…” So the motion is to be an eloquent communicator.

Another important factor is the ability to motivate and inspire your team. You must be able to convince that excellency is everything. Are you aware that some people are content with the mind-set that “Average is okay”. Well this is irritating to people who see from perspective of excellence and ongoing improvement. As a leader you need to deal beautifully with people who believe that to be mediocre is fine and and that it is better not care about tomorrow or set goals, because they may raise their blood pressure. So you need to be a motivator rather than being (A coined word in progress).

And lastly be goal-orientated, and have a proof of focused pursuit. Because you are a leader you need to keep your team focused on excellence. Focus on honouring the talent and resource of your team members. Respect is another thing, just honour them, so that they can in turn honour you with greater sense of dignity. For me focus is everything. To obtain your objectives you have to continually remind yourself to point the focus and energy in the direction of your desired destination. Even failure is about focus; it is just that the person is out of focus.

Remember every dream or goal has price tag attached, called sacrifice and commitment.

Awaken your leadership potential and start leading without shame…..

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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