Archives of Leadership

When the leader becomes the coach: A new style of management for a new world.

“Between now and the 21st century, millions of ordinary, psychologically normal people will face an abrupt collision with the future,” – Alvin Toffler, Future Shock The future is not arriving lineally as we might have expected. It is being announced in numerous ways through ideological clashes, political conflict, economic turmoil, environmental degradation, and technological revolution. […]

New leaders and new minds in a new world: Organisational Ecology

There is something fascinating about the seamless interactions within natural ecosystems.  Like the plants that absorb the sun’s energy and provide a significant source of food for a variety of species.  Or the giraffe that eats the foliage that other animals cannot reach, thus promoting growth for themselves and other smaller animals. Have you ever […]
Jazz Bands

Finding Harmony. Making Magic. Leadership Lessons from Jazz Bands

“The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.”  – Blaine Lee Many organisations, steeped in traditional hierarchy, probably look a lot like an orchestra.  Each musician is given their exact set of musical notes to play, and are led by a conductor, […]
Solitude

Nature’s Gift of Solitude

Humanity needs no reminder that our lives have become more and more frenetic – in multiple ways. Solitude is almost a lost art in these times of ultra-connectedness.  We live in a fast-paced world of bombarding information and increasing expectations of instant connection, with less emphasis on the quality of that connection. This can lead […]
fertile culture

Compassion, Cacao and Corporate Culture

“Dark chocolate brown rich soil” The first two words possibly have you more excited than the last three. However, many of us earthy types who love to dig our hands into our vegetable gardens, or who have walked in pristine indigenous forests, possibly find soil as appealing to our senses, as we would dark chocolate. […]
foxes

Foxes with DragonFly Eyes

There is a 2,700 year old saying about foxes and hedgehogs written by an ancient Greek poet, that paints a profound analogy of leadership styles today. A fox knows many things, but the hedgehog, only one important thing.  This fragment from Archilochus’s poetry, was made famous, in the 1950s, by Isaiah Berlin’s philosophical writing. The […]
Tracking

Lessons in the Sand

Tracking has been described as the oldest science known to man. It is a science because it relies on memory and it insists on rigorous procedure. There is a logical and rational process to be followed in a pursuit of patterns and probability. Things can be measured, and if we are not sure of the […]
Lincoln

Lessons from Lincoln

It may not be apt to compare our current turbulence, to the enormous challenges faced by Abraham Lincoln, in the transformation of America.  However, there is indeed much to learn from his extraordinarily courageous leadership as we attempt to transform our own leadership capabilities in the uncertain world in which we live. Doris Kearns Goodwin, […]
CEO

What kind of CEO are you?

The title Chief Executive Officer or CEO sounds really grandiose.  Almost godlike, sadly. It is as though anyone who has reached this title in their career is at the pinnacle of their success, with little more to aspire to. Most who find themselves on the lower rungs of the corporate ladder will yearn for and […]
Heritage

How Heritage influences Humanity

How does your heritage impact the way you lead through your life? In reflection of South Africa’s celebration of its colourful diversity, in the shape of National Heritage Day, I wonder how many people have ever truly taken the time to appreciate the significance of their history on the way in which they live and […]
Lions in flow

Finding flow through compassionate leadership

Have you ever asked yourself whether you are being the best version of yourself? There is a wonderful state of being when we are in alignment or ‘in flow’.  When we are in this state of being, the best version of ourselves is so evident.  There are multitudes of self-help recipes to assist us in […]
Spring

Pondering the possibilities of spring

Well, I can confirm it really is true. Johannesburg simply does have the most liveable climate on the planet. The veracity of this was confirmed by the astonishing beauty of a walk along the Braamfontein Spruit this morning. Mere weeks ago spring on the Highveld was just a promise, heralded by hardy early blossom and […]
Trust

On trust

By Frank Thompson The most powerful forward-looking emotion is hope. If we are able to face whatever lies ahead with hope, then there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome.  The opposite is also true.  If we are hopeless about what lies ahead then every obstacle is insurmountable. Hope is personal and internal. But, trust […]
Giving

Leadership is about Giving

By James Lewis There is be a global tendency to believe that positions of power are platforms that entitles one to take from the world. It is little wonder we have bred generations of narcissistic autocratic management that manifests toxic cultures that suck the enthusiasm and spirit from those with the desire and talent to […]
multiple shapes and forms

Leadership comes in multiple shapes and forms

By Niven Postma At precisely a time when we most need it, leadership is nowhere to be seen in the places we most look for it. So perhaps, we are simply looking in the wrong places.  And perhaps we also need to relook how we define leadership. What do I mean by leadership? Margaret Wheatley, […]
Followers

Followers change things, Leaders don’t

By Pete Laburn  If you think you are a leader, but nobody is following you, you are really just talking a walk.   Entrenched in history and still permeated in modern leadership theory is the notion that people holding positions of authority are extremely important, and followers matter far less.  In most academic literature on the […]
Choice

Leadership is a choice, not a birth right

By Sue Schreuder Nobody is born genetically encoded not to lead. Everybody is born with the potential to create influence, but whether we do or not, is a choice.  And its not always an easy one. Thinking back over your life to date, have you experienced a person who inspired you?   What about a person […]
Blessing

Blessing in Bhambayi

By Steve Hall A tribute to Blessing Nyoni, founder of GOLD CO and human rights activist in Bhambayi, Durban. With the food for the stomach settled, now it was food for thought And the lessons we learn from Blessing, are gems which cannot be bought Surrounded by Leaders who’ve influenced their world, Leaders who’ve shown […]
Connection

Leadership thought:  Leadership is about Connection

By Lindsay Braithwaite Ubuntu. ’A person is a person through connection with others.’ The above definition of the famous African concept of Ubuntu, applies aptly to the Lead with Humanity approach to Leadership. Simply put, we cannot lead if we are not connected to the people we are leading. And so, what do we mean […]
Influence

Leadership is about influence, not control

By Frank Thompson For many with a 20th century mindset the notion of leadership paints a picture of command and control vividly demonstrated in the pervasive warfare of that era. Here, leadership stems from positional authority in the hierarchy of an organisation. In war it may be argued that this is necessary, and that other […]
being

Leadership is a state of being

By Mick Fynn There is much debate on how leaders should be behaving in these extraordinary times. Hundreds of theories, more than most unproven, pose more confusion than they do solace, because the truth is that nobody is sure. Perhaps a far more interesting question has arisen during this forced, and largely unwelcome, pause.  Take […]
leadership

Is our world over manipulated and under led?

By Pete Laburn The world is filled with masquerading leaders, driven by personal agendas and selfish ambition.  At the same time, it truly appears to be leaderless.  It is a sad reality and it is not serving us well. Much consideration is given to why this is the case.  But the efforts are misplaced, because […]
Shadows

Have you met your shadows?

Have you ever turned down an opportunity for fear of failure?  Or not shared your opinion for fear of being judged? Have you ever been triggered by someone’s behaviour or thought; ‘I would never do that?’ Have you ever said or done something, on impulse, that you later regret?   Yes?   Maybe?   If this sounds, at […]
Gandhi's Sins

Seven Sins for Humanity

One of the most insightful summaries of the way Mahatma Gandhi lived his life can be found in his identification of seven deadly sins for humanity.  He had a deep commitment to Satyagraha, meaning ‘instance on truth’, and this underpinned each of these philosophical instructions. Gandhi said that there should be no wealth without work, […]
Wealth without Work

Wealth without Work

Whilst growing up, my father always reminded me that ‘the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary’. I wasn’t sure what he meant until it was my turn to earn a salary, run a business, pay bills and care for a family.  My respect for that statement increased 10-fold. But today, […]
Pleasure without Conscience

Pleasure without Conscience

For as long as I have been old enough to notice, or perhaps, to care, the world seems consumed by pleasure-seekers. The pursuit of pleasure without regard for conscience or moral obligation is an all too common, yet quite clearly, obvious, sin.  As I’ve explored the relevance of Gandhi’s seven sins for humanity in today’s […]
Science without Humanity

Science without Humanity

A definition of humanity: “The quality of being humane and benevolent”. And qualities which make us human – the ability to love, have compassion, be creative, and have faith in the collective. We sit, as a human collective, on the cusp of enormous global change. What we might previously have viewed as entertaining science fiction […]
Knowledge without Character

Knowledge without Character

The trolley of refreshments would be waiting just outside the classrooms of the Global Leadership Center. Neatly stacked on its two stories would be jugs of fresh water, bowls of mints, and on Fridays a few chocolate treats to indulge the taste buds of the delegates. Behind that trolley, if we were lucky, would be […]
Politics without Principle

Politics without Principle

Very early in my career I was a consultant at a global strategy consulting firm. It was my first professional job and I had a lot to learn. I was justly excited when my first assignment saw me being allocated to a government case. I was the most junior person in a highly skilled team […]
Commerce without Morality

Commerce without Morality

It is a cliché that money has no conscience. As economist Milton Friedman asked, and then himself answered, “So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no they do not.” There are […]
Worship without Sacrifice

Worship without Sacrifice

There is an old saying that goes; “Who you are being speaks so loudly, that I can’t hear a word you are saying”. Actions have always spoken louder than words.  This timeless lesson is truly relevant when exploring the actions of worship, in all its various forms. Mahatma Gandhi warned humanity against the sin of […]
Lockdown

Loading Level 3

This weekend wasn’t really the end of lockdown, it just felt that way. Today, 8 million South Africans returned to work, and 14 million school children nearly did, but then didn’t. Golf courses and legal cigarette packets remain closed, but liquor stores opened, and open-toed shoes became available again. So, by all intents and purposes, […]
Time

The gift of time during Covid 19 – using brain science to support change

By Lindsay Braithwaite One of the greatest luxuries of life is the gift of time.  Perhaps the pandemic has highlighted how frenetic and busy our lives have become. Whether through intention, or in complete unawareness, we pack in, take on and hurtle through the days, with sometimes little time to slow down and reflect, both […]
Renias Mhlongo

What will you preserve?

By Pete Laburn All great leaders in history appear to have one thing in common.  They led primarily out of who they were, even though we celebrate what they did.  We might salute their courageous and decisive action, but this was predicated by a deep sense of purpose and firmly held values. Their leadership was […]
Getaway moon

This too shall pass

By Frank Thompson In our house the lockdown began 50 days ago when the scheduled departure date for a much-anticipated trip to Italy came, and went. Our group got together online and drank to our trip in a virtual toast that called to mind the famous toast that sustained the Jewish diaspora for hundreds of […]
Leadership

Time to toss Leadership Competencies Part 3: Future Imperative

The third of a 3-part series on leadership development in a post-COVID world Read part 1 Read part 2 Let’s get the elephant out of the room. Are leaders born or are they made? The answer is an emphatic YES. Courageous, empathic and visionary leaders who positively and proactively influence their world, are in short […]

Time to toss Leadership Competencies Part 2: Leadership Today

The second of a 3-part series on leadership development in a post-COVID world Read part 1 In Part 1, Leadership’s Dark Ages, we suggested that the leadership competency model was developed and ‘perfected’ in an industrial age construct.  And that many organisations remain stuck in the paradigm where good leadership means efficient management. At Lead […]
SCARF

The science behind our extreme vulnerability

Written by Lindsay Braithwaite There is a tsunami of information on the subject of human emotion circulating at this moment. Before I venture into the topic, I would like to bring your attention to a key distinction between other previously experienced global pandemics, and COVID-19 (“Covid”). These pandemics have mostly resulted in isolation, to varying […]

The critical questions for a better world

By James Lewis James Lewis is a Lead with Humanity Associate.  He is an accredited coach with vast experience in transformation, diversity and personal development. How can we build organisations able to serve and support society’s future needs?  This is one of many questions that I believe leaders will need to ask in the coming […]