Archives of Leadership

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

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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, […]
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 […]
Leading Remotely

Leading Remotely

The world is being turned on its head by the CoronaVirus pandemic.  Frankly, there is good in this.  It has it rapidly enforced the need for people to ‘work remotely’, a growing global trend.  Driven by unnecessarily wasted hours of commuting and the stress of working in suffocating corporate cultures, flexible working structures have been […]
Leaders Follow

Follow the Leader

Quote: John Maxwell To lead with influence, you need people who trust you, who align with your values and who believe, in their bones, that they matter to you.  There is an abundance of effort and investment made in the pursuit of developing leaders for the 21st Century’s VUCA world (read more here).  There is, however, an […]

10 Ways to Create Diversity & Transformation in the Workplace

BLOG, CULTURAL DIVERSITY, CULTURAL DIVERSITY TRAINING By Renias Mhlongo | Translated by Alex van den Heever Renias Mhlongo was born in what is today the greater Kruger National Park. As a young boy Renias was responsible for 17 head of cattle; protecting them from lions, hyaenas and leopards resident in the area. His father’s rule was simple […]

Nelson Mandela

  “ We have set out on a quest for true humanity, and somewhere on the distant horizon we can see the glittering prize. Let us march forth with courage and determination, drawing strength from our common plight and our brotherhood. In time we shall be in a position to bestow upon South Africa the […]

Are You Addicted to Power?

  The design of firms fosters power intoxication in their leaders. Greg, a top executive at a large financial institution, enjoyed the status that came with his job. He liked receiving attention and having people defer to him. He also relished rubbing shoulders with others in power. At the yearly meetings of the World Economic […]

An Unconventional New Job Description For Every Leader In A Complex Age.

  The basis of competition has changed dramatically over time. The digital revolution of the 21st century has changed the rules of competition in a massive way, requiring flexibility and adaptability. Simply put, too many new things are being introduced, things are changing too fast, and things have become too interdependent for the top-down approach to […]

How Humble Leadership Really Works

  When you’re a leader — no matter how long you’ve been in your role or how hard the journey was to get there — you are merely an overhead unless you’re bringing out the best in your employees. Unfortunately, many leaders lose sight of this. Power, as my colleague Ena Inesi has studied, can cause leaders to […]

Courage and Care

Xolani Hlabisa is a security guard. There is no boom by which he stands, or padlocked entrance. He has no glass fronted hut to sit behind with high tech cameras, and there are no telephone directory sized manuals of paper on which to sign. I have often wondered what happens to those reams of illegible […]

Six Keys to Transcendent Leadership.

Transcendent leadership was introduced as a global imperative at the 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos. Over the last 10 years, two threads have appeared defining what a transcendent leader is. The first thread — doing — relates to the topic of profits, people and planet, as outlined by John Jacob Zucker Gardiner, professor of educational leadership at […]

Soulful Leadership: Emulating Gandhi and Mandela

This year is a significant one in South African history. It is Nelson Mandela’s birth centenary. Coincidentally, it also marks the 125th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi being thrown off a train at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station for refusing to give up his seat in a first class, “whites-only” compartment. To the world, the connection between the two […]

Why You Lead Determines How Well You Lead

One of the most telling questions you can ask someone in any kind of leadership role is what motivates them to be a better leader. Some will say it’s to enhance their personal effectiveness, or that leading is an expected part of their professional development. Others may say that they lead because of a sense […]

Freedom Day

We sometimes forget too quickly. The bombings, the detentions without trial, the hurried and unwanted exiles. When the smoke has long since wafted away, it takes with it some of the angst and excitement of days long gone. The cloaks of covert criminality and daggers of destruction and deceit have perished or rusted away since […]

If I was born black in 1979…

If I was born black in 1979 there is almost no way on earth that I would have had the life I did have growing up! I was born the son of white teachers, and we lived at Michaelhouse school in the Midlands. If I had been black, and for argument sake, was born in […]

Self awareness can help leaders more then an MBA can

Vincent Siciliano, CEO of California-based New Resource Bank, was brought in to turn things around and restore the bank’s founding mission, which is to “serve values-driven businesses and nonprofits that are building a more sustainable world.” Within a few years, Vince had the bank back on track, but not everything was going as well as it […]

Conversational Intelligence

  Get to the next level of greatness through quality conversations “To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of relationships, which depends on the quality of conversations. Everything happens through conversations.” – Judith E. Glaser Judith Glazier is an Anthropopolist, consultant to Fortune […]

The Seeing Eye

There was a legendary character in the world of South African retail by the name of Ernst Loebenberg. He would scour the stores of Woolworths for men’s size sixteen and a half white collared shirts, and his neatly pressed white glove would leak the secrets of any residual dust on the shelves. Dirt was just […]

Agility: The Ingredient that will Define Next Generation Leadership

Today’s organisational leaders are facing accelerating rates of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, all of which are showing no signs of slowing down. Whether it is the continuing digital revolution or expanding global markets, our current environment requires a constant state of innovation. For companies to continue succeeding, next generation leaders must be able to […]

5 Transitions Great Leaders Make  That Average Leaders Don’t

The secret to leadership is there aren’t any real secrets. The best leaders have simply gone to school on improving their tradecraft. While the capabilities possessed by the best leaders might seem otherworldly to many, they are merely the outcome of hard work, experience, perspective, and yes, a bit of luck. The best leaders have […]

A Carwash kind of Question

A carwash is not a carwash is not a carwash. Just like Leadership comes in multiple shapes and forms, so too do many seemingly menial things like a simple carwash. In the smart and sublime suburbs of Sandton, they may be fully automated with a Seattle coffee thrown in as part of the deal. Housewives may […]

Lead with Humanity Coaching Reflections September 2017

It is sometimes so difficult to put an experience into words and then do that experience the full justice it deserves. I think our week together was one of those experiences. Coaching is very much part of the thinking of how and what makes any system ‘work’, and the energy that generates that system to […]

The Importance of Neuroscience in Leadership

So what kind of expertise do leaders need? They need sustained, continuous practice in the underlying skills of leadership:  Be able to focus their attention.  Change that focus when required.  Reflect critically on their thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.  Manage themselves so they can mobilize their will power, persist in adversity and calibrate their attitude to risk […]
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