Another Sunday in Lockdown. It is beneficial to be an introvert! But even I miss coffee-shop-talks with my coffee mates. But I can survive a bit longer.
Leadership and management are remarkably interesting topics. You could say I am a student of leadership and management. The quality of leadership and management determines everything. Leadership and Management is not the same. Since it is Sunday, I may quote the Bible?
Prov 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
As an aside, the one thing that amazes me in these times, is that people challenge the rules by disobeying the rules and then complain when they are arrested. Make no mistake, I have very little respect left for the rule makers or the law enforcers. Yes, I have come to that, because I cannot see anything happening to the law enforcers abusing their power and acting like bullies. But then, I suspect, they just show what their leader is made of! I am sure I am not the only person feeling like this. Be that as it may, I am thinking of leadership today.
I had good expectations from Cyril way back in 2017. Today I think the epitaph on his Presidency will be “lost opportunities.” Perhaps he will surprise and prove me wrong. I sincerely hope he does, sooner, rather than later, though.
Leadership is based on respect and trust. Years ago, I was on a youth camp at McGregor in the Western Cape. I slept in the dormitory with some of the boys, because when the lights go out, the truth also comes out. As it goes in a dormitory, there were a lot of jokes and some challenging of the rules. After a while, the head boy of the school said: “Ok, boys, let’s go to sleep.” And that is exactly what we did! He did not play first team rugby. He was a quiet boy who could pick up an insect with wonder in his eyes and respect in his attitude. He commanded respect. That is why he did not have to threaten or raise his voice.
No respect, no follow!
Churchill is an excellent example of a “situational leader.” If there was not a World War, it seems most historians agree, Churchill would never have been Prime Minister. I am not a historian, but I suspect Churchill was decisive and, unlike me, did not hesitate between all the options. In a disaster he was the star. Once again, I am not a student of Churchill, but it is striking how many times the word “we” is used in his quotes. Perhaps I am wrong. Imagine, though, fighting a war with a leader you do not trust or respect.
That is the problem I have with the situation in South Africa today. Instead of leading us in a time of crisis, we have ministers making nonsensical rules and I am not talking only about cigarettes or alcohol. The problem with cigarettes is that there is smuggling going on and the minister’s name too regularly comes up in the media when the smuggling is mentioned. (Just Google “south africa cigarette smuggler” and see what comes up.) Over and above that, it seems there is a personal vendetta against smoking. Now understand this – I do not smoke. I do not like smoking. But now is not the time for personal pet peeves!
No trust, no follow!
The rules regarding other items we may buy or not and how we must wear it, is absurd. I do not have words to express myself in this regard. Unfortunately, it does not breed trust or confidence. It destroys trust and confidence. It has certainly incinerated (like a smuggled cigarette) my trust and confidence in the people who are “ruling” (literally) us! . They should be leading us or governing us, now they are ruling!
Mahatma Gandhi is world renowned for what he achieved.
I conclude with a quote from him, I think it says everything:
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”