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Leadership - a complicated art

By unknown | Jun 10, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Leadership is a complex term and responsibility.

One thing certain about leadership is that it can be best unravelled in many ways, as - arguably - encompassing the performance of a role or task aimed at affecting human behaviour or influencing groups to attain a certain mission, goal or result, whether positive or negative. Thankfully, at most times, leadership is spent on good things, although history is peppered with instances where leadership has led families, communities and nations to gloom.

Examples include the holocaust, genocides in Bosnia, Rwanda, Burundi and then the US civil rights movement's triumphs, Liberia's ultimate freedom, peace in Angola, Mozambique and so on. In all these terrible and terrific moments in history, men and women have been at the forefront of their genesis and prevailed until there was a telling end.

But little has been said or done about how leaders, good or bad, are developed, except that most emerge out of a natural, almost instinctive response to circumstance, environment and social and even political stimuli.

This book deals with leadership and leadership development - commonly defined as the activity aimed at enhancing leadership and leadership quality in a group, institute or organisation - at an oftentimes omitted, forgotten or totally-ignored level: the man or woman as leader so the title, Moving Towards Your Leadership Destiny, is well-placed.

Groenewald, the author, or more appropriately, researcher, compiler and leadership teacher, unravels the mystery of turning ordinary people into leaders, or an extraordinary one, an achiever in your own right, your own pace, standard or level - a leader nonetheless.

Groenewald, who is a part of leadership education and training organisation Moditure, bases his book on lessons learnt from interactions - including casual, formal chats, interviews, lectures and profiles - with at least a hundred leaders of companies, business, government departments, politicians and leadership developers, including Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, Black Management Forum president Jimmy Manyi, MTN chief executive Phuthuma Nhleko, political commentator Frederick Van Zyl Slabbert and DA leader Helen Zille.

Topping the discussion items list with the leaders was how we can be illustrious - worth emulating - and set standards in this intricate, almost complicated "art of moving people and situations profitably" or "generating movement more commonly referred to as change, growth and or development".

To distil the learnt lessons, Groenewald has outlined several principles that help nurture ordinary and top achievers with confidence, evaluation and doing (which he refers to as the E-Do factor), doing unto others as you would wish them do unto you (which he refers to as the Do-Done factor), law of movement (defined by motivation, direction and structure), the adjustor factor, resistance to movement, attitudinal modes and confrontation.

Simplifying these principles forms the spine of the book. It delves deeper than just saying that confidence is belief in oneself, one's ability, capability and knowledge. He defines the E-Do factor as two distinct processes demystifying the complexities of man, namely evaluating and then doing; with survival as a common form of evaluation of one's circumstances and then doing something to either cope or overcome the circumstances.

Personal standards sum up the Do-Done factor. Through its principles, Groenewald inducts humility, respect, self-respect, goodwill and universal brotherhood. The bookliberates all the doubts about one's abilities, capabilities, potential and worth as a human being, someone worthy of making a difference for and to others - starting with the core, namely the inner man or woman.


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