if you can’t lead don’t bother

Coaching, mentoring, managing, Consulting, best practice and any other business development jargon are just semantics – unless they make a difference! Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, affectionately called “Tata” (Father) with a clan name of Madiba is the most recent in a long line of leaders that reconfirm, if you need to get something done – be an effective leader. This “servant leader” taught through the following great examples; (among many others) "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – his birth name in IsiXhosa means, “pulling the branch of a tree” but colloquially means “troublemaker”

  1. Speak to the Heart – so easy to say, so difficult to do, but to get another to join your crusade, to have them buy into your vision, is a critical factor of leadership; this requires “the common touch”,
    • this doesn’t just mean “managing by walking around”, kissing babies or pressing flash – it requires that you “understand, give feedback,” and deliver change that is deserving,
  2. Inclusive unpopular decisions – the concept of “Ubuntu” is that, we live in a collective, that I am only who I am because of YOU;
    • Madiba was famous for making unilateral decisions but somehow getting others to buy into these decisions as though they had made material input, even that it was “their idea!”
  3. Visionary but involved – great leaders throughout history have made speeches outlining a visionary concept, which were close to the hearts of their followers, that they could “buy into – own” the outcomes;
    • more than most, Madiba was seen to be part of the solution. Famous for including his enemies and “crossing divides” by becoming identified with those that needed to be “engaged!”
  4. People first, SYSTEMS a far second – Madiba understood that no system could work without committed, effective people;
    • not satisfied by envisioning the solution, he often defined the system that was required for success – understanding that peoples competencies, not race, gender or political allegiance would be the critical factor in delivery

Have you got a plan to implement effective leadership this year?

You may have dabbled with planning in your business? If you are anything like the number of interested parties that took advantage of our Grow their Year campaign, you, like me and almost everyone, has. BUT, have you been effective? Planning is easy; implementation is where the leader earns their stripes. Heartened by the example of Madiba and the demonstrated success of those that accepted the Year Planning challenge, I’ve created one for our coaching practice ~ and with total confidence believe ~ that it WILL be implemented during the coming year – like everything, the key is in the demonstration of leadership – aptly, Inspiration, Education, Application and Implementation.

Start by planning what you need to do by using our FREE Business Context for goal setting tool. Then, if you need a friendly ear or a shoulder to give you some help, why not use our pro bono community outreach offering. That should get you going!

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Peter French

Business Coaching is not consulting, it's also not therapy. It's a unique profession that lives somewhere in between these two poles - structured to leave lasting life and business value!

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