With Wendy’s blessing I have the opportunity to share these thoughts, insights and lessons I learned today. I had the privilege of listening to one of the country’s most dynamic leaders today. Take a literary trip with me if you feel like having a life changing, thought provoking read…
Wendy Luhabe is a powerhouse. A workhorse and a visionary leader who gets what South Africa’s leadership need to get in order for us to change the course and the direction of the future we are heading towards. She gets the heart, she gets the soul, and she gets the mind. She wants to hear your beating heart because as she teaches it is in the listening that we find out if we’re brave enough to have the courage to do what our country needs us to do.
She reminded Regent Group’s leadership team that life is what you make it. So look around you – where you are is a microcosm of the society we live in. You’re a part of creating the present, but also the future. Are you on the fence or are you making a choice to be a part of a legacy that you are proud of, that cares and nurtures future generations?
It was a moment of truth for me. I was blessed with two very inspiring conversations with this woman. If you’re a woman navigating corporate South Africa – she will inspire you and touch you so deeply inside your soul that it will light a flame if it’s gone out and making it burn brighter if you didn’t think it could burn anymore!
Was what she had to say airy fairy? No, not in my opinion. In listening to this dynamic, female, social entrepreneur and future activist – she pulled at every fibre of my being. There were moments I wanted to cry at the truths. There were moments I wanted to clap and stand up proud. There were honest moments. There was laughter.
For me? Scrambling to write down all her thoughts which resonate with where I find myself and where I want to challenge myself aptly describes how I captured these thoughts. I didn’t want to miss anything! I should have recorded it for you all! She is that good! I took the liberty of making some notes that might inspire you as much as it did me.
Let me share some of her thought starters with you on your journey to adding value to this country that is yours and mine to share, enjoy and celebrate! “What role can we play as a community of people? Together we can do more to build social capital in South Africa!”
Have you asked yourself this question? What is your answer? It was the question we were asked today by Wendy Luhabe at a leadership meeting on Thursday 22nd September 2016. In Wendy’s view, this is what is missing in South Africa.
I listened curiously and when she was done I realised that I too stand in agreement. “We can’t necessarily change the education system, the health care system. Having said that though… we can narrow our sphere of influence to our space, our own network and the community of people we engage with the most.”
I’m from a large network of friends and family spread all over the country and so proud of each and every one of them. From CEO’s of large media companies, writers, board members, musicians, analysts, human capital experts and engineers to a family of women who nurture and care so beautifully for this extensive network. Thank you Wendy for helping me to reflect and recognise the value that exists in authentic relationships and the networks I have. Words of wisdom. Visionary pearls were shared to a leadership team today – certainly deep moments of reflection and a desire to continue positive action with both my heart and head aligned to making this country one my children can be proud of. A world where we’re honest, where we connect with the head and the heart. Where the heart is not scared, but brave to be.
“Our legacy has constrained us with fear and we are forced as a nation to reflect. To speak the truth.”
These days we have sporadic moments of truth – why are they not consistent – they should be. We live in fear; this fear takes the life out of our creative force – that which we need most to thrive in the next cycle of our country. Some of the workplaces in South Africa have created a culture where “we don’t say what we mean and mean what we say”. Is this true for you? If so, why? I’m curious. I came to realize in the session this morning that it is in the moments of openness and honesty that creativity thrives, inspiration spreads like shooting stars and we get to compete and learn from global players who have changed their direction, their pace, the way they think and function as a person, a contributor and societal changer.
Are you working in a culture where mistakes count for something? In America, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for funding – they ask you how many times have you failed or plan to make a mistake. A jaw dropping moment for me.
Forbes recently posted this view for those looking for funding from angel investors. How much burn will occur until the company gets to profitability?
“50 Questions Angel Investors Will Ask Entrepreneurs”
“What culture do we have? It underpins how we work together.”
Do you get that?
I certainly do.
“We are emotional beings. When our emotions are violated, that’s what preoccupies us and prevents us from being authentic!”
Together we can do more.
Are all our efforts ignored? Create a culture where our efforts are not ignored.
“Think about each other as though you are giving and exchanging gifts with one another all the time. These are the practices that bring out the most joy.”
I love the idea of thinking that I am exchanging gifts all the time with my colleagues and peers. I love giving gifts and enjoy receiving them just as much. Seems like a winning recipe – the win win that Wendy referred to. How could we create that? How could you create that?
“The most immediate way is to care about what happens amongst us. To begin to create a new world that socializes in the way we imagine and dream about. Where you work and where you are is a reflection of our society”.
We have the potential to make a greater impact than we sometimes care to realise. We have not really made an effort to build bridges in the way that we interact because if we did – would we find ourselves in the position we do right in this moment?
I want my kids to live in a normal society. What is normal? We are shaping the world now. Let’s shape this world and our country using principles of honesty, authenticity and respect. We have a huge responsibility and should not pay lip service to it.
Pat Pillay once said to Wendy, “We never graduate from life. We get better at dealing with it.”
Democracy did not give us all the tools or an app to navigate better in this vuca world we are living in. We don’t have something that binds us as strong as a language would for the Brazilians. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try and figure out what it is and make it work.
The leadership challenge for South Africa’s leaders – is how can we interact so that it’s a win win situation?
We can only experience a future we create.
What are you creating?
The rate of change is out of sync. High levels of stress, suicide, addictions and drinking are all relevant conversations happening in the fabric of the society we call our own. We’re struggling to cope. What have we created?
If God was looking down on South Africa what would he say? “My goodness. Who are these people?”
What do you think God would say?
Leadership is not about hierarchy, not a position or the ceo, but rather about me and you. How are you leading in your own network and community? They could be your family, your friends, your network of peers. The future of business is very different. Look at #AirBnB and #Uber. You all know these success stories.
“Networks of communities of people are developing. Purposeful networking towards a common objective. This is the future of working together for the greater good in South Africa. We all have a vested interest.”
[Volatility, Uncertaintity, Change, Ambiguity]
It’s real. It’s the world we live in.
There is a danger in borrowing from the past. There is joy and creativity at feeling inspired and future focused. Fact or airy fairy?! FACT. We need to find new ways. Leaders must be clear. Leader must develop open mind sets. Leaders must transform constrained mind sets. Leaders must be brave. Leaders must be honest. Leaders must be inspired. When there is a challenge… think about what’s possible… a paradigm shift is needed in your way of thinking.
“We are in a season of contradictions. This type of leadership doesn’t require any experience. It requires backbone, vision, honesty, courage and authenticity. This is what will inspire joy.”
We have allowed ourselves to get sucked into a dishonest world.
Human beings just want to feel they matter. “Leaders need to be aware of their blind spots. Admit mistakes. Apologise. Basic human ways of interacting so that we can be truly authentic.”
Trust and honesty is essential. Focus on each other’s strengths.
“This is a story of social capital – we need social intelligence – now more than ever.”
Learning is not an occasion. It has to be integrated in how we work. Practiced. Tested. Do you understand or can you articulate what social intelligence means to you?
We don’t ask people often enough “what inspires you?”
What inspires you?
Thank you Wendy Luhabe for inspiring a female South African leader who lives and breathes for her country and wanting to make this a country my children will be proud to call their home!
After sharing my experience of the day, my mother told me today that as a parent I have “the voice to make a positive change” in our world.
I believe I can. Do you?
#humbledbywendy #brandiva #ilovethisbrand