Can you afford not to be a leader?

Online since 5.09.2017 • Filed under Human Resources • From Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018 page(s) 40-41
Can you afford not to be a leader?

Many like to hide behind the premise that they are not a born leader and consider themselves exempt from contributing to a better future for all. However, looking at the world today, filled with greed, violence, environmental destruction and poverty, can you really afford not to be a leader?

Criticising our leaders seems to be a modern society trend, and social media makes it so easy. Agreed, there are many leaders who are not fulfilling their responsibilities as the custodians of our countries, our economies, the environment and ultimately our wellbeing. But are we looking to ourselves for the solution? And if we are not working towards the solution, are we not also accountable for the devastation?

We can’t afford to be complacent

You will only change what you really care about. This is why it is so sad that many believe that leadership is action free from emotion. Leadership is emotion. Inspiring your team and valuing their contribution can no longer be disregarded as the ‘soft and fluffy stuff’. In fact, this is the hardest and most important focus area if an organisation is to be successful and sustainable.

Kevin Murray, Richard Leider, and many others share how neuroscience proves that having a sense of common purpose has a profound impact on how we show up. Anyone can choose to positively impact those around them. If you make others feel insignificant or insecure their brains will release cortisol, which instils fear and causes them to disengage. But if you inspire fulfilment and make others feel valued and worthy, you will encourage the release of oxytocin, helping them to connect emotionally with a common purpose. Ultimately, if everyone brings their hands, minds and hearts to work, it translates into business results.

We can’t afford to have a short-term focus

It is vital to invest in your own and your key talent’s leadership capability, even if it carries short-term risks and costs. Investing in the future is always risky because you don’t know what tomorrow brings, but for this same reason it is so necessary.

If you don’t prepare for the future you might not have a place in it. Failing to invest in building talent now could result in failing to have the capacity to deliver when the opportunity comes. We cannot sacrifice long-term success for short-term gain. It might help balance the budget, but it will harm the sustainability of your company and consequently your industry’s future and the country in which you operate. This will then have a further negative impact on your company.

We can’t afford to be self-serving

Leadership is not about enriching yourself or even your company. It is about contributing to a society that enriches the lives of everyone. Of course, you make decisions that support the sustainability of your company, but the sustainability of your company must support the sustainability of society. And perhaps even more importantly, it must inspire others to follow your example.

It is everyone’s responsibility to invest in developing themselves and those around them. The more people who begin to display compassion, the more compassion will be ignited in others and the less violence we will see. The more we display integrity, the more others will follow our example and the less corruption and greed will manifest. You don’t have to be a bad leader to fail, you only need to be an absent leader. The reverse is also true: there is no such thing as a good leader, there are only purposeful leaders. Anyone can be mindful of how they impact others and, more importantly, how they can impact others to inspire change.

In a world where we all shift the responsibility to someone else, everyone loses together. For more information, visit

Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018

Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018

This article was featured on page 40-41 of SABI Magazine Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018 .

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