Leadership: The new twist

EVENTS seem to be moving at breakneck speed, not only in Zimbabwe, but the whole world.


One is left with more questions than answers; how do I lead a country?

How do I lead my company?

How do I even lead my family?

How do a grapple with change?

How do I fit into this so called “new normal”, which is not normal at all?

Views have become so divergent

A good promise by one, might seem too overly and overtly charismatic. One’s silence might be taken for despotism or autocracy.

In Zimbabwe, we have grown to be so critical, and it might not be healthy for the collective progress and prosperity, but at the same time the tenets of democracy purport the freedom of speech.


Rwanda is one country that has of late, seen some positive progress.

Its infrastructure and adoption of technology has made it to catch up with times and trends.

Someone saw the world differently even after the deadly genocide.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) said Rwanda is “one of the fastest growing economies in Central Africa. Rwanda notched up GDP growth of around 8% per year between 2001 and 2014. Rwanda increased significantly, as the country began rebuilding itself after the genocide”.

This is how it has re-modelled itself.

As young as I might be, I have seen change for the better.

This shows that things are possible.

What could be stopping success in Zimbabwe?

Or Africa in general?

Individualism and greed could be the contributing factors.

If one owns mansions and has millions in the bank, they feel they have arrived and do not need to fuss about what someone next door is doing.

Lack of generational thinking

The world did not start here and I don’t think it will end here with us either.

So, we should think of the next generation that is going to occupy this space. So we have to create a better place for them to inherit.

The third reason causing not only stagnation but regression, are people stuck in the past.

Peter F Drucker in the book Leader to Leader (1999: 115) says: “The present people in organisations are still stuck in the 19th century model of the organisation.”

Systems thinking

This is one important leadership trait.

At this point, the leaders’ creative integrates all parts of an organisation.

It brings all the disciplines together.

As individuals, we are just but like a maize morsel.

Together, like maize, we add up to make silos.

As Herman Melville once said: “We cannot live for ourselves alone.

“Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibres, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
We are talking about the V-formation by migratory birds.

“Birds know that to complete the long trip of migration, they have to fly united.

“Scientists tell us that flying in formation increases the bird’s flight range by 71%.

“Airwaves created each time a bird flaps its wings provide an uplift for the next one in formation, supporting it, decreasing its workload and conserving its energy.

“A solo bird could never complete the trip, but, in formation, the youngest, the oldest, and even the weakest get there.

“In other words, they do collectively what they could never do alone,” (The Word For Today Issue 4/2008, October/ November/ December 2008, Radio Pulpit, page 4)

Now, it is up to the leaders to make the V-formation work. A great leader understands that great goals cannot be accomplished by one person, but by a good team.

A team is made up of different individuals and the role of the leader is to glue together all the individual people’s potentials towards one great goal; winning.

Like part of puzzle, everyone should fit squarely where they perform their best to necessitate a smooth flow and for the benefit of the whole entity. The ultimate role of a leader is to creatively bring all the cogs together.

Re-engineering the economy

We need to re-think rigid industrial systems, if we are to are to see change. What worked yesterday, might not work today.

As we enter the Fourth Generation Industrial Revolution, we need to re-engineer our thinking. We need to think about automation, robots, and idea generation.

Jeremy Kourdi (2015: 218) in the book The Big 100 says: “If companies are to succeed and achieve more during times of volatility, opportunity and change, they need to be learning organisations, where everyone and every function are encouraged and supported to continuously adapt and improve.”

Open mindedness

I wonder if many companies really understand why they employ people.

They are not only employed to perform a particular function, but to bring ideas.

The danger of employing someone to perform a specify duty, is that when new thing comes, their performance might not be needed.

Worse still, the future we are entering into is becoming more automated.

Which means that what you used to do with your hands might be replaced by a robot.

So, allow people to use their minds to develop your company.

Allow them to make mistakes (this is called disruptive leadership), as they flex their mental muscles. Challenge then to generate more ideas and concepts.

lJonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and certified leadership/business trainer. He is the author of Inspiration for Success and Success Within Reach. Contact details: Tel: 0772 581 918. Email: jonah@classicmail.co.za. Twitter@jonahnyoni.


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