Being strong in character and being able to persuade people to follow your vision does not mean that you are able to competently execute strategy or deliver on your mandate. Leaders must continually reflect on their skills, knowledge and abilities and actively work on improving in all dimensions in order to stay ahead of the pack. This section is designed to help subscribers to take courageous steps to continually improve their value proposition.
Sometimes individuals become aware of unethical behaviour that conflicts with her personal values, professional code of ethics and/or the law. Many people struggle with what they should do and generally would fall into three broad categories: a) those who choose to go into self-preservation mode and therefore remain silent and keep their heads down, b) those who choose to report unethical behaviour and c) those who choose to exit because they do not want to be associated with the organisation (another form of self-preservation). Those in the second category may eventually be forced out, especially when the people they have exposed are powerful. They may find themselves being victimised or that the leadership does not take adequate action with regard to what they have reported.
Most of us are oblivious to the fact that the reality we’re experiencing is not necessarily shared by others. We all look at the world and interpret what is happening around us through our own lens, which is informed by our frame of reference, our background and preferences.
In order to be effective as a leader, one must have an acute sense of self awareness. In times of crises this becomes even more important, as leaders have to deal with increasing challenges such as no longer being able to provide a clear vision, no longer being able to control everything directly and no longer being able to rely on old and trusted knowledge. In this interview, Mr Nomvalo shares his insights on the factors leaders should take into consideration as they work on themselves to become more effective. From self-awareness to being in control in the eye of the storm.
If nothing else, the pandemic certainly has highlighted the areas where we have been falling short. One of the most important lessons professionals should take from the crisis is that risk management is not only reserved for organisations with risk management functions in place. It makes absolute sense that individuals should apply the same principles, even if in a more simplistic form, to their own personal and professional lives. Thus creating a risk register for yourself and ensuring that you revisit and regularly update it, is going to become more important in a fast changing world.
In times of crises leaders have to deal with increasing expectations and pressure, while maintaining a balance of focus between survival and opportunities. Leadership styles are tested and pre-existing conditions in relationships are amplified. In this interview, which is a follow-on from the interview on Mobilising Yourself as a Leader, Mr Nomvalo gives sterling advice on how leaders can be effective in the midst of chaos.
He who burns down his house knows why ashes cost a fortune.
— African proverb