The book offers inspiration and lessons for leaders and managers of today. It talks about Ubuntu, the humanistic philosophy of life rooted in the genes of the African people. It explains the relationship between this philosophy and the blooming of the African Renaissance and how it can be used in the challenging business of today.
The world is facing Challenges
Many great changes are happening now, with no end in sight. It promises to be a captivating period, which demands proper leadership in the twenty-first century, in all its complexity and with its global questions. The power of multinationals and hugely wealthy leaders has become larger and more influential than governments and administrations during the last few decades. Rising economies see these multinationals and leaders more as catalysts and partners in the fight against poverty. The individualism in the western world is fully examined. In the world of today there are more problems facing developed countries with the Western World facing recession. With all these challenges, very special kind of leadership is necessary to best anticipate and profit from it; not the sort of leadership at the root of the crisis, but rather leaders who know how to rise above their own importance. These are leaders with courage, audacity and the ambition to share with others at this complex time. But such leaders are difficult to find.
Type of Leaders wanted in the 21st Century.
The twenty first century is an interesting but particularly complex era. There is a growing realization that another type of leader is necessary to steer us through all the crises of the west, environmental problems, rising terrorism, the growing division between the rich and the poor, the lack of trust between citizens and consumers, and the increasing awareness that things must change. These are leaders who can build a tribal community, and whose most important objective is the well-being of the community rather than their own personal success. They have a commanding personality, driven by a mission greater than himself, with inner resources, dreams and passion. These are people who are capable to share and connect, and possess a sense of justice. They do not become rich at the expense of others, nor do they allow corruption or extreme wealth to cause harm to their leadership. Good leadership in the twentieth century is impossible without a good balance between attitude, competencies and emotions. These are leaders like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Obama, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf e.t.c. Their type of leadership unites social, physical, mental and spiritual dimensions.
The Gift of Africa: Ubuntu, the humanistic philosophy.
It is the essence of being human, it embraces hospitality, caring about others, being willing to go the extra mile for the sake of others. A person is a person through others. Therefore Ubuntu clearly shows that we cannot function without being part of a stronger connection. Ubuntu is based on the principles of: respect, trust, courage, entrepreneurship, compassion and dignity. Good leaders approach their employees from a perspective of human value rather than superior attitude. If people feel truly connected with each other, there exists a dynamic of positive energy which can lead to great results. Tribal leaders strongly connected and closely linked to their employees and they know how to create a climate of trust, where people are encouraged to grow and learn from their mistakes. They are intuitive listeners, they know how to stimulate and motivate people and give them self-confidence. They are able to approach everything, including the company, from a wide context, which means that they put the ‘I exist because of we’ principle into practice.
Ubuntu is now able to take its rightful place on the world’s stage, which means that the African Renaissance can serve as an example for the western world. Ubuntu in fact offers to the western world suggestions and requirements for a better life, both for the individual and his surroundings, and for sustainable economic development. A strongly rooted tribal principle has contributed to rapid economic growth in African countries. The people of Bhutan used Ubuntu principle and they believe in Gross National Happiness not Gross National Product which according to them leads to greediness and corruption. They have successfully used it in their government and their happiness is measure by number of children playing in the streets. In South Africa it is called Ubuntu, In Zimbabwe its Hunhu, in Tanzania its Ujamaa, in Botswana its Botho, Umundu in Kenya e.t.c. Ubuntu is being implemented in Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana, Liberia and other African countries.
Does Leontine walk the talk?
Leontine van Hooft and Léon van Rijckevorsel are the directors at GreenDreamCompany. For Leontine it was not the love of just writing a book, but she also practice good leadership that she preaches every day. At GreenDreamCompany they practice Ubuntu. Everyday employees drink coffee/tea together and share jokes. All employees are equal; the working environment is friendly and with flexible working hours. They practice charismatic leadership and employees have greater room to be creative and suggest whatever they think. This makes employees enjoy their work. This is the same type of leadership at Axiz in South Africa and SEMCO in Brazil. Leontine van Hooft is the author of the book; she is a speaker and an entrepreneur. In 2011 Leontine received an Award of the Entrepreneur of the Year.
For your own hard copy or e-book go to Amazon.com. The hard copy’s ISBN number is 978-90-820987-0-9 and for the e-book its 978-90-820987-1-6. To have a look at the chapters in the book please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEBX3GIYaU8
For those with no access to Amazon.com they can order the book directly from Leontine van Hooft at: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @ubuntu_for_you, www.leontinevanhooft.nl, www.greendreamcompany.com.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.