Leaders and Self-Aggrandizement

2013-01-17 05:13

During the recently concluded African National Congress (ANC) elective conference held in Mangaung, Trevor Manuel made some very profound statements worthy of implementing.

His statement, “that there is no entitlement in life. We must get over that. People must earn their keep”, is food for thought.

Today, in our country, values of inclusivity and Ubuntu have been extracted from the ethical and moral social fabric. Many leaders in their quest for self-aggrandizement, name and fame are unwilling to let go of their positions or seats.

Leaders need to develop a new way of thinking and understand that at some point things will have to adjust, transform and even change. By not having communication and effective dialogue about creating a leadership bank and succession planning, an organisation can be at risk of failing or collapsing.

I find in some organisations and even institutions, especially in religious and community based organisations, some members have long outgrown their stay, but are still hanging on to their positions to the detriment of the organisation and communities they serve.

Other members of the organisation or conscience- driven individuals can see the rot but are not prepared to ruffle the feathers or rock the boat. This "self- silencing" or dangerous attitude is due to the fear of being labelled as a mischief maker or the sensitivity associated around such issues and at times the fear of losing one’s job or position.

Once leaders have served their time they need to graciously and gracefully move on and bring in new blood to ensure the stability, growth and continuity of the organisation.

Leadership change, term limits for senior staff members and being prepared for those expected realities, like death, old age and sickness, should be the standard policy of every organisation. There is more than enough evidence that institutions and community based organisations that do not have such planning or a leadership bank in time experience various problems and challenges.

To avoid emotional crises, stagnation or costly court cases, organisations should build into their constitutions mechanisms for effective leadership transition.

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