The journey by Mohau Molefe

What an awesome time it has been writing up on leadership and some of these areas which I have found to be valuable.

What I have enjoyed with these articles has been to write from my perspective, but interesting as I re-read the works of great leadership-literature authors like Dr John Maxwell, some articles by peers, I am moved by similarities that we each discuss. Please do note that this is not an audacious comparison with established writers, but instead I am only establishing a string of similarity in leadership: or I believe I should say commonalities, like ‘The Journey’. This is a ‘pillar’, ‘foundation’, an ‘element’, whatever unique name you want to give to this, one of the critical identifiers in leading others. A leader takes followers on a journey. So, the one infront really needs to be able to move people.

Let us revise a bit first. We have looked at:

  1. Clarity of sight
  2. Charting the way
  3. The Platform

All these three are to enable a leader to move people from Point A to Point E, never mind B, C,…

The Journey is defined by the destination, so things like the ‘distance’, time, terrain, etc, all these are defined really by where those being led are destined to be collectively and individually.

The leader now needs to be able to get everyone to move. What an adventure. I call it an adventure because it takes mettle to move people.

I have had opportunities to lead hikes. One of those was a three-day jaunt. The generic description that we will be hiking through some beautiful areas, some tough terrain, etc, never prepares anyone for what is about to happen. However it is up to the leader to get people to their destination.

I want to highlight some of the key aspects a leader needs to ensure that he can move the people from A to E. Let us start with:

A leader’s ‘own staying power’

The leader himself needs to be committed to the very cause that he is driving, meaning that the leader has the depth to endure the journey and all it will through at him, ‘stick-it-out’ and reach the destination still sane and with a smile.

A leader can motivate others to ‘stick-with-it’

The leaders should have the skill to motivate others to keep fighting until the desired outcome is realised. Now this is very important. So the leader needs to have the ability to go through, but also take others through as well.

Empathiser

The leader needs to at ‘troughs’ be able to say ‘Come, let us get moving’, but not be plunged into despair himself at the difficult stages. The leader at peaks needs to be able to say ‘What a great job we have done’ but not be swallowed by the elation himself. Why: the leader needs to stay focused. Whenever I discuss leadership, I talk about this, because the leader needs a real emotional stability whilst there The Journey actually takes the leaders on an emotional rollercoaster. Very important: emotions are really good measurements of our responsiveness to reality. They are never to swallow us (whether they are of elation or otherwise), but instead they are a kind of tug at heart to see if the soul is still there.

 

Consistent planning, implementation, measuring and reworking where necessary

The leader needs to continuously be checking the horizon, analysing options, assessing the skills to implement(needed and present), allocating the resources (especially of the human-kind), implementing, monitoring (with others), correcting and re-adjusting.

The Journey: classroom for leaders

Classroom: oh yes. Honing our skills as leaders is only done when we take practicals and The Journey is just that practical. The leader needs to have the capacity for feedback analysis, correction and improvement. The leader however needs to have the capacity as well for sober-introspection to do the same. It is all these lessons that then help us ensure we reach our destination.

Really, this is exciting, never easy, but truly something that makes us as leaders aspire to become exceptional leaders. From a leader to another: let us develop and grow so that we really can improve the lives and the state of our continent, AFRICA.