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Nurturing Personal Leadership Resilience in tough times

BY: Prof Arnold Smit|9 April 2020
BLOG| Leadership, Effective Directorship

South Africa has faced the challenge of transitioning to a working democracy and inclusive economy throughout the last 25 years. In the same period, the world itself changed rather significantly. The challenge is compounded if we take the global financial predicament and the Covid-19 crisis into account.

These concerns have added to the complexities to which South Africans have had to respond. When focusing on South Africa itself, the scope of external challenges goes beyond economic conditions and includes political and social factors. In this context, business leaders identified economic instability in combination with labour and civil unrest, and expressed concerns about the quality of education, the lack of appropriate skills, growing unemployment, and widening inequality. In addition, there are social expectations and regulatory imperatives compelling companies to play their part in the country. 

Throughout this article we attempt to determine what business leaders think and do about accelerating the development of the next generation of senior leaders. The South African study focused specifically on understanding the critical leadership characteristics that will be required as the country continues with its transformation process, while at the same time striving to stay economically competitive in a global context.

Furthermore, we attempt to tap into the personal narratives of these business leaders, learning much about their attributes and attitudes as they, and their organizations, navigate this dynamic landscape of change and transition. Three aspects of their leadership stand out, namely Self-Reliance, responsibility and spirituality.

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