South Africans call for Collaborative Leadership!

by Maritha Erasmus, CEO, MTS Holdings

If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together

– African Proverb

Collaboration and co-creation might be modern buzz words, but the concepts of ‘strength in numbers’ and ‘working together to achieve more’ certainly is not. There is no doubt that our country can only leave our deeply divided past behind us if we all work together and continue to co-create the rainbow nation envisioned by Mandela.

Despite well-entrenched transformation regulations and scorecards in place, the socioeconomic reality in South Africa has not changed for the majority of her citizens, resulting in a disenfranchised and increasingly militant youth. This is said with a thorough understanding of the need to have regulations, however if business attention remains focused on the achievement of scorecards and the delivery of reports with little understanding of the impact their operational decisions have in their communities, transformation will remain a boardroom conversation.

This is said with a thorough understanding of the need to have regulations. However, if business attention remains focused on the achievement of scorecards and the delivery of reports with little understanding of the impact their operational decisions have in their communities, transformation will remain a boardroom conversation.

The call for leadership to step into the void between regulations and effectively changing lives has increased in volume with the movement giving power to the people. Leadership across business and political spheres are increasingly held accountable by their constituencies. The results of the recent municipal elections are a clear indication that the writing is on the wall for autocratic leadership styles.

Collaborative leadership is about enabling others to succeed in order to succeed as a group. Whether within business, the community or at home, if we want to bring about change in our lives and our country, we need to collaborate to deliver the success of one another. Collaborative leadership takes courage and self-assurance.

Nelson Mandela left our country with a legacy where everyone is important, irrespective of creed, colour or class. A road map for all citizens to participate in building our dream tomorrow. We recently celebrated Mandela Day, remembering again that by contributing time we can help less fortunate people and in so doing build the future we want to leave all our children. In the words of Nelson Mandela ‘It always seems impossible until it is done’.

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