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My thoughts on the leadership debate

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had several conversations and
discussions relating to leadership, these conversations have been focused
around how we select and measure our leaders.

Our political landscapes, and the passing of one of the worlds great leader
and beacon, Nelson Mandela, have brought these to the for, but the blunder
between the supposed merger of DA and Agang SA tipped them into the
spotlight.

What has become apparent is that we cant distinguish between a leader and
manager and thus people use them interchangeable which courses a lot of
confusion. To better understand the difference we should look at the
dictionary meaning of the two words.

Leader |lid|
noun
a person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country: the
leader of a protest group | a natural leader.

Printing a series of dots or dashes across the page to guide the eye,
especially in tabulated material.

Manager |mand|
noun
1 a person responsible for controlling or administering an organization or
group of staff: the manager of a bar.

My view is, leaders are individuals who casts the vision, strategy, connects
the dots and then executes while making decision along the way that ensure
that, the organization or group reaches the goal set. So measuring a leaders
performance is based on how they were able to transform or guide an
organization or group to have impact in their space while performing above
excellence and displaying impeccable ethical behavior. Leaders always have
to guide and direct, as they know the destination and moral compass, if a
leader does not communicate these components effectively then people will
work in silos and execute whatever they think is the correct direction which
might be counter intuitive to the other parts of a whole.

While a manager is there to control, administer and measure the performance
of staff to help the leader to reach their goals. It is often said that if you cant
measure something then you cant manage it. This means a great manager
will ensure that they have robust internal reporting systems and controls to
help them execute and steer the ship in the right direction, but what is critical
for a manager is knowing the direction set and understanding the destination.

In South Africa we have a serious problem in that we dont critically analyse
our leaders, which leads (excuse the pun) us in a serious problem, cause we
then place people or individual in position of leadership with out asking the
critical question and putting them to the test before they embark on their
responsibilities, so when we realize they are not effective then we then dump
the incumbent and replace them without vetting and testing them, so the cycle
continues.

A simple example lets look at our national team coach position, we have
scoured the world looking for a coach and always manage to get someone in
who the public agree will get the job done, but after a few poor results the
coach is then we quickly call for his head and suggest a suitable candidate
who is currently doing well in their current position, with out critical analysis
and asking the individual crucial questions which will help all of us hold him
accountable going forward. Lets quickly look at the stats of the past coaches
stats and

1. Stanley Tshabalala | Period: June 1992-October 92 | Record: P6 W1 D1 L4 GF5
GA 13

2. Augusto Palacios | Period: December 92-Jan 94 | Record: P8 W3 D3 L2 GF6
GA9

3. Clive Barker | Period: March 94-December 97 | Record: P43 W22 D9 L12 GF57
GA38

4. Jomo Sono | Period: January 98-February 98 | Record: P7 W3 D2 L2 GF11 GA9

5. Phillipe Troussier | Period: March 98-July 98 | Record: P6 W0 D4 L2 GF5 GA10

6. Trott Moloto | Period: October 98-September 00 | Record: P34 W17 D9 L8
GF43 GA31

7. Carlos Queiroz | Period: October 00-March 02 | Record: P20 W9 D7 L4 GF20
GA15

8. Jomo Sono | Period: March 2002-July 2002 | Record: P11 W4 D4 L3 GF11
GA10

9. Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba | Period: August 2002 to November 2003 | Record:
P18 W10 D5 L3 GF27 GA13

10. Jomo Sono | Period: May 2003 | Record: P1 W0 D0 L1 GF1 GA2

11. April 'Styles' Phumo | Period : December 2003 to March 2004 | Record: P6 W1
D1 L4 GF4 GA10

12. Stuart Baxter | Period: April 2004 to November 2005 | Record: P23 W10 D6 L7
GF35 GA35

13. Ted Dumitru | Period: December 2005- January 2006 | Record: P4 W1 L3 GF 2
GA6

14. Pitso Mosimane | Period: May 2006 - November 2006 | Record: P7 W3 D3 L1
GF3 GA1

15. Carlos Alberto Parreira | Period: February 2007-March 2008 | Record: P21 W9
D6 L6 GF26 GA16

16. Joel Santana | Period: May 2008-October 2009 | Record: P27 W10 D3 L14
GF25 GA30


If you look at the list its you will notice that all these coaches had short stints
at the helm and the ones that played more games have better results. Clive
Baker has the best record from all the caches above but he played the most
games over a longer duration that allowed him to keep the philosophy and
ensure that took hold that ensured success, but despite that he was fired.

So as the team struggles and calls of regime change, no one is looking at the
stats and asking critical questions, and letting these people fail by not allowing
them time to casts the vision, strategy, connects the dots and then executes
while making adjustments along the way that ensure, the team reach the goal
set.

The struggles of leadership are not only in public/political sphere of our
society but also in private sector where in recent times, we have seen gross
violation by colluding, which harms to most vulnerable people in our society
the poor. If the CEOs of the construction and food companies, start to realize
that their actions have made more child headed house holds as more
HIV/AIDS medication could not be purchased, more people are living in
shacks, tolling has been erected on national roads as they stole that money
from the state which could have been paying for all those services.

If the nation starts creating that matrix, we would judge much easier and
factual about these, but because a lot of people do not make that connection
and just measure public official to social issues more than private executives
and we have different rules for leaders in different sectors that we have a
leadership vacuum.

In conclusion the only way to fill the current leadership vacuum the country is
experiencing, we need to start defining what a leader is without comparing
one person to another, cause no two people are the same, and then put those
people to the test by critically measuring them to our matrix, this is the only
way.