Growing up on a farm provided a rich environment for fun, learning, growth and development. The farm was located in the small North Eastern Cape town of Hofmeyer, South Africa. My Father set the pace on the farm with his highly participative servant leadership style. I spent time with the children of the staff, predominantly amaXhosa. As a result, I found myself immersed in the culture of the amaXhosa and enjoyed fluency in isiXhosa from an early age. This exposure led to a deep appreciation of UBUNTU! The meaning of UBUNTU is:
“I am because we are!”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu defines UBUNTU as follows: “A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
I have never actively sought leadership, however have found myself in leadership throughout my life. Whether leading a cricket team or serving as a High School Prefect or leading a Public Company; I have chosen to be an empowering leader, to be a team player because I know I am because we are. My learnings have led me to understand and appreciate that there is no substitute for authenticity, for being real and for being empowering in leadership. Lessons learnt from my family’s farm, from UBUNTU, from a school motto, Esse Quam Videri (to be rather than seem…), from every other leadership role and from role models along the way have cumulatively formed my leadership style and the opinions on leadership I hold today.