In this Photo: Aurelia de Villiers and Anelda Lochner (Learning Process Facilitators on the programme), Dr Tienie Ehlers (Chief Learning Officer at USB –ED), Kerry Smallie (Brand Manager at USB-ED) and Dr Michael Mol.
Dr Michael Mol, was the guest speaker at the opening of the Young Minds Entrepreneurship Programme, offered by the Centre for Applied Entrepreneurship at USB Executive Development (USB-ED), a private company offering leadership and management development (short course) programmes across Africa for both corporates and individuals. His key message to the participants was to "Build on your strengths and manage your weaknesses".
The programme is presented annually with 132 participants taking part this year. The programme was started in 2011 with 27 participants and has grown over the years with more than 500 participant having completed the programme.
As guest speaker at the event, Mol said that you are born with talents. "Figure them out, and then do what you are passionate about. Be true to yourself. Find out what you were born to do, not what others expect of you".
When one receives a certificate it indicates that you are competent, but the real question to ask is whether you are also a good person? Goodness is sometimes equated with competence.
What does the word good means?
This was the question directed by USB Executive Development CEO, Frik Landman, to the USB-ED programme participants of 2017 who received their certificates for the open comprehensive programmes at award ceremonies recently held in Stellenbosch. USB-ED award ceremonies were also held in Johannesburg and Durban.
Landman said that if you want to discover what the word good means, it all begins and ends with people.
"When you have to make a decision and even difficult ones, always have people in mind."
Remember that we are all connected. Through this connectedness one should always try to make the person next to you stronger. We are interdependent in this connectedness.
We should not equate competency with goodness. "To find a competent manager or leader is not that difficult, but to find a competent and good manager or leader with sound values is something rare."
When should one be good? Whenever you are in contact with someone, you have the opportunity to practice goodness.
"If you want to develop the goodness in you, always stay with the truth and be truthful in your thoughts. Have compassion – this is where you will start to develop empathy - and remember that you are part of a community," Landman said.
Prof Shirley Zinn, author of the book Swimming Upstream and key note speaker at the USB-ED award ceremony in Stellenbosch said that we need to teach children from a young age that "it might seem impossible, but it is possible."
We have to deliberately surround ourselves with people that can uplift and inspire us. You should realise that you have much more potential than you think and that you should let your talent "shine."
The world is changing very fast, it is complex and uncertain. Therefore, one has to continue learning to stay on top of your game. When navigating the challenging times in South Africa and the world, one should hold on to the 3 D's: discipline, dedication and diligence.
"Humanity must be put back in organisations. We tend to get stuck with figures and profits, but forget about people. This needs to change," Zinn said.
As guest speaker at the Johannesburg award ceremony the deputy editor of the Financial Mail, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, said each and every one of us, whether you have money or not, is directly or indirectly affected by what has happened at Steinhoff.
"What happened at Steinhoff is what is happening daily in this beautiful country of ours. Men and women like yourselves can save South Africa and make it what it can really be. It is up to us all to deliver the society we all want and the change we want. You can start to bring that change about," Mantshantsha said.
Speaking as guest speaker at the Durban award ceremony, the CEO of the Durban ICC, Lindiwe Rakharebe, encouraged programme participants to be intentional about their leadership style and the type of leader they want to be.
"The most effective way to do this and to bring the best out of people is to lead with love and respect. Do not lead with fear and intimidation. If you intimidate your team, they will do what you want them to do, but the moment you're not looking it is chaos.
"As leaders you need to coach, guide and enable people, and do it with love," Rakharebe said.
The Principal Lecturer of Learning Innovation and Flexible Provision at Lincoln International Business School, Tracey White, commented on the award ceremonies: "I would like to offer my congratulations to you all on your great achievements. I feel privileged to be here and would like to thank USB-ED for inviting me to share this special occasion.
I have attended graduations at Durban, Johannesburg and Stellenbosch and have heard some emotive and meaningful speeches. I will take a point from the speakers at each ceremony and ask you as you continue your leadership journey to lead with love, to lead ethically and to lead with goodness. To Shirley's point if you can put the human factor back into organisations that would truly be progress.
"Working in partnership with USB-ED over the past 7 years, we have developed a progression route for SMDP alumni to a BA (Hons) in Business Management. This is a work based learning degree studied through distance learning and provides a fantastic opportunity to continue your learning alongside your day job and to develop yourself, personally, professionally and to develop your organisation," White said.
Picture 1: Frik Landman and Shirley Zinn
Picture 2: Tracey White, Sikonathi Mantshantsha and Frik Landman
Picture 3: Helen Wright, Andrew Sturrock with guest speaker Lindiwe Rakharebe