DURBAN - Durban was a clever venue to launch the ANC Manifesto.
It’s a meld of colour and cultures, resplendent in its diversity as it is in its disparity. I watched with great interest your address live from the Moses Mabida stadium. You said all the right things to a capacity crowd and you articulated what the citizenry wanted to hear. However, we the people, had heard it all before from various leaders. The words are always a contest between sincere intention, unmoving decisions and paralytic promises.
Against the backdrop of a fragmented society that has lurched from crisis to crisis, the ethical destitution of a nation has taken its toll.
The leadership excesses of extravagant, wasteful and self-indulgent lifestyles had further plunged us into a moral and ethical cauldron. This can only mean that something has to be done urgently while there are starving children and the desperate jobless among us.
There is something that you had said though that was significant and created an iota of optimism. You called on people to “build a capable and ethical state” and added “we must intensify the fight against corruption within government and society.” I pray that your words penetrate the indolent stupor of some of our greedy leaders who have been allowed to repeatedly erode our national psyche.
I understand the challenging road ahead for you and the enormous responsibility you have to bear but it is critical, more now than ever before, that you deepen the conversations and dialogue that would revolve around conscious, ethical leadership before we choose the new leadership of the country. If we are to survive and grow, it is imperative for our leadership to address equitable and sustainable development, poverty, historical imbalances, values, ethics, inequality and decency. You are deeply aware of this, the question is how.
We have a great opportunity from the current morass we find ourselves in to breed a different quality of leadership. When leaders are found wanting, they have an opportunity to turn this hurdle into a life lesson of conscious leadership. As human beings, no one is perfect. We are all flawed in one way or another which allows me to conclude that even the great leaders and masters who had existed in all cultures and in very epoch were also flawed despite their best intentions. Even though flawed, the most conscious among them discovered in the depths of their innermost being that transformation was an internal process. They dedicated their lives to service, displayed great human values such as unprecedented wisdom, clarity of thought, humility, truth, altruistic love, empathy and patience. What they learnt and how they behaved despite the challenges, circumstances and crisis that confronted them can and may be emulated by all of us.
You called 2019 “a year of united action and affirmed that ”as a society we must show tolerance and wage war on all forms of ethnic and social racism. This is an evolutionary journey that has the potential only if we revise our attitudes and purge our inefficiencies.
When your leadership encourages a new way of being; a much needed development of service mentality, leadership capacities, care and a deepening understanding of conscious leadership within both the public and private sector, only then is your promise of “a year of united action” achievable.
Conscious leadership demands the surrender of greed, self-interest and ego for integrity, service and selfless action. This is a mammoth undertaking Mr President. A perceived shift in the leadership that governs us will most certainly garner my vote and I am sure the beloved country will be undeniably behind you.
Brenda Kali is the CEO of Conscious Companies and the Founder of the Conscious Leadership Academy. www.consciouscompanies.co.za
- BUSINESS REPORT