You know sometimes working with these global firms, I have realised how disrespectful and arrogant some of the global executives can be.
I am not surprised at all at the gall of the staff of the United Airlines and their behaviour. It is a culture of arrogance that I see sometimes each time I interact with teams and leaders connected to these systems.
Working with multi-nationals, I notice also the struggle between the local stuff of multi-nationals and their global bosses. There’s a clear conflict of values and a reluctance, perhaps even a non-consciousness to this psychic conflict. I perceive this strange balance of power, that when interrogated during coaching sessions, emerges to be informed by untested unconscious assumptions about self, role and authority.
It is important that as African organisations, whether as a branch of a multi-national or a native African organisation, we become more assertive about placing the human at the centre of doing business, while being very strict about allowing ourselves to be seduced into in-congruent models.
I have been thinking quite deeply about this for a while and I believe that there’s nothing weak about Botho/Humanity- what is weak is usually our resolve as leaders to enforce it and engage with people on our terms.
To these means first we need to develop as leaders a healthy image of ourselves as individuals and as a collective. By working from a space of volition and internal location, we are able to influence the world from the inside out as opposed to the “Outside-In”.
Secondly it requires that we learn to work with polarities that present themselves in this kind of system- the clear recognition that working in this way of being requires continuous consciousness and alertness to moment by moment decisions and circumstances surrounding those decisions.
What this means is that new competencies are required from leaders working in this part of the world: Alertness, consciousness, courage, clarity of vision and a deep sense of self awareness about who one is as a leader, and as a citizen of the collective.
It is only with this courage to embrace this challenge that as a collective African leaders can re-position Africa not as a recipient of wisdom from outside its borders, but also as the producer of wisdom and a standards holder around what it means to function with African organisations.
It means moving from the stage of being an order-taker, to an assertive space of being an equal on the table, and sometimes a lead for those resources that the world needs to sustain itself.
The time is now for African leaders to take their rightful space in the global conversation- with the meekness of the lamb and the wrath of a black mamba. Backbone and heart. As only WE can.
We are after all the cradle of humankind. Let’s act like we know it!
Join me at the Coaching in Africa Symposium as I expand on this topic and steps to a shift! http://www.coachingsymposium.org