SBL Advisory Board

Note from the Chairperson

Ms Mapule Mzimba

There has seldom been a more exacting yet exhilarating era than now, the 2020s, to be a leader in business, government or civil society. The COVID-19 pandemic has offered a leadership learning experience that is both brutal and illuminating – brutal in exposing the deficiencies of leadership styles built on flimsy, ethically questionable and self-serving foundations; illuminating in shining a light on the leadership attributes that have enabled some organisations to thrive even when all around them count themselves lucky just to survive.

The leadership construct that has been emerging in recent years, and that has gained momentum during the current global health crisis, is co

nscious leadership. Conscious leadership is an evolved form of leadership in that it is built on a sense of higher purpose rather than on the pursuit of mundane goals such as profitability or constant improvement. Yes, those things are important because organisations cannot sustain themselves without them, but they cannot be ends in themselves. Conscious leaders know that.

Conscious leaders have a sense of purpose that revolves around changing the world for the better. They serve rather than expect to be served. They respond rather than react. They speak and act with integrity and honour, and hold themselves accountable, first and foremost, instead of demanding that others display accountability. They collaborate and cooperate, create interconnections and partnerships and unleash the potential of teams instead of focusing on their own self-excellence.

Above all, conscious leaders know themselves. They are aware not just of their strengths and weaknesses, but also of their patterns of thought and behaviour – and are willing and able to self-correct by changing those patterns that do not serve the purpose to which they and their teams aspire. As the world navigates through the socio-economic and moral challenges of humanity today, I believe the SBL is poised to take on the task of building conscious leaders who, sights set on a higher purpose, go above and beyond.

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Last modified: 2023/08/07

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