Society as a Home
Samantha is 25 and keen to start her own business. She is however very nervous. Her nerves have nothing to do with being in business. She does not want her business to just be another business. She wants her company to make a difference, to change the community and to make the neighbourhood an enjoyable place to live. She has seen to many businesses that are just in it for themselves. She does not want that. She wants to have a company with a mission to serve and transform society.
Many of today’s millennials think like this. They want to know that the company they work for are making a positive contribution to society. No wonder, according to research, we as Xpand and Egon Zehnder did, concluded that one of the 5 competencies C-suite leaders need today, is the ability to anchor a course of action into the social context. In his book, Lessons on Leadership, Sir Jonathan Sacks says the following: The state represents what is done for us by the machinery of government, through the instrumentality of laws, courts, taxation and public spending. Society is what we do for one another through communities, voluntary associations, charities and welfare organizations.
In the book, The Home We Build Together, Sir Jonathan Sacks give a few hints on how to empower others, and what can stop them from feeling empowered.
First of all, everyone in the community should feel it is a home. They should not feel like guests at a hotel. A place where no one interacts and everyone is just in their own room. People should also not feel like guests at the country house someone else owns. Leaders create homes where others feel safe and at home.
Secondly, communities should not live with a victim mentality. Victimhood breads entitlement that leads to eradication. Victims know more about rights than responsibility. This strips them of being empowered and taking self-responsibility.
As South African citizens, we are privileged to stay in a country that focuses on the social context.
Here are a few tips to chart your course as a leader into the social context:
- Link your purpose to a need in the community. If you have an IT company, get involved in the community to uplift peoples digital competencies. It is much easier to do something for the community with the skill you have than to try and doing something you don’t like.
- Get to know your neighbourhood. In the time we live, people are becoming more and more isolated.
- Support local community initiatives.
It is a beautiful sight to see a country develop into being a home where everyone is welcome and all make a healthy contribution. This does not happen overnight. It takes time and intentionality.
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Empowering Future Leaders to start their journey today