Document Sample
INSIDE THIS ISSUE - Download Now PDF Powered By Docstoc
Volume 2 Issue 3


Leading Values Strategy Consultants
June 2009

By Roger Arendse

By Jody Cedras

Are you passing on the ‘hotcloth’ of possibility and transformation? Ever so often we are reminded of the opportunities we have in life to really make a difference in the lives of others, and to add some real value. A few weeks ago I received such a reminder through an email. Internationally renowned motivational guru, Jim Rohn recounts the story of sales trainer and best-selling author Jeffrey Gitomer about his first trip to Hawaii. Perhaps you’ve read this story before, but it is worth repeating. After seven hours on a plane, and weary from the journey, Gitomer recounts how he is met at the airport by his host and given the traditional necklace of flowers. “Fantasy fulfilled”, reflects Gitomer. Then, sticky and gritty from the plane ride, he arrives at the Hawaii Prince Hotel lobby and walks over to the

Is there reason for South Africa to celebrate its youth during this month of June? Celebrating June as national Youth Month, can be traced to the events of 16 June 1976. It was in 1976 that the young people of South Africa challenged the Apartheid system and apparatus, which at the time, attempted to enforce Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in Black Schools. Even though there had been uprisings throughout South Africa, the youth leadership at the time identified the South Western Townships (SOWETO) in Johannesburg as the epicentre of this specific defiance campaign. Today, a monument has been erected in memory of these ‘young lions’ who died on that fateful, yet historic, day and who are collectively personified through Hector Peterson, the first to be shot and killed by the security forces. June 16, 1976 turned out to be a defining moment in the struggle against Apartheid. The young ones of 1976 showed admirable leadership qualities, among the most significant of these being courage and perseverance against tremendous challenges and odds. How far have we come and what can young people learn from the 1976 generation? In contemporary South Africa, youth leaders talk about themselves as ‘brands’. Many young people today seem to be more concerned with a fast track to financial wealth, the type of car they drive or aspire to drive, rather than the measure and quality of their own character and their contribution to change and growth within our society. And there are many local and global market
continued on page 3

desk. He is greeted by a smile and ‘aloha!’ and very unexpectedly given a wonderful hot, steamed
continued on page 2

1 1 3 Possibility and Transformation Young Lions Reloaded Laying Aside Those Chameleon-like Traits


Possibility and Transformation…continued from page 1

and moist cloth to wipe his face with. “Aah! Just the refreshment and revitalisation I needed,” exclaims Gitomer in delight. Reading this account, I could immediately relate to Gitomer’s ‘Aah!’ I remembered the wonderful experience my family and I had on our first trip abroad in 1990. We travelled Swiss Air en route to the USA through Switzerland. Swiss air was reputedly among the best airlines at the time and many experiences during the flight illustrated why this was so. And one particular experience resonates so much with Gitomer’s ‘Aah!’ No sooner had we boarded the plane and taken our seats when we were greeted by a smiling hostess exclaiming with Swiss-German accent, ‘Hotclot! Hotclot!’ And then each of us were offered a hot, steaming, moist cloth to wipe our faces with. A magical moment! And this was repeated when we woke from a nap during the flight and before a meal was served. ‘Aah!’ What value! To this day, we fondly remember and joke about this experience. ‘Hotclot! Hotclot!’ You see, as simple as this gesture of Swiss Air was, it had made an indelible impression on our lives at the time, for it had added value and made a real difference when it mattered most. I would like to use these stories to ask some personal questions that all of us can think about and hopefully apply to our own lives, irrespective of whether we are in our own business, or working for someone else, or even out of a job right now: ‘What is the temperature of your life right now? Is it hot with the passion of life and the zest to touch the lives of others and make a difference that matters? Is it moist with the eagerness and thrill to add some value and bring some change in

the world you live in? Or does your life seem all too cold, frigid and numbed by life’s challenges and pains that you find yourself seemingly incapable of adding some warmth and refreshment anywhere? Rohn who recounts Gitomer’s story goes on to draw comparisons between sales marketing and what makes for a competitive business in a time of economic challenge like the current one we are experiencing. He asks some probing questions: “What separates you from your competition? What standards are you setting? What makes people talk about you? What makes people look forward to doing business with you? What makes people tell others about your business? What is your hot steamed washcloth?” These are some really important questions for you to think about right now and apply to your own business should you be fortunate to be in one. Do you have a hot cloth to pass on to others? What is it? And what does it look like? I invite you to take a moment to think about some of these questions right now. Try to describe what your ‘hot cloth’ is and what it looks like? And think about what a difference it might make if you dared to pass it on? What resounding ‘Aah!’ could you not bring into the lives of others right now - wherever you may find yourself? As always, we at PULSE would like to learn more about the various ways in which you have been warmed and revitalised by the ‘hot cloths’ passed onto you by others. Or you may have a ‘hot cloth’ ready to pass on and share with others? Let us continue to open up possibility and commit to bringing positive change in our world. Remember, all it takes sometimes is just a hot cloth to pass on!

General Email: Website: Fax: 086 525 2426 Cell: 073 195 1942 (Roger) Cell: 083 409 7998 (Jody)

Young Lions Reloaded…continued from page 1

By Roger Arendse

forces at work to reify and pander to these drives and urges. On reflecting upon the 1976 generation, I have a distinct sense that many of these young leaders at the time were motivated and propelled by a deep sense of personal sacrifice and service to the common good. They understood what it meant to work for the benefit of others at the expense of personal gain. Their experience was more often than not one of little or no personal gain, and a whole lot of personal pain and discomfort. These young people led with integrity and they led from the bottom up, rather than the top down. Position and status to these leaders did not seem to matter as much as a deeper sense and appreciation of their purpose, the justness of their cause, and the quality of society they desired for all South Africans. They were not perfect, to be sure, but they seem to have commanded a level of respect and integrity that set them aside as beacons of hope in an otherwise dark, despairing and gloomy world. And so, reflecting on Youth Day again, we have to ask ourselves the question: ‘Has the legacy of the young leaders of 1976 been upheld or let down by the young leaders of today? And if not, should young citizens in our beloved country not be mobilising themselves once again to regain the respect, dignity and commitment to service that many are calling out for. And might the time not have arrived for the call to go out for a youth summit to truthfully examine, understand and reflect on the current state of our youth and their contribution to building a strong and proud nation of South Africans? As young people, among whom I count myself, let us ask ourselves: Who are my true role models and why? What do I, as a young person, really value? Am I a person of integrity? In other words, do I say what I mean and do I mean what I say?

In a previous edition of PULSE (July 2008), I referred to one commentator’s depiction of Jacob Zuma as a chameleon, drawing on the analogy of a chameleon which Is not affected by its surrounding, but adeptly changes colour to blend in to make itself more attractive to potential mates. That commentary was offered when Zuma was still the rising star in the popular ranks of the ANC, including its Youth League and alliance parties, Cosatu and the SACP. A lot of water passed under the political bridge since then. We have had our 4th National and Provincial elections, and the ANC has swept to power, with Jacob Zuma elected as the President of the country. Few would argue against the fact that President Zuma was carried to political ascendancy on the back of popularity, charm and the capacity to listen, that appeared to be sorely lacking in his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki. Being popular and charming, of course, are traits we would welcome in any one, even ourselves, but does it necessarily bode well for a leader? Our beloved Madiba has consistently exuded loads of popularity and charm, and his capacity to be open and listen remain among his most enduring qualities to this day. Yet we have connected these qualities with his leadership qualities of forthrightedness, integrity and trustworthiness, and the willingness to take the high road when the crunch comes, even if the loss of popularity was at stake. Has Zuma proven himself yet in this regard? If his first speech to Parliament is anything to gain the early measure of the man, then the jury may still be out on this. While many, including some of his opponents, were initially quite positive about the speech and have even suggested we give President Zuma the opportunity to prove himself, some political analysts and commentators are now asking whether Zuma has the ability and will to lead the country.
Continued on page 4

Do my actions (that which I do) tend to cause more harm than good to others, to institutions and organisations that I am part of (family, faith communities, places of work or study, etc), to the environment or to self?
Continued on page 4


Young Lions Reloaded…continued from page 3

How can I contribute to and serve my family, community, country and world better? What kind of role model am I to others? And what kind of role model am I committed to being? My answers to the above questions will determine the kind of legacy I am likely to leave behind for future generations to reflect on . Will our children, the young generation of tomorrow, be inspired or shamed by our memory
Chameleon-like Traits...continued from page 3

colleagues at work, or the company board)? Are we merely floating along, driven by every whim and fancy, reacting to the winds of change around us? Even if such behaviour on our part means that we are willing to betray our own deep felt values and our human responsibility to choose and to act decisively for the good of others and ourselves? Are we taking ownership and leadership of our own lives right now? And if not, what are we choosing to do about it? Perhaps, the time has arrived to lay aside those chameleon-like traits we may still be clinging onto? Endnotes
1 2

“Zuma’s state of the nation address had the ring of familiarity…Beneath the workmanlike project plan the same approach that paved the way to Polokwane was evident: being everything to everyone. Even where factors far beyond his control limit what he can do, Zuma sought to do it to placate his allies.1 The desire to be ‘everything to everyone’ has yet another ring of the chameleon; ever willing and adept at blending in, of attracting the support of mates, but comparatively low on moral intent, purpose and strategy to make the substance implementable and deliverable. But far more is required of a political leader, and even more of the President of a nation, who has the mandate and onerous responsibility to shape and give true leadership to our society. And so, the editorial alluded to earlier concludes: “At the height of their campaign against Mbeki, Cosatu and the SACP argued that they valued Zuma’s leadership style because ‘Ubaba listens’. Listening has its merits, but Zuma is president now and he needs to act: boldly, independently and presidentially in the interests of all of us.”2 But what does this all have to do with us? And what are some of the challenges for our own lives right now? One challenge, to be sure, is for each of us to take stock of our lives and to examine to what degree we choose to act chameleon-like ourselves? Is it our tendency to want to be ‘everything to everyone’ in the hope of fitting in, of gaining the popular vote? Is our preference, too easily, to placate, to be the crowd- pleaser, to appease our ‘inner circle’ of

Mail & Guardian, July 5-11, 2009, p18 Ibid.

“When we mourn those who die young - those who have been robbed of time - we weep for lost joys. We weep for opportunities and pleasures we ourselves have never known. We feel sure that somehow that young body would have known the yearning delight for which we searched in vain all our lives. We believe that the untried soul, trapped inside its young prison, might have flown free and known the joy we still seek. We say that life is sweet, its satisfactions deep. All this we say, as we sleepwalk through our time and through years of days and nights. We let time cascade over us like a waterfall, believing it to be never ending. Yet each day that touches us, and every man in the world, is unique; irredeemable; over. And just another Monday. Ah, but those lost Mondays of our young dead friend! How much better they would have been! Years pass. Decades pass. And living has not been done…” Josephine Hart

“Never limit your dreams to only what you can see becoming reality. The universe has infinite ways of bringing desires into fruition, once you allow the possibility by removing your limitations.” Danielle Marie Crume

“A thing is only impossible until someone does it.”


Nathan Paul

Shared By: