in Speech, Thoughts

Leadership in the age of communication

Having read my blogs, you’ll know that this is my favourite topic. We need leadership to help us through this defining time of our generation – the world’s people are going through a process of re-evaluation of who they are, what they stand for, and where they are going.

I don’t know how much you care for astrology but I have a friend in the know who tells me that we’ve been moving into a new cosmic age – that of Aquarius. Apparently this is the age of truth and it was poignant to hear as I was settling down to write this opening statement.

This change is taking place on a global geopolitical level, a regional level, a country level, and even on a community and individual level. One example is the dynamics between the world’s global powers that hasn’t really shifted since World War 2 (the fall of the Soviet Union had long been predicted); today, China and India can no longer be considered emerging powers – they have emerged and are here to stay. It’s not taken for granted that the US can do how it pleases.

The global landscape is less about the size of your military arsenal and more about your economic influence and the size of your domestic market.

China isn’t just the factory of the world; it is a serious contender and will soon boast the biggest economy in the world.

On a regional level, in countries like the US, a population of predominantly white people voted for a black president. In South Africa, the country’s president was ousted “constitutionally.”

These are major shifts that are defining what the next 100 years will be like.

On an individual level, there is introspection about men’s roles within families and communities. Antonio Lyons produced a play called “We are here” that explores issues and themes from the male perspective in the modern age. I also picked up a great read by Andrew Ramano and Tony Dokoupil in Newsweek that interrogates the role of men in today’s society.

As a young African, all of this is very exciting for me as it demands a change in leadership and, more than ever, men and women who are able to provide direction and galvanise us forward. But I’m deeply concerned that the people we are relying on us to show us direction and engaging on matters that will define our future are, in my opinion, ill-equipped.

In SA, over the last couple years, for some reason there has been a lack of independent constructive thought. Are we really only relying on Helen Zille and Zwelenzima Vavi to challenge the current power status quo? Or on Julias Malema to table the debate about mine nationalisation? I must say I have been impressed with Barney Mtombothi’s Financial Mail editorials – but that’s his job.

If you have an opinion, an informed opinion, your voice needs to be heard so we can all dialogue about where we should be going.

Is it you we are waiting for?

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