Women have head start in quest for new leaders

Mosima Selekisho Director at Talent Africa

Women’s Day is a good time to share a secret … recent events give women executives a big opportunity to fulfil their potential as key contributors to corporate success as they are ideally placed to meet the growing need for a new type of corporate leader.

A spate of organisational failures and mis-steps highlights the shortcomings of power leaders (corporate kingpins who operate on some elevated plane and go unchallenged for years) and self-serving leaders (who do well personally while their operations go to the dogs).

Most women find it hard to ‘man up’ and embrace hard-driving, hard-nosed leadership styles. Now they don’t have to.

Increasing focus, worldwide and locally, falls on the advantages of servant leadership.

The concept has been discussed for more than a generation by business gurus and corporate consultants. Simply put, servant leaders are there to serve the people and the organisation. Rule through fear or hierarchy is out. Rule through shared purpose and teamwork is in.

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Business success is a journey, leadership is the compass

compass social signiumLeadership identification and development continues to be one of the most pressing business issues keeping executives awake at night. Every business has the same aim: success and sustainability. Established routes to this destination include competitive advantage, new technology to improve productivity and product innovation, and cost reduction to secure pricing efficiencies. Without superior leaders, none of this is possible.

Companies progress through a life cycle from seed to start-up, growth to established, expansion to mature, and then to decline and exit, or renewal through invention. In the same way, leadership identification and development progresses through a cycle.

Leadership consulting offers the most suitable answers to these current dilemmas by helping leaders to align their people strategy with their business strategy; providing scientific and objective information through assessments; designing development interventions to help leaders function at their highest potential; and then embarking on acquiring and retaining leadership talent when talent needs to be acquired and not ‘home-grown’.

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What to do when…Integrity may get you fired

Rising levels of perceived corruption have sharpened the ethical challenge for those in responsible positions. When the spoils might run into billions, it seems you can be fired for doing the right thing and rewarded for doing what you know to be wrong. How do you stay on the side of the angels, stay in your job … and stay out of jail?

The issue receives growing attention.

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Global consumer trends remixing executive DNA

Connected Consumer signium social

Executive DNA is not immutable. Requirements shift. Profiles change. Business needs and economic conditions are obvious drivers, but societal factors, technology developments and the spirit of the times play a major role in how executives see themselves, their role and priorities.

We are what we eat, but we are also what we read, think and feel. What happens around us, shapes us. Executives are not elevated above the society they serve. They are rooted in it.

Global trends research strongly supports this view, even when the primary focus is much broader than the executive head-hunter’s fixation with managerial skill and leadership potential.

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How to Become an Employer of Choice

Offering staff opportunities to grow and giving them room to express themselves is key to employee development. This is according to Michelle Moss, director of assessments at Talent Africa (a member of Signium), a company that helps companies in South Africa and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa find talent.

There is a wide range of ways to develop staff, says Moss from employee-focused programmes to encouraging social connections.

Here are Moss's 5 ways, business owners can meet their employees' needs and foster employee satisfaction.

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Signium Africa (previously Talent Africa), a leading executive recruitment company based in South Africa offering head-hunting and leadership consulting services in sub-Saharan Africa. www.signium.co.za