Time to face re­al­ity, think pos­i­tively and plan for the fu­ture

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Brenda Kali Brenda Kali is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Con­scious Com­pa­nies, a com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gist and a trans­for­ma­tion coach. She is the au­thor of Be­yond Cor­po­rate Sludge: In­sights to cre­ate bal­ance and har­mony in the work­place.

IWAS THE key­note speaker at the Sus­tain­abil­ity Sum­mit at the JSC re­cently when I asked the ques­tion: What have we done to our­selves and how did we get here? These are anx­ious and dif­fi­cult times for which we need an in­ner re­silience and se­cu­rity to get our­selves out of this malaise of loss, be­trayal and the paralysing pes­simism of re­cent events that threaten our na­tional psy­che?

For­tu­nately, some of the finest minds of the na­tion avail them­selves to un­ravel con­scious­ness in ac­tion or the lack thereof in the Con­scious Com­pa­nies Lead­er­ship di­a­logue break­fast hosted by Strate.

A na­tional con­ver­sa­tion to cul­ti­vate an in­tu­itive guid­ance to con­scious lead­er­ship gains mo­men­tum in a panel dis­cus­sion of highly in­flu­en­tial lead­ers.

Dr Ian Wein­berg, neu­ro­sur­geon, neu­ro­sci­en­tist and con­scious lead­er­ship coach joins Pro­fes­sor Mervyn King, cor­po­rate gov­er­nance guru, chair­per­son of the King Com­mit­tee and chair­per­son Emer­i­tus of the Global Re­port­ing Ini­tia­tive, ex­ec­u­tive chair­per­son of the Man­dela In­sti­tute for De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies, Dr Nkosana Moyo, Ron­nie Ntuli, en­tre­pre­neur, fi­nancier, founder and chair­per­son of Th­elo Group, vi­sion­ary leader and win­ner of the Con­scious Com­pa­nies Award Mon­ica Singer; and fi­nal­ists Adam Craker, chief bex­ec­u­tive of IQ Busi­ness, who is ro­bust in his quest to unify busi­ness, labour and gov­ern­ment, and Marc Lub­ner, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Akrika Tikkun and founder of the Smile Foun­da­tion, who has made an in­deli­ble dif­fer­ence in so­ci­ety.

These are awak­ened lead­ers and the trail­blaz­ers of con­scious­ness in ac­tion and their work breaks the cur­rent cy­cle of de­ceit­ful blink­ered lead­er­ship in this coun­try.

Dr Wein­berg is a coura­geous pi­o­neer in the science of ap­plied psy­choneu­roim­munol­ogy and his unique take on the hu­man brain in terms of neu­ro­science, lead­er­ship, emo­tion, con­scious­ness and the re­al­ity of our cur­rent morass and the grim, de­struc­tive legacy of apartheid on mil­lions of South Africans is deeply dis­turb­ing and thought pro­vok­ing.

“The cur­rent lead­er­ship cri­sis and so­cial strug­gle is the re­ac­tionary be­hav­iour of our dis­mal past and the forced break­ing up of ex­tended fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.” Wein­berg ex­plains.


“Our na­ture nur­ture her­itage gives rise to our world view or sub­jec­tive re­al­ity. The marked so­cial de­pri­va­tion sit­u­a­tion of a whole gen­er­a­tion that saw fam­ily struc­tures, value sys­tems and self-es­teem de­stroyed and not re­placed by some­thing ad­e­quate saw un­ful­filled grat­i­fi­ca­tion for pre­vail­ing needs.

“As a con­se­quence of the nur­ture de­pri­va­tion for the in­di­vid­ual as well as the col­lec­tive in not hav­ing any of their needs met, such as food, love, ed­u­ca­tion, a sense of be­long­ing to some­thing big­ger, not ex­pe­ri­enc­ing growth and grat­i­fi­ca­tion and a marked ab­sence of mean­ing and pur­pose is not con­ducive to con­scious lead­er­ship.

“My model iden­ti­fies three archetypes of be­hav­iour that re­flect dif­fer­ing na­ture-nur­ture dy­nam­ics that im­pact lead­er­ship,” he con­tin­ues.

Al­pha bravo

“A con­scious leader like Madiba is what I would term an al­pha bravo, self-as­sured and in­te­grated. Even though one had ex­pe­ri­enced de­pri­va­tion, to them the world is a great place and they ex­pe­ri­ence grat­i­fi­ca­tion in serv­ing oth­ers and plac­ing the needs of the col­lec­tive above their own.

“The sec­ond archetype has an ex­ces­sive drive and ex­ces­sive fear that they would not have their needs met and go into over­drive to have their needs met.

“Con­di­tional re­ward for work and en­gage­ment and the re­lent­less drive for power and ma­te­rial gain are all con­sum­ing and above all else, a value sys­tem that does not go be­yond own needs and self- in­ter­est.

“The third archetype is an un­in­te­grated in­di­vid­ual driven by fear and need and greed.

“If you add a cock­tail of se­vere de­pri­va­tion, fear, lack of self-es­teem, with lit­tle or no sen­si­tiv­ity and grat­i­fi­ca­tion of oth­ers suf­fer­ing you get an in­di­vid­ual com­pletely ob­sessed with own needs and own gains.

“In turn they cre­ate a ca­bal of like­minded in­di­vid­u­als for ma­te­rial gain and power at the ex­pense of the greater col­lec­tive and driven by a core value sys­tem of what’s in it for me rather than what’s in it for us.”


So how can we change the value sys­tem of some­one who had been forged in such se­vere de­pri­va­tion? How can you coach an in­di­vid­ual to seek a chem­istry of grat­i­fi­ca­tion not from ma­te­ri­al­is­tic self-in­ter­est but rather to a value based con­cept of ser­vice to the col­lec­tive?

How do you turn the ac­tions and be­hav­iour of a Zuma into the ac­tions of a Man­dela whose own per­sonal needs were sec­ondary to the overall well­be­ing of the col­lec­tive?

In­trigu­ing and nec­es­sary ques­tions to put to the panel of con­scious lead­ers on Thurs­day, July 20, from 9am to 11am. Book­ing at no cost to ad­

‘The cur­rent lead­er­ship cri­sis and so­cial strug­gle is the re­ac­tionary be­hav­iour of our dis­mal past and the forced break­ing up of ex­tended fam­i­lies.’


Pro­fes­sor Mervyn King is a cor­po­rate gov­er­nance guru, chair­per­son of the King Com­mit­tee and the chair­per­son Emer­i­tus of the Global Re­port­ing Ini­tia­tive.

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