This groundbreaking work on leadership seeks to carry the spirit of African humanism, or Ubuntu, into the business world. Africa has much to teach about human values, and about the connections between corporate vision and community spirit. Conventional Western approaches to leadership are centered on the individual, while African leadership prizes the person within the group. Traditionally, leaders and the led are tied by their common humanity. This requires leaders to be compassionate, accountable, and introspective – qualities that underpin shared vision in the enterprise.
Reuel Khoza spells out the lessons of his corporate experience during three decades of turmoil and change in South Africa. From running a management consultancy under apartheid to chairing Eskom, Africa's largest energy utility, in the first decade of democracy, Khoza has explored and led business transformation and black economic empowerment. He shows how Ubuntu assists the modern multicultural organisation to harmonise relationships, extend its market appeal, and innovate technologically.
Let Africa Lead aims to stimulate the growing discussion around the role of business leadership in the rejuvenation of Africa. It also prompts organisational heads everywhere to consider leadership based on empathy for fellow human beings.
Foreword by Nelson Mandela
“If not us then who?
If not from Africa, then whence?
If not now, then when?
If not for Africa and humanity, why not?
Let Africa rise to this quintessential challenge.
It is our date with destiny.”
Reuel J Khoza (written aboard an aircraft bound for the World Economic Forum, Davos, 2005)
Let Africa Lead… Leading Afro-optimist, Dr. Reuel Khoza, argues that the locus of control for Africa's future is within the continent itself and that the African renaissance will be driven by leadership that in the African spirit of Ubuntu, will keep people in authority ever mindful of their role of servers rather than commanders. The server leader leads by the tenets of consultation, persuasion, accommodation and cohabitation and shuns coercion and domination. These principles are deeply imbedded in African humanism and are part of the old traditions of tribes and regions. African humanism, he argues, promotes social cohesion through its search for sufﬁcient consensus that leads to a process of social arbitrage in the settling of differences. This leadership paradigm is practical and compassionate and it calls for the development of leaders who can deliver rather than merely promise and who demonstrate great personal integrity, accompanied by expertise and organizational ability.
(Review by Eon Smit, Perceptions on Leadership in Africa, The GRLI Partner Magazine - June 2010)