The launch of Adriaan Groenewald’s book ‘Seamless Leadership’ on 22nd April at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park was well attended by about 80 guests. It was a special occasion with special guests in attendance to welcome a special book about the special seamless legacy of South African leadership, past and present. Advocate Thuli Madonsela, world renowned South African Public Protector, internationally respected as one of the most influential women in the world, was the guest speaker along with the author, Adriaan Groenewald.
The seamless leadership imperative
Seamless leadership was the main theme of the evening and was addressed by both speakers as well as a warmly participating audience of leaders. In essence the term seamless leadership captures that brand of leadership that embodies impossibility thinking and doing. Both speakers spoke with passion of the remarkable heritage of seamless leadership of our country as embodied in the actions and values of those who helped to create the new South Africa, as well as many other exceptional achievements both past and present mentioned in the book.
To many of us all over the world Nelson Mandela leadership style embodies that kind of seamless impossibility thinking and doing. But the theme of the discussions was not just about one exceptional leader, but really about the essence of seamless leadership principles that has and can transform our society and arrest the many serious challenges we face.
Our time bombs
Many of the serious and potential time bombs we face in our country are ironically stimulated by the growth pains of our modern democratic heritage. We recognise the mountains we are facing in the form of corruption, unemployment, crime, self-indulgence and broken families. However, as a society we are shackled by entitlement, fat cat and opposition mind-set syndromes. We are ‘getting used’ to the social challenges we are reminded of every day in our media and as a general rule we are caught up in our own daily challenges.
The one single factor that can swing us around and give us confidence to make the impossible happen is that of leadership, that kind of seamless leadership that is values and confidence driven.
The book Seamless Leadership, Advocate Thuli Madonsela as well as foremost leadership thinker, author and host of the Leadership Platform shows on CliffCentral, Adriaan Groenewald, spoke with passion that we can do it, we can embrace seamless leadership and we can move the mountains that stand in our way.
Our time bombs are simmering and we need to rise to the leadership challenge or suffer the dire consequences that we see in many other countries in Africa and in the Middle East for example.
Seamless leadership attributes are present in rich abundance in all of us
Advocate Madonsela spoke about the misconception that leadership is about position. She made the telling comment that if we need the position to be leaders then we should not be in that position. This is a typical seamless leadership principle. She mentioned her concern that the assumption we have is that leaders called to high positions have transcended the personal challenges of being good people of character and values. That is not necessarily the case and that is so often the reason that many so-called leaders drift towards corruption and crime.
At Leadership Platform we advocate that all those who want to make a difference should ask the Big Question in all situations in life: ‘How can I help move the situation in a positive direction?’ We don’t know if Advocate Madonsela asks this question consciously, but in reality her mind set towards her job and life is the embodiment of the Big Question. She does not consider herself as a ‘great leader’ yet she embodies the essence of seamless leadership that requires a humility and desire to learn and to serve all the time.
The launch occasion of the book Seamless Leadership deserves much more than this short article. It was an important, even historic event and we will follow up with additional reports about the contents of Advocate Madonsela’s address as well as the comments of Adriaan Groenewald.
Our future in this country and in the world for that matter depends on what extent we embrace seamless leadership. It does not require the masses to make a difference. It is and always will be about the passion and character of a minority of seamless leaders who believe that the impossible is possible.