Modern leadership styles a must

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Are ancient leadership styles and cultures stifling organisational growth? According to leadership specialist Christo Nel it is imperative that local business leaders establish practices that are aligned with competitive, market-based objectives, but at the same time, allows them to adapt easily to dynamic, global environments.


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As South Africa?s business environment evolves, so should its leaders. This is particularly true to the local commercial setting which is becoming increasingly competitive and multi-cultural and requires a new leadership philosophy in order to remain competitive.
According to Christo Nel, head of the new Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), the vast majority of organisations within the private and public sectors are still characterised by leadership styles and cultures that have not yet adapted to the transformed ways of doing business.
"Modern leadership requires flexibility and creativity as well as an integrated approach to business. It calls for creating a compelling vision of the future and developing visionary strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve it. It is imperative that local business leaders establish a culture and practices that are aligned with competitive, market-based objectives, but at the same time, allows them to adapt easily to dynamic, global environments.'
Recognising the need to train Africa?s leaders, Nel says the USB intends to broaden the University's postgraduate programmes and contributions to develop leadership by introducing South Africa?s first-ever Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership. He says the programme is designed to entrench transformation and sustainable high-performance professionals.
"The Diploma will address leadership at four levels; namely personal, team, organisational and societal leadership. These levels are taught using various methods that enable individuals to identify and leverage their strengths and developmental requirements, as well as equipping them to optimise the strengths and growth of others.'
He says that by developing the four levels of leadership, future business leaders will develop a range of competencies, including skills, knowledge and attitudes that will help to understand and optimise the dynamics of leadership within teams and at an interpersonal level. "This helps to increase the level of productivity from employees which in turn retains staff and averts a high staff turnover.'
The mechanisms used in the programme include the use of critical event reviews, dialogue related to personal experiences and journaling, quarterly reflective essays, peer reviews, as well as a minimum of four scheduled telephone discussion groups allowing for constant monitoring of student progress.
"This programme will strengthen the skills of potential future leaders of our country, as well as equip them to function competitively in the global business environment,' concludes Nel.
For more information on the new Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership contact Libby Kok at 021 918 4246 or send an email to [email protected].

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