True Leaders Are Catalysts For Growth – Not Stagnation

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Just like a farmer who reaps what he sows, so do leaders. This is because leaders have the potential to create an environment where the team members flourish or a restrictive environment where growth is stifled.

Many organizations are replete with leaders who instill fear, use command and control and who deny employees opportunities for advancement. According to Deloitte, there is -19, 8% equity discount on organizations with perceived ineffective leadership.

One leader once said to me, unprovoked,  “these people should know who is “makhulu bas” (big boss) here. He reminded me of the older guys who used to sit at the back of the classroom at high school, pulling faces just in case the younger ones laugh at them for getting the answers wrong.

Ineffective leaders share the following traits:

  • They blame others and lack of resources of failing to deliver.
  • They brand themselves as indispensable.
  • They manipulate instead of influence.
  • They avoid conflict.
  • They create stagnation by denying growth opportunities to their teams.

Usually, these are people driven by their own fears. They believe that everyone else can see through their mask of incompetence and inadequacy. Because of these traits, they sow fear and reap mistrust, unhealthy conflict, lack of respect, silence and compliance.

This is not sustainable; you can turn this around.

A study by Deloitte indicates that organizations with strong leadership are two times more likely to financially outperform their peers. This is because the leaders in such environments create an oasis for growth and they reap commitment, high levels of engagement and sustained productivity.  

This will not happen until you are deliberate about developing true leaders:

  • Develop a culture of continuous learning: It starts with the leadership cohort adopting and creating a mindset of growth. This should entail explaining why continuous learning is important for the organization. The organization must also set learning goals.
  • Equip leaders to embrace change: Leaders become aware of the need for change and spot opportunities on their own.  Because they embrace change, they invite differing viewpoints and perspectives from their teams.
  • Entrench coaching conversations: The culture of telling suffocates employees’ ability to think. Invest in developing an everyday coaching culture within the organization to build greater self-awareness and autonomy in the individuals and teams.

Tex Hlalele is a speaker, life and business coach. He is the author of the book, Face the person in the mirror. Book Tex to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organisational advancement on +2764 656 6174 or visit

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