True Leaders Build, They Do Not Destroy

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My late uncle liked to fix his car even if it was not broken.

I am not talking here about routine maintenance, I mean someone who filled the vacuum of boredom by just fixing his car.

Before you know it, the car would be stripped to a point where he would struggle to reassemble it. He would call the mechanic to fix it, obviously having now created unnecessary costs.

I always imagined, why fix what’s not broken? Why destroy what is already working?

Often times like in my uncle’s case, we find ….

– Leaders joining organisations and the first thing they do is to discard programs and initiatives initiated by their predecessors. They do this not because the programs are not working, but because they allow their egos to overpower them.

– Individuals inheriting organisations in good condition and leaving them in a deplorable state because they elevate themselves beyond the values and mission of organisations.

– Leaders stripping authority from or removing people central to the vision and overall success of the organisation.

This is common in business, politics, sports and various walks of life where people choose to destroy than to build what they have.

According to Cambridge English Dictionary, to destroy is to damage something so badly that it cannot be used. You cannot claim to appreciate something by breaking it down.

“Struere”, is the Latin word that means “to build” or “to assemble.” The Oxford dictionary defines building as “to construct by putting parts or materials together”, “make or become stronger or intense”.

From the above definitions, it is clear that you cannot destroy and build at the same time.
You treasure, protect and build what you love and what is dear to your heart.

If you are a true leader, you can only build by an organisation by:

– Cherishing the inherent value of what they are building: This is tantamount to building with your legacy in mind. You don’t build for yourself but for generations to come, the intention is for others to benefit. Legacy becomes legendary only if it touches others.

– Investing in what you are building: A true leader invest time, energy and effort in what they are building. In this way, they minimise chances of neglect and leaving the dream to perish. Unfortunately, takers constantly go to the same pot without reinvesting. They deplete current resources without thinking about how future generations will benefit.

– Connecting and collaborating with others: You cannot build alone. Yes, you can have others in mind when you build but you always need to have people that you walk and work with. This is about putting and assembling teams together to build a solid structure. If you destroy those who buy into the inherent value of what you are building, you will never have a long-lasting dream.

Be not the one under whose watch the dreams of others are destroyed. Your role as a leader is to build, realise your dreams and make the dreams of others flourish.

Tex Hlalele
Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper

Tex Hlalele is a life and business coach and inspirational speaker. He is the author of the book, Face The Person In The Mirror. Book coaching and speaking engagements by calling +27 64 6566174 or visit

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