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Hard times create strong men (&women)

“Hard times create strong men.
Strong men create good times.
Good times create weak men.
And, weak men create hard times.”

G Michael Hopf


Nowhere has this quote been more relevant than in South Africa today.
Apartheid-birthed leaders, whose leadership was founded on virtue, morals, ethics, a strong sense of direction and service to others. It was these strong men and women who led us out of the hard times and into a country that was destined for great things.

However, today we, as a country, face a myriad of problems (not challenges) that have been brought about as a result of weak leadership – weak men who have created hard times.

The Zondo Commission on State Capture has revealed shocking truths around leaders in positions of power and privilege who, for their own gain, have undermined the very trust placed in them by millions and millions of South Africans. Not only in the public sector but in the private sector as well.

Where are we going wrong?

Firstly there is a lack of moral direction and a sense of service that should be cultivated in our schools. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

Secondly, there is our obsession with materialistic possessions – the big house, the expensive car and the designer clothes. We tend to value our possessions more than we value the people that have helped us on our journey.

Thirdly there is the focus “I” in terms of entitlement, power, position and privilege. This focus is on the individual at the expense of the group. The problem is not ambition, the problem is individual ambition with complete disregard for people in the race to achieve the goal.

Too many “leaders” today get caught up in their own world of leadership, foregoing the key aspects of virtue, morals, ethics, service and people. They value and pay more attention to the material aspects of leadership like the big corner office, the reserved parking and the huge pay cheque, as opposed to valuing their true potential as a “leader of people” and not a “leader of things”.

So, the question to you is. Are you a strong man (woman) creating good times, or are you a weak man (woman) creating hard times?