South Africa has also had her fair share of leaders. So, the question is: do you want to be led (it's only three letters)? It has always amazed me how willingly people will follow, how they will listen, how they will absorb what they hear and turn it into their truth especially when the music and t-shirts are seductive.
So, in political terms, leadership can prove to be inspiringly wonderful or devastatingly destructive which is why the suffix "ship" can literally land one on the rocks.
Perhaps the only real and true purpose of these types of leaders is that their behaviour may with a huge amount of fortunate luck bring to the fore or onto the stage an opponent, an opponent, who is not a leader but one who is led. Perhaps too, that we should benefit and improve from the lessons waiting and needing to be learnt.
South Africa has indeed been fortunate.
The division of the leaders and the led permeates right through every level of society, each level affecting every other level, those above, below and equal.
So, beyond politics, there are the levels of business, professions, all levels of the economy through to organisations, schools, colleges, universities and through to social and family structures. We as coaches, are affected and we as coaches affect.
In a sense, as coaches, we may find ourselves as the lead coach, coaching leaders. In our fortunate democracy we therefore may be placed in situations of being the power behind the leader which bestows on us a certain amount of power to determine how we wish to be led. Do we choose to be in the woeful land or the happy land? Many of us may be business/executive coaches. Many business and executive people may have the ears of government players.
It suddenly occurs to me just how powerful we can be and how extremely careful we need to be in accepting that load of power.
History, I think is trying to teach that when leaders arise, it is better to have the leaders who themselves are led, led by the principles that would have brought them to the fore in opposition to those self-proclaimed destructive gluttonous dictators. What those principles are or should be is a profound question. It seems to follow therefore that coaches need to be aware of their potential power and influence in coaching towards that happy land. Coaches have the responsibility of distinguishing and recognising the good principles and to use them in guiding leaders, leaders who are led so that we all travel together towards that happy land where princes eat at the proper time.