Vusi Thembekwayo’s Laws of Leadership
As today’s world is pretty chaotic it’s no surprise that businesses also live on the edge of chaos. Everything that is valid for a business today does probably not count tomorrow.
In order to survive, the challenges business face need to be navigated. To do this properly, it helps to consider four realities. Vusi Thembekwayo, businessman and thought leader, calls them “the laws of leadership”.
The first law is to find the truth. In larger corporations, every department has a different answer to the same question, seeing the company through their “business perspective filter” resulting in many “truths”. For example, customer complaints often don’t reach C-level. Even though frontline staff deals daily with customers and is best positioned to know their concerns about a company, product, or service, upper management tends not to listen. The closer a company comes to find the “real truth”, the better it can face the challenges.
The second law follows the motto “bigger is not always better”, companies should aim to be the best in what they do, not the biggest to succeed in business. Even though scale definitely is a competitive advantage and brings many benefits, such as a wider spread of costs, scale alone does not make up for economic leadership. To outperform competitors thinking must go beyond scale. Innovating must never stop, companies must redesign their resilience day by day. To this end, digitalization is certainly a force that helps shake up the power of scaling as it turned the business world upside down, providing opportunities for disruption and innovation.
The third law is to keep in mind that “vision excites people. Not numbers. If you want to inspire people, give them a vision of what you seek to achieve.” It is not the financial ROI and meeting KPI’s that is exciting and motivates employees. It also isn’t what makes a customer buy a product or service. It is inspirational leadership that makes people wake up and go to work day by day performing giving their best.
Communicating the purpose, belief, and vision are what gives the company a “heart”. As Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle model suggests:, it is communicating the “why” first that makes people buy.
The last, most powerful and probably most difficult law is to lead by the business case. This means that neither the qualification nor the level and years of service a person worked at a firm matter. Instead, all people should be given a voice, aimed at the message that wants to be conveyed. This is easier said than done, especially since people usually categorize information based on who the messenger is or the job position they hold.
What makes all this important for businesses is that, in principle, these so-called ‘laws’ of leadership are simple, but not necessarily easy to apply. Escaping the chaos by narrowing down the complexity of business navigation to four laws is using the power of simplicity. Oversimplifying a complex issue eases the decision-making process to bring/ keep a business on the path to success.