I use the African word ubuntu to help my clients who have trouble asking for help
to realize that they've already received an endless amount of support already
and that their journey to success is not theirs alone, but a community effort,
whether or not they embrace it.
The concept is much more complicated than that
and to simplify it as part of a leadership model
could be interpreted as cultural misappropriation.
To disregard it's importance in leadership altogether
would be a great loss, however,
for the tenets of ubuntu
Ubuntu philosophy can loosely be translated as
"I am because of who we all are"
and can be helpful to motivate people to focus on a common goal
instead of their own interests.
More than that,
it highlights a feeling of belonging
only truly attained through inclusion.
Dissecting the tenets of ubuntu
and relating them to traditional leadership structures
may not be the best use of this complicated term,
but promoting the qualities emulated in the philosophy
overlaps with what the best employee's want out of leadership.
Of the 10 qualities identified by Martin Prozesky below, empathy, humaneness,
vulnerability, and compassion directly correlate to modern leadership ideals.
Empathy or taking trouble for others
Inspirational leadership is not new. Before the Western world knew of ubuntu and before leadership models were established, these inspirational qualities existed in the hearts and minds of influential leaders. Let that inspiration be your guide during the most challenging times.
Dr. Nancy Williams is a music educator and leadership & life coach. Her mission is to inspire awareness and empowerment so that others can be agents of positive change in the world. Sign up for her weekly inspirational emails here and receive the free guide "5 Steps to Overcoming Overwhelm."