Peter Graham, Managing Director, IGL
In the modern workplace thinking analytically, creatively, and strategically while being empathetic, understanding, and caring of people rank among the traits of effective leadership. Taking on the challenges of being a man in a demanding society requires an understanding of the multidimensional workforce and skill sets across multiple areas, rather than a single area.
Leading by example, mentoring, coaching, and advising our teams at IGL afford us an opportunity to bridge the gap between generations and genders to promote the growth and development of our organisation. Utilising our own knowledge and experiences, connecting with employees and understanding the relationship between how they feel and how they perform is critical to successfully meeting the challenges of a modern workplace.
In the book The Three Laws of Performance, the first law [states], “How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them,” (not to how they occur to us). We always hear people say, how can he or she say or do this or that. But what is being [expressed] is a lack of empathy and trying only to see how situations occur to us (as managers) and not how situations occur to them (those we lead).
I am passionate about this.
Judon Bowden, Head of Human Resources, Red Stripe
Leading by example is the cornerstone of authentic leadership. It's the best way to inspire others to action, especially during times of great challenges such as the era we are operating in now. From a personal standpoint, leading by example reflects my integrity, and as a husband, father, mentor to young adults, and leader in a large organisation, when things get challenging I have to ensure that my actions are in sync with what I am saying. That's the surest way to build confidence. Your family, organisation and even the wider society must have confidence in your leadership. Without that you won't be able to navigate the demands of life or fuel the greatness of those who look to you for guidance.
Ryan Reid, Chairman and CEO, First Rock Group
The only way I know to lead is by example. It is important for those who identify with me as their leader to understand that no task is beyond me. Team members observe your actions and qualities constantly and in many respects they copy or assume those same actions and conduct. So, essentially, abiding by my core values and allowing fairness and justice to be the guide of all my actions and undertakings is of paramount importance. The sad truth is that it is very difficult to balance my many passions. As a spiritual man, a family man and a workaholic, managing my time across my passions continues to be an activity that I'm yet to master.
David Cummings, Vice-President and Head of Real Estate and Project Finance, Sygnus Group
As the father of a 16-year-old daughter, it is very important for me to lead by example to ensure that she, and others, see in me the best possible character as a father and a man, and that, despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, she has the opportunity to benefit from the best emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental well-being I can deliver. In other words, I pray, cook, travel, and reason with her, not occasionally or when it suits me, but at every single opportunity. This way she understands how fathers and men are supposed to behave, and won't accept or settle, for anything less. The same applies to my professional life, where integrity and respect form central planks in how I execute my day-to-day functions. Take care of the little things, and the big things will fall into place.
Morris Nelson, Senior Vice President Corporate & Commercial Banking, Scotiabank
The most important and basic responsibility of a man today is to be a positive role model and influence within his family and communities. This represents our best chance of reversing the current trajectory of underachievement among our young men and the cycle of violence perpetrated by this group upon our nation. It is not sustainable for any country to have over 1,000 young men (equivalent to two per cent of annual average births) of productive age being the victims and perpetrators of murders annually.
I choose to lead from the front by being committed to a stable family structure that facilitates the upbringing of our children and especially my son in an environment in which they are exposed and influenced by the same core family values of honesty, respect, hard work, and humility. Therefore, my daily encouragement to all men within my sphere of influence is to build strong families, which is the base of our society and the building blocks on which we can start to stabilise our nation.
The African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child” remains relevant today and places a responsibility on each community to ensure our children, and especially our young boys, have a structure that ensures they are exposed early to positive values and direction.
The low enrolment of men in tertiary programmes is now impacting the number of men participating in the professional workforce, which is cause for concern if our society is to benefit from a gender-balanced force in the future.
As a corporate leader, I see it as a responsibility to model the right behaviours and seek to be an example and inspiration for those who aspire to similar roles. In addition, I use every opportunity to mentor the next generation through my formal role and within the communities I interact.