Draw leadership lessons from #FeesMustFall movement

The epitome of leadership... Huzlet Sbusiso Mabasa, financial director of The Seed SA.
The epitome of leadership... Huzlet Sbusiso Mabasa, financial director of The Seed SA.

 

THE #FeesMustFall movement caught the attention and imagination of many, locally and abroad. The students advanced a very noble and clear message: quality education must be accessible to all. It started in one university campus and soon escalated wider, across cities and provincial boundaries – in no time it had become a national issue.

The students mobilised and solidarity support started to pour in, including from lecturers, parents and fellow students across the globe. The young people were united and unwavering in their demands. As a result, there is no fee increase for the 2016 academic year.

Leadership lessons learned:

  •  Your vision should extend beyond geographical boundaries

The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It has to be a vision you can articulate clearly and persuasively on every occasion. I describe vision as a passion that inspires others to follow. As a leader, you must inspire loyalty, enthusiasm, belief, commitment and excitement.

  •  You must constantly communicate the end goal

The #FeesMustFall was a constant reminder of the desired end goal. It is vital for a leader to constantly communicate the vision or the end goal. It is dangerous to assume everyone knows everything. Repetition helps important messages to sink in.

  •  Develop the guts to engage those in charge

It is important to engage those in charge. This is the type of leadership that gets results. You can sing and dance all you want, you can whine and moan until you turn red – if you do not confront the abuse of power by those in charge, the status quo remains. Cape Town students marched to Parliament and two days later the students took the protest to the Union Buildings, where the president had no option but to relent.

  •  Do not let anyone hijack your vision

This was a cause initiated by students, and the victory was achieved by students. I noted they never allowed any political or populist element to hijack the campaign. Too many leaders watch their vision stagnate while waiting for people to turn it around. If you are serious about changing culture or implementing a vision – you will have to assume the driver seat. This will test your ability to remain persistent in pursuit of your vision for success.

Details: www.theseedsa.org

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