The SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) launched its National Leadership Standard at its fifth Annual HR Standards Conference at the Theatre on the Track in Kyalami on 26 October.
The Standard was developed after a very extensive consultation process with leaders in government, business, the public sector, non-profit organisations and academic institutions.
“The South African National Leadership Standard is the world’s first National Leadership Standard. It is the first time that an entire country has agreed what good leadership practice is across the different sectors, whether you are a school principal, Head of a municipality, branch manager at a bank,” SABPP CEO, Marius Meyer explains.
The Standard provides a clear guideline for leaders on how to be effective leaders in practice: “The idea is to provide leaders with a framework that will make it clear to them what good leadership behaviour is all about. It also gives them an opportunity to reflect on the mistakes they are making and the challenges they are facing. It guides them in terms of being mature enough to look at those issues and then to improve on their leadership practice.”
It is applicable to all levels of leadership from the most senior leaders to the most junior supervisors in the organisation. It is also applicable to different types of leaders – functional leaders, Heads of Supply Chain, HR, Finance, the CEO and the CFO. “It does not matter whether you are a factory, a private company, government department or municipality or a non-profit organisation. Ultimately, all institutions of society need to be effective and they can only be effective if they have the best leaders in place,” Meyer contends.
SABPP’s Leadership Standard captures the five elements of good leadership: “Leaders need to instil a vision, deliver results which create value, live the values, influence people and reflect for improvement. Any good leader must be able to apply these.”
Meyer says the Standard will make a positive difference in South Africa: “Leaders in South Africa do not have clear guidelines. You are either appointed or elected into a leadership position and it’s a case of sink or swim. The guideline provides a huge opportunity. It tells you where you need to start with your leadership practice, how you need to improve your leadership practice and how to take your team with you. The challenge in South Africa is that while there are pockets of excellence and leaders who are brilliant in terms of vision, they are often unable to get their staff to execute the vision.”
He would like to encourage all leaders in South Africa, irrespective of position or role to embrace the Standard, and to apply it. “It is a tool in your hand that will help you to be a more effective leader. Surely, there cannot be a single leader in the country who wants to fail? The opportunity for you as a leader is to be reflective and to say I have a guideline, and to apply the guideline to the best of your ability. I am absolutely convinced that if you are in private business you can double your profits. If you are in service delivery you will have more effective service delivery, irrespective of whether you are in government or a non-profit organisation. The standard will ensure that leaders are successful in their leadership role,” Meyer concludes.
“The launching of the Leadership Standard provides leaders and practitioners with hope! Hope of a future, improvement an professional practice. Great to see new and young leaders making a difference.” – Rina Muller, Potchefstroom
“This is a humbling and highly appreciated moment to witness and be part of my chosen profession Human Resources taking a leap of faith and stepping up to the plate to be counted as thought leaders in the journey of leadership standards. Congratulations and well done SABPP. Thanks.” – Getty Simelane, Director: HR Touch
“Here’s to great leadership in the future. Congratulations for this fantastic effort to launch a leadership standard. Once more at the forefront of HR innovation, growth and development.” – Chris Waddell, Past-Time HR Manager, Southern Implants
“Well done to the HR professionals for raising the bar on developing our future leaders in SA. I am privileged to part of the process and we walk the journey on ensuring that human capital sets the tone at the top by providing the framework for future leaders development.” – Ele Tshikovhi, Aveng Africa, Group Transformation Manager