1 Cor 13 (NLT): “Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love”. When we think of Leadership, especially in the workplace, faith (more often called “vision” or “purpose”) easily comes to mind. We also expect a leader to develop and nurture staff i.e. “love”. I believe the third attribute mentioned in Corinthians, HOPE, is at least as important a component of Leadership. I want to illustrate this point with the inspirational, and very topical, stories of two South African heroes.
Marshall Rapiya was going to be a lawyer, but found himself selling insurance for Old Mutual in uMthatha in the late 1970’s. Nowadays all financial services companies want to be seen to be serving the so-called “mass market”, but in those days, it was highly uncommon. Scepticism and racism both inside the company and outside threatened the brave efforts to extend financial inclusion to black people. It just hadn’t been done before!