Leaderwalk: the future of leadership is collegiality



In collaboration with Business Engage and the 30% Club, Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) hosted a LeaderWalk on 12 April, with main sponsor GIB Group, and co-sponsors Garrun Group and Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa.

In this Leaderwalk - themed ‘The Future of Leadership is Collegiality’ - guest speaker Mike Teke, CEO of Seriti, spoke about what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s business world.

Within the context of leadership

Understanding the significance of collegiality, fraternisation, ingratiation, and self-respect in effective leadership within today's business realm is paramount, according to Teke.

“Often, there's a misguided emphasis on projecting bravado and boldness, with success seemingly linked to boldness and even arrogance. However, I find these notions counterproductive. Ingratiation and fraternisation, in particular, undermine our capacity for decisiveness,” he said.

“Defining these concepts, especially within the context of leadership, involves acknowledging that effective leadership necessitates the courage to take action, even amidst challenging circumstances. Leaders are tasked with guiding others adeptly, requiring them to demonstrate boldness and resilience in navigating tough situations,” he continued.

Young leaders, according to Teke, often look to experienced individuals as role models, seeking to adopt positive leadership traits from them. “It's essential for them to emulate qualities such as self-respect and integrity, as these traits not only contribute to personal growth but also play a crucial role in advancing humanity's progress. Upholding integrity in every commitment is particularly significant, laying a strong foundation for ethical leadership and fostering trust within teams and communities.”

Collegiality fosters cooperation and respect

Balancing assertiveness with collegiality, he added, is a challenge for leaders, but it's essential for maintaining a productive and respectful work environment. “It's important to recognise that collegiality doesn't imply weakness; rather, it fosters cooperation and mutual respect among team members. Leaders can assert themselves effectively without resorting to aggression, finding the middle ground where they can confidently express their opinions and decisions while also valuing the input and perspectives of others. This approach cultivates a culture of collaboration and accountability, ensuring that goals are achieved with unity and professionalism.”

“Collegiality plays a significant role in enhancing employee engagement and fostering overall organisational success. By promoting a culture of open communication, collegiality creates an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, concerns, and feedback. This open exchange of information not only strengthens teamwork but also eliminates the fear culture that can inhibit productivity and innovation. Additionally, collegiality ensures that employees feel respected and valued for their contributions, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to the organisation's goals. Overall, by prioritising collegiality, organisations can cultivate a positive work culture that drives employee engagement and facilitates achievement,” he said.

Fostering a culture of collegiality

To foster a culture of collegiality within their teams or organisations, leaders can implement several strategies, said Teke.

“Firstly, they should emphasise the importance of aligning team efforts with organisational goals and priorities, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same objectives. Secondly, consistent communication is key, as it helps build trust, transparency, and cohesion among team members. By maintaining open lines of communication and regularly updating their teams on progress and developments, leaders can create an environment where collaboration and collegiality thrive, ultimately contributing to the achievement of business imperatives.”

For aspiring leaders seeking to integrate collegiality into their leadership style, Teke would offer the advice of prioritising accessibility and approachability. “Rather than fostering an environment of fear and intimidation, aim to be someone whom team members feel comfortable approaching with ideas, concerns, and feedback.”

In conclusion, Teke closed with these final words, “Be driven and energetic in pursuing your goals, always striving to deliver on your commitments. Maintain a gritty work ethic, persevering through challenges with determination and resilience. However, it's crucial to remember not to let success breed arrogance. Stay humble, remain open to learning from others, and treat everyone with respect and kindness along your journey to leadership and success.”

A discussion

We thank our table hosts (below) for accepting our challenge to facilitate discussions:

  1. Cliff Garrun (Garrun Group)
  2. Jurie Erwee (GIB Group)
  3. Paul Sanders (GIB Group)
  4. Peter O'Dwyer (Bryte Specialist Motor)
  5. Rethabile Shabalala (Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa)
  6. Rianet Whitehead (FAnews and The Insurance Apprentice)
  7. Wimpie Van Der Merwe (Global Choices, Digital Path & Claim Central Africa)

In the feedback session, all the table hosts agreed with the comments that Teke shared.

Thank you

Thank you to all the delegates who attended this event, we hope that the session inspired you, as leaders, with effective leadership tips within today's business realm.

Thank you to Mike Teke for his time, and the books donated. Thank you to our main sponsor and co-sponsors for making this event possible.

See photo album here