In just a few weeks from now, in August, I have the great pleasure, and no little honour, of travelling to South Africa, a country that I have visited often, and one that I have great affection for. I have been invited by Columba Leadership to speak to their annual gathering of partners and sponsors in Johannesburg, and I am looking forward immensely to the triple pleasure of seeing South Africa again, of meeting some good friends there that I have not seen for a few years, and, most of all, of being able to meet and share thoughts and ideas with Rob Taylor and his great team at Columba.
Columba’s characteristically understated website is an unassuming gateway to an organization that is bringing hope to many young people across South Africa by giving them the personal tools and skills and knowledge that they need to be principled and effective leaders in their communities and in their country. With its origins in Columba 1400 in Scotland, Rob Taylor and his team have been working assiduously and successfully with schools across South Africa for a number of years now to give young people the self-belief to help them become truly effective leaders.
Their model of leadership is rich and multi-faceted, and eschews all of those reductive and crude notions of the domineering and high-handed leader that so many in businesses and public sector organizations seem to try their best constantly to live down to. Instead, the young people selected to undertake the programme of development, are introduced, through a range of high-quality experiences, to the six core values of leadership that Columba build their idea of leadership around, namely: awareness, focus, creativity, integrity, perseverance and service.
A great example of the work of Columba Leadership, and some insight into what it means for the young people involved, can be seen in Manyananga High School in Mpumalanga, in the North-East of South Africa. The video below says so much more about the work of this wonderful organization than any words from me here.
I can’t wait to set foot on South African soil once again, and to see the work of Columba Leadership at first hand.