Tuesday, August 26, 2008

value of values

Today I was reminded of the value of values. I spent time with our Chief Executive Officer discussing the challenges of allowing our staff to blog, communicate and express themselves on www and mobile and wherever else with complete freedom. He reminded me that the company's key values would provide the framework to support this freedom. Our bank encourages all it's staff to uphold values which include honesty, accountability, respect, trust, compassion, self control and helpfulness. When you have a strong value system you can allow freedom of expression to the extreme and not feel threatened by open debate, in fact it's really encouraged. I later went to an intimate gathering of key industry players hosted by Prime Media where Kgalema Motlanthe was the guest. He shared his vision for SA as deputy president of the ANC. He spoke about the importance of values, of enabling education, making health care a right for all and importantly ensuring every South African has the right to feel safe in their homes. Crime is a priority to tackle. I went to talk to him afterwards and found him to be very approachable, warm and friendly. He seemed to be genuine in his empathy for my concerns about our country. Perhaps he was humouring me, "brand of white" but I would like to believe he is genuine in his support of values. To me this is a sure sign of great leadership.

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