Mashaba passes the leadership test – Dr Albert Wort, Leadership Diagnostician

There is a crisis of leadership amongst South Africa’s ego-driven politicians who are not serving the people with “character, caring, competence, commitment, and connectedness”. This has emerged from an interview with Leadership Diagnostician Dr. Albert Wort of the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He gives BizNews his take on the leadership abilities of some of the country’s past and current politicians. He describes ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba as a “very, very good leader”; expresses disappointment in President Cyril Ramaphosa who has “lost authenticity”; questions whether EFF leader Julius Malema’s authenticity is adding value; and says SA was at the pinnacle of leadership when Madiba was president, but then the “wannabes”  stepped in… – Chris Steyn

Sign up for your early morning brew of the BizNews Insider to keep you up to speed with the content that matters. The newsletter will land in your inbox at 5:30am weekdays. Register here.


Watch here

Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:00 – Introductions
  • 00:27 – Dr Albert Wort on his qualifications and specialisation
  • 01:22 – Dr Wort on the leadership capacity of SA’s politicians
  • 04:56 – On how to tackle SA’s leadership crisis
  • 14:04 – On if it’s too late for SA politicians to save their lack of leadership
  • 15:43 – On the egos of SA politicians
  • 16:14 – On Herman Mashaba standing out as a leader
  • 18:02 – On where Cyril Ramaphosa has gone wrong and the downward of SA’s leaders since Mandela in 1994
  • 26:44 – Concludes

Listen here


Highlights from the interview

There is a crisis of leadership amongst South Africa’s ego-driven politicians who are not serving the people with “character, caring, competence, commitment, and connectedness”.

This has emerged from an interview with Leadership Diagnostician Dr. Albert Wort of the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) College of Business and Economics.

He gives BizNews his take on the leadership abilities of some of the country’s past and current politicians.

“Is the political arena in our country at the present moment at a point where we can say it’s a safe space for our voters to go into – and to authentically choose a political party? And my answer would be no. Because there’s one thing that’s not happening and it’s servanthood. When you’re placed in a leadership position, it’s not to show how great you are or the knowledge that you carry, but the potential that you have to serve people, Dr Wort says.

Read more: Mashaba on Moonshot’s dealbreaker, “that book” and enlisting new voters

Dr Wort describes character as the most important “competence” of a true leader. “Now, my question to you is the following: how much character do we actually see in the political space? Is there really character or are we playing politics? I’m apolitical at the present moment. So I’m not pro this party or that party or anything. I’m pro leadership. And what I’m currently experiencing is that the core element of the development of a leader, which is character, is not there.”

However, he singles out ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba as a leader of note. “I think he’s a very, very good leader. He’s a wonderful leader. … when he took over the role as Mayor (of Johannesburg), It was: ‘How can I serve you?’ …I’m gonna tell you something now (though), that’s going to be his downfall.”

But Dr Wort expresses disappointment in African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa whom he says has lost his authenticity. “…you know I’ve got so much respect for President Ramaphosa. And when he was voted in, I really thought…because the essence of the man is that he’s a servant…He’s a strategist, but he’s a servant. And for some reason, things changed. And I’m not seeing that anymore.”

Read more: Hlabisa: ANC food parcel bribery behind shock IFP by-election reverse

Referring to the Phala Phala scandal when burglars stole an undisclosed amount of dollars stuffed under a sofa cushion on the president’s farm, Dr Wort says: “I was a big fan of the president. And still he’s a very nice man…And I think he’s doing his utmost best within the context that he’s functioning and in this game of politics.”

When it comes to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, Dr Wort says: “You know, if you want to be a leader, that’s a tough space to play in… And the one thing that is defining in leadership is ‘Am I authentic to who I actually am?’ – but in a positive way….Let’s take our dear Mr. Malema. He’s authentic. He’s very authentic. But does it add value?”

Read more: The 13M people that can save South Africa – Werner Horn

One of Dr Wort’s  favourite individuals “ever” in leadership is from President Nelson Mandela. “He’s a hero in my life because he understood what it was to be a servant. Listen here, put me in a jail cell for 27 years, I promise you, when I come out, hell will break loose. But what happened with him, he became more authentic. The ego went away. He went to the table with, and may I call it, the enemy, and he spoke with him. And he spoke with them from the heart. And at that point, South Africa was at its pinnacle of leadership.

“I wish I could say that it was an upward curve from there, but from there, the wannabes, they were there. And then ego stepped in. All the political crises that we’re currently experiencing and the in-fighting and the not being able to work together. Sorry. It’s about ego. It’s about ‘Okay, what I want is more important than what you want’.”

Dr Wort says attitude is at the root of this problem. “Attitude…It’s a wonderful word. I call it the golden word of leadership. My question is, where’s the awareness of our political leaders at the moment? It’s not there. It’s all about ego. It’s all about ‘what can my party…what can I get out of it’. It’s what’s in it for me. It’s not what’s in it for the country. …Not what can I do for the people. And until we change our mindset and the attitude that follows on that, things are not gonna change.”

Read also:

Visited 1,065 times, 2 visit(s) today