Lift As You Rise by Bonang Mohale

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Published: 29 October 2018
About the Author: Bonang Mohale is a highly respected South African businessman, who is known as much for his patriotism and his active role in seeking to advance his country’s interests as for the leading role he has played in companies like Otis Elevators, Shell South Africa and South African Airways, among others. Developed over 30 years of business experience, his insights have motivated change in organisations and individuals alike.

“You will evolve because you read, you watch other leaders, you emulate good leaders, and you absorb what you can when you are in the presence of dignified greatness. You become inspired, motivated; you are touched in a meaningful way. And, by so doing, like a jigsaw puzzle, you build yourself up in pieces. You take the good from a variety of people.” ~ Bonang Mohale

This book is definitely another source of input for harnessing the leader within. It begins with a chapter on Leadership, where the author defines leadership being about creating movement and influence. Creating movement, because leadership accepts that when you choose to stand still, that’s actually a choice to go backwards. Influence is about accepting that, as a leader, your voice has a disproportionate influence and you need to choose how you use that influence.  Essentially, leadership is about giving your people hope through a clear vision, courage and integrity. Of course leadership starts with self-mastery.

The author then discusses Business that matters, where the true role of business is discussed. Bonang Mohale’s pearls of wisdom about the African business environment are so prolific. He analyses from high level corporate, right to small business entrepreneurial intricacies. I was fascinated with his practical solution to enterprise development between big businesses and small business as a way of levelling the playing field.

Transformation is central to the book in an honest and straight to the point manner, from addressing the need for white sharing, to finding a common ground between African collectivism to Western individualism. He addresses systematic exclusion of race as well as gender equality and I enjoyed his bluntness on African American households. The onus of transformation is that it starts with the individual; in fact he asks “what is your own contribution going to be to what you have been gifted? How are you going to take it to the next level? Then do anything and everything you can do to achieve things in a better way, including our own liberation journey”.

The following chapters include Africa, it’s time to fulfil our potential; Principles I live by; Building a better South Africa; and Mentoring.  The author stresses management and striving for excellence as key elements in reaching our full potential and building a better Africa for all who live in it. The principles he lives by help one further understand his character of frankness, family centric, respectful, self-energized, visionary and diligent. Leaders are shaped by their context and this is evident on the mentoring chapter.

To be honest I have been yearning for a book that I could relate to as a South African economist. It was not hard to understand the management crisis of our government from a national level down to municipalities, and all the anecdotes told throughout the book. I felt like I was having a conversion with a fellow countryman as his patriotism and humbleness comes through in his words, at the same time I was so proud to be in the presence of dignified greatness.

Reading books has opened me to the greatest minds ever, people I would not have access to in my space in time, and this book is exactly a window to a phenomenal mind. Hence I recommend it to all who want to liberate their human potential.

The book is available on Amazon

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