Notes from The Leadership Summit 2oo5:
Session 3: Seeing the Unseen, Mosa Sono
Mosa Sono started out by noting how good it is for leaders to take time out to learn and grow.
Sono, from South Africa, said that leaders are called to continuously see the unseen. There will always be opposition, but know that God will see us through. Mosa said there is a saying in South Africa, "If the rooster doesn't crow, the dawn still comes." We need to stay hopeful, because "hope deferred makes the heart sick." We need to embrace the future, we can't settle. "Wherever you are is better than where you've been." He summarized this point by saying that leaders should be bold, strategic, humble and informed.
Sono also explained that we need to empathize with our people. He said that if we do not understand the needs of the people, if we can not speak their language of suffering, then we will give a prescription not asked for. We will "scratch where there is no itch."
conversely, Sono said everybody must do their part. It is the leader who must be seized by a vision, but we as leaders must engage the minds of others, show how they can be involved. We need to move people away from a dependence mentality, as if someone else will solve their problems for them. Sono gave examples from the bible where God helped many people only after He had them take the first step (roll away the stone, fill the jars with water, throw the net on the other side of the water, step out of the boat into the water).
This certainly ties into my previous post where the worker needs to be the change he or she wants to see. Even more, from Sono's perspective, the leader cultivates this in his people, calling for initiative and moving those asking for change to become stakeholders themselves. Perhaps it is that step without seeing, that personal investment, that helps the vital hope and trust in the organization grow.
I found another good review of Sono's session on Jeff Mikel's blog here.