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Authentic leaders inspire themselves
2010-04-30

 

 Dr Renalde Huysamen and Mrs Marietjie du Plessis.

Leadership is held in very high esteem. In today’s world the ability to lead and motivate yourself and others is of the utmost importance. This year, Dr Renalde Huysamen and Marietjie du Plessis from the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD) at the University of the Free State (UFS), continue to build on a year-long Leadership-Learning Community Programme that they launched last year.

The aim of the project is, amongst others, to assist academic and non-academic staff at the university not only to discover their own strengths as leaders, but also to dream about it in order to achieve lively, sustainable and flourishing communities of collaborative learning and development. During the first six months of the programme staff members of the UFS investigate their personal and professional experiences and in the process they grow as individuals and authentic leaders.

The group is very diverse in terms of race, gender, language and qualifications. According to Mrs Du Plessis this diversity creates an opportunity where participants learn to understand themselves and others better. Firm ties are forged in a supportive, safe and stimulating environment in which mutual learning can take place.

During the last six months of the year the focus is on research outputs for academic staff en projects for non-academic staff. Some personnel have already published articles and managed to build international relations by means of this. Non-academic personnel have engaged in projects to improve provision of service with great success.

The Leadership Programme comprises 40 hours and includes breakaway sessions, group and individual activities, interviews and conversations, out-door activities, narrations and research methodology. The sessions take place on the UFS campus, but two breakaway sessions at resorts near Bloemfontein are also undertaken. Although this programme has been launched in the Higher-Education sector, it can also be adapted to fulfil the needs of any other sector, says Dr Huysamen.

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