Following in Great Leaders’ Footsteps.

Following Great Leaders' Footsteps.

Five Main take outs from Charlotte Maxeke’s leadership that work for me

As we close off the month of April, it is not only notable to celebrate the phenomenal woman that is Charlotte Maxeke, but to also reflect and learn from her leadership style.

Not only was she an extraordinary leader but Charlotte Maxeke was the type of leader to put in the work alongside her team. She was a servant leader.

What is a Great Leader?

Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goals or outcomes. Leadership stems from social influence, not authority or power. It requires others, and that implies they don’t need to be direct reports.

A leader continuously looks at ways to develop for the benefit of the business including; self-development and that of team members. This is the leadership style that was adopted by Charlotte Maxeke, who was a social and political activist.

In her style she not only exuded confidence in what she believed in but was also a strategic thinker. She was civic-minded and allowed her fellow comrades to shine where their strengths lie.

Other characteristics that define a true leader are consistency, dependency and courage. As human beings, we are ultimately called by our maker to be the best person we can be- consistent- dependable and courageous at all times.

As leaders it is always important to adapt to your environment and make the necessary decisions to achieve the goal you have for the team.

The leadership style of Charlotte Maxeke

When thinking about Charlotte Maxeke, certain character traits come to mind:

She was self-confident, empathetic, courageous, responsible, honest, consistent, and dependable.  Generally, these are characteristics that made others want to follow her.

When it comes to true leadership, people will follow because they want to not because they have to. 

Here are some five take outs from Charlotte Maxeke’s leadership style.

  1. Comrade Maxeke had absolute clarity. There was no questioning her vision and what needed to be accomplished. Freedom, Equality and Education.
  2. She was decisive. Once she has made up her mind, she didn’t hesitate to commit her life and energy- it was all hands on deck, when it came to achieving her goals and the objective to liberate our people.     
  3. She was courageous. She never waved nor faulter in her quest. Once again- showed true leadership.
  4. Her passion for inclusivity, education and religion were the driving force that lead to her achieving her objectives – irrespective of the task or goal. That was Comrade Charlotte Maxeke  
  5. Humility- is a fundamental threat. All too often Leaders (CEO or Management) use fear to control or management. This was a skill Charlotte Maxeke commanded.

Charlotte Maxeke was the first black African woman to go to university and gain a degree in South Africa and one of ANC’s first female members. Her ability to pioneer inspired much of the establishment of Lebone Litho.

The print industry was predominantly controlled by a select group of people. It was important as a business owner to take full advantage of the opportunity which includes enhancing the environment by modernising the printing industry.

Lebone Litho Printers, market leaders in many aspects of the value chain continues to push the envelope and boundaries with diversification into digital transformation and development in-line with the fourth industrial revolution.

To be an inspirational leader is no easy task, but it is extremely effective when accomplished. This inspirational type of management style requires superb people skills, a big heart, and an honest desire to help employees develop both in and outside of the workplace.

The leadership style at Lebone Litho is based on a simple catch phrase used to inspire change and management to implement: – PLOC

  • P= Plan
  • L= Lead
  • O= Organise
  • C= Control

 This is basic but effective.  A personalised leadership profile to help guide the team in developing the qualities of a values-based leader- A leadership styles that has helped to motivate the team to produce high-quality work, and embrace inclusivity and diversity. The team also had access to a professional network of like-minded executives through external and internal training.            

Lebone Litho commemorates Charlotte Mannya Maxeke’s work and recognizes it was a huge important turning point for the pursuit of women’s rights in South Africa. She inspired not only women, but many men who take up very important leadership positions. Her legacy will continue to live on all of those who continue to inspire and aspire change everywhere they go.

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