‘Ethical leadership is what SA needs’

Bloemfontein Courant's Business Breakfast, sponsored by Standard Bank, had a full house event at Memories 4 Ever on 8 August 2019. Lincoln Mali, who was the guest speaker at the breakfast, spoke about leadership and creating an opportunity to network with colleagues and stakeholders as the purpose of the event was bringing together businesses in Bloemfontein and raising funds for CHOC House. Attendees were Anton Nicolaisen, Linda Strydom, Mali, Brendan Jacobs, Christel Basson and Retha van Eyssen. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

Everyone of us has good and bad inside of us. If we don’t control the bad, it could be detrimental to our careers. You can only control the bad through ethical behaviour and integrity.

These were the words of Lincoln Mali, Head: Group Card and Payments at Standard Bank, who was the guest speaker at Bloemfontein Courant and Standard Bank’s #LoveLocal Business Breakfast held recently at Memories 4 Ever.

Mali touched on a variety of issues surrounding business, but spoke at length about the importance of ethical leadership in the workplace.

“As a country we are currently dealing with a lot of scandals, which involve people we thought very highly of. The one day, they were on top of the heap, and the next day the heap was on top of them. These were people that we idolised. They were doing great things.

“And it not only happens in South Africa. All over the world leaders are either being charged or sentenced in connection with corruption. The danger is that we all think it can’t happen to us. Why do we think we are immune to the things that have befallen others?” asked Mali.

He emphasised that integrity is the key for all of us, and said if we have integrity, we can withstand all the temptations we are confronted with.

“The question we need to ask ourselves is whether we are setting ethical standards within our companies. What message do we send to our employees if we don’t behave ethically? And if we can’t be trusted, what sort of environment will our children grow up in?

“One of the things we hardly talk about is harassment in the workplace. Why do we think people who treat women badly outside of the workplace will suddenly become an angel inside of the workplace? If we keep looking away, we are complicit,” said Mali.

Pieter Delport