THE EOH COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP SERIES. OUR JOURNEY TOWARDS A COURAGEOUS FUTURE
Courageous Leadership is about building the EOH of the future; the organisation we aspire to become. We have started to rebuild the organisation with a strong ethical foundation, with employees who have strong values and beliefs, and guided by an ethos of courageous moral leadership at all levels in the organisation. The journey has begun.
By building this ethos into our organisation, we aim to lead by example, create a deeply responsible and ethical consciousness within EOH, attract the best talent, position ourselves as the best company to work for and ultimately rebuild the EOH brand and reputation as one that is built on the pillars of courageous leadership.
A key theme explored at the inaugural event held in Johannesburg in September this year, was heeding the distress call of the environment. Now more than ever, the famous quote from Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai is true. The quote reads: “The environment and the economy are two sides of the same coin. If we cannot sustain the environment, we cannot sustain ourselves”.
The EOH Courageous Leadership Series launched on 16 September 2019 at Fox Junction in Johannesburg, with the aim of sharing ideas and learning from the challenging situation we are in as a country. The challenges, as discussed on the day, extended to issues around the globe. We learnt that we all have to reach for the compassion and courage within ourselves to make a difference.
With guests Professor Thuli Madonsela, Former Public Protector, Professor of Law, Stellenbosch University, Eusebius McKaiser, Political Analyst, Lecturer, Presenter and Author, Karin Du Chenne, Chief Growth Officer: Africa and Middle East, Kantar and engaging and energetic event MC Iman Rappetti - veteran journalist and author, the morning certainly did not disappoint. The highlight being an engaging and thought-provoking panel discussion with our guests, including a group rendition of “this little light of mine… I’m going to let it shine”.
Chief Growth Officer:
Africa and Middle East,
EOH Group CEO
The morning was full of meaningful engagement, inspiration and gentle reminders that change starts with each one of us, and that finding your purpose is important.
There was also an inspiring address by one of our One Young World finalists, Vandana Satgoor who, as our official EOH Eco Warrior, shared with the audience her efforts towards making lasting changes in our environment – both on a personal level and in her role at EOH. Below are he pledges she has made to our organisation:
To remove single-use plastics from EOH canteens and office parks
To develop sustainable vertical urban gardens throughout EOH
Her long-term strategic goal is to implement a Sustainability Policy at EOH aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Our CFO, Megan Pydigadu addressed the audience in a heartfelt way and reminded the audience that, for South Africa to succeed we need to all work together so that we can create a country that we can be proud to leave behind for our children, closing with the moving quote “If not now, then when? If not you, then who”.
In Professor Madonsela’s inspiring keynote address, she questioned what happened to South Africa’s “new dawn”. Professor Madonsela spoke about the importance of using courage to take responsibility, to embrace vulnerability, to embrace change, to find collateral value, to stand alone, to be hopeful and to lead for a better world. One of the statements of her address that stood out for me was when she said, “a grain of rice can tilt the scale.” To lead courageously we have to embrace vulnerability and take the first step.
The session was appropriately closed by our Chief Risk Officer, Fatima Newman. Fatima acknowledged the importance of having stakeholders partnering with EOH on this Courageous Leadership journey and invited all the attendees to make their voices heard and to be accountable, regardless of the role they assume in their everyday lives and to ultimately leave this world a better place.