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The Power of Human-Centred Leadership

Human-Centred Leadership

Leading in times of adversity reveals a lot about us and what we’re made of. During crisis, many leaders are forced into survival mode. The key is not to get stuck there, and to release The Power of Human-Centred Leadership.

Confronting our own mortality is not something we do easily, or often. Yet, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are few human beings whose consciousness has not been preoccupied with thoughts of morbidity and death. For psychologists, the existential crisis associated with Covid-19 is unprecedented, as millions of people around the world wrestle with feelings of fear, anxiety, depression and despair.

It’s a complicated disaster, forcing business leaders to make tough decisions about survival.

Yet, there is no easy way to separate the disastrous economic consequences of Covid-19 from the greater human tragedy. Because people are the economy.

In times of crisis, it is leaders whose decision-making leans towards people and not profit, that stand out as exemplary.

I want to dedicate this article to a particular leadership team that, in the midst of the current crisis, opted for the higher moral ground; a group of talented businesswomen who, though their considered and collective actions, have shown themselves to be truly human-centred.

Wirecard Solutions South Africa creates a human-centred solution

Led by dynamic managing director, Hannalie Marsh, Wirecard Solutions South Africa developed a unique, virtual business support solution in response to Covid-19. This virtual world is well known to Wirecard, as a global innovation leader in online financial technology.

Simply stated as ‘Reset, Restore, Renew’, the concept was simple: Target business owners and entrepreneurs with an invitation to participate in a free, three-part webinar series focused on business recovery and renewal.

The series provided participants with insights, tools and tips to help them navigate towards ‘the new normal’. In this radically changed environment, we can expect our places of work and trade to be shaped by new behaviours based on reduced human interaction and increased virtual communication, collaboration and commerce. It’s an adjustment that requires a significant mental step change.

Wirecard Webinar

Webinar one: Reset

Wirecard SA’s first webinar featured author, analyst and motivational speaker, Andre du Toit (aka The Big Positive Guy), whose talk echoed President Cyril Ramphosa’s call for “fundamental reconstruction”. Andre offered practical ways for businesspeople to adjust to the new reality with greater resilience and stronger resolve.

Webinar two: Restore

Week two’s webinar saw professional mediator and counsellor, Elzabè Opperman provide proven coping strategies and behaviour skills for building self-resilience and reliance.

Webinar three: Renew

In the final webinar, it was master facilitator, Peter Thomas who delivered a practical methodology for strategy planning. Thomas’s unique visual-mapping methodology focuses on inclusivity and active involvement, ensuring that people connect with, and take ownership of, the plan.

As the world emerges into a new, altered reality, the message coming from Wirecard Solutions South Africa is a resolutely positive and, ultimately, uplifting one: In times of crisis, the best response is always a human one.

Felicity Hinton

Felicity Hinton

Felicity Hinton is the founder and chief strategist at Humanist, a culture-change agency that helps transform people for business success. Previously, she worked in human performance solution design, and advertising. She is a certified change manager (UCT), has a Bachelor’s degree in English (Wits), and has won several awards for her business writing, including a Silver Quill.

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