Day 2 (UCT, Leadership, & Needs)

Saturday morning, we traveled to the University of Cape Town to continue learning from Stuart Hendry.  He began our lecture series with some tough questions such as, “Why do rock stars commit suicide?” My first thoughts in answering the question were that it depends on what was going on in their own personal lives.  Ultimately, Stuart began teaching us about the fundamental human needs and it all began to make sense.  The nine fundamental human needs are subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, creation, idleness, identity, and freedom.  Human beings and their needs are inseparable where needs are directly linked to the quality of life.  These needs take precedent over everything else and all the needs should be filled at all times.  If they are not, then this is when people may have suicidal thoughts. In the example of rock stars, they may have the money and fame, but it is possible that their need of being understood is not met.

Later in the day, we learned what it meant to be a transformational leader, not to be confused with a transactional leader. Within this series, we watched a video on what leaders in South Africa felt were the most important skills to possess, such as, trustworthiness, able to express a sense of purpose, empathetic, and a teacher.  In addition, there are the four I’s of transformational leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. To further understand what it means to be a transformational leader can be seen in the following quote, “The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is walking.”

After class time, Stuart had some of his students come in to talk to us about entrepreneurship. I was instantly blown away.  In South Africa, the school systems work a little differently, where you graduate college at a younger age.  These students presented us their business plans that they have actually put into effect and started.  My favorite was the girl who was making rain jackets.  Hers was cute, fashionable and nothing like I had seen before in the states.  All the girls on the trip got her contact information and we cannot wait to receive information from her soon about ordering one for ourselves.

Being in my third year at Presbyterian College, I have already had to create a marketing and business plan, but have never done anything further with them.  Seeing these students be successful was really encouraging to me since one day I would also like to start my own small business.  After class, Stuart’s students joined us for dinner at this place near the university. It was nice to be able to get to know some of the students better in a more casual setting.

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