Day 2 was a full day of classes. We went to the University of Cape Town where we learned a lot. We had classes on leadership and entrepreneurship. We got to do skits to learn more about human fundamental needs. We also got to meet some of the graduate students from UCT that were building their own businesses. This day was a full day but we learned a lot.
Saturday was another full day of classes, this time we sat in the seats of the University of Cape Town. Again, Stuart Hendry was our speaker. We spoke more on leadership, but more in depth. Stuart asked what our fundamental human needs for life were. What is a fundamental human need? There are nine fundamental needs: Subsistence, Protection, Affection, Understanding, Participation, Creation, Idleness, Identity, and Freedom. These needs connect us to economics goods and services through satisfiers. A satisfier is a social process or type of behavior that addresses one or more fundamental need in a positive or negative way. We also discussed some characteristic of transformational leaders. A good leader is a transformational leader, who changes others through great influence on becoming a better person. That’s what transforming means, a person who betters their life as they help better others’ lives.
After the classes, Stuart invited some of his students to speak to us about their ongoing business plans. Some of these students have BEAUTIFUL IDEAS!!! For example, some high schools near Cape Town do not provide graduation hats. So a group of students decided to supply graduation hats to the high school graduates. The hats can be designed with different labels and colors. Hearing all the cool business plans really intrigued me to continue to do more with my business plans and actually followed through with them. That’s the hardest part. I truly appreciate all sessions. They were very inspirational.
Much of the leadership techniques we are taught usually involves some sort of command and control. Today, however, we learned that in order to be an efficient leader it takes much more than a strong voice. Stuart Hendry, our lecturer for the trip, introduced the idea of the 9 fundamental needs necessary for not only effective leadership but also human happiness. When the 9 needs; subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, creation, idleness, identity, and freedom, are met they not only create happiness but also help to engage, motivate, and mobilize, the individual.
After being home in the states for a couple weeks now I have had more than enough time to reflect on all my experiences in South Africa, whether negative or positive they somehow helped shape the trip and my learning experience throughout. First off, the biggest thing that I am taking away from the whole trip was Stuarts’ leadership lectures. I feel that his style of leadership, which focuses on the nine needs of an individual, is a style that works very well and has the possibility to work exceptionally well when combined with our very American style of command and listen. I was very surprised on our work day at the school, especially after reading Toxic Charity; which pretty much denounces charity completely. I feel that our efforts that day, like the book says, may have done more damage to the improvement of life to the peoples of that township. At lunch I noticed the children’s’ menu, while we were eating our personal lasagna and salads with cokes, every day of the week the kids got oats with either water or milk. To me that creates a very negative impression of Americans with those African children, fueling an already seemingly negative stereo-type for Americans globally. Of course I will also remember all the places the places went to, the sights we saw, the wine tastings, and especially the view from the top of Table Mountain. I don’t think any of us will ever forget will’s stolen cell phone though.
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