Dr Brand Pretorius delivers on effective leadership

“If there is poor or no leadership, followers spend their day in darkness, they have no direction, they completely disengage and deliver poor results; but when there is quality and effective, inspirational leadership the lights are switched on and people have direction, hope and they do their best to engage and deliver outstanding results,” these were the words of Dr Brand Pretorius, guest speaker when he compared leadership to electricity  at the 4th annual Herman Mashaba public lecture held on 05 September 2018, by the Faculty of Management Sciences at the CUT. The Lecture was titled ‘Effective leadership: the key to sustainable business success’.

CUT Herman Mashaba PL Dr Pretorius_2w

Dr Brand said choosing a topic for the lecture was an easy task as Dr Mashaba is an outstanding leader. “I, therefore, deemed it appropriate to share my thoughts about effective leadership, the key to sustainable success. I am dedicating this talk to Dr Herman as an outstanding leadership role model.”

He mentioned that according to the international research firm Gallup, only 8% of South African employees are fully engaged, trust their leaders implicitly, try to live and behave in accordance to the value of the organisation and spontaneously try to do their best and believe in the vision and mission of their organisation. About 42% confessed that they are disengaged, they do just enough to stay out of trouble and to them, work is like a life sentence, an unnecessary evil to endure and the inevitable consequence is that they deliver very poor results. “When you are an effective leader you get people to buy into your vision, behave in line with the core values of the organisation, volunteer their intelligence, energy, loyalty, contribution and commitment. They accept co-responsibility and deliver outstanding results but bear in mind that it is not easy to get people to volunteer their energy, intelligence and commitment spontaneously. Over 14 million books have already been written about leadership and management, and it tells us that the answers are not clear. Leadership is both an art and a science, and human behaviour is unpredictable.”

When sharing his journey with the audience, Dr Brand spoke about a few lessons learnt about leadership, experiences, what he believes in and stand for:

Lesson 1: Effective leadership of self, Lesson 2: Leadership is not a right but a responsibility, Lesson 3: Leadership has nothing to do with power, position or authority, Lesson 4: Leadership is attitude based while management is skills based, Lesson 5: Have your own authentic leadership philosophy or approach-visionary transformational leadership or autocratic transactional leadership, Lesson 6: Ethical leadership, Lesson 7: Effective leaders vs hope.

As he unpacked the lessons, he stated that if you can’t lead yourself, then you will be unable to lead other people. “Leadership is not a right but a responsibility, privilege and an everyday honour where leaders have to learn the moral mandate to lead. It has nothing to do with power, position or authority but has everything to do with influence and there is no shortcut.”

He also made a comparison between a leading and a managing where he said that leadership is attitude based while management is skills based. “The difference between leadership and management is that leadership is about giving direction, motivating, inspiring, trusting, involving and caring about the people while management is about coordinating and planning efforts, organising and controlling people. He further emphasised that leadership plays a pivotal role when it comes to providing direction and motivation while management is important when it comes to effective execution. “Leaders focus on the future, effect change, put their emphasis on people, inspire and trust while managers put efforts on today, maintains the status quo, put their emphasis on processes and activities and micromanage and control.”

Dr Pretorius said he learnt about ethical leadership, which he said is a prerequisite for effective leadership. “Leadership is not about charisma but character and not personality based but principle based. It is not a way of behaving but a way of being so if you behave ethically, you can earn the trust and triumphs of your people.”

CUT Herman Mashaba PL Dr Pretorius_1w

He further emphasised that effective leaders have a positive and clear vision and are not afraid of the future. They embrace change, optimise synergies, instil and exemplify the right values such as openness, honesty and respect for all people. They don’t discriminate but encourage teamwork, accept responsibility and excellence in everything.

In conclusion, he advised leaders to be the light switch every morning, suppress their egos, builds their characters, leads with humility, care and respect, and always be willing to serve. He applauded Dr Mashaba for his distinct leadership skills, strength and determination even when the environment was not conducive.  “Dr Herman Mashaba as one of South Africa’s Top entrepreneurs started Black like me in 1985 and did incredibly well despite all the obstacles that were created by the apartheid regimen. I have known him for over 30 years and have had the privilege of serving under him on the board of the free market foundation. He is a warrior and crusader for capitalism, and I have learnt a lot from him. He is now the bold and brave Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration to millions of South Africans including me,” he said.


1: Dr Brand Pretorius, guest speaker at the 4th annual Dr Herman Mashaba public lecture.  Dr Pretorius is a Free Stater who made an incredible mark in the field of Business Management during his career in the motor industry of South Africa. He has been in business for over 45 years and views leadership as the most potent competitive advantage any business can ever have. He delivered the lecture on ‘Effective leadership: the key to sustainable business success’.

2: The audience at the 4th annual Dr Herman Mashaba Lecture on Entrepreneurship is listening attentively to Dr Brand Pretorius as he delivered a lecture on effective leadership.


Uploaded: 11 September 2018

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