CFO Book Club: The 10 virtues leaders should live by


Bongi Ngoma believes her book recommendation will help leaders become authentic during disruptive times.

If there was anything certain in the last three years, it was uncertainty. Covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine war, the civil unrest and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, to name a few, have disrupted society, businesses and economies at a large scale over the last couple of years.

“The one thing that is predictable, is the unpredictable,” explains 2021 CFO of the Year and AGSA head of national audit Bongi Ngoma.

Fitting with the times, Bongi encourages finance leaders to read The 10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times by Tom Ziglar. “The book provides a blueprint for maintaining engagement and productivity in disruptive times,” she says.

She adds that the book contains nuggets that will help CFOs stay relevant in times of change and challenge. “It has a strong focus on people, as Tom gets to the heart of what authentic and compassionate leadership is.”

The book highlights the following:

  1. Vision: A leader must have a clear vision of where they want to go and be able to communicate it effectively to others.
  2. Courage: Leaders must have the courage to take risks, make tough decisions, and stand up for what they believe in.
  3. Adaptability: In times of disruption, leaders must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and be flexible in their approach.
  4. Resilience: Leaders need to be resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks, bouncing back quickly and finding ways to move forward.
  5. Empathy: Good leaders are empathetic, able to understand and connect with the needs and concerns of others.
  6. Humility: Leaders must have humility and be willing to learn from others, acknowledging their own limitations and weaknesses.
  7. Accountability: Leaders must hold themselves and others accountable for their actions and decisions.
  8. Curiosity: Leaders need to be curious and open-minded, always seeking to learn and explore new ideas.
  9. Passion: Leaders must have a strong sense of passion and purpose, inspiring and motivating others to achieve their goals.
  10. Gratitude: Good leaders express gratitude and appreciation for the contributions of others, creating a positive and supportive team environment.

Bongi believes that the book provides the winning formula for building and maintaining relationships that every leader should aspire for. “You learn essential leadership skills in order to release the ability of your people, and to improve their performance potential.”

She concludes that, in following these 10 virtues, leaders not only achieve the business results they hope for, but also unlock the greatest version of themselves as they grow to become better future leaders.

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