Growing up I was exposed to family business so the ethics of business was a principle I was exposed to from early on.
The plus part is that I studied at the only commercial public school in South Africa – Gardens Commercial High School based in the Gardens in Cape Town, so yes, the break sessions were the best because we saw squirrels all the time.
When playing basketball for South Africa and traveling to all the other countries, I realised that to consistently not only maintain that level, but develop as well, you need to be disciplined.
While studying I always thought of what it was I wanted to study, in the same way as I now ask myself what influences people to make decisions on what they want or what they want to buy.
The answer was marketing and communications industry. And now, working in marketing, I saw that it goes even deeper, touching on psychology.
To study of consumer behaviour, and to understand the consumer, is vital. I particularly recommend Vusi Thembekwayo’s The Magna Carta of Exponentiality. Reading this book, you will discover things you didn’t know and start to think outside the box on subjects that are sometimes a hurdle you need to jump.
The major lesson from The Magna Carta of Exponentiality for me was the subject of leadership. This skill is not something one can learn when you’re all grown up. It is usually something you have in your genes, or you develop it through activities you take part in when are young and growing up.
The easiest and best example that highlights this is the subject of an elastic. An elastic is used to hold things together; but it can be stretched and taken out of its original size to operate and be productive.
For me, two key elements stand out
In leadership you need to know when and how to execute on a situation. Allow me to highlight: Anyone can be titled a leader but do they understand the major principle of timing? A good leader knows when to execute the plan in mind for the situation at hand, therefore the big fact knowing timing is important, and when exactly the time is right.
I had a meeting with a managing director once and he agreed on the statement I made that leadership sets the culture in the environment. Once there is a culture in the organisation, it then automatically impacts on the execution of the people in the business. People are influenced and display the culture through the execution of their work, and the consumer immediately reads that. Going back to the subject of psychology, the business then influences consumer behaviour without the consumer realising he/she is being influence.
The following elements are good traits of leaders
- Relevant thinking
- Understanding of the subject at hand
- Knowledge of subordinates
- Understanding the importance of timing
- Consuming education addiction
- Believing that actions are more important than speaking
- Speaking when it is relevant
- No running away, rather run towards an objective
The other way of thinking about leadership is metaphorically understanding the journey of water. When it’s in a river it goes through a lot of situations and passes many areas. For it to be regarded as suitable or healthy option it must be boiled to kill the germs that can affect the human being’s immune system.
What you don’t pick up on your actions as a person is that your repeated actions are not just there out of nowhere, they are there through your actions when growing up thus it psychologically affects your decisions in actions.
For instance, when growing up I only consumed a particular coffee brand and overlooked others as it was always bought as home. The multiple days that I consumed the other brands from friends and family members, my thoughts on consuming and tasting others started to spark up and I started to make my own choices on what I prefer.
The successful brands have implemented a way of understanding the customer as it helps provide the product/service that is relevant to that customer. So, it is best for leaving this statement that as a business you can influence consumer behaviour without the consumer realising.
Lwando Nondzaba is passionate about brand development, is able to integrate both traditional and online media solutions that are relevant and are of value to his clients.