I am one of those ‘forever’ optimistic people when it comes to my land. #Patrioticnutter. So, I am the first to admit that I am giddy at the new energy our President is sending out. It’s what I have been praying for. Finally, it is here, and we need to do everything we can to heed his call. The ‘Send Me’ concept, an overnight phenomenon (thank you Bra Hugh), can be embraced spiritually, but how can it be implemented practically in our country? There are many ways, obviously, but one key area I wanted to reiterate is: Accountability in opportunity.
First and foremost, accountability in opportunity for the small business community. Entrepreneurship has been hailed (time and time again) as a key backbone to this country. The opportunity that exists to create jobs outside of the traditional corporate environment is massive. Yet this industry, in my experience (being a small business owner myself), also has a very high retrenchment and failure rate. And this needs to change. Small business models need to be looked at – not from any theoretical point of view – but from a workable solution. Mentorship needs to be embraced more. Chasing money needs to be a fundamental no. Staff value and wellbeing must become a top priority. I hear time and time again of retrenchments in small business due to a large client loss. Surely this is not sound business practice? Regardless of how it is spun! That is not how we can contribute to looking after the wellbeing of fellow South Africans. Small business needs to communicate effectively, put staff wellbeing first and re-evaluate, to ensure they are taking accountability in the opportunities.
Large business must of course also re-evaluate its accountability in opportunity. How the larger business sector supports small business, not financially, but ethically, will continue to be a fundamental game changer for South Africa. Long payment terms hamper cashflow significantly, unreasonable service requests cause unsustainable business models. Unwillingness to pay premium prices because small business discounts is ‘the norm’ if they want the work – all this hampers growth. The plethora of entrepreneurs locally, presents big business with opportunity for sure. Please big business – heed the call and re-evaluate your accountability in this opportunity.
And finally, the exact same concept applies to employees. An employee needs to understand their own accountability in opportunity. There is no room for entitlement. Employees must see the importance of their role in successful business, how their attitude can affect the bottom-line and how their business ethics in turn, will play a critical role in overall employer success. South Africans must think carefully about where they work. Ask the ‘hard’ questions in an interview. Understand the accountability that their potential employer has. Find out how many retrenchments have taken place in the last 18 months; how they manage their capacity and what would need to happen for them to walk away from a client? Simple, but profound questions. Creating accountability for employee and employer is the golden thread to success.
For me, the ‘Send Me’ concept our President presented on the historic February 2018 day, represents this accountability. And the sooner we all commit to collective accountability, the sooner we will see our country prosper for all.