Professor Niels Van Quaquebeke engaging with GSB&L students.

How to communicate as a leader was the focus of a lecture delivered by Leadership and Organizational Behaviour expert Professor Niels Van Quaquebeke.

Van Quaquebeke who is the Head of the Management Department at Kühne Logistics University, Germany recently visited the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) as part of his research road trip which saw him visit other South African business schools.

The essence of leadership, using communications as a means to inspire and leading with vision were the key aspects of Van Quaquebeke’s presentation which responded to the question of how to lead in the modern day.

‘Good leaders give employees meaning to their jobs and communication at the heart of that leadership. We think people are good leaders because they are extroverts and flamboyant but it is actually the opposite, it is the introverts – the people who listen and ask questions that are good leaders because they are engaging in their communication,’ he said.

Van Quaquebeke also spoke about the importance of leadership in times of crisis and the importance of leaders stepping up to reassure their employees during turbulent times.

‘Words are powerful and as a leader you should care how you communicate, if you don’t then you are not a leader. If you go out there in times of crisis as a business leader you need to keep in mind that people need you to give them a positive outlook of the future. That is the problem with political leadership our leaders are too far away from what people feel down there. That is why we need institutions like this where we get to define leadership broadly and shape conscious leaders,’ he said.

GSB&L’s Dean and Head Professor Theuns Pelser said it is important for the School to foster international links as that is crucial in the sharing of global perspectives.

‘It is paramount for the School to have global perspectives especially with what’s happening with the leadership of this country. We need this wealth of knowledge to be incorporated into our programmes as part of our vision of shaping future leaders,’ he said.

Thandiwe Jumo and Sibonelo Shinga