THE BLOG
08/15/2013 12:10 pm ET | Updated Oct 14, 2013

Letting Wisdom Lead - Southern Africa Style

Recently Insight University was blessed with an opportunity to share its Letting Wisdom Lead workshop with 150 graduates of the Kellogg Southern Africa Leadership (KSAL) Capstone Forum. We were touched by the combination of intelligence, humanity and warmth that the Fellows and Alumni of the KSAL program possessed.

While the participants provided many positive reviews of our workshop, the real story belongs to KSAL. This program has been active for more than a decade and was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. FHI 360, a Washington D.C. based NGO, has recently managed the program for the foundation.

Most work by charitable foundations is done in anonymity, and this is true of the work of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in Southern Africa. Seldom are the results of this work commented on in the press. This is sad as there is a substantial body of work being done in the world by U.S. foundations, and especially by W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The KSAL programs were funded to develop thought leaders, development practitioners and action researchers through leadership experiences and study grants for masters and doctoral degrees for emerging leaders and professionals from Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe). In addition an active Undergraduate Bursary Fellowship was available for select individuals.

Southern Africa is a region of vast potential and diverse resources. Nowhere is this more evident than in the people who are the emerging leaders of this part of the world. The KSAL program promoted leadership that is values based, ethical and committed to people-centered development.

I can say from personal experience that the program accomplished these major goals. Rarely have we been afforded the opportunity to work with individuals that have a combination of sharp intellect, worldly experience and steadfast humanity that emanates from the core of who they are. The participants challenged us to continually work with them from a higher level.

Everything we provided for them only caused them to ask for more. We had to think on our feet, dig deeper into our resources and provide a next level of experience for them. I believe that the Insight University team learned as much or more from them as they might have learned from us.

The Fellows and Alumni of the KSAL program have a passion for giving back. Everything they do is geared toward taking their learning back to their local community and nation to share the education they have been blessed with. The KSAL program has built the capacity of communities and countries by helping a cadre of young people who are equipped with the knowledge and education to attain their goals.

The one major difference with these workshop participants versus our work with other similarly qualified people is these graduates from Southern Africa have not forgotten their hearts. The Fellows and Alumni of the KSAL program clearly understand that there is more to being a successful leader than just adding additional revenue to the bottom line. They clearly understand the human equation in all they do as leaders.

This is the future of world leadership, where leaders combine their head and heart to the benefit of the global family. W.K. Kellogg foundation has played a major role in making this happen in Southern Africa. The Fellows and Alumni of the Kellogg Southern Africa Leadership program will long impact this region of the world and continue to set an example of what authentic wise leadership is and can be.