Nelson Mandela personified the word Ubuntu. This is an African word for ‘humanity’. Sadly, times of suffering or hardship are often what make us recognize the value of this philosophy…rather than living this way as our daily “default” setting.
Ubuntu, is actually derived from the saying ‘Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu.’ Translated from Zulu, it means: ‘I am because you are, and you are because we are.’ In other words, I can only exist through you. And, as long as there are people who suffer, I suffer too. It is only when each person is free, are we free.
This is especially relevant to building powerful, high performance organizations. Organizations that do not invest in consistent professional development made available to all levels of their employees, have a short-term view of their value to the company. Not keeping an eye on how costly and time-consuming it is to re-hire, retrain…etc.
The importance of each person’s contribution to the team is often lost on those at the top. Yet this crucial missing link causes long term problems. Effective team building programs can be a key ingredient in developing our workplaces to be more efficient, healthier, happier, and more profitable. That is a good thing wouldn’t you say…considering how much time we spend at work?