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Message from the Director

To be in a position to reflect on the work of the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership (ALCRL) gives me a sense of mean­ing and also fills me with lots of gratitude and pride. It however inevitably takes me back to the early days of the Centre when I had in mind establishing a Centre that would focus on what most probably is the key ingredient in making the world a better place. This in­gredient is leadership and more specifically responsible leadership. At the time of con­ceptualising the purpose of such a Centre, I knew one thing, and that is the world is in desperate need of individuals and institu­tions who have a clear vision on the world we would like to leave behind for generations to come. A world where we live within what is referred to as our “planetary boundaries”. A world where we appreciate how fragile every single element making up the world we know actually is, and how the interdependence of these elements ultimately predicts the future of humanity and civilisation.

 
There is no doubt that the ALCRL positioned itself in a unique space since its inception early 2010. We critically reflect on the role of leaders and more specifically business leaders in a complex society and argue that redefining the purpose of business by chal­lenging the dominant economic paradigm goes without saying in our everyday activi­ties. We also believe that there is a need to deconstruct leadership theory as we explore the emerging discourse of responsible leader­ship, which is a task taken with passion and dedication by each and every member of the ALCRL team. We are also acutely aware of the limited body of knowledge in the field of responsible leadership and every output the ALCRL delivers on strengthens our position and adds to our academic legitimacy.

The fruits of our efforts the past few years make us proud that we have succeeded in living our vision of “Lead­ers for Good”. Living this vision remains our mantra and by doing that we realise the importance of, and therefore strive towards, wisdom. Something we would like to share with our stakeholders, whether they are our students, colleagues or supporters, is a concept that Prof Sandra Waddock, close friend and Visiting Professor at the ALCRL, so eloquently defines as “the capacity to integrate three capabilities - moral imagina­tion (the good), systems understanding (the true), and aesthetic sensibility (the beautiful) into (future oriented) actions and decisions focused on the greater good”.

I have to salute every single member of the ALCRL for his or her contribution, passion and, above all, absolute belief in our cause. It is my privilege and an absolute joy to be part of this team.

 

Prof Derick de Jongh

 

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