Every business school textbook tells you that it is one of the most important traits of a good leader — the ability to see the big picture. Weak leaders get caught up in the details of the day-to-day management duties. Balancing the budget ahead of the upcoming board meeting; dealing urgently with the red flags raised in the recent audit report; and ensuring that new appointments meet the employment equity targets agreed to with the department of labour. Then a crisis hits and within minutes you know whether you have a “big-picture” leader or one who remains consumed in the minutiae of running the organisation. Consider recent crises, from the corporate world and from education. I really do not know what on Earth the leaders of the insurance giant Momentum were thinking. When the story broke last week that the widow Denise Ganas would not get a life insurance payout of R2.4m, the Durban family’s dilemma would quickly become a compelling public interest story. Natalie’s husband Natha...

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