Today Desmond Tutu celebrates his 85th birthday! He has had a rich life and carries a wealth of experience and wisdom! Time to share one of his most important nuggets of wisdom! Watch this special video excerpt from my time with the ARCH where he answers the most important question I had! Officially, I was not allowed to film when I met Tutu last March, but we caught a brief moment when he was ‘unattended’….
What were the most important aspects in life that has helped you become the person you are today and what is one of the greatest lessons you have learned as a leader?
Desmond: It’s that I’m not inventing anything. There are those who were there before me and I’ve been very blessed with the mentors that I’ve had – people who’ve taught me how to be caring. When I was 13 or 14 I had Tuberculosis (TB) and I was hospitalized for nearly two years, and I had a priest who visited me every week. If he couldn’t, then he sent a member of his community to visit me. And I learned that – I didn’t know that I was learning – how you can make someone feel important.
Who were the most important mentors in your life?
Desmond: My mother and two priests. There are many things we don’t absorb cerebrally, we absorb in all other kinds of ways. We are influenced by people who touch us. My mother, she was an extraordinary human being. She was very gentle and very caring. I always say to people that I resemble her physically – she was very short and had a very large nose. I look much like her – especially my big nose which I have to put into everything (Tutu giggle) – and I pray that I can be like her, concerned for others.
I already mentioned the priest who visited me in hospital, but I could also speak about the first priest that I met. He was a black priest and we were young boys and so-called ‘servers’ at church, We would go out to rural areas and when we got there the priest was a big chief! The people would dance around him and give him all of their attention. After the service they would prepare a magnificent meal for him and drive out the children. I have never forgotten that that priest never sat down to his meal before he went out and checked on us and made sure we had food. I mean we were very much lesser mortals . When this is happening you are not aware that this is actually impressing itself on you. It’s only later when you do certain things and I was wondering “Why am I doing this?” and actually I am emulating t his priest– his way of caring. So none of us can ever claim we are self-made!
The importance of Mentorship
Mentorship is one of the most important aspects that shaped Tutu into the person he has become! Not all of us have mentors, and not all of us have good mentors. We often look to people like Desmond Tutu, Les Brown, Bill Johnson, Heidi Baker – you name it – and with we could have them as mentors. Well, you might not have direct access to them – but I have developed a unique mentorship program with life lessons from all the expert interviews I have taken so you can know how you can become the best YOU.
I am launching a FREE webinar on the Dream Chasers mentorship program Friday, 14 october, 20.00 hours and Saturday, 15 October 15.00 Hours. You will learn about the different phases and stages successful leaders walk through in fulfilling their dreams, their destiny and getting to the next level.
Sign up for for the FREE webinar HERE
That’s a smart way of lokoing at the world.