Posted by William Nunnelley on 1999-05-05

South Africa’s electricity company sought to create leadership within the organization and not only at the top during the nation’s transition from apartheid to shared freedom, a company executive said Tuesday, May 4, at Samford University.

    Pieter Faling, executive director of Eskom, told a School of Business audience the company "went to a team approach" that emphasized mentoring and coaching "to help spread leadership throughout the company."

    Delivering the first A. Gerow Hodges Lecture, Faling said the approach also helped the company focus on its customers. The company became less interested in building new power plants and more interested in improving service.

    Shareholders will always look at the bottom line, Faling told the business students, "so you must be aware of it." But look beyond it, he urged, and "create an environment (in your company) in which people can grow."

    Eskom is the world’s fourth largest utility company and supplies 60 percent of the electricity for the African continent. The Hodges Lectureship honors the Birmingham civic leader and retired insurance executive who has served for many years on the Samford Board of Trustees.