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Disruptive thinking
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Jonah Nyoni- Author and Motivational Speaker

NORMAL leaders find it hard to survive in a disruptive environment and atmosphere that we live in. The obvious disruption is coming from technology and information growth. The latest disruption is from COVID-19 and that looks for disruptive thinkers and leaders.

This is a fast age. An era of “big data”! In leadership, it gives us lessons. The emerging things are very disruptive, but important at the same time. They may destroy jobs, but create others for those people that are prepared for our times.

Some people get rewarded and others are helplessly thrown out of the ship. There is no one to blame, it is just the times we are in and I somehow consider myself very fortunate to have lived in this era.

The world is changing and it never waits for any one, but there are the lucky ones who are found at the centre of that change.

These include Jeff Bizos and Eric Yuan (founder of ZOOM). It is either you are watching others work and you are a mere recipient and helplessly following the change. The late Peter Drucker pointed it correctly when he said this is an era of the three Cs — accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition. It is either you are part of the game, out of the game, or bittern by the game.

Idea generation

This is a time we need transformational and trans-generational thinkers. A leader should lead in new ideas. Going to university has never been enough because we now see dropouts being leaders of inventions. They carry no certificate, but their followers are innumerable and their bank account bulging. A great example is the Facebook leader. What do you have to offer? Thinking is not the mental activity that happens with everyone, but inventiveness.

 Meaningful creativity

The word creative is derived from the word “create”. It relates to the use of imagination to create something. Traditional leadership has been seen as being the top guy in an institute and getting the highest salary. But the true leader is someone who is able to be creative or able to motivate team players to think above the set standards.

Let us take stock as leaders; what new things have you brought to your company, church, country, and community? This involves Ideas, methods or meaningful progress.

Disruptive innovation

Being disruptive in the general sense may look very negative, but we have seen positive disruption happening. Being disruptive is being hungry to see and making change happen. It is a state being unsatisfied with the status quo.

Some would think its fighting with the status quo or being fought against. Hence the reason for seeing a threat when the “led” seems to be better than the “leader”.


Competition is fierce. Average performance is just as dangerous today.  Being in a competition without the full knowledge about the rules of the game is even more dangerous.

For example, if you look into how banks are performing in Zimbabwe you can see major differences within the player. Some banks still perform as they used to 10 years back and new players are very attractive to the younger generation who want to do everything just at the click of a button.

For some banks, you have to go to where they are located and do a paper transaction. Worse still, the queues are never-ending. The next winner in the banking sector is the one who will employ the “new technologies”. For example, I don’t need to go to a specific location just to check how much I have in my account; telephone technology has made that possible.


When change is taking place, no one can stop it. Yes, people might speak evil against it as a way of not wanting to embrace it. At times, change brings pain. Remember, when we go through problems or plights, it is not how painful it was, but who you become at the end. It might be hard to bring change. People are going to talk you down. Your family is going to deny you, but keep rocking.

As you try to improve what you found, you face so much opposition. At times life hits you hard. It hurts! Life was never meant to be given on a silver platter. Your life is yours; you are in charge, just change. You might be down now, but that does not mean your end. You are bigger than your hardships. Hardships give in to people that have the grit to grind those hardships.

 Spot or make changemakers

As you are leading people, it is very important to spot people that are ready to embrace and bring change. At times you might be the top person, but you have to be willing to work with ideas that other people have brought. In the end, people will think it is your idea.

At times leaders don’t have to invent anything, but should be able to appreciate the power that other people have and use it to the benefit of their institute.