Leadership Redefined and the Power of Storytelling

Alongside our Annual General Meeting, the PSASA Johannesburg Chapter Meeting, held on 18th March, focused on Leadership Redefined and the Power of Storytelling, presented by the brilliant Rob Caskie.

Rob Caskie is a masterful storyteller, who makes not only history come alive, but extracts some powerful messages for us as leaders, speakers and storytellers. The meeting was attended by 29 people, including three guests.

Michele Thwaits, our Master of Ceremonies, warmly welcomed all participants and then handed over to our Chapter President Nikki Bush -CSP, who formally opened the AGM and gave her President’s Report. Her report focused on the enormity of the challenges faced in an entire year of virtual reality. She elaborated on how much we had all achieved and grown as a community, as a chapter and as an organisation. She highlighted the amazing contribution of all the Speakers over the past year as well as the success of the Mid-term Virtual Convention.

Nikki thanked all the committee members for their contribution to the wonderful team spirit we had shared and then announced the newly elected committee as follows:

Arthur Goldstuck: President

Nikki Bush:  Past President

Ian Bratt , Steve Johnson -Membership

Lois Wagner, Brian Turner -Marketing(blogging and social media)

Yoke van Dam and Alex Granger together with Nikki Bush-Speaker sourcing

The incoming President, Arthur Goldstuck, then paid tribute to Nikki Bush (CSP) and her remarkable leadership and the great team she had worked with. He said that “the success of the convention was not unexpected, but it was astonishing”. That captured the spirit of the collaboration that unfolded during this remarkable year.  Arthur’s vision was utterly inspiring in looking at the values of what comes NEXT. We were all drawn to the possibility of Next level growth as we look forward to another astonishing year in the Legacy of the PSASA Johannesburg Chapter. Under the National Leadership of an extraordinary Futurist, our very own Charlotte Kemp.

Paul du Toit -CSP charismatically introduced Rob Caskie by telling us a Story about Storytelling and the power it evokes.

Rob Caskie,  known as South Africa’s top storyteller and a global phenomenon, then regaled to us in great detail the incredible story of Shackleton’s leadership. The man who navigated with extraordinary courage a journey to the South Pole from 1901 to 1916 and beyond.

We were mesmerized by every twist in the turbulent tale, as the journey of survival against every single odd unfolded. We were there in the ice caps and the crushed, lilting boat. We were there in the freezing, frostbitten exposed campsite, as the men clung onto their lives, forced to kill their own dogs in a desperate bid to stay alive. It was a rollercoaster of emotion and a vivid documentary of raw survival. From mutineering to the nobility of Extraordinary leadership.

There was not a person who was not moved by the words of Shackleton’s wife after he passed away when she said  “Antarctica was always his mistress, bury him there. ”

In this time of turbulence and disruption, Rob Caskie inspired us to live a life of purpose and leave a legacy of collaboration, one of the key values of the PSASA.

Graeme Codrington-CSP thanked Rob for his insightful contribution to leadership in challenging times. Thereafter Michele Thwaits brought the evening to a close.

In closing, Alison Weihe paid a moving tribute to Joni Peddie as National President and the PSASA Johannesburg Chapter for the extraordinary year of 2020 – 2021 –  a year in which we embarked on something bigger than all of us. A year of unprecedented turmoil and disruption. A year in which we became a Shackleton team.

What’s coming next:

In April we are meeting on the 22 April, and are excited to have Jonathan Leeming:  “How spiders can help us overcome the challenges of our time”.

and the Cape Town Laughter coach, Bronwyn Kilroe speak on: “The HA HA FACTOR – the key to your speaking success”.

Written by Alison Weihe and compiled by Yoke van Dam

Nikki BushMichele Thwaits

Arthur GoldstuckArthur Goldstuck