Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership
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Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership

Edited by Eric H. Kessler and Diana J. Wong-MingJi

This ground-breaking book explains how deep-seated cultural mythologies shape contemporary global leaders and provides insights into navigating the dynamics and complexities in today’s era of globalization. The authors use myths to uncover core characteristics and values from 20 different cultural contexts spanning all major regions of the world – the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific Rim – that have evolved over generations and continue to shape global leadership models. Commentaries are included from practicing managers and leaders to provide real world insights on the implications of the ideas discussed. International managers and executives, public officials, business consultants and corporate trainers will welcome the insights on cross-cultural leadership styles. The book will also find interest from researchers and students across a broad array of professional and social science disciplines.
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Chapter 11: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in South Africa

David N. Abdulai


David N. Abdulai INTRODUCTION The commonly held notion of a myth is that it is a traditional story mostly emanating from primitive societies that deal with the supernatural, ancestors or heroes that serve as primordial types. It could also be a collection of stories that appeals to the character, emotions and consciousness of a people. But such definitions of myths or mythologies of a people in the view of this author are static and stale. The definition of a myth that has not been explored is how lies and half-truths have gained currency as truths in our society today. This is because fictitious stories were written and peddled by people with a certain agenda, ideology or worldview which have succeeded in turning their half-truths into truths and facts. The consequence of such half-truths or fiction is that they are now used to make decisions that affect the lives of people. Some of these half-truths have also created negative perceptions that can have a devastating impact on a people. The definition per this elaboration therefore is any issue that is a fallacy, a fiction, half-truth which in most cases evolved out of a certain ideology or worldview. This definition of a myth by this author is different from the mainstream definition offered at the beginning of this chapter. This latter definition is what this author will use in the course of this chapter. This chapter will explore how ancestral veneration by Africans1 has now come to be widely believed abroad and...

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