Ubuntu: A New Way to Work

“Teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” — Michael Jordan

There was an anthropologist dispatched to Africa many years ago to study the lives and customs of local tribes. While each one is unique, they share many customs across the geographies and locations. The anthropologist tells a story of how one time he brought along a large basket of candy, which quickly got the attention of all the children in the tribe. Instead of just handing it out, he decided to play a game. He sat the basket of candy under a tree and gathered all of the children about 50 yards away from the tree. He informed them that they would have a race, and that the first child to get there could keep all of the candy to themselves. The children lined up, ready for the race. When the anthropologist said “Go”, he was surprised to see what happened: all of the children joined hands and moved towards the tree in unison. When they got there, they neatly divided up the candy and sat down to enjoy it together. When he questioned why they did this, the children responded, “Ubuntu. How could any of us be happy if all the others were sad.”

Nelson Mandela describes it well; “In Africa, there is a concept known as Ubuntu- the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others.”


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