Sunday, October 7, 2012

“The C3 Concept™: Character, Competence, & Consistency”

career direct from TRUE AFRICA LEADER on Vimeo.

“The C3 Concept™: Character, Competence, & Consistency”

This training lays the foundation for implementing Career Direct and Character First because it explains how C1 (character) problems require C1 solutions…and C2 (competence) problems require C2 solutions. These two factors work together to produce C3 (consistency) at work and in life.

With more than 30,000 types of jobs to choose from, it’s no wonder people make mistakes when choosing a career! Typical examples of such mistakes are to accept the first offer that comes along or to say “yes” just because the salary is enticing or to attempt to live out parents' unfulfilled dreams...

The fact is that people who are doing what they enjoy are more likely to succeed and engaged!
The Career Direct® Guidance System can assist a scholar, student or employee along the path of educational and career fulfilment by gathering a valuable collection of information about the person that he or she can use immediately! It also helps with discovering things about themselves that they never knew and/or to get confirmation about issues they suspected about themselves.

Be sure to attend the last career Direct training for the year in Durbanville 27-29 November 2012.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Re-engineering your workplace, Ken Blanchard

I am back from a Conference in Los Angeles where I did a presentation on the 18 inches towards real transformation from the head to the heart. At the conference I had the opportunity to listen to some outstanding wisdom and legacy leaders of the world. One such session was with Ken Blanchard.
Ken Blanchard is an accomplished speaker, consultant and one of Amazon’s top 25 best-selling authors of all time. As a world-renowned expert in leadership and business, Ken is generally regarded as one of the most insightful, powerful and compassionate men in the business arena today. His best-selling books include The One Minute Manager® (13 million copies sold worldwide) and the trilogy: Raving Fans, Gung Ho!®, and Big Bucks®. His seminal work, Leadership by the Book, has given new meaning to “servant leadership”.

Ken talked about trust as the basis for every relationship and about defining trust busters and trust boosters, as well as rebuilding trust. I personally liked the assessment tool Ken discussed with us that uses 35 statements based on the following:
1, When you demonstrate competence and skill, you are ABLE, which builds trust.
2. When you act with integrity, you are BELIEVABLE, which builds trust.
3. When you care about others, you are CONNECTED, which builds trust.
4. When you remain reliable, you are DEPENDABLE, which builds trust.

To summarise: This must be a self-assessment and team assessment once a year. I would love to demonstrate this tool to you in a Power Hour session with your team.

Mario Denton (MBA, MeCon PhD and Industrial Psychologist). He uses his strong academic and corporate background and his uniquely effective coaching skills to help organisations tap into their potential to make a difference in the workplace. You can contact him at

Feedback from VinPro seminar

Baie dankie vir u praatjie. Ek het baie goeie kommentaar na die tyd van produsente gekry en VinPro word gekomplimenteer op die gedagte om u praatjie in te sluit. Die manne het motivering nodig en kry dit nie aldag op ander terreine nie. As hul saam kuier word daar net gekla - as dit nie die land se mynprobleme is, is dit sportmanne se moord en dan is dit ons onbeholpenheid op die rugbyveld.

Word werklik baie waardeer. Ons sien weer in die toekoms.


Do your wellness inventory

Do your wellness inventory. Check your batteries. Renew you marital vow annually. Be a change embracer.

Preparing for the future: HLE insights with Dr Mario Denton

Healthy Leadership Essentials 39: the future from TRUE AFRICA LEADER on Vimeo.

Healthy Leadership essential video insight with Dr Mario Denton

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Changing communities with character, talk at Vinpro, Malmesbury

Great session today at Malmesbury for Vinpro. My speech include the top three regrets of the dying.... and ideas and keys to changing communities with character.

Contact us to host a communities of character leadership seminar in your town

Het jy al `n kliënt se woede oor `n fout ervaar?

Artikel in die Gemsbok koerant

Monday, August 13, 2012

Leaders attitude

Healthy Leadership Essentials 09: Leaders attitude from TRUE AFRICA LEADER on Vimeo.

Be consistent with what is inside and what is outside, in belief and behaviour, your words and your ways, your values and your practices. A person may forget 90 percent of what a leader say, but he or she will never forget how a leader behaves.  

Your leadership principles are best conveyed in the laboratory of life; they are conveyed as much through character as they are through words. Truth is most effectively proclaimed through the consistency of works and words.    Ask yourself what attitude to your portray?  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Teamwork Hackers: A real frustration

This is still one of the biggest factors causing disengagement and a major reason for the development of energy wasters in a team. The bad news is that leaders try to deal with this on a cognitive level. It won’t work. You have to locate where the hackers were able to enter your team and implanted the virus and you need to delete the virus so that the response is no longer triggered by the external problem. Fear and lies are key components of every virus and anchor the virus program in the team. The system malfunctions, resulting in negative behaviour or character flaws in your team.

Case Study: Employee does not trust his senior, hates performance appraisal and has no friends in the workplace.
·         Feels there is no one that he can trust in the workplace
·         Feels lonely and not part of the team
·         Virus like low impulse control causes him to sabotage relationships in the team
·         Where is the emotion coming from?
·         How do we fix the problem?
Do you need further help in dealing with this issue? Let me sent you some self-assessments on this issue or you can contact Dr Mario Denton at for further details or to help you tackle these issues in your team.

Our next two day seminar: Johannesburg 8-9 October and Cape Town 10-11 October. Contact us for full brochure and registration details 

The Noah Principle?

Healthy Leadership Essentials 16: The noah principle from TRUE AFRICA LEADER on Vimeo.

No more prizes for predicting rain, prizes only for building Arks.
Let's deliver, stop promising or always predicting what can happen. 

1) Build the ark: 
There are 2 kinds of people in this world: talkers and doers. Talkers may see life's problems and opportunities. When they do, they talk about them. Realising the problem is only the beginning. Nothing gets done to solve problems or develop opportunities until someone does something about it.
2) Get on board: 
Be committed to not merely lay out the issues, but to find solutions. 
3) See the bigger picture:  
The business world is constantly undergoing change, and no one can truly predict exactly how and for how long. The best is to gather as much information as possible and be prepared for as much rain as possible, and stay afloat. 

To find out more about the Heartbeats program and resources contact

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Swartland Boudienste

Character First South Africa welcomes new member company, Swartland Boudienste from Moorreesburg as the latest organisation who have now come aboard doing the Character First Training.

 1.       But what does this entail?
2.       How do they ensure sustainability of this intervention
3.       What about your organisation?

 Simply said we take supervisors and management through a two day course covering the following

Monday, July 9, 2012

THE wisdom of humilty

“I think you’re over-thinking this.”
I was driving somewhere, and my sister was riding shotgun. The rest of the discussion has faded from memory, but I remember this moment.
And she was right. My arguments failed to recognize the two or three most important things.
Sorting out thorny issues requires wisdom, but there are different opinions even about what wisdom is. In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill explains wisdom as a sixth sense a person can develop, allowing him or her to receive flashes of inspiration.
The Character First definition emphasizes a person’s ability to put what is true into practice or to see connections between “character issues” and behavior.
When I think of what is wise in a common everyday way, it also involves what I believe and the way I figure it out. That sounds like a lot, but it’s not that complicated in real life.
For example, when deciding what to eat for lunch, we admire someone who has the self-discipline to eat a salad, even a hearty salad. This person values daily decisions. He or she appears well informed about the affect of diet on health. Perhaps this person even has the humility to defer to the wishes of a doctor or spouse.
It takes more than knowledge and more than intelligence to learn from others. It takes humility to assume that others might know something I don’t know. It takes humility to change something I’m doing because I trust someone else’s perspective, even if I can’t see exactly what they are saying.
On the other hand, we have trouble taking someone seriously who argues—against the evidence—that eating junk food doesn’t affect one’s health. We all know daily decisions add up, and we wouldn’t admire someone who ignored his or her doctors or loved ones.
In the film and book, The Princess Bride, Vizzini the Sicilian imagines himself a great mind, able to “predict the truth using logic and wisdom.” But when he is pursued by the Dread Pirate Roberts, the “inconceivable” begins to happen with alarming regularity. At least it should have alarmed him—and then maybe he would have survived to further complicate the plot.
But as it turns out, in his final battle of wits, Vizzini didn’t consider the possibility Roberts was immune to the deadly iocane powder.
Sometimes the wisest course is to recognize what we don’t know. Sometimes even our little sisters can see things we have overlooked.

Healthy Leadership Essentials 30: Forgiveness from TRUE AFRICA LEADER on Vimeo.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Develop yourself

Inspirational thought for the week from Dr Mario Denton

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Enthusiasm with Dr Mario Denton

Enthusiasm is one of the most divine feelings we can experience. It is energy vibrating at the highest level, energy vibrating in tune with creation. Enthusiasm is directly linked to passion. The word « Enthusiasm » has its roots in the Greek language; it literally means « the God within »

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happiness, sorrow and joy

My wife and I were studying temperaments and personalities some years ago. Of the several classifications we studied, the easiest to understand was the one illustrated with animals—the Lion, Otter, Beaver, and Golden Retriever.
Of these, the Otter is the life of the party. I’ve heard more than one person say, “The otter is the party!” They are often the comedians or comediennes. They know how to insert humour into almost any serious situation. They are always ready to help us see the brighter side of life, and society is truly blessed to have them. But there is often another side to the Otter.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Culture and character

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Top 10 Things You and Your Wife Fight About

    The well-known adage (one-size-fits-all) for family gatherings goes something like this. “Never talk about politics, sex, or religion.” That’s any family—modern family, traditional family, non-traditional family—you name it.
    That well may be a practical suggestion for large get-togethers at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s not the best advice for your marriage. Avoiding difficult topics doesn’t make the tension go away. To the contrary, unwillingness to communicate mostly serves to deepen the divide. Can you spell marriage conflict?
    We recommend a marriage that values communication and acknowledges the potential for conflict in the context of mutual respect and affirming love.
    Simply put, we’d better talk about the things we fight about. If we won’t talk, then fighting is all that’s left in the way of communication. Parenting 101 and marriage 101 are often, fundamentally, exactly the same class.  
    To find out more about parenting for life and married for life course visit  or contact Dr Mario Denton
    To register for free family character library with resources go to
    Read more about the 10 things...  (click on read more)

make-or-break factor for the dream of a rainbow nation

"Ethics is a make-or-break factor for the dream of a rainbow nation," observed Professor Deon Rossouw, CEO of the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA). Speaking at the Second Annual Ethics Conference in Sandton on Friday, Prof Rossouw further said: "We have to look at where we have made progress, where we are failing and where we need to put more focus in order to build a more ethical, and thus ultimately more just, society. Both individuals and organisations have to take responsibility for their impact on society."

Speaking on the state of ethics in South Africa, Eusebius McKaiser, a political and social analyst at the Wits Centre for Ethics, argued that South Africa had to close the gap between the vision we adopted in 1994 and enshrined in our Constitution, and the reality of what is happening on the ground. McKaiser said that South Africans tended to confuse ethical with legal behaviour.

Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, chancellor of the University of Pretoria and chairman of Rothschild South Africa, agreed that the problem of ethics lies not in ideological beliefs but in people's everyday conduct. "Those who lead must be the champions of good ethical conduct. The implementation of ethics in an organisation should not be left to ethics officers and auditors," Professor Nkuhlu said. "We need to develop a common understanding of what serving the public interest means."

At the same time, he added, it was the actions of ordinary South Africans that will ultimately make the biggest difference. Both corporate and private citizens must insist that the national conversation be about the values that underpin policies and economic objectives, and should participate in this conversation more actively.

Sipho Pityana, chairperson of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, argued that an active citizenry could reclaim power from political parties and, in fact, increase the capacity of the state, provided the state recognised citizens as partners and not as enemies or opponents.

We can all be agents of change... 
We need to develop our character
Develop families, businesses and communities of character

View video about character by Dr Mario Denton

Special recognition to SA Goodnews

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meeting real needs

We have had many family discussions in the car when we see people on the roadside with handmade cardboard signs. Our decision has been to give to the physical need—by taking food or beverages to them or referring them to an organization that can help.

what motivates compassion?

Making more than money

Some think capitalism is a cold-hearted realm where business leaders ruthlessly use up and dispose of workers in pursuit of the almighty dollar. NBC’s show The Apprentice certainly fosters that image. But I don’t believe that is a fair image for most business leaders.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Start with your character development

Develop character in your family, your organisation and you community
Visit today and find out how

Monday, May 7, 2012

Be happier, healthier and more successful as a family

Lasting solutions to family struggles come as family members develop character qualities such as obedience, sensitivity and forgiveness. By emphasising, requiring and recognising positive character qualities, you can help your children reach their full potential. Have you ever wondered why some families get along peacefully and find true contentment, while others are ravaged by anger, bitterness, and division?  Common experience indicates money, education and opportunities do not solve these challenges. Character makes a significant difference.

Register for free online family character library. Click here

Trust: The missing ingredient often in the workplace?

Trust relationship gaps are one of the biggest stumbling blocks towards greater transparency and better workplace relationships. Quite simply, If you have lost the trust of your employees - you have lost your credibility as an effective leader.
You can also lose trust by:
•    Not taking appropriate action when others engage in unethical behavior.
•    Not living the Corporate standards of your firm.
•    Not following through on commitments
•    Not communicating openly - even the simple act of being vague and ambiguous can build confusion which creates mistrust.
Some practical tips:

Time for a leadership revolution

TDDI in their Global Leadership Forecast report of 2011 have done some great research asking the following absolutely relevant questions namely:
What is the overall quality of leadership in organisations today?
Do organisations have a sufficient supply of capable leaders to meet the business challenges of tomorrow?  What can HR do to revolutionise the development of their leaders?  Are organisations focusing on developing the right leadership skills? Are organisations using the right methods and approaches?   
Participation consists of 2600 organisations with 12, 423 professionals and 1897 HR professionals from 74 countries (That’s impressive).  The results are mind blowing.  See for yourself.  Leaders are still ineffective as coaches. The current effectiveness of talent management systems is dismal
Only 31% of leaders and HR professionals rated the effectiveness of leadership selection as high
Only 22% of leaders and HR professionals rated their leadership succession systems as highly effective
Only 38% report that the leadership in their organisation is very good (31% good and excellent 7%)
Only one third of leaders and HR professionals rated their leadership developments efforts as highly effective

Watch video by Dr Mario Denton about leadership below

My summary: Time is right to seriously re-evaluate all your talent practices in this regard. The problems may be deeper than you think  
Please contact Mario Denton at for a copy of this report.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Make sincere deposits, recognise character

He was about 6'4", 260 pounds, ponytail, tattoos, Harley t-shirt, leather jacket, and his nickname was “Bull.” His supervisor was recognizing him publicly for his seventeen years of service. As the supervisor told stories illustrating “Bull’s” willingness to change plans without getting upset, every onlooker saw “Bull” transform to a demeanor reminiscent of a Boy Scout being appreciated for his community service. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The benevolent leader

In my years of leading manufacturing organizations, I have found a contented employee generally contributes to a cheerful home environment; and when everything is good at home, the employee stands a much better chance of success at work.

Since the average working American spends more waking hours at work than with his or her family, it stands to reason the leader or the environment provided by the manager has a significant influence on an employee’s well-being.

So what does a benevolent business leader look like?

Building a culture of compassion

Although sometimes it may feel that work is simply about making money, most of us want more than just a paycheck. We want a place to work where we have opportunity to earn a living while working with others who genuinely appreciate our contributions to the team.
Often, when organizations are on the decline, they lose their personal touch. Instead of being places where a good work ethic is valued and respected, these organizations become places where cynicism and negativity rule. In time, such organizations will die. People will not continue investing themselves in a place where they feel devalued.

Meeting real needs

We have had many family discussions in the car when we see people on the roadside with handmade cardboard signs. Our decision has been to give to the physical need—by taking food or beverages to them or referring them to an organization that can help.

what motivates compassion?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It takes relationships to be determined

Some days I need someone to listen… and maybe to tell me my rationalizations don’t make sense. Whether you’re trying to stay on a diet, overcome a bad temper, or just exercise more often, you can probably relate.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Be a Good Neighbour

 Do you live in a neighborhood where you feel save and connected to others, or do you feel overcrowded, threatened, and otherwise unsafe in your surroundings? This, and other aspects of neighborhood life, can impact both your level of happiness and stress.

One way you can be a better neighbour and citizen of character is to practice deference.
Deference is practicing civility…especially in disagreement. You might have the right to say or do what you want, but is it helpful? Is it appropriate? Is it treating others as you’d like them to treat you?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Healthy leadership 01: Guard your character or lose your vision

"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion." --Theodore Hesburgh, President of the University of Notre Dame

Leaders have vision. They share a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. The leadership vision goes beyond your written organizational mission statement and your vision statement. The vision of leadership permeates the workplace and is manifested in the actions, beliefs, values and goals of your organization’s leaders.

The problem is often leadership do not realise that their sight and vision have become “blurry”. As is the case with medical cataracts, the chances that they will pass unnoticed are virtually none.  The effects of cataracts are devastating: eighteen million people worldwide are blind because of cataracts.  Unfortunately such statistics are not available for managerial cataracts, and neither is the cost of a ‘blind’ manager to an organisation.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bring back character in organisations

To find out more how to implement character in your organisation
click here

Bring character to your school

Bring Character to your school- Contact us

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Make a Long-Term Investment

Today’s corporate environment places a higher premium on results rather than relationships. Most managers demonstrate an utilitarian attitude towards their employees. Any attempts to put people above profits are interpreted as signs of weakness. Yet employers are grappling with issues of loyalty and commitment. Somehow, we need to enlarge our perspective and view our employees as full-fledged human beings who have lives beyond their corporate responsibilities—to embrace a philosophy of life that is inclusive rather than exclusive. Here are three basic reasons why we are actually wired to understand and that the self-centered life actually works against us in the long-term.

The fox now guards the chickens

SA suffers from what can be described as a moral deficit. It is a disease that seems to be afflicting all strata of society — from government, to business, to the lowliest state functionary.

The mantra seems to be, in that delightful phrase, “it’s my time to eat”.

It’s a feeding frenzy. People are neither afraid nor ashamed to be caught with their fingers in the till. Corruption is so commonplace it doesn’t shock us anymore.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Step One ... Explain the Tools

“Hire for character, train for skills”…is not just a platitude at EDG. It has been the credo that has driven our original principal partners for years.

Have we fallen short sometimes? You bet! The difference is that our leaders wanted to prepare us with tools that will shape who we are…and prepare us for success.

Building Life Around Something Bigger Than Yourself

I'll never forget the day my mother and father called a "family meeting" concerning my dad's job. Dad had been contemplating a career change that would allow him to teach high school and coach football. He knew this change would have an impact on our lives and wanted to talk it over before he gave his final answer.He told my brother and I about the job and explained why he thought it would be a good move for our family.

Change and grow by Marti Vickery

Change is one of the most valuable growing experiences of life. When I first arrived in northwest Florida, a resume did not count. Most folks wanted to know who my parents were, where I went to school, etc. I commonly heard, “You’re not from around here, are you?”For several months, I adapted to staying with family and was grateful for their generosity, but we were somewhat “space challenged” in their “mobile mansion,” and they were stretched financially and needed their privacy.

Cultivating Courage in Business

The odds were against Cynthia Cooper. Raised in a small town and having a humble demeanor, she probably never dreamed she would be featured on the cover of Time magazine. But in 2002 her courageous whistle-blowing halted an $11 billion fraud committed by her boss and co-workers at WorldCom.She was ostracized by peers and received international media scrutiny. While it is unlikely we will ever face the kind of drama that she encountered, there are valuable lessons that can be applied to daily life.First, Ms. Cooper thoughtfully considered alternatives and bravely questioned her higher-ups before reporting the wrongdoing. She did not rush to judgment, nor did she allow her superiors to undermine her confidence.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Do your job define who you are?

“If you are unhappy in your work, you are unhappy in your life.”  - Rodney Lowman, 1996 (author of The Clinical Practice of Career Assessment)

The way people live and interact with society and their material world is structured around work. In a truly globalised market-place, work opportunities are too diverse, too numerous and shifting too fast to be bundled neatly into career packages with precise focus. Labour experts predict that five to ten careers during one’s working life will become the norm. This implies adaptation to new working environments and continual skill and knowledge building for individuals. The responsibility for developing and managing his or her career to maintain employability and attain satisfaction and enjoyment will rest on the individual.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Character is vital key to success. Testimony

We truly enjoy hearing feedback and how character is making a difference in different communities and businesses. When we say we are passionate about people and their energy potential we as a team truly mean it. It is truly a humbling experience to hear messages such as the following from Reagan Kwala after presenting training.

" Hi Mario,

I am very grateful and thankful for having not only having attended your lecture on CF. But meeting you as a person, and that you portrait sincerity and boldness in your words.

I personally looked at you as a caring parent, a teacher and in some way a healer. Having attended the CF program I gained the insight of why CF is vital not only in work places but also in the society we live in.  

To do right, live truthful all the time is hard but one could see it takes no much effort to do just right and be discern in different things. I am certain that I will be able to deliver the message of CF to many of those I come into contact with.

Thank you Mario,

Warm regards,

Reagan Kwala
Human Resources Development

What they should teach students at Business Schools is a course on co- accountability and honest scrutiny.

A leader’s credibility is the result of two aspects: what he does (competency) and who he is (character). A discrepancy between these two aspects creates an integrity problem.

The highest principle of leadership is integrity. When integrity ceases to be a leader’s top priority, when a compromise of ethics is rationalised away as necessary for the ‘greater good’, when achieving results becomes more important than the means to their achievement – that is the moment when a leader steps onto the slippery slope of failure.

Often such leaders see their followers as pawns, a mere means to an end, thus confusing manipulation with leadership. These leaders lose empathy. They cease to be people ‘perceivers’ and become people ‘pleasers’, using popularity to ease the guilt of lapsed integrity.

It is imperative to your leadership that you constantly subject your life and work to the highest scrutiny. Are there areas of conflict between what you believe and how you behave? Has compromise crept into your operational tool-kit? One way to find out is to ask the people you depend on if they ever feel used or taken for granted.

Do you have some unfinished business or skeletons in your cupboards?

Article by Dr Mario Denton