Martin Kuscus: The Journey to Credible Leadership

 Martin Kuscus: The Journey to Credible Leadership

Martin Kuscus:

Business leader, published author, transformational coach and speaker.

Find me on: Linkedin_icon

“There have been three phases in my life; learning, earning, and now returning. I’m now at a stage in my life where I endeavor to return and impart into the lives of emerging leaders some of the hard-earned lessons that I have learned.” Martin Kuscus has a vibrant and diverse career journey, spanning from being a male nurse, to a former MEC of Finance in the North West. He now dedicates himself and his experiences to giving back.

During his teen years, Martin was thrust into a position of authority at home. His father had left the family, and as the oldest child, it was expected of Martin to help with the upkeep of the home and to help raise his younger siblings. “That was quite a challenging time, you know, because first and foremost I was in my teen years and I needed the steady hand of a father figure to lead me through these volatile stages of my life – and there was none of that.”

After a hand injury lead him forced him through hospital doors, Martin found himself fascinated by the nurses on duty. After he was treated and released from the hospital, he returned, his hand still in a bandage, and found out how he could become a nurse. And the rest is, as they say, history.

It was during a week of nightshifts, that Martin found himself becoming more attracted to a female colleague. She brushed him off, but his persistence won the day. And they got married soon thereafter. But it was not all sunshine and roses, as Martin (a Colored man) and his new wife (a Tswana woman) was an unheard of concept in those days. “Of course, my family accepted my wife. But there was an issue with the housing, you see.” As per the law of the day, the couple could not purchase a property in both of their names, as that would be placing a property that is located in a Colored area, in the possession of a Tswana, or vice-versa.

The first winter after he was married, when he and his wife lived in a tented caravan, “So when it rained, we would put the heater on to dry out the caravan. That’s where we started.” Yet, despite these hardships, Martin harbors no bitterness, “I went through all those things not to make me a bitter person, in fact, it made me a better person.”

In his book, “Credibility Matters”, Martin delves into his personal odyssey of leadership, emphasizing the crucial role of credibility that sustained him. “The world is facing a crisis at the moment, and that is a crisis of credible leadership.” Martin believes that the world is longing for a leader who is driven more by their inner convictions, rather than trying to play to external agendas. This striving for credibility also has much larger implications than just the immediate effect; “What me and you are doing has intergenerational implications.”

Martin Kuscus at the launch of his book, Credibility Matters.
Martin Kuscus at the launch of his book, Credibility Matters.

Leading leaders has positioned Martin in a challenging role, prompting him to recognize the paramount importance of self-awareness.  “You have to know your why.” Martin explains that this means that you need to know your purpose, and have a reason to do what you do, “Each one has to understand their core…and work in the best possible way to develop their core.” 

Within the realm of self-awareness, recognizing one’s limitations is crucial. “You can’t be everything to everyone… We all have 24 hours in a day, and sometimes you commit to things as if you have a 36-hour day.” Simultaneously, Martin advocates for continuous learning and self-improvement. “The world moves so fast. If you don’t keep up, you’re going to dangle in empty rhetoric and slogans that don’t help people anymore.” He underscores the key to connecting with others who excel in areas where one may lack expertise. “I’m always looking for available opportunities to check in with leaders in a specific [area of] work in which I am not an expert.”

When asked about his legacy, Martin replied; “The day when I’m no more here, and my name is mentioned, people must at least say, ‘There goes a credible man…a man who was not perfect, but yet he worked very hard, even in some of the things he was not very good at. And here is a man you could trust.” 

Teagan Cloete

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *