When Giants Fall – The Impact of Leaders with High SQ

We have been following the story of Caleb in his conquest of the city of Hebron. A city ruled by giants. Amidst a group of leaders, all confronted by the same challenges, Caleb saw differently. In so doing he offered a solution that led a nation to victory. This is the impact of one leader! What most intrigues me about the story is not what Caleb saw, but WHY he saw it? It seems that Caleb had cultivated a different mindset to his peers. This mindset allowed him to see a ‘whole city’ in Hebron. He saw the potential, the pathway, the victory. He was undeterred by the very real giants that suppressed its light and stifled its hope. If his ‘seeing differently’ could lead to the redemption of a city, perhaps in learning to see as he did, we too could bring life, light, and hope to our own cities.

The Thing about Giants

Conquering giants is intimidating, especially in an era of hand-to-hand combat. You must get up close and personal. The opponent with the longest reach holds a distinct advantage. They can stand far enough to evade your offenses while still being in striking distance with their own. Giants had long levers, but due to their size, could also wield larger, heavier weapons, extending their already significant reach. To make matters worse, their extraordinary length made it virtually impossible to inflict damage on any of their vital organs since their head and chest were so high off the ground. No wonder people gave up before they started. This was the default narrative. This is what hearing the word ‘giant’ meant in their heads and hearts.

What Caleb Saw

Caleb had a different heuristic. His storyline was informed by a different set of underlying assumptions. All the above was true, but the geography of Hebron offered up an alternative. Since it was situated on a high place, luring the giants out to a battlefield of your choosing, on uneven terrain, would negate much of their advantage:
  1. Lighter, smaller people could more easily navigate the mountains (Power-to-weight ratio)
  2. By positioning yourself on higher ground you could stare the giant in the face. His having to reach up creates an angle that reduces maximum reach.
  3. Giants aren’t used to looking up. Unaccustomed to this movement and posture, they would tire quickly.
Clearly, Caleb was a realist. He understood the strengths of his foe. He also studied their weaknesses. He had a possibility mindset. His internal locus of control allowed him to focus on what he could control – terrain, rather than what he could not – the size of his enemy. In isolation this would be ascribable to personality or experience. The exception is that he shared a journey with the same leaders for over 40 years in the desert. They fought battles together, secured impossible victories together, survived together. Still, he saw differently.

SQ – Spiritual Intelligence

Enter Spiritual Intelligence. It is concerned with worldview. The underlying set of assumptions that the individual holds as absolute. These assumptions are not contextual or dependent, but the ‘independent’ variables that shape our existence. These forces are external to our locus of control but shape the very fabric of our experience. How we perceive our interaction with these forces, truths or rules plays a significant role in the way we understand ourselves as leaders:
  1. Is our dignity and worth inherent and discovered over time, or must it be earned and proven?
  2. Do we have an inherent destiny/purpose/calling or do we make sense of life through our intelligence and creativity, justifying our purpose?
  3. Do we have the potential to offer a unique contribution to the world, or is this for a select few?
  4. Are these questions dichotomies or sliding scales?
The level of our spiritual intelligence, or rather, the accuracy of our underlying heuristics regarding these fundamental questions of life, define our worldview. These are the glasses we wear when we look at threats and possibilities.

The Smallest Domino to City Transformation

This is the question with which we have been grappling. If we want to see ‘Cities of Wholeness’, where do we start? What do we do? Caleb’s story suggests three critical elements.
  1. Leadership is the greatest lever with which to change the world!
If one leader can cause such a catalytic change to a nation, imagine what a nation with more leaders can do? This is a double-edged sword. What damage can one unhealthy leader do?
  1. Healthy Leadership requires high Spiritual Intelligence.
A leader who understands her value, her calling and the potential of her contribution will naturally tend to altruistic leadership imperatives. The mission is not driven from ego-centric, comfort seeking narratives, but to improve the lives of her followers and all who dwell in her cities.
  1. Healthy Leaders Restore broken systems
These are the giants out of reach. They affect us long before we can touch our blade to them. Healthy leaders see differently. They see the advantages of the terrain and employ these efficiently to capitalize on the weaknesses in the system.

Our Mission

At POPUP we endeavor to create such leaders every day. City Changers, as we call them, are people who have discovered their own light. They let it shine boldly, understanding that the light in others do not threaten their own, but add to it. This is more than education. It requires an intervention that equips our learners on their pathway towards self-leadership. Education is a powerful weapon. It is subject to the hand of the one who wields it. This is not a function of knowledge or skills, but worldview. We can teach people to fish, but understanding the eco-system, and our role in it, sure goes a long way to securing sustainability. We firmly believe that a learner who secures their identity, discovers their destiny, and acknowledges their potential to contribute sees differently. This is the smallest domino.

Your Mission should you choose to accept it

We need you to lead us! Our cities need you to lead us! Perhaps you need to learn to see what Caleb saw. Invest time in your self-leadership. Explore your worldview and the fundamental ideas that shape your view of reality. Perhaps you already see, but you are keeping silent. Speak Up! Let your voice be heard. Tell us the possibilities. Lead us in the path to victory! It takes one City Changer to shift the narrative. You are Caleb! Redeem the city! #beone   Call to Action Follow our social channels (link FB, LinkedIn & IG) and subscribe to our Newsletter (https://mailchi.mp/popup/signmeup) Want to get involved in social impact initiatives, get in touch with us here ([email protected]) Donate to raising leaders by selecting us as a beneficiary on your MySchool Card.

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Home-Based Care

REQUIREMENT: ABET Level 4, Mathematical Literacy NQF Level 1 

ABOUT: The Home-Based Care skills programme enables the learners to perform basic first aid and implement primary health care and frail care 

5 Weeks theoretical training at a POPUP centre, 
Monday to Friday from 08:00 – 15:00 
12 Weeks practical training at a clinic 
(Night/Day Duty – Weekdays/Holidays/Weekends) 

Hospitality Services

The Hospitality skills programme provides the learner with the skills needed to become an assistant chef and a food server assistant. These skills will empower the learner to work in any restaurant establishment, or even to start their own catering company/restaurant. 

REQUIREMENT: Minimum of NQF Level 2 literacy and numeracy 
16 weeks (Including Work Integrated Learning) 

Early Childhood Development

The ECD qualification will enable recipients to facilitate the all-round development of young children in a manner that is sensitive to cultural and individual needs (including special needs), and enable them to provide quality early childhood development services for children in a variety of contexts, including community-based services, ECD centres, at home and in institutions 

REQUIREMENT: English Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3 

Workshops of one week (5 days) per month, with compulsory attendance per programme. Practical experience at an ECD centre under supervision of a qualified (level 4 or higher) ECD practitioner as mentor 

Computer & Office Admin

The Computer and Office Administration skills programme provides learners with the skills required to be involved in the administration function in any organisation or business 

REQUIREMENT: Meeting minimum literacy requirements 
PROGRAMME DURATION 11 Weeks theoretical training at a POPUP centre,  

Monday to Friday 08:00 -15:00 
1 – 3 Weeks practical training in the business environment 

Adult Education Training

The AET skills programme is the foundation training for all learners who do not meet the minimum requirements for the accredited skills programmes of their choice and to ensure that they are ready for any skills programme. In addition, learners that already qualify to do a skills programme may also utilise the AET programme to improve their English and Mathematics while 
waiting for placement in another skills programme. 


REQUIREMENT: Meeting minimum literacy requirements 
PROGRAMME DURATION3 Months, Monday to Friday 08:00 – 15:00 

Quality Staff

POPUP also offers its skills training to corporate clients that want to up-skill their employees.

We provide training solutions such as Adult Education and Training, Occupational Health and Safety, Life skills, Workplace Readiness and a variety of soft skills to suit the requirements of the corporate environment.

Learnerships & Host Employment

Your company can get involved in furthering the practical skills of our POPUP learners.

Essentially the learner would work within your workplace environment at no cost to your organisation besides the workspace and equipment required to complete day to day tasks, while they gain useful work experience.

Enterprise Development

We train new entrepreneurs in developing their own businesses through an Enterprise Development programme that includes both theoretical & practical training. Many of our skills programmes have an entrepreneurial focus.

You can obtain the full benefit of claiming points for ED through:

Capital outlay

Supporting entrepreneurs in training and mentorship

Involving entrepreneurs as suppliers of your business

Preferential rates and supply chain support

Tax Benefits

98% of the beneficiaries are designated groups.

Claim your financial or “donation in kind” contribution as a deduction on your income tax. 

POPUP provides a Tax Certificate to you.

B-BEEE Scoring

POPUP is a B-BEEE level 1 contributor and is a value-adding organisation.

Benefits include an additional 15 points on your B-BBEE scorecard.

POPUP is a credible and accountable organisation with good corporate governance systems.

POPUP is aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP).

Obtain maximum SED, ESD and Skills Development points for your B-BBEE scorecard.

POPUP will be able to present skills training to your lower level employees at your company premises at times and intervals suitable to your needs.  Our Personal Growth and Life Skills Programme, AET (previously ABET) and Basic Computer Training will develop and empower your staff as part of your annual Skills Plan. Obtain B-BBEE scorecard and tax benefits for Skills Development and claim your contribution back from the Skills Fund.  POPUP will measure the outcome and ensure ROI to you as a company.


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