This week's focus is on Alinda Nortje, an expert in human resources and leadership. She is a faculty member for the Management Development Programme (MDP) and Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) at USB-ED. She is also the founder and executive chairperson of Free To Grow, a company that aims to be a credible business partner in the field of employee engagement. We asked her the following questions:
What is the toughest leadership challenge businesses face today?
"The toughest leadership challenge businesses face today is bringing, and keeping, their people on board. It is about having people execute strategy and live the organisation's values, not because they have to, but because they want to. This is not something you can buy or obtain through compliance. It needs to come from the heart."
Who inspires you and why?
"I am inspired by people who find meaning in their work, irrespective of the nature of it, and do it with passion and pride. Work can be a burden to be endured or a gift to enjoy. People who choose to approach their work as a gift bring so much dignity to it. They add more value and they become more valuable and valued."
Do you have a mantra or slogan you live by?
"You cannot change the world, but you can change your corner of it."
What book are you currently reading?
"Do Not Say We Have Nothing', by Madeleine Thien. It is a brilliant and deeply moving book shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and winner of two other literary prizes. The books brings together the Chinese 20th century history and the personal journeys of individuals who were part of it. It is full of wisdom and beauty, and offers a great dose of comedy in spite of the theme."
Which country on the African continent would you like to travel to, and why?
"With Free to Grow we worked in Rwanda, but I haven't travelled there personally. I would love to though as I hear that the country and its people hold so many messages for us in South Africa. I would also like to meet the gorillas while I am there!"