Today's inspirational woman:
Leadership Development Specialist and USB-ED faculty member
Who do you look up to that inspires you most?
I look up to Thuli Madonsela – for her unwavering and public commitment to social justice and being at times a moral compass for South Africa. She stands her ground in the face of power and personal threats to her safety. I admire her grace in living and displaying values of transparency, morality, diligence and accountability.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learnt to date?
I have learnt there is always more around the corner. Many years ago when scuba diving in Mozambique I was on a mission to swim with the dolphins who were not playing ball. We simply could not keep up with them, and after our fifth attempt we were feeling rather dejected. We decided to take the small speedboat around the corner of the bay. There right in front of us was a gentle giant of a whale shark. It must have been 10 metres long. I had the great fortune and honour of snorkelling alongside this magnificent creature. It was not what we had planned or expected but it turned out to be the most memorable experience of a lifetime. In business and in my personal life I live by this credence – we may not know what is around the corner, we cannot see it, but trust that there is always something 'bigger and better' waiting for us to step into. Just keep moving and be open to what is waiting, just for you.
If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?
Pause more. My mother always used to say to me "just stop and smell the roses." I didn't quite get it then, but now I do. Life comprises these wondrous moments that we could pause and appreciate more. I was very driven when I started my own business at the age of 28. I wanted so much to contribute to improving the lives of many in our country, to add value and make a difference, that some of these moments were lost to me. Celebrate more of them!
What does leadership mean to you?
Making a difference, adding value, influencing others to make things better – no matter what these things are – in a business, a society or a family.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Dignity and equality for all humans and creatures alike.
What does true beauty mean to you?
Smiling from within. My daughter jumping barefoot in a muddy puddle with absolute glee and delight!