I had the opportunity again to attend the Leaderex conference at the Sandton Convention Centre last week Tuesday. The conference is curated with a variety of speakers from various industries who are pioneers in their respective fields. This year I went equipped with a list of female speakers I wanted to listen and learn from. Unfortunately, I was unable to find all of them but that didn’t deter me from my plan. I managed to find 4 of the 10 listed ladies I had intended to see and they primary focus was leadership except the 1 spoke of Forex. The 3 women who spoke of leadership were Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete, Farana Boodhram and Wendy Luhabe. A brief background on each of these ladies:
Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete, is a 37-year-old doctor, who self-funded and founded Quali health. Quali health offers affordable primary health care to patients in townships from as little as R 250. She founded the clinic to afford people from the townships the access to private hospital level of health care at a rate that’s affordable to them.
Farana Boodhram, 45, is the founder and CEO of mining company Avita Mining and transport organization Talmin Logistics. She is also responsible for designing and patenting a world-first safety garment that women can wear underground. Beyond just her achievements within mining and logistics she completed her MBA last year at the University of Cape Town (UCT), her first tertiary degree.
Wendy Luhabe, 60, is the co-founder of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings (Wiphold), pioneer in the Economic Empowerment of Women, social entrepreneur and the only woman to sit on the executive committee of rugby’s international governing body, World Rugby. And I’m only listing a few of the accolades she has achieved.
Each lady’s individual journey of leadership highlighted the importance of: focus, knowing who you are and persistence. Each of them faced challenges: Dr. Legoete struggled to finding funding for her first plot to build her clinic; Mrs. Boodhram only having a matric when she started had to fight to be recognized and taken seriously; Mrs. Luhabe did not have the support of her parents when she decided to quit her corporate job and start her own recruitment company. Regardless, of their challenges each choice to focus on their vision and persevere through whatever process they needed to face to achieve their goal.
Another key element to their success has been knowing who they are. Each lady spoke of the importance of knowing their strengths (i.e. knowing who they are) and how it assisted them to focus on their role in the business. Also knowing themselves means they are creating and innovating within their area of expertise but not afraid to accept a new challenge. It also means they are consistently aiming to produce they best because of their awareness to their capabilities.
The last key element has been they persistence to preserve regardless of the circumstances and challenges that came with it. Instead they saw each challenge as an opportunity to pave a new path towards their goal. Whether planned or unintended each step was guided by their undeterred focus, however each lady emphasized the importance of their dignity with each progressive step.
All-in-all I learnt leadership comes with how much responsibility you are willing to assume in pursuit of your dreams. How much you are willing to sacrifice for it and how far are you willing to trust and be guided by the process towards achieving your goal.
Love and Happiness,