To be a leader you need to embody posses and acquire numerous skills and abilities in order to lead successfully. Leadership is a test not only of your skills and abilities, talents and strengths, it is largely a test of character
My coach once said to me to test your character in a situation, to see if you would be acting from the ego or from the heart, imagine you had the power to do whatever it was you wanted to, to the person reporting to you, or working with you. What you imagine yourself doing…. That is the visible nature of your character. (more…)
With the whole world being focused on the health of Nelson Mandela recently, it only seemed apt to write a blog about him and the incredible legacy he has given to South Africa. The man literally exemplifies the essence that is “transformational leadership” in every aspect of his life. Every word that comes out of his mouth is one that is grounded in deep thought, generosity of spirit, authenticity and moral authority. (more…)
“The best of the useless and the unemployed”
This is how one of South Africa’s top recruitment experts describes the candidates you find on the job boards. Whilst this is a bit harsh, the basic message is clear – if you want access to A Players, you are NOT going to find them on a job board. (more…)
Thanks to Jon Bartos for the source material and inspiration for this piece.
What is the easiest way for a company to be successful? To set itself apart? Innovation? Speed? Quality?
These are all important, but how do you get to the point where you can deliver innovative, fast and quality goods and services? By having great Talent within your organisation. In the words of Jon Bartos: “Talent wins. If you look at the most admired and successful companies all around the world, those who have figured this out and found a way to get the best talent, top the list.” (more…)
When writing this blog, I couldn’t help but think of paging through some fashion mag where they do those full on layouts of the trends for 2013! As much as our fashion changes, so do the qualities that potential employers look for in the candidates especially since our markets change so abruptly.
Think about it – our current climate is a Pandora’s box of radical changes, new technologies, an inter-generational workplace, globalisation, increased amount of competition and economies that are here the one day and gone the next. This much organised chaos can be a challenge and in order to get your “I survived my working years” T-shirt, you need to make sure that you have the following characteristics: (more…)
Of course you would – humans have a natural desire for competition, achievement, status and self-expression, amongst others, which make the idea of ‘gaming’ or competing for a reward an excellent basis for learning, training and problem solving programmes.
Gamification is the use of ‘game thinking’ or game mechanics in a non-game context. As an example, popular blogging platforms offer badges for posting more articles and getting more users to engage with you. Or in another example- Nike+, a mobile app, rewards you for working out. (more…)
Let’s turn the clock back to November 2012. You are the line manager and someone in your team has just resigned. You advertise the position internally, you phone one or two recruitment consultants and want to start interviewing as soon as possible. When do you want someone to start? “Yesterday.”
The next week you work through a couple of CV’s and meet with two candidates who look promising on paper. You inform them there are a couple of steps in the process like a panel interview and assessments. They are excited about the role. It’s almost December, you have deadlines to meet before you go on holiday and you never schedule the next steps. In the meantime the candidates are also thinking more about their upcoming leave and the end of the year than the role you are considering them for. At this stage, their salary expectations are market related. The one is only due for an increase in April 2013 and a bonus in May so it’s still a couple of months away. (more…)
One thing that became clear on meeting Shirley Zinn is that whoever wrote the term “dynamite comes in small packages” was so right. This petite, soft spoken woman has been the most quoted HR Executive in the last decade! She has a Doctorate in Education from Harvard and has been rated as an influencer, top business woman* and a visionary on a number of business platforms across the African continent.
Naturally my first question was HOW DO WE ALL GET THERE? (more…)
The last conversation you expect to have when you interview someone known throughout the world for their beauty, glamour and poise is that of authenticity and passion. Let’s face being crowned the Miss South Africa and being in the top 4 at Miss World clearly speaks to a universe (pun intended) of all things bright and beautiful.
But I learned very quickly into the conversation that Kerishnie is no ordinary beauty.
The story of Miss South Africa
At the time of entering the competition Kerishnie was already a qualified pharmacist studying towards her Masters. The choice to enter was based in part by a challenge from her father and also knowing how many barriers and stereotypes would be overcome with her victory. Being an academically qualified and the only Indian Miss South Africa opened a wider platform for health and wellness to have a voice.
Key Lesson: Know what you want, why you want it and what you will do with it if or when it happens
The journey from Miss SA to Now
The underlying theme that became obvious as we spoke was that in Kerishnie’s world every person in South Africa or the world for that matter has a right to health and wellbeing. Even though she dabbled into the obvious things like TV and entertainment post and during her reign as Miss SA there was a lot more substance in the work behind the scenes. She founded the Kerishnie Naiker Welfare Initiative which addresses getting health rights for those with no voice or resources. The difference with this foundation is that it does not accept money directly but rather facilitates connections that deliver results between donors and recipients. One story that struck a chord was that of Adam who is both quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy which Kerishnie heard about on a visit to a health spa. Medical aid at the time did not recognise Adam’s condition as chronic and they did not cover any of the expenses associated with his care. Knowing of Netcare’s active participation in healthcare related initiatives to benefit less privileged communities and individuals – from craniofacial surgery to correct severe facial anomalies to operating breast milk banks and managing sexual assault centres – she got the company involved via the foundation to assist with Adam’s care. Netcare undertook a due diligence and within two weeks donated a wheelchair to him. The company also facilitated year long sponsorships of medical consumables and other products necessary for Adam’s care. This was done long before she joined Netcare as Communications Director. In truth Kerishnie was really just living her belief in what would otherwise be a typical “ag shame” conversation for others.
Our conversation rarely touched on the glamour of being Miss South Africa except once when we both agreed flying 1st class all the time and being part of Nelson Mandela’s inner circle must be one serious perk.
In following her purpose of healthcare as a right for all human beings Kerishnie sat on the Board of the Vodacom Foundation and currently still serves on the board of the Smile Foundation. Through her primary vocation being a healthcare professional, she has been part of helping to create healthcare initiatives that transcend mere corporate CSI but rather solid solutions that incorporate Public Private Partnerships in the form of hospitals, health centres and youth care facilities in South Africa.
Key Lessons: In everything you do have a purpose, be honest & be authentic
All roads when you are true to yourself will lead to success
On Communicating: Lessons learned along the way
A sign that has served her well which sits on the desk is “calmly active and actively calm”.
Sometimes people will hide behind process, rules and bureaucracy as an excuse to not act. When this happens remain true to your principles while fighting the fight for a greater good.
Judgement creates separation, remember that each person has their own vision “be tolerant and understanding”
Always communicate from a place of respect and dignity regardless of who you are talking to. People are the greatest asset.
I left Kerishnie’s office knowing that whatever happens in the future of this amazing human being we will be a healthier society for her being in our world on so many levels.
For those of you who have additional questions that you would like answered by Kerishnie please post them to us in the comments section and we will try and address as many of them as we can. Be inspired and be authentic.