Lesego Ngobeni: Pacinamix Managing Director
Being a woman in business means I naturally come with certain spoken and unspoken tags. Although globally many of these have been dispelled and even openly called out in boardrooms, the biggest question and struggle remains how does a successful leading lady control her center and aspire to attain this magical realm of balance?
Being labelled a forward-thinking woman in business can be seen as the ultimate professional balancing act. This comes with ‘all eyes on you’ watching every move of how you literally manage what I call two ‘households’ – my personal life versus my professional life.
As the Managing Director of Pacinamix, rooted in the spirit of entrepreneurship, I have come through the rollercoaster of ‘building a new work family and work home’ while maintaining focus on my own personal goals.
Has it been easy? Not in the least bit. Does it get better? Absolutely, with a few bruises and bumps that have helped me fine tune my perspective and journey. In the last two years I have come to appreciate what it actually means to align and find a working center, before one can balance.
Be an innovative solution-implementor:
I am constantly looking at what can make my environment and spaces better. To be forward-thinking, I have chosen to be innovative and think outside of the usual box.
Growth does not come from comfort zones and innovation can be found in the simplest of tasks. From time management to smartly analysing and using the best skills from your team, being an innovative solution-implementor does not have to break the work flow.
I start with aligning myself first. Self-discipline is important, so I always start my day with being mentally and physical healthy. It is an early morning visit to the gym followed by a healthy breakfast and a pack of nibbles to set me for the day. Music or motivational talks remind me on my drive to work of who I am, my responsibilities and achievements I need for the day.
You will need to strategically burn certain bridges to build bridges:
One of my biggest take-outs through my career has been training myself to choose my battles – on the professional and personal front. Choose what to stress about. With only 24 hours in a day, what are you going to bed thinking about?
My experience across various work environments has taught me that there is not a single work place that does not have its ups and downs. When the negative does step in, I access my four- point system:
1) Does it make or break me?
2) What does it mean to the team member?
3) Does it affect business in any way?
4) Is there a solution to turn the problem into a positive?
And it’s back to business thereafter!
Continue to assess yourself, your environment and celebrate successes:
Being able to step ahead of yourself and define or understand yourself and capabilities has been one of my biggest learnings.
By doing so I have been able to step out of doing the norm and take calculated risks. Celebrating successes and being part of winning teams not only boosts morale, but also reminds you on the low days that it takes hard work and strong team motivation to raise the bar.
I am also conscious of how detrimental toxic competition amongst team members can be and how it can affect personal spaces. The trick is to continue reminding yourself as a leader and your working teams of previous detrimental incidents which did not align with the company culture of teamwork. Always be the first example of what teamwork actually looks like.