How special it is to follow Richard’s piece and share something of my experience of working with both groups of young entrepreneurs. I have come to the conclusion that the spirit of the people of South Africa, leadership and the essence of the young entrepreneur is a powerful and winning combination.
From day one a couple of the things stood out to me: 1) How engaging and confident delegates attending my first two seminars were and 2) What substantial young people they each are. I felt excited, inspired and encouraged in their presence. On both occasions I really was sitting in a room full of leaders!
In this last group I found myself commenting in the feedback session on some of the things that either stood out to me as remarkable or I noticed in the group dynamic. In my first check-in question we were exploring what their leadership signature was and what drives them to get up in the morning. What stood out to me was how many of them already embraced a deep sense of purpose and were clear about the role models that they wanted to be for their communities. Many had already transformed some big challenges in their lives. One would never have guessed that for quite a few this was their first leadership seminar! They seemed together as a group and deeply settled in themselves. I so enjoyed experiencing their complete lack of casualness and instead a quiet and dedicated commitment to the learning process. And of course I relished from a training perspective the high level of conversation we were able to have over and above the course content. It felt like we drew out the best in each other.
Leadership as we know is something that has to be proved out on a daily basis and the true test is how we each hold up under pressure and stand by each other. They say there is no birth without pressure. The 8 weeks together is an intensive 8 weeks by all accounts and given that NVS business process is a new initiative and a prototype everyone involved including the awesome team running it, is on their leadership edge. It is natural that there will be many highs and lows, amazing learnings, disappointments, feelings of inadequacies, clumsy moments in conversation and everything in-beween during the process. It is my wish that each one, no matter the feelings that arise know that a place of greatness and inner stability is always close at hand. All one has to do is turn and there it is. Forms are outlets for our creative expression and come and go and never define who we truly already in essence are.
More power and courage to us all!! Thank you for the opportunity to be with you all in this process. I learn from each one I witness and truly it is so easy to salute you all for your GREAT courage.