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Women in Leadership Breakaway Session 1: Training the next generation of women leaders
Posted Fri, 11 Nov 2005

ESKOM Leadership for Transformation Conference
Tuesday 1 November 2005

Moderator: Dr Namane Magau

Speakers: Joyce Aryee: CEO Ghana Chamber of Mines Helen Nicholson: MD - Helen Nicholson and Associates

Helen Nicholson

Personal Branding in the workplace

We are all sales people; we sell ourselves all the time. Each of us needs to decide what our product is and how we want to sell it. Generally if you work in a corporate then you sell a certain number of hours per month.

Examples: - Levi vs no-name brand - how the Levi brand has a promise, and how this brand promise needs to be related to ourselves when we build our own personal brand. Example of Madonna as a personal branding guru and how she has built her brand over the year, how she has updated herself and her skills and her image. Use her brand building capability as a brilliant example of personal brand building.

Helen's personal experience of not joining her peers for tea at the Wits business School, and how this lack of networking led to her becoming a "no-name" brand in that environment, until she realised what was going on and changed her branding strategy.

Personal Integrity and brand Integrity are similar to each other. Personal Integrity - when what you think, what you say and what you do are all the same. Liken this to brand integrity, and examples of sloppiness and how this detracts from the brand integrity.

What is your brand integrity? Is your brand consistent and do you keep re-inventing yourself, these seemingly contradictory concepts need to work in unison to help you become who should be.

Networking is method of how you build your brand and thereby prevent becoming a no-name brand - become a vuvuzela "blow your own horn', - decide what your brand is, and build it, and make the organisations want to hire you, and retain you.

Women don't use networking because they are not yet aware how powerful it is, and how it can open doors. It is vital for women to support other women and not fall victim to the "Margaret Thatcher syndrome", who did the less for women than any other British Prime Minister. So remember not to pull the ladder up behind you, help and encourage other women, to achieve greatness.

Moderator: Dr Namane Magau - emphasized the fact that it is important to link personal branding to the branding of Africa and to keep asking the question - are we branding Africa properly? - she thinks we have a way to go in this arena. We need to be asking ourselves how our personal brand links to the brand of the continent and keep aligning these concepts.

Joyce Aryee

Highlights the importance of how we can ensure that we have generations of leaders that are even better than us, because this is what will ensure the growth and success of this continent.

As women we are natural mentors, but we have allowed the world to tell us that being a mother is a bad thing, all leaders have been raised by a woman, and this is something of which we should be extremely proud.

Women are multi-talented, multi-skilled, and we can no longer think that where we are is ok, we need to think of training and development. Developing ourselves and others constantly.

Poverty and women go together because women are the brunt of poverty and HIV/AIDS.

Ages ago Africa led development, Africa is becoming an anathema, we need our men, but we need to mainstream our African women. If we can raise 2-3 generations of African leaders this continent will be propelled into the next level to take its rightful place on this planet.

Need to be passionate about what we do, and Africa needs passionate people to solve problems. African women need to become the shapers of this continent.

The Chinese have a saying - "women hold half the sky", but Africa's sky is very lopsided because the women aren't holding up enough of the sky, women should start seeing their role as vital to the success of this continent.

Avoid reproducing yourself when you are training others, they must build on your skills and improve themselves, we need to produce leaders.

Reproduce leaders not followers

Leaders need to train other leaders, example of the president of Ghana, he was fantastic, but didn't train anyone to take his place, his party is now decimated.

DREAM MODEL is a model that Ms Aryee believes in

D - DESIRE -can't make people do things they don't like.
R - RELATIONAL SKILLS - very important, but as women use these to build each other up.
E - ENTHUSIASM - do anything you do with great gusto, attack your tasks with massive enthusiasm.
A - ATTITUDE - what is your attitude, especially to politics, because every decision that is taken spells our doom.
M - MORALITY - glue that holds everything together, teach our male and female children about morality and dealing with strong successful women. Need a high moral standing if we are going to be proper leaders on this continent.

THIS CONTINENT NEEDS ITS WOMEN -

CREATE A LEGACY THAT CANNOT BE ERASED.

CHALLENGE TO EACH PERSON - IDENTIFY A WOMAN THAT YOU CAN TEACH AND CREATE MORE LEADERS.

We have done much harder things before - we have endured wars and oppression, this is just a small thing; we can do this.

As women we have lost our self esteem; we have let ourselves be brought down.
Marriage is good but it should not be oppressive, find a good partner who supports you like you support them. Let us get our self-esteem back, and unless we can affirm one another it will be difficult to break through all the barriers,
We are good managers but why can't we take it to the next level and manage others.
We need to learn from the men about how they network in corporates.
We must go into politics to serve not to gain, and we must raise fundamental issues that can change our situations.
Start thinking about creating women networks in politics.