A defining moment in my career has been the ability to start a business and sustain its growth in a highly competitive market.
In February of 2014, I joined a small consulting organisation as a senior project manager, immediately after I had completed my MBA. The organisation was in a start-up phase, had been in existence for about 18 months and formed part of a global corporation with the aim of establishing regional offices around the globe.
After coming back from South Africa to Germany I started my career at Mercedes. I had the great opportunity to work for a well-known company and brand. I made a corporate career by going through different projects, functions and divisions. But after some years I had doubts that the corporate career path was the right one for me.
The Wits Business School has played an incredibly important role in shaping not just my career but also much of the person I am today. There have been several defining moments in my career, but undoubtedly the moment that stands out was when I was enrolled on the Management Advancement Programme (MAP) in 2008 with classmates a lot more senior and experienced than me.
I used to try candy-coat things, but no longer: giving birth is less painful, less bloody and infinitely quicker than getting your first novel published. If you haven’t been smothered under the avalanche of “Dear Author, Thank you for your submission, but …” slips by the time you find a publisher, you and your manuscript will still have to face the pitiless glint of your editor’s scythe.
As an activist and a businessman, I experienced several defining moments in my career. I completed my MBA at Wits Business School in 1971. I could not find any meaningful employment as the predominantly white corporate business sector would not employ people of colour in senior management positions.
Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” My entire life and career have been and continue to be defined by a series of radical changes; a series of moments, based on numerous epiphanies that have led to an amazing journey of personal transformation and an exploration of experiencing the true nature of who we are.
The defining moment of my career was when I left a successful career in the corporate world to join a few ex-colleagues and friends in starting a new bank. This was a daunting move after having spent most of my career in a world where complex challenges were sheltered by the relative security of size, then moving to another world of complex challenges with no security.
Looking back, two defining moments stand out for me. The first was enrolling for a Wits MBA as a result of the encouragement from my late dad. At the time it was very unusual for a medical doctor to do an MBA and I am indebted to the then dean, Prof Andy Andrews, for putting his faith in me and accepting me onto the course.