Power… how do you define it? Good or bad?

When I spotted the topic of the women in business conference this year “redefining power”, I was pretty intrigued by the topic and lineup… and I was blown away by the stories shared! I wanted to share some of the nuggets I captured along the way with you… hopefully it will inspire you too!

Oh… and when they asked me how I defined power… it looked like this:


So here are my nuggets and takeaways!

Jill Dyers: Head of Business Transformation, Absa Business Banking at Barclays Africa Group Limited

Jill had an incredibly powerful [and entertaining] story… one that required searching for what her power actually was, facing her demons, and moving from that adversity to a place of strength!

I loved that in her searching, she knew that she needed to find some form of purpose and meaning… otherwise, what was “all this” [career, money, lifestyle] actually for? I really admire her for finding her professional purpose, that she searched for something deeper in what she does… so that it’s more than a job for her.

So even if you’re not an entrep… there is still opportunity to find purpose and meaning in what you are doing now!

I was mostly moved by her authenticity.

By the fact that despite her adversity… she found her power.

She was an inspiration to us all… to not use our past as a crutch…

Instead… find your essence, step into your personal power as a women, and do something about it!

Last nugget to share: is about getting input and finding mentors… We need support, guidance, and advice from others… I have grown from the various mentors that have crossed my path throughout the years, and I love that I get to mentor others too.  

I also loved that she said that when you have outgrown your mentor… look for your next mentor to keep growing.  

Leigh Meinhart – Tsiba

Leigh has been on my radar for a while… I spotted what she was doing way back in 2006… whilst getting my creativity fix from a magazine, I spotted this entrepreneur… 


and I was blown away that at 25 she had started a school to help kids from underprivileged schools, get an education!

So, when realising that this was 10 years on, that she had built an established school that continues to make such an incredible difference; I took a little opportunity to reflect on the fact that my life had taken so many twists and turns.  

It was probably whilst reading that magazine 10 years ago, that my “purpose itch” started   When I realised that up until that point… my corporate climb had been something that was largely intrinsic… and that I had a different purpose I was called to  

I’m so excited by how far I’ve come, and what I now get to give back to others.

Leigh shared about colour energy [she spoke about clarity 4D, but it seems very closely linked to insights for those who have done that personality profile] but the essence of what she shared, is that we all have a light, an energy… and how important it is to both know your light [and share it with others], but to also hold your pain.

Like a tree, your light is your “bark” it’s what others see, but you have “sap” too [your pain, your soul, your essence], and it’s that essence that links to your purpose… its what drives you, and what calls you to do the things you do in life. It’s important to remember, that there is power in your vulnerability, in your sap.

Sneha Shah – Managing Director of sub-Saharan Africa for Thomson Reuters

Sneha shared a powerful personal story.



A story that took us through her journey in understanding the various aspects of power in her life. From the power of perceptions [and how others see you] to the Power of flexibility, to the power of authenticity [and staying true to myself, even when it’s easier to conform]

This nugget struck home… when she realised that she could easily conform to the way that they “boys” did things… or she could be different… she could really tap into her power of building relationships and connecting with people! I loved how she was able to really stand out and keep her ethics in tact at the same time!

The power of making an impact [and finding your voice] knowing what you can do to make an impact to others, and the power of networking:

There was the power of letting go [and realizing what is important] and how she needed to hone back in on family again. The power of being a women… and that each of us has the power to pull somebody up.

I love this concept…

I love the idea of women helping other women succeed and grow, and that is also what I love about where the dream + do project is evolving… it is about exactly that… women helping other women grow their business.

She also shared that the term “Namaste” means: the light in me, recognises the light in you.

Let’s recognise the light inside each other!

Annie Radmanovic: formerly the CEO of OcsaCare (Carecross Group), and as of 1 July, MMI Corporate Division’s new Sales Director

Whilst Annie has had some remarkable moments in her career [like being the first TUK’s lecturer at 23], there were other aspects of her story, and her power that inspired me.


It was the fact that despite the well presented successful exterior… we got to hear a story filled with obstacles that had to be persevered through.

I think when people look at someone who is successful, the first thought is how “lucky” they are to be where they are… what we don’t always know about, are the hurdles, the hard work, the pain, the perseverance, and the heartache that the journey is filled with.

But when one of your mantra’s is one that starts with…

It makes it easier to do things that are different, to push through and conquer all the boardrooms, to avoid “nay sayers” and stick to your passion, to stay true to your moral compass, what’s right.

And the incredible reminder:  

Phuti Mahanyele – CEO of Shanduka Group

Phuti is an incredible women, in what she has done and in listening to her story. She oozes power, and is a formidable mover and shaker in this world.


She had some really poignant nuggets that I tweeted along the way…

She reminded me that as women, I have a role to play in shaping the lives of others, helping and mentoring people along the way.

Yes, there are not that many women in senior levels of management, and yes, there are not that many women entrepreneurs… but if entrepreneurs are going to be the ones to shift the economy… what are we all doing in helping that become a reality?

I loved this.

Phuti spoke about how we look to the past for guidance on our future… but the past won’t help us navigate the future that we need to prepare ourselves for… things will be different in the future… and we need a different compass to guide us… looking to the past will only give us more of what we have now… and I don’t think that that’s enough!

Talk about striking a chord for me right now. In this incredible space I’m creating, there are many people who don’t “get it” who don’t understand what I am trying to do. But because I have a purpose, a dream, and because I know in my heart that this is what I’m called to do… I will keep on this journey! I know it will pay off in the end… but for now, I keep on… despite the fact that I can’t explain it 😉

I love how Phuti made a few uncommon decisions.

Decisions that others would have [and did] think were not “right” for her.

Decisions that helped her pursue her purpose more, and it was the culmination of all those decisions, that helped her get to where she is today!

This is so true. You have a purpose, something you were born to do. I just want to take a second to inspire you to DO them!!! As someone who is stepping into [and living] her purpose… life is WAAAY more exciting for it!

Phuti also shared the fact that there are so many opportunities [gosh, she said there were over 1000 places to get a bursary in SA]… don’t let the dream spark, and then let all the hurdles along the way hold you back from pursuing it… Push past the fears and obstacles.

Find your way around the hurdles.

Lynette Ntuli – Founding Director and Chief Executive officer of the property, asset and infrastructure development and solutions firm; Innate Investment Solutions

I loved Lynette’s energy… someone said that she’s the kind of person who you’d really love to be friends with… and if she said “Let’s go for a drink” you’d be there… fun, inspiring, full of energy and spunk… this lady is going places.


She was also beautifully real about the journey of an entrepreneur.  

The biggest nugget for me… was the importance of having peeps around you. That in order to transition into business, it really does take a village of people by your side.

But I also enjoyed the fact that she shared that there were different layers of people.

The first layer is those that are closest to you. Your friends, your family… the really close people that you confide in when you are dreaming about this business. These are the peeps that you can explain your concepts and test your ideas with.

Then there are those you want to learn from. Those who you want NOTHING more than to learn from their experiences. To learn how they do things [like setting prices, billing, how to survive crash landings and how to bounce back]

For me there are a few other levels.

There are also those in your network. Those who know you and the way you work. Those who will spread the word to others. I have been privileged to have a few of those people in my journey… and I can attest to the fact that there is nothing more powerful than word of mouth.

Can I suggest though… that having people refer you, is one thing. but I think that being a connector… the person who connects people with other people… equally [if not more] powerful in the long run!

Other nuggets I wanted to share… was the fact that

The fact that you need to be agile, and open to opportunities, because they often come from unlikely places!


Which nugget stood out the most for you?

Em sign