Try, Fail, Try Again…
We have all heard and read about successful leaders who failed many times before they finally succeeded. Sometimes they may even succeed in a totally different space than the one they had initially aimed for.
A success story that has inspired many is our cover profile, Shirley Machaba. She didn’t set out to be an accountant. Instead, she had planned to become a medical doctor, but when she arrived at the University of Venda to register for the Bachelor of Science degree as an entry into medicine, she was told the class was full. But because she didn’t just want to pursue a generalist degree, Shirley decided to register for a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting, even though she had not studied the subject at school. She was inspired and motivated by her professor, a CA(SA), and so her journey to success began. But it was not an easy one.
‘In the first semester I failed all my subjects,’ she recalls. ‘I had never failed anything in my life, and I told myself there was no way I would be repeating the year. Resolving to put in more effort, I woke at 2 am every day, and I would carry on after classes until the principles of accounting really started to sink in’.
She passed the year and has never looked back.
With her appointment as the CEO of PwC she became the first female that was appointed in this role in the group and is paving the way for others to follow. Her goal is to be a role model and inspiration to young people in the firm.
As a leader in business you too have the ability to inspire and influence others every day. With your actions you can show others how to be ethical leaders and how to drive change.
We also have a special feature on the Public Sector this month. In South Africa, improving public finance management is essential to improving service delivery, reducing poverty and increasing transformation.
There is an urgent need to inspire excellence in the management of public funds, improve operational efficiency, fiscal discipline and the strategic allocation of resources, as well as increase cost-effective and socially inclusive public procurement for sustainable service delivery. Importantly, there also needs to be a restoration of trust in the public service.
Julius Mojapelo, Senior Executive of Public Sector at SAICA says that professionalisation at all levels in municipal finance management could prove to be the silver bullet needed to achieve clean administration and create an environment that is conducive to effective service delivery in South Africa.
He says that to put it simply professionalisation will be achieved when we have the right people in the right places from top to bottom in municipal finance management, and this begins with setting minimum competency levels, monitoring implementation, and ensuring that there are consequences for those who disregard them.
And while the Public Sector struggles to retain and attract skills, perhaps this might just be the place where you as an ethical leader can really make an impact and inspire.