Q and A with Mentor Neridha Moodley and Asithandile Nokwali


It's important to never stop learning new things and improving yourself, says HR leader Neridha Moodley

Neridha Moodley, the people and culture leader at SNG Grant Thornton, and her mentee, Asithandile Nokwali, shared some of the lessons they have learnt from their mentoring relationship.

Neridha, what have been the most important things you have tried to impart to your mentee, and why?

The importance of being a leader with impact. Leaders who are intent on making an impact are committed to the development and successes of the organisations and people that they are leading. They are effective leaders and are able to inspire their people, making them feel valued and appreciated, and therefore encouraged to contribute more meaningfully to the organisation.

The importance of giving back, or as Bonang Mohale titles it, “Lift as you rise”. Having been the recipient of great opportunities myself through a brilliant mentor, I understand firsthand how an impactful mentor can inspire you to be more and to do more. I believe we have a responsibility to pass on the same opportunities to others.

The importance of being kind to yourself. Being a leader is difficult, and being a female leader is even more so, given the many expectations of you as a mum, career woman, daughter, etc. I have realised over the years that you cannot be everything to everyone at all times, and we need to be cognisant of this. At times, different things take priority and not everything will be in balance. It is important to not judge yourself harshly in these times and to understand that the imbalance will not last forever.

Never stop learning new things and improving yourself. It is critical to have an open mind that craves more knowledge. Today’s world is changing rapidly and it is imperative that we enhance our skills constantly in order to keep abreast of our peers or else we face the threat of redundancy.

Asithandile, what have been some of the most valuable lessons you have learnt from your mentor, and how have they been useful in your development and career?

One thing that has stuck with me that my mentor taught me is to never doubt myself. Everything can be learnt and mastered. Invite yourself to the table and believe that you deserve to be there. This has assisted me many times to put my hand up and take on challenges that stretch me beyond my comfort zone.

Neridha, what have you learned from your mentee in the process? And how has it helped you as a leader?

Mentoring Asithandile has provided me with the opportunity to enhance my leadership and communication skills. A mentor’s role is to provide guidance, advice, feedback and support to the mentee. In fulfilling this role, it is important that a mentor listens effectively, asks probing questions and provides advice that is relevant to the mentee.

Asi has also taught me the value of building good relationships with others, and the impact of building that relationship.

Asithandile, what do you think the current generation of business leaders could learn from those who are coming up?

The upcoming generation is invested in shared value when it comes to leadership, which is something current leaders can learn. The world is evolving and our ways of managing and leading need to evolve with the changing world.

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