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Brave Decisions by Brave Women: Lebo Masilela, Human Capital Executive, The Brave Group

In the third installment of our "Brave Decisions by Brave Women" series, we hear from Human Capital Executive, Lebo Masilela, about her journey to becoming the woman she is today.
Brave Decisions by Brave Women: Lebo Masilela, Human Capital Executive, The Brave Group
What does "being brave" mean to you?

Brave for me is standing firm on a decision that you have made, whether popular or not and regardless of its repercussions.

What is the first brave thing you remember ever doing?

Teaching myself to ride a bike. I grew up with friends who felt like (and still feel like) family. We shared everything with one another and amongst us, only one had a BMX bike. We took turns to ride, however, I couldn’t ride a bike so I would skip my turn when it came around. On one rainy day I decided to learn how to ride a bike instead of watching movies inside the house with everyone. I gave myself the remainder of the day to practise and perfect my riding skills. The rain came and went and came again – I was determined to ride the bike and I did it. By the end of that day I was completely bruised, grazed on my knees and hands, wet from the rain and super proud that I could ride a bike.

What is the bravest career decision you have ever made? Why did you make it?

A few months after I started my career at a bank working as a recruitment administrator, I received an invitation to attend an interview for a HR Specialist position. This was on management level and I knew I wasn’t ready for it from a competence point of view as I had only worked on recruitment since starting my career. I declined the invitation, but the lady who had invited me encouraged me to attend, even if it was to gain exposure to a management interview. I attended the interview and connected so well with the GM that he decided to appoint me. I accepted the offer. I knew I had work to do to fully upskill myself on what was expected of me. My timeline was to learn and know everything I needed to within three months of joining. I sacrificed weekends, public holidays, outings, evenings, etc. in order to achieve this goal – and I have no regrets to date. The reason for this was that I wanted to be an expert in my line of work. I knew I could give so much more to employees and I wanted to do so with confidence.

What are you doing to empower the next women who will be in your position one day?

My position in this instance is not as a Human Capital Executive, but an adult female who has made a success of her life. Having said that, there are two lessons I have learnt in empowering women (people) around me:

In order to empower, I have to fully own the ability to do the thing I intend to empower in. That means embracing whatever characteristic, knowledge, skill, intelligence, emotion, etc. in me related to the power I have to give.

The second lesson is that I do not give my energy to anyone unless it has been requested, and this includes power.

Recently, I made the decision to avail myself to young women who need mentoring and guidance in their careers. The mentoring also touches on lessons and principles that women face in their maturing stages through careers, motherhood, relationships – with self and others, and much more.

I also organise empowering interventions for young girl-children to impart knowledge to them on day-to-day matters, which we as children were not taught but needed to know. Topics we have covered include understanding my body, self-identity and embracing cultural differences, hygiene, dealing with my emotions and meditation to name a few.

How do you intend on leaving your mark and becoming truly unforgettable?

By making a difference in what I do daily, through every role that I play in my life.

30 Aug 2019 13:16