Celebrating South Africa’s young and talented rising stars

July 30, 2014 by Portia Mthembu 

South Africa’s young business talent was celebrated at the Standard Bank Rising Stars Awards, held on July 29, 2014 at the Hilton hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg. Now in its third consecutive year, the event recognised young people in the business-sector who have shown the tenacity to achieve success and contribute to the country’s future in an inspirational manner.

Among the pool of the young business savvy, was 26 year old Glen Nwaila, the youngest winner of the 2014 awards. Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal sported the most winners with eight out of the eleven category winners hailing from the respective provinces. The Western Cape and Free State held their own as well with one winner each.

Caren Robb Rising Star Awards winnerThe 2014 winners are listed below their respective categories:


1.Banking & Financial Services sector:

Caren Robb

2. Energy & Chemicals sector:

 Adriana de Beer

3. Entrepreneur & SMME sector:

Harry Welby-Cooke

Harry Welby-Cooke Rising Star Awards winner4. ICT sector:

Muthe Rambuwani

5. Logistics & Supply Chain sector:

Leeanne Soobramoney

6. Professional Services sector:

Rohitesh Dhawan

7. Manufacturing, Retail & FMCG sector:

Andrew Jackson

Adriana de Beer Rising Star Awards winner8. Mining & Industrials sector:

Glen Nwaila

9. Media & Marketing sector:

Joey Johannah Legodi

10. Service: Public & Private sector:

Wiebke Toussaint

11. Tourism & Hospitality sector:

Craig Donaldson

Commenting on distinguished awards was, Stefan Ferreira, commercial director of CEB South Africa (sponsor and managers of the rigorous judging process), who said that, “Organisations need to invest in identifying top talent and developing their potential to ensure they have the right talent to drive future productivity, innovation and performance. We’re honoured to work with the Standard Bank Rising Star Awards as it’s a privilege to help young leaders explore their own leadership strengths at this early stage in their careers.”

Follow our Rising Stars 2014 community to keep up-to-date with the latest with the prestigious awards.

7 tips for making your meetings more productive

July 24, 2014 by Portia Mthembu 

Ever wondered why by the time the clock hits 5pm your to-do list is still incomplete? Well, a study conducted by Management Today suggests that at least a quarter of the time you spend in meetings is time wasted.

Below we’ve listed a number of ways in which you can make your meetings more productive:

1.       Start your meetings at quarter past the hour

Although having back-to-back meetings may sound conducive to having a productive day, they may leave you little or no time to prepare yourself or get any work done.

However, if you start with the meetings a quarter into the hour, you’ll achieve just the same amount of work and still have 15 minutes to work on tasks that really matter.

Feeling brave? Try starting the meeting at 25 minutes after the hour.

2.       Never assign an action to all

7 tips for making your meetings more productiveAn extremely effective tip is to never delegate an action to everyone to do.

Still don’t know why? The majority, if not all, will automatically translate the action from ‘all’ to ‘somebody else”.

If many people must work on one task, ensure that one person is responsible for making sure that everyone does it. Also consider writing a name next to each action.

3.       Start with some good news

If your meetings are on a regular basis, encourage the attendees to share one positive thing that happened since the last meeting. This creates a great energy in the room and gets the meeting off to a good start.

Afraid this may overlap into the meeting time? Use a bell to warn people who run over time.

4.       Separate actions from minutes

Going over minutes from the previous meeting wastes time because there is a tendency to re-evaluate past notes and decisions.

Best thing to do? Separate the actions into an action log and only go through what needs discussion for the present meeting.

5.       Record the minutes electronically

Writing out minutes can take up too much time. Besides reducing time wasted, typing out minutes allows them to be circulated instantly.

Want to know another benefit? The sooner people receive confirmation of actions they’ve agreed to do, the sooner they are likely to do them.

6. Always distribute all meeting papers in advance

Distributing notes a day before or at the start of a meeting is a bad idea as people will have to read, digest and evaluate the contents there and then and may be forced to make a decision without understanding what’s at stake.

So when’s the best time to hand out notes you ask? All meeting notes should be in people’s inboxes 3 days prior to the meeting.

7. Try and do without a meeting

In most cases, the reason most people request meetings in the first place is because they don’t want to take the responsibility for a decision.

The time-saver? Next time someone suggests holding a meeting that’s probably unnecessary, prompt them to think about the task and revert to you with suggestions.

Follow more tips on our blog to help you manage your time more effectively.


Balancing your professional and personal brand on Social Media

July 23, 2014 by Portia Mthembu 

Nowadays expressing your opinion is only a few fingertips away. This can pose a potential hazard to your personal and professional brand.  Web users that find your professional Who’s Who profile, may also want to connect with you on Facebook. These same people will find you easily on Twitter too, making it seem almost impossible to separate your personal and professional online brands.

Social media managementSo where do you draw the line between the two spectrums? If you, like many, are concerned about preserving your professional brand, Evan LePage, contributor at Hootsuite has provided a number of ways you can achieve this.

Write a professional social media bio for your professional accounts

Your social media bios are one of the handy and simplest ways to differentiate between your personal and professional social media profiles. Writing your bios according to what you want to achieve from your social networks also helps in signalling to your audience what you’re attempting to achieve with each account, increasing your chances of having a really engaged following.

Also important are the keywords contained in your bio. This will affect your searchability. Keyword searches on social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook return suggested contacts – a great way of finding and expanding your professional network. Similarly, it is important to ensure that your content reflects your bio. Always ensure that the content you share is relevant to your bio because the first impression that your audience gets of you is through how you sell yourself.

Know when to get personal

Social media is less about broadcasting news and updates and more about interacting with your followers on topics that interest you. Showing your personality can do a lot of good, but you need to ensure that the information enhances the way people see you. “When tweeting, blogging or status updating about your personal life, it should be something that actually reveals a dimension of your life, character or belief system,” says Evan. Therefore, rather than tweeting about what you’re eating for lunch, consider telling your audience why the certain foods interest you.

Fix your privacy settings

Maintaining your personal brand means maintaining your privacy settings. The point here is to share your personal stories within a specified group. If there are posts you don’t want to be seen by certain contacts, you may want to consider removing them from your social networks. If there is no engagement between you and certain people, then you likely won’t be missed by them.

Know your audience

Knowing your professional and personal audience enables you to critique what you share on your social networks. Public profiles that can be viewed by employers or clients are not the place to divulge your grievances. Therefore, ranting on Facebook about what a douche you think your boss is will likely find you out of the office door… For good!

Although social media tempts us to express our opinions, it is important to stay positive and stick to topics that are of interest to your professional audience. “Not every topic is right for every social network, and realising that is an essential part of successfully using social media to advance your career and business” asserts Evan.

Start building your professional brand with Who’s Who SA – the leading guide to everyone who’s anyone in Southern Africa.