This quote resonates with me because it speaks (both literally and figuratively) to the discomfort of wearing shoes that do not fit.
The pain of walking a few steps, meters or kilometers in shoes that are:
- too big for your small feet; or
- too small for your big feet; or
- too narrow for your wide feet; or
- too wide for your narrow feet,
makes you more attuned to the pain of others and therefore, more responsive to their needs.
As a leader, the ability to transcend beyond “self” can set you apart from others, where you create opportunities to embrace differences whilst leveraging on the similarities. Transcending beyond “self” requires you to reach out to others, to bring them closer and accommodate them. Transcending beyond “self” makes it possible for you to pivot based on the needs of your team, organisation and industry, enabling one to think beyond the here and now.
As a collective, the leadership of DCSA is responsible for setting the tone on how to embrace equity – creating a conducive environment for employees to contribute, grow and excel as individuals; to collaborate across teams and leverage on those synergies, putting all our effort into achieving our strategic objectives. Our experiences as a leadership team, having walked our respective journeys in ill-fitting shoes at various stages in our personal and professional lives, make us suitable drivers of achieving equity in the company by giving every single employee, a shoe that fits.
In a tough economic climate, where our industry requires us to dig deeper than ever before in order to remain viable as a business, we need to be able to swop shoes as we assist one another to find the one that fits. Empathy is required; the confidence to lean on, carry, push and pull one each other is required as we navigate these unprecedented challenges. Embracing equity is after all, about recognising that although we are different, we are ultimately in pursuit of the same organisational goal – keeping DCSA great!
I wish all of you a magnificent International Women’s Day and urge you to #EmbraceEquity, not just today but every day.
Dangote Cement South Africa