Redefining Possibilities: An SLDP Delegate Testimonial

15th November 2023

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Ayanda Radebe

Effective leadership is pivotal for an organisation’s success in providing a clear direction. Our Senior Leadership Development Programme (SLDP) allows leaders to reflect on their leadership style and capacity and immerse themselves in the latest thinking about best leadership practices. We recently invited a past delegate who was part of the programme 2022-2023, Ms Celani Ziqubu, to chat with us about her experience on the SLDP. She is currently employed within a state-owned enterprise. She has been in different portfolios since 2000, ranging from administration to psychosocial, communication, and public relations and is now handling the corporate affairs portfolio.

Education develops the personality, thoughts, and social skills of humans. It prepares an individual for various life experiences and circumstances, making them uniquely significant in society. In the interview, Celani began by defining education as a pivotal tool to help you express yourself and open doors in any space you would like to tackle within your career. She further expressed that no matter how much you think you understand or know, there will forever be room for exploring your capabilities.

On discussing her reasoning behind enrolling on the SLDP, Celani stated:

“As you grow in management, there are things you wish to learn from other managers and how best they relate to their employees in a manner that best benefits everyone. I knew that being around and meeting with other people in management levels will help me learn new approaches.”

When discussing the outcomes of the programme, Celani commented that:

“I’ve learnt that even if I am a senior manager, I am also very much of a follower. I have realised the importance of leading by example because it is one thing to dictate what needs to be done but also another when you have to apply it practically. The meaning of empathy and leading by example became very much clear to me after I had attended the course.”

The changing business environment requires leaders to be adaptable, have a wide range of talents, and deal with complexity. Celani expressed that learning to adapt to the latest leadership trends has been a challenging aspect of her role, as it sometimes becomes difficult to keep up. She mentioned:

“Many times I do find myself taking a back seat and allowing the ones who better understand what we are doing lead, and I guide, more especially when it comes to technology and the new generation-youngsters.”

One of the key focus areas of the SLDP is strategic leadership. Celani shares that in as much as there may be strategies and touchpoints, sometimes you need to approach things holistically and fit them in line with your core goals, which helps you achieve them successfully.

Celani offered the following advice for anyone looking to continue their learning:

“As we speak right now, a lot is changing, so it is important to find out what is also changing in your field in order to keep up, otherwise, you will forever be outdated. So I recommend everyone who wants to develop themselves to enrol.”

For more information on our Senior Leadership Development Programme or to enrol in the class of 2024, please click here.