GLS18 Session Notes–Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete–The Difficult Work of Pushing a Vision Forward

Published August 16, 2018

I would like to talk about the downside of leadership – when you fall short as a leader and make mistakes.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena Speech.

  • How do you forge your way out of seeming failure?
  • How do you forgive yourself for the errors you’ve made?
  • How do you move on?

Story of Quali Health. We opened our first facility in 2016. Patients were coming in, and we were having great impact. We were able to attract funding and open more facilities. One year later, we started facing challenges around cash-flow and profitability. We needed to lay some people off. People were criticizing my leadership.

I got very discouraged. I entered into a time of introspection and fell victim to discouragement for several weeks. But then, I started to realize there was a path forward.

Insights on the Difficult Work of Pushing a Vision Forward

1. Focus on the why of your organization

  • Be relentless and unwavering on what you want to achieve.
  • At the same time, be willing to be flexible on the methods by which you achieve your mission.
  • Don’t let challenges force you to give up on your dream.

Be relentless and unwavering on what you want to achieve.

2. Do not be surprised when you face defeat, challenges or resistance

  • We tend to think that visions from God happen unopposed. But challenges are part of the purpose-filled journey. Challenges should spur us on.
  • During the layoffs, Dr. Legoete felt terrible because, in part, the layoffs were due to her own decisions. She had to forgive herself and learn painful lessons in order to move forward.

We tend to think that visions from God happen unopposed. But challenges are part of the purpose-filled journey. Challenges should spur us on.

3. Dealing with critics

  • If you are concerned about whether people will like you or not, you are not fulfilling your mission.
  • Dr. Legoete asked herself the following questions to re-focus on her “why.”
    • Did you start this organization for people to like you?
    • Did you start this organization to provide healthcare?
    • Are you doing that?
    • Are you doing that well?
  • If you are achieving your mission, everything else is just noise.

 

4. Focus on the learning

  • I needed to look at the situation and say, “God, what are you trying to teach me?”
  • A vision cannot be dependent on one single person. The vision keeps you going.

 

Based on statistics, 90% of companies fail. It makes me wonder if the high failure rate of start-ups might be fueled by leaders who did not fully anticipate how hard it would be.

I want to inspire people to keep going – even when they face dark points – because there are amazing things that need to be done.

 

*Disclaimer: GLS18 Session Notes are only available in the United States*

 

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About the Author
Nthabiseng Legoetespeaker headshot for The Global Leadership 2018.

Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete

Founder & CEO, Social Entrepreneur

Quali Health

Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete is a medical practitioner who is passionate about improving access to primary healthcare. Motivated by her faith and own family story, her vision is to make quality primary healthcare affordable for all global citizens in emerging markets. Legoete founded Quali Health in Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently serving more than 600 patients a day at four facilities, in 2018 they are expected to grow to 30 facilities.

Years at GLS 2018

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