“Deciding to become a leader is a challenge that will affect your whole life. It’s not just your job; becoming a leader affects your role as a mother, a spouse or partner, and your position in the family. It’s a daily challenge that you need to accept to become a better person and better leader. Like the decision you make to be a mother, the decision to take on leadership affects everything. “There were a lot of people who inspired me, including my mother and father. In different phases of my life, I have gotten inspiration and advice from different people. Like Hon Elsie Muhanda, my direct leader. We have worked together for almost 10 years. In the beginning of my career, whenever we had a very challenging project, I didn’t know if I was the right person for the job. He helped me see that I could be the right person and supported me to build a successful team. He always talked about how I needed to connect the best people for the right moment. “Later, when I became a leader myself, he inspired me as a leader coach, asking questions and showing me different points of view. “The first lesson I learned is that, as a woman, you don’t need to be afraid of being a leader. And you should not expect people to treat you differently, simply because you are a woman. As a woman, you are no different than any leader, male or female. We may have specific attributes that are inherent in us as women, and that can help us lead in a better, more effective way in certain situations. We are more organized, flexible, and can make adjustments more easily than men. That is a great benefit for any leader. “I also learned that you do not have to avoid having a family to be an executive leader. A lot of younger women think that if they want to become an executive, they cannot have a family. I try to explain that you can do both things. You don’t need to separate these roles—leader and mother. Instead, you need to integrate them, and you will become a better leader. There are always ways you can do both things in your life.”
This story was submitted in response to We Are Leaders.