Cultivate a working system on your way to the top
To get to the top requires you to feng-shui your life from unnecessary baggage by heeding the following advice:
The confidence that you gain through professional development can help you become highly successful in the long run. "A man who has confidence in himself, gains confidence in others and is admired by others."
Confidence does not mean arrogance. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Arrogance takes you to another lane.
Be assertive: Stand for what you believe in, even if it means you stand alone. There are all kinds of challenges in the workplace such as bullying, unfairness, marginalisation and abuse among others. But that does not mean you must tolerate these elements, you must be firm and fight them, even if that would lead to you losing your job.
Be careful of people who abuse their positions of power to have their way, like someone wanting you to buy your promotion by sleeping with them.
We are aware of such incidences of abuse. We have seen how some celebrities, including Bill Cosby, used their position of power to abuse women. You can succeed to the top without succumbing to such pressures if you utilise your virtue as your honour.
And it is interesting to note that men fear powerful women; they most often go for those who are weak.
Detach from negative people
Being part of such a group risks making you a part of a cluster of losers.
Equally important is to avoid people who bring you down and waste your time. I myself don't have friends who have a negative attitude.
I keep away from them because they can drag you down. The people we surround ourselves with make the difference between failure and success.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Spending time with people who make you stronger is a key component in being able to move forward. It's important to be surrounded by people who believe in and support us; we should cultivate those relationships.
Get rid of toxic people from your daily life. While we cannot always avoid them, at a minimum we can choose to not allow them to weaken us.
Life is too short to stress about negative people.
You may find that you work hard but your company doesn't recognise your efforts; don't lose faith. It may well be that your accolades are being lined up for you without you being aware. Sometimes you need to raise your hand to get noticed.
Be patient, persevere and be meticulous at your work at all times. Don't let mediocrity take over your life because no one is seeing you or recognising you - we say "a river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence".
I always encourage people with my mantra
I believe in passion, resilience, tenacity, diligence and working with integrity and humility. It is equally important to add another trait which is comradeship as it's important that when you work together you hold each other's hands.
I encourage you to work hard in silence and let your success make the noise.
If all else fails, embark on change. It is going to be hard at first to bring about those changes and the discipline, but its worth it ultimately.
* Mokgokong is group executive chairperson of CIH. This is an edited extract of a speech delivered yesterday at CIH's Annual Women's Weekend.