Dear reader, click here to view this leadership update on your browser.
“With very little, you can do so much” – Catherine Nakalembe
Dr. Catherine is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Maryland and the NASA Harvest Africa Program Director. She was recently honored with the Highest Civilian Award of Uganda by President Yoweri Museveni for her dedication to improving food security in Africa. She works with the governments of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Mali, among others. Her work is funded by institutions like NASA, USDA, Lacuna Fund (Meridian Institute), SwissRe Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and USAID.
In the interview, Catherine shares how she had very humble beginnings growing up just outside Kampala, Uganda, and how she learned so much from her parents – who were very resourceful despite having very little resources. She talked about her openness to learn and build new things, and also shares the value of speaking in a language your audience understands. We also discussed how acknowledging that “I do not know” is often what allows growth to happen.
She adds, “I like to communicate as effectively as possible. Trying to sound like a very good scientist when I’m talking to a farmer is completely pointless.”
“You should never get too high when you win and never get too low when you lose” – Roei Samuel
Roei Samuel is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He is currently the CEO & Founder of Connectd and was previously the CEO & Founder of RealSport. He regularly invests in early-stage tech companies and also mentors at the London School of Economics’ socially conscious spin-out accelerator. He is also a mentor at the Founder Institute and helps founders build a meaningful business.
In the interview, Roei opens up about his views on entrepreneurship, leadership, and his relationship with money. We also talk about how our early experiences shape us in subtle ways we do not realise, and the importance of vulnerability, transparency, and caring for people. We also discuss the responsibility of an early-stage startup leader to their team and investors – and how that is paramount.
He adds that as a leader, “you have got to nurture all of your people to go on, not just the journey for the company, but their own. And you really got to help those people achieve what they want to do because ultimately unless you’ve got the right team to execute on things, that is just not going to work. People are everything.”
How can you contribute?
Choosing Leadership is a podcast for people who know deep inside that there is more. My invitation to you is to “choose” leadership and to step up as a leader.
I am interviewing leaders to learn from their stories – of how they came to be where they are today. These are the stories peers and friends don’t usually know, and my attempt is to bring them out. Find out what has shaped them to be the person and leader they are today.
Our journeys might not look alike. They might resemble more of a roller-coaster ride than a race track, and that is what makes each one of us special and unique in our own ways. I am deeply touched when someone takes the time to share their story with me.
Until the next week, keep Choosing Leadership.