Great tips on how young professionals can build successful leadership skills

Umesh Mukhi

The Interview is an exclusive part of Mindthis Sustainable Leadership Series which features cutting edge thought leadership from change makers across the world.

I was lucky enough to spend a part of my summer vacation in Serbia, Novi Sad where I along with my colleague Dr.Tiago Ferreira Lopes delivered a session on Sustainable Leadership for One Young World Ambassadors at Tesla Secret Connection Summit, July 2014 .  It was really interesting to interact with these change makers and their perception about the concept of mindset, leadership and its impact on sustainability. I had a chance to discuss about it in detail with change maker Sade Savings; she is intrigued by the idea of Sustainable Leadership and is amongst the league of emerging leaders with cross sectoral experience in entrepreneurship, social sector and coaching.

Sade, can you share some insights about your career and the initiatives you have launched?

My early career after University was quite accidental in many ways, but also very pivotal in shaping my future goals and aspirations. I had just finished a post-graduate degree in clinic psychology and found myself working for a large alcohol company… the irony was not lost on me.

It was during this six-year stint in corporate that I found other ways to sustain my purpose and passion, and I got involved in numerous community developments projects and also ended up studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Life Coaching. Eventually I began to feel like the time was right to fully pursue my dream, and I left the corporate world and established my own Life Coaching practice, Dynamic Life Design.

Dynamic Life Design was founded in July 2013 and that was the beginning of my journey into leading a life ON purpose. I simultaneously partnered in developing a social business, Rise Africa Rise that aims to contribute to Africa’s vision of creating a prosperous nation. Looking back, those first few months would be some of the most challenging times I have ever faced, but also the most rewarding. I learnt so much about myself, and became even more convinced of my life’s purpose.

How do you keep yourself motivated to work on multiple initiatives?

Well, I think I find it easy to keep motivated because I am 100% clear on my personal vision, and the vision of the initiatives I am involved in. Most importantly for me, every initiative I am involved in is aligned to my highest values, and this for me is the all the motivation I need. I have found that internal drivers are far more sustainable than short term, external motivators.


As a coach and trainer, in your opinion what is the link between mindset, leadership and sustainability?

I think that mindset, leadership and sustainability are fundamentally and inextricably linked. Mindset informs your thinking and your actions, and for me at least, sustainable leadership is all about developing mindsets that are centered around a deeper, conscious understanding of our own personal impact in our world and the long term effects/impact we want to have.

The tagline for my coaching practice is Live Your Legacy, and it was very much inspired by the movement I have seen towards a more sustainable, authentic way of living, being and leading.

How do you see the importance of Spiritual practices like Yoga and Meditation for developing leadership skills amongst all sections of society?

If you had asked me this question 4 years ago, I probably would have started laughing and cast you a look that (politely) said, “You are obviously crazy”.

So what’s changed since then? Well…. I have changed. I have realized the importance of mindfulness and of deepening my own sense of spirituality as I journey on this continuous learning experience we call life. Scientific studies now show that there are many reasons why spiritual practices like yoga and meditation are beneficial to all people of all ages- reduced stress and depression, increased levels of EQ, stronger immune systems, etc. All of these are fantastic reasons why spiritual practices are important to incorporate into your life.

Though, looking back on my own personal journey, I would say that spiritual practices are most important because they allow us to live a more ‘integral’ life. I think they play a more profound role than the documented scientific reasons suggest. Spiritual practices allow us to connect more authentically with ourselves and to get in touch with our ‘humanness’. And all of this happens in a way that has nothing to do with achievement, ambition, or increased EQ, but everything to do with mindset, sustainable leadership, open generosity, and complete vulnerability.  To me, that places yoga and meditation as one of the most crucial elements in developing leadership skills across all segments of society.

 Share three secretes of developing Sustainable Leadership with Millennials 

  • Values-based decision-making
  • Mindfulness
  • Open, curious nature

 About  Sadé Savings

Sadé is an accredited Life Coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner. As a registered practitioner member of the Coaching and Mentoring Institute of South Africa (COMENSA), her main areas of expertise include awakening global leadership, sustainable personal development and growth, and maintaining peak performance levels in high-pressured environments.

She holds a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology, as well as a Master’s degree in Neuro-linguistic programming specializing in Awakening Global Leadership.

Prior to founding her life coaching practice, Dynamic Life Design in 2013, Sadé had six years’ experience in the corporate world. She has held various leadership positions at social enterprises such as Cheesekids for Humanity, DreamGirls International Outreach & Mentoring Program, and Life Line Crisis Centre. She also acts as an ambassador for global youth organization- One Young World.

The Interview can also be accessed on Sustainable Leadership Blog. The Sustainable Leadership Initiative is global platform to showcase best practices and engage trans-sector dialogue from business, government and social sector across the world in context of sustainability and leadership. You can follow them on Twitter: @sleadersummit and make sure you like them on Facebook!