Breakthrough Leadership Transformation Group held its September BeAWillL Global Network session on Friday 28th September 2020. A networking and mentorship session which is held on the fourth Friday of every month where a speaker is invited to speak on career and professional leadership and growth, to share their story, to encourage and uplift BeAWillL Network members. You can find out more on https://www.bltgroup.co.ke/beawiiil-global-network/. These sessions are uniquely intimate and are career and life-affirming. I encourage all who read this article to join in on at least one session. It is worth your time.

Kinya shared the story of her stratospheric career journey starting out as a teacher posted to a school somewhere outside Nairobi to her current position as Finance Director, Kenya Breweries Limited. She identified the key role which mentorship played. Funny, witty, relatable, and challenging. In her own words, Kinya gave us her story of Mentorship and Enabling in her rise to the top.

In this story, there were different people who played the varying roles of consultant, counselor, and cheerleader. As well as Formal Mentors and Workplace Sponsors.

Kinya freely admits that without her Formal Mentors and Workplace Sponsors she would not have risen as fast as she did, learned what she needed to learn to enable her to perform at her best, or indeed, accessed the opportunities for career growth which she has accessed.

She is grateful for it. And is cognizant of her duty as a leader, to mentor others, to guide and give opportunities to grow, to excel, and to become leaders in their own right. In her own words, “Leadership is about totality. As a leader, there is a responsibility to mentor others.”

I was struck by the passion to mentor others. Kinya fundamentally believes that leaders have an obligation to bring others up and grow them. That we are all brought to leadership to enable others to rise.

It was inspiring to hear that leadership is not a sum total game of winners and losers, where career advancement means throwing everyone else under the bus in a bid to rise to the top. Leadership is about I rise, you rise, we all rise.

This is neither a fairytale nor wishful thinking. This is how it has played out in Kinya’s journey to the top. Kinya spoke about her non-negotiables. Those aspects of her life which define her, which are important to her, irrespective of her role as a professional. Throughout her career, Kinya has identified, stood by, and lived her non-negotiables.

I believe it is imperative that you and I identify our non-negotiables. We must answer the question of who we are before we can know where we want to go and how we want to get there.

Kinya Kimotho is much more than a superstar professional. She is also a wife and mother.

When asked by one of the ladies in the BeAWillL Network what she views as excellence, she revealed her Momism, words of wisdom, and guidance which she shares with her family and carries across to her workplace, “If your name is on it, it better be good.”

We also learned about the necessary role which fear plays in achieving our goals. There are many moments in our careers when we are fearful. Kinya graciously shared her secret to overcoming fear. I took this key lesson to heart.

Finally, Dr. Patricia Murugami, the Founder and CEO of Breakthrough Leadership Transformation Group and the host of the BeAWillL Global Network September 2020 session, asked us to identify our professional goal for the fourth quarter of this year. And to identify the one thing we will take forward from Kinya Kimotho’s inspiring and affirming talk to get us to our goal.

Mine is to remind myself that I am still professionally capable despite the challenges the year has brought. And my takeaway. “If it has my name on it, it better be good.” And always, to work hard and play hard.

There was another superstar behind the scenes without whom I would not have attended the September 2020 BeAWillL Global Network session. Winnie of Breakthrough Leadership Transformation Group. Thank you.