African odyssey provides new take on leadership traits

Would you sell everything, pack up and  follow your dream?

Suzanne F. Stevens of Ignite Excellence did. Her dream was to inspire and empower the women of Africa.

First she founded the Ignite Excellence Foundation to raise money for African women. Then earlier this year she put her successful business on the back burner and headed to Africa with her husband. She created  Wisdom Exchange TV to inspire and empower women.

Wisdom Exchange TV is a series of videoed interviews with African women sharing their expertise and advice. It’s a resource for women in all walks of life to ‘Learn, lead and succeed.’ Suzanne sees women as agents of change. But the videos are a terrific resource for anyone.

Suzanne Stevens

Suzanne turned her back on life in Toronto to learn the lessons of life in Africa. The wildlife is teaching her a thing or two, judging by three leadership styles she writes about in her blog. She says:

“The lion’s aggressive leadership style… would be most appropriate at the beginning stages of an initiative, when the leader has most of the vision and the team needs to be highly managed to understand it and execute.

“The elephant’s leadership style would be most effective in growth mode of an organization. Where some members of the team are operating efficiently and strategically, however, other key individuals still need continued guidance to achieve the objectives.

“The wildebeest leadership style is most effective in later stages of an organization’s life cycle, assuming it has been operating at a high performance level. Little daily direction from the CEO is required as the management team has fallen in line and understands, and is capable of executing the objectives in line with the organizational vision.”

Suzanne is a born leader – a true inspiration to all of us. And the amazing thing is Suzanne is doing it all living out of a backpack.

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