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7 Questions on Leadership with Lorato Kwelgobe

Name: Lorato Kwelgobe

Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Organisation: Chameleon Media

Innovative, business-minded, and creative senior marketing and communication professional with broad B2B and B2C experience covering 17+ years of successfully leading top-performing marketing, communications, media, and advertising operations, consistently going above and beyond expectations. Expertly assess the purpose and value of integrated marketing communication functions, and strategic and budget planning throughout organizations.

Ms Lorato Kwelagobe is an accomplished leader who is adept at gaining a competitive edge and seamlessly managing multiple projects and clients.

She is a believer in the value and effectiveness of creative, out-of-the-box go-to-market strategies and innovative marketing campaigns designed to improve awareness and generate high-value leads. Before starting her own company Chameleon Media. Lorato has developed winning marketing strategies for international brands like Orange, Engen, Innolead Consulting, and Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board where she gained or built strong stakeholder relations in the private and Government sectors.

Chameleon Media is a full marketing and communications agency with a vision to establish generational brands. The firm provides go-to-market strategy, conducts consumer and competitive research, and stakeholder insights, and analysis. Corporate communications digital Marketing and content strategy brand management and events management to mention a few. Chameleon Media has worked with clients in the financial, retail, and medical space such as Vunani Fund Managers, Liberty Life, Pulamed, and Spar. Passionate about developing young women and girls in Africa, she is the strategist and innovator behind the Womanomics Africa project with the aim of unlocking potential in a Girlchild " In every seed there is forest and so in every girl child, a woman and a nation'

Ms Lorato Kwelagobe plays a role in other sustainability initiatives such as the Purple Carpet Fashion Show, a project with the main of bringing awareness in Preventing/ Stopping Gender-based Violence

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Lorato's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

In the marketing space changing the mindset of stakeholders to see the commercial value of marketing in an organisation can be the most challenging because marketing means different things to different people.

The role of marketing in an organisation as a business function can be underplayed to just billboards, and events management departments, therefore, there is a need for decision-makers to unlearn the limiting perceptions of marketing and learn new marketing principles, Investing in AI marketing, contenting creation, and brand management how ultimately contributes, increased revenue, improved balance sheet or shareholder value

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Although I have held leadership roles such as Head of Marketing and Communications in different companies. I strongly believe that leadership is not a title or a position but the ability to take action, impact, and influence at any level. However, I recognized growth in my leadership skills when I was Heading a Marketing department at age 33 years old for the first time. I got into a position in a state-owned enterprise and I realized there was a heaviness, the environment had low morale and poor performance. I then took the initiative to meet with teams and individually to understand and appreciate the challenges.I came up with an intervention strategy where I created a work plan to develop talent and motivate teams to bring change.

Resistance to change usually comes from fear of the unknown and as leader, I was able to remove the uncertainty and fear of change. With regular engagement, it was a massive success personally and helped develop me as a truly inclusive leader. I was able to build a high-performance culture and foster team collaboration, and this contributed to rebranding the organization into a top of top-commercial brand

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I am a leader who sets the pace and leads by example. My day is simple at the top of my to-do list is a prayer and exercise early to motivate myself for the day. I can not teach or motivate anyone if I don't start with myself.

I am known for defining the mission to achieve the desired results, therefore.

I make sure I commit to my priorities and communicate that with my strategic partners. I work a lot on marketing projects and normally I encounter scope creep and changes in the strategy and projects however adopting the project management principles helps to sail the storm and deal with challenges head-on. I constantly engage my teams and other contractors to mitigate any form of risk and ensure good business practices.

When the day ends I evaluate both business and personal goals, celebrate the quick wins, and plan for the next day

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Sir Richard Brandon quote " People are no different from flowers, if you water them, they flourish. If you are not nice to them they shrivel up" As a democratic leader I appreciate people from all walks of life and what they bring to the table and I also understand that my team is my creates asset therefore I always ensure that I cultivate, motivate them so that they are the best version of themselves for service. Ultimately the contributes to customer satisfaction or the company's brand promise.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

EXECUTION - The discipline of getting things done. This book taught me to understand aligning people, strategy, and operations. Many companies have great strategies but struggle to execute strategy because of the wrong culture, this book helped me as a leader to institutionalize brand values, change culture, and drive strategy and engagement

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Time is a commodity, throw your whole self at something, ignore the noise, and improve your work ethic

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I have served as a leader in the front-line selling and promoting products to clients. I have experienced dealing with different cultures, and happy and unhappy clients. I am always mindful of what Bill Gates said " Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning "

we once launched a product to market without sorting simple internal process which affected the product performance and lead to unhappy customers. It taught me a great lesson when developing Go to Market strategies.

1. The customer journey needs to form part of the business strategy

2. Never launch a Go to Market Strategy before ensuring that you have secured the ultimate customer experience

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