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7 Questions on Leadership with May Namatovu Mwagale

Name: May Namatovu Mwagale

Title: Product assistant

Organisation: Laboremus Uganda Limited

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

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


Jonno White

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

Navigating the human dynamics of the team that I lead.

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

My career was focused on Industrial art and design and my focus was Product and Communication Design, and during COVID, I decided to switch fields and interests to technology. I studied Software engineering for a year, discovering how diverse the field was and the possibility of expanding my knowledge and interests in product design. Since my major was Agile Software Development, I decided to focus on UX/UI and Product Management. It was a steep and exciting learning curve for me. Right now I work as a product assistant in the leading FinTech company in Uganda and as a freelance / contract UX/UI designer. As a product assistant and a leader, I focus on scrum mastery and product management activities in the company.

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

A structured and set routine - Prayers, email review, weekly goals, pending task review, incoming tasks, daily stand, meetings, documentations, developer follow-ups, product testing, personal capacity building, prayers--(10-minute breaks around the routine) and repeat.

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

I have learned how to play the corporate game. - Remembering that I don't have to be blamed for everything that goes wrong with the product.

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?

The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life: How Remarkable Women Lead by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston. A change in mindset in my daily work- how I find meaning, frame everything around me, connect and energize myself, and take action in everything.

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

When you sow a thought - create an action, sow an action - create a habit, sow a habit - create a character, sow a character - create a destiny (purpose), and above it all rejection = reflection = restrategising.

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

Always always use your work to speak louder in your career and everything. I led my team in developing a working product in a matter of 2 weeks and onboarding clients in the same week. Meeting stakeholder and client needs simultaneously was challenging, exhausting, and mind-agitating. I realized that this happens 45% of the time in companies, but as I learned and experienced this, the next challenges in the same line became easier.

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