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7 Questions on Leadership with Prudence Muchinouta


Name: Prudence Muchinouta


Title: Chief Financial Officer


Organisation: Community Markets for Conservation Ltd


Prudence Muchinouta is an award – winning chartered accountant (CA ZM; FZICA; FCCA; ACMA, CGMA) and a PHD student, a strategic c- suite leader in Finance, strategy, environmental issues, and corporate governance for over a decade. She is the current Chief Financial Officer of Community Market for Conservation Limited (COMACO), a social enterprise operating a model that focuses on enhancing systems that incentivises conservation, offering training in a range of livelihood skills, rewarding farmers for conserving their natural resources through practising conservation agriculture, and providing a market for their produce, which is brought into COMACO’s processing hubs, producing a Healthy range of “ITSWILD” food products.


In her role as the Chief Financial Officer of Community Markets for Conservation Limited, a pioneering social enterprise that focuses on incentivizing the conservation of natural resources, Prudence has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and strategic acumen. Her deep commitment to environmental sustainability has driven transformative initiatives, establishing her as a visionary in her field.


Beyond her responsibilities at Community Markets for Conservation Limited, Prudence has made significant contributions to the advancement of sustainable practices. She has actively provided coaching and mentorship to women-led SMEs in Agriculture through her involvement in the AGS Activator program, showcasing her dedication to empowering others and fostering inclusive growth.


Prudence's leadership extends beyond her professionnal duties. She is an active member of the Rallying Cry Network, where she passionately supports climate and gender-responsive agricultural enterprises in Africa. Her commitment to sustainability and gender equality has been recognized through her prestigious ACCA Africa CFO Award (2022) in the environment, social, and governance sector category.


Furthermore, Prudence is a valued member of the 2X Forum, a Global Forum comprising 18 influential members who serve as a long-term engagement pillar, amplifying the voices, concerns, and perspectives of 2X Global's diverse stakeholders in pursuit of gender smart investments.


Prudence's pursuit of personal growth and development is evident through her completion of the Creative Leadership Program at the renowned THNK School Netherlands. This experience has equipped her with innovative approaches to leadership, enabling her to unlock the potential of individuals and organizations alike.


With her extensive expertise and a proven track record of success, Prudence consistently leads with purpose and drives tangible results. She remains dedicated to applying her skills and contributing to strategies that aim to create and build a sustainable environment in her work.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


Navigating some complex social interactions


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


I was fortunate enough to have held leadership positions at a very young age and that made me believe that if that was the case then there was something special about me, and from that moment on I do not accept anything less, however all this also was possible with the support of my family, my mum, dad and sister who believed much in me and also expected nothing less from me.


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


Before I go to bed, I review my to do list, to appreciate any pending tasks so to set my mind for the following day's schedule. Morning, I begin with my devotional, I try to workout daily, sneak peak on my emails and drive off to the office, and often have my fruit/coffee/smoothie from the car.


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


The importance to Define your own success. There are many days I feel stuck, I feel unsure of the value of my contributions, and each of these times, this feeling comes when I am comparing myself to other industry leaders who seem to have it going on well. At this point I need to remind myself or be reminded that we each have our own route, and there exist diverse pathways to success. What is important is deriving satisfaction from your work and commitment to excellency.


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?


''Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office" by Lois P Frankel,


This book focuses on empowering women in the workplace and providing them with strategies to overcome common pitfall that may hinder their professional success.


My important takeaway relatable to my story is around Developing a personal Brand. Operating in a male dominated industry, the insights continuously serve as a reminder for me to cultivate and promote a personal brand that reflects my strengths, my skills and a dynamic financial expert and positioning myself as a competent professional. As often when something goes wrong in the organisation its often easier that this is blamed on the female executive or the finance office, to which I hold both, and over the years I have cultivated that personal brand which has protected my reputation and my integrity.


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


Just say Yes,

While I believe much of my success today is attributable to God's promises that "we shall be the head and not the tail" and in some instances just some luck, many of the opportunities have come away due to my willingness to seize the opportunities presented to me. I have actually learnt and gained much skill outside my job. Invitations to participate and contribute to various activities, which have accorded me access to greater networks, greater insights, skills, and the opportunity for me to contribute to what I'm most passionate about. Yes it comes with much sacrifice and many a times I've been reminded that its ok to say No, but my yes has brought me much fulfilment and opportunity which I can attribute my successes to.


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


I recently shared my struggles with a friend, and the mental breakdown I was experiencing and how I needed to figure out how to manage my schedule to accommodate all of the things I committed to, and how it all felt exhausting and I laughed at how I wasn't getting paid for it. They reminded me that I would feel worse if I gave up any of it, and most importantly they reminded me of the inspiration many young women took from my journey and leadership and the positive impact I was giving. which was a display of the much needed strength and resilience required of a leader. Reflecting upon this it served as a reminder that being a leader goes beyond our struggles but much to the value and impact your community sees and benefits from your presence and contributions, in your weaknesses, many see a tough individual and expect nothing less of you and so what this meant to me is I can not give up or quit, but take a break, regroup and continue doing what i do.

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