Name: Ruvimbo Samanga
Organisation: Access Partnership
Ruvimbo Samanga is a Space Policy Analyst, currently working for Access Partnership and sits on the Board of the Space Arbitration Assocciation. Ruvimbo has supported a number of international initiatives in policy, business, outreach, and education geared towards the advancement of space and satellite applications for sustainable development. She currently serves as an Ambassador for the MILO Space Science Institute, and previously served a 2-year term as the National Point of Contact for Zimbabwe in the Space Generation Advisory Council, the latter which is in support of the United Nations Program on Space Applications.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Ruvimbo's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Accepting my mistakes.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
By following my passions, I found I inadvertently inspired others to do the same. The small consistent efforts, and starting small, eventually lead to bigger and more far-reaching responsibilities.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I go by routine, and allocate short bursts of time to diverse tasks, akin to the POMODORO technique. I like to take care of the mentally straining tasks, like reading and research, earlier in the day, whilst I can still concentrate. I leave admin and meetings for later, to help my mind wind down. I tend to try and eat the frog first, and balance out my day by taking breaks and much needed leisure moments in between.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
That accountability matters. It is important to act, speak and honour the truth in all dealings, even when no one is watching.
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?
Rising Strong by Brené Brown. It speaks of overcoming setback. There is much to be gained in being a vulnerable leader, vulnerable in the sense of sharing and accounting for moments of humanness. People are designed to connect to each others stories and I have found comfort in doing so. We are more than our careers.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
You can only gain experience by making mistakes, so just keep going.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I was privileged to coach a Moot Court team that went on to win the World Finals of an international space law competition. They became the first team from Africa to do so. It is humbling to see people bear and execute your vision so diligently (which at the time, was to show the community that Africans have capacity to participate in space industry development). What humbled me even more was the growth I experienced myself, in contributing to their journey, and I was ultimately inspired to chart my own course as well.