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7 Questions with Chule Gobodo
7 Questions with Chule Gobodo
Name: Chule Gobodo
Current title: Founder and Exec Creative Director
Current organisation: Brainbow Conscious Creatives
Chule is Relationship Manager & Executive Creative Director responsible for creating innovative, research-based, and story-driven DEIB media.
She has a BA in Motion Picture from AFDA, an Honors degree in Studio Art from SACI in Florence, Italy. and a Certificate in Sales and Marketing.
Chule is currently a candidate for an MBA in creative leadership from the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. Chule is a Branson Entrepreneur, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Fellow, and Lionesses of Africa alumna. With her 11 years as a creative executive, she is able to draw from her arsenal of knowledge to craft memorable, conscious DEIB story assets.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Self-belief and low self-worth have been the biggest barriers to leadership for me. The moment I started believing that I had value to bring, I was able to learn how to be vulnerable, have tough conversations and practise courage.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I founded Brainbow Conscious Creatives along with Kutlwano Makgalemele in 2010 after coming from doing my honors in Italy. At the time I was very young and denied my leadership position because of the responsibility associated with the role. But over time I realized that my insecurities came from a lack of experience and self-confidence. So I started to work on self-love, gaining leadership skills, and building my confidence so I could show up as a courageous leader for my business.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
We have just recently relaunched and repositioned Brainbow Conscious Creatives as a Trans-media Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Storytelling agency with new branding and website. We are in the process of building relationships with potential clients and the industry at large.
I start by meditating, reading a portion of a self-empowerment book, and journaling. I found that if my nervous system is overactive I don't get good quality work done. This is a very crucial part of my day.
I read a portion of Dare to Lead by Dr Brenè Brown.
I clean the kitchen because I can work better when there is less clutter.
I then read my emails from the most current project which is the Disney D&I My Magic is Me Campaign and address what the needs are of the project.
I do some homeschooling with my daughter or spend time with her.
Then I connect with our PR liaison and discuss what we're doing to position the business and what marketing collateral is outstanding.
I make lunch for me and my family. I listen to a podcast (Usually the Dare to lead or Unlocking us podcast. (I'm a Brenè Brown Fan can you tell,lol)
I post and engage on Linkedin and other social media platforms
At 6pm I close my computer and start making dinner and connecting with my family.
At 8pm I put my daughter to bed.
At 8:30 I'll watch home renovation or dating shows with my husband.
At 22:00 I get to bed, do a night meditation or listen to some ocean sounds to decompress and get some good quality sleep.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
From the book Dare to lead -
VULNERABILITIES WITHOUT BOUNDARIES ARE FEAR. WE NEED TO REALLY CONSIDER WHY WE ARE SHARING. IS IT TO HOT WIRE SYMPATHY OR TO REALLY COME UP WITH SOLUTIONS?
This has been a big eye-opener for me because I am quick to share and be vulnerable but looking at the reason behind sharing information has been a great lesson for me.
another great lesson:
CLEAR COMMUNICATION IS KIND. UNCLEAR COMMUNICATION IS UNKIND.
I struggle with having difficult conversations and so realizing that not being clear is unkind has helped me push past the fear.
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?
It's a strange one because it's not a business leadership book but a self-mastery and self-empowerment - Ask and it is given by Ester & Jerry Hicks.
This book helped me understand what my emotions are for and how to honor them. As someone who avoided confrontation and hard conversation out of fear, this was important. It also helped to find practical ways to soothe emotional and mental stress so I can show up better for myself and those around me. By learning to love myself I became a better leader in my personal life and in my business. This book helped me to have the courage to upskill myself as a leader and read Dare to Lead.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Through self-love and building courageous cultures that care deeply about people. A great leader is someone who sees the potential in someone and works to create an environment where that potential is realized. But you cannot give what you do not have, so until you have capacitated yourself with self-appreciation, self-empathy, and vulnerability you can not create a psychologically safe space for people to share their potential and the value they have to offer.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
I have been on a conscious journey to upskill myself with self-love tools. When I started this hero's journey it was to address the many undealt with traumas that Covid, lockdowns, financial trauma due to loss of business, homeschooling, and high levels of Gender-Based Violence inflamed.
Because of doing the work I was able to manage our biggest project to date almost alone as my business partner was on maternity leave. When my business partner told me very recently that watching me fight to love myself gave her more confidence to trust me as a partner, that meant a lot.