Being smart isn’t enough, you need to be exceptional – Maureen Kaawa

Most boomers or people older than me in Leadership positions, and in the “BIG” companies aren’t doing enough to tell the story of career growth and being a successful

We shy away from the truths and realities of the challenges that arise during your journey to success in your career.

If this wasn’t the case, young girls/boys (professionals or non-professionals) wouldn’t still be asking the questions of “how to get there”, “will I do it”, “will they let me”, “will I be heard?”


So, what does it take to “get there”?

Getting straight As in school is a very important aspect of getting a great job in a great organisation, BUT that’s not enough. You need to be exceptional at everything that you do after you get there.


Every single day is an opportunity for you to highlight your value to an organisation and to prove to yourself just how impactful you are to your work and community.

What you’re taught in school is to work hard, be smart and you will make it in life, but there is a lot more that you need to put into it;

  • How technically good you are at the job. Consider your experience and the campaigns you’ve worked on.
  • You need to be so outstanding that there is no debate or question as to why you are in the position, you’re in.
  • Position yourself in the right places in the workplace and have the best networks.
  • Take risks to win and if you fail, learn from it. Do not shy away from making mistakes.
  • Most importantly, show how well you lead.


How I approach leadership


My desire to have people reach potential drives me to become a better leader.

Seeing someone grow career-wise and financially is a big motivator for leadership.

Mid-level managers need to know that they have an impact on all aspects of an organisation. This allows them to make functional decisions for their teams.



Let your team lead, they need to practice leadership through leading. It isn’t only for the people they supervise BUT for you too!

Another aspect of people is the culture that you instill in them, most young professionals soak in all your positive and negative traits.

Lead by example.


Life lessons:

I chose to refer to my Life examples. It’s important to remember where you have come from, all your victories and mistakes mold you into something greater.

Personal reference and self-awareness are key in ensuring that you don’t lose sight of your realities.

Learn, Unlearn and re-learn:

You need to be open to learning new things. You can’t be a jack of all trades and you can’t know it all.

As a leader, especially if you’re managing young and dynamic people, you need to allow them to teach you how to best lead them. Remember we are all different.

Be dynamic:

Because you can’t know it all, ensure to be unique in execution and impact your positive traits onto those that are around you.

Lead by Example:

What you do, say and imply are going to project onto the people you lead. Directly or subconsciously. The things you say and how you handle things like conflict in a workspace are things that are easily adopted by the people you lead.

Be loud through your actions.



Maureen Kaawa

(Chief Finance Officer at Next Media Services)

Experienced Finance Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast media industry and a Certified Public Accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Strong finance professional graduated from Oxford Brookes University.

Kaawa has extended financial management experience, having previously worked as Finance Manager for Metropolitan Republic Africa, an advertising agency operating in Uganda under the flagship of Metropolitan Republic South Africa. Kaawa also worked as a bookkeeper for Cayman Consults.

In the past, Kaawa has managed finances in the hospitality industry, regularly conducting accounting and periodic internal audits for Holiday Express Hotel.

Danze Edwin

Danze Edwin

Danze Edwin is a Ugandan Marketer, Content Curator, Television Show host, Producer, Gamer, Creative Media Personality, Social Media Influencer, and Brand Ambassador.

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