Tafadzwa Bete Sasa is a personal efficiency and team productivity trainer, consultant and speaker. She is the Managing Consultant of GoalGetter consultancy and the creator of the GoalGetter Planner which is a customized daily organizer that has been dubbed ‘ the productivity coach in your diary’. Tafadzwa works with individuals and teams to help them translate their resolutions, ideas and visions into SMART goals, develop action plans for these goals and track progress periodically. Tafadwa participated in the World Economic Forum on Africa 2016 as a panelist on the session ‘The Power of Play’. She was named by the Moremi Initiative as one of Africa’s 28 Most Outstanding Young Women leaders in 2014. Tafadwa holds several leadership positions but at the core of all her work, she is all about getting things done.
Goals are important but people either don’t get them right or don’t follow through with them. What influenced your decision to focus on ‘goals’?
I was also one of the people who was not getting goals right nor following through either. The turning point for me was that I got really tired and frustrated by what started to look like recycling resolutions year in and year out without making progress. As I introspected and sought wisdom from others, I learnt the importance of a system that had clear goals, yardsticks to measure progress and a sense of urgency around. I liked the idea when I heard it but I fell in love when I practiced it and saw the results.
Where do people lose it with goals and what are some steps to successful goal setting?
In my experience, the biggest pitfall is ambiguity in what it is one wants to achieve in the first place. Most people know they want to for example be better on numbers on the scale, more digits on their bank accounts and closer to God but do not create clarity on what that really means. The SMART model of goal-setting is my personal favourite- that is:
- Specific – What do you want to do? Best expressed as a verb e.g. run, make,
- Measurable – Quantity- best expressed in numbers e.g. 25 mins, 5 kgs, $200
- Achievable – Capacity vs requirements – do you have current capacity or at least realistic potential to develop the required capacity?
- Relevant – is this goal relevant to your bigger picture and not just a trendy or popular goal?
- Time-framed – by when exactly do you want to have achieved that goal?
If you were to identify 3 habits that would help people increase their productivity and success, what would those be and why?
Assuming one has now set a SMART goal, the three habits I would recommend are:
- Commitment: It is not enough to set SMART goals then go back to life as usual. Commit to making some changes for your new goals and establish what has worked for or against your goal in the past. You need to decide which thought patterns, actions and even speech you will maintain and what you will change.
- Action plan: What will you do on a daily or weekly basis – a great way to lock in a way of thinking or behavior is finding ways to incorporate it into your everyday life. So craft daily or weekly activities for your goals e.g. I will run 3 times a week, take an online course every week, attend church once a week etc.
- Scheduling: The ultimate game changer is deciding when you will do what. For as long as there is no set time, it is easy to procrastinate and avoid doing a task. So, decide what day and what time an activity will be done. You are most likely to work out if you decide to do it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 05:30 and 06:30 than when you just say you will do it sometime this week.
You’re obviously self-motivated and creating opportunities for yourself. What lessons can you share on how to step out and make one’s aspirations happen?
In the GoalGetter tribe, we believe in embracing the process and paying the price. Most people fail at their goals because they have no idea what that process is and some of those who do are unwilling to pay the price. I have created opportunities for myself by being willing to understand and establish what the process is, enduring the process and making the sacrifices.
What are your thoughts on what should guide young women in their choices and decisions during the early stages of their career?
Follow your dreams. Our society has created such a great expectation for young women complete with marriage date and when to have kids. And we have been socialized to always be mindful of the biological clock. In the book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg talks about how women sometimes start to hold back and say no to careers opportunities because they may get married or have kids in the future before they even have a boyfriend!! Young women must have the courage to discover their passions and ambition and pursue them unapologetically. This is your life – live it on your terms. Do not hold out on your future.
As a leader, what’s the one piece of advice that women aspiring to be leaders would do well to heed but tend to for some reason ignore?
Do not be super woman. Women in leadership, particularly younger ones tend to have the courage to pursue what they really want but still cling to the notion of being a superwoman who can also still meet all the other traditional expectations and norms. There are things you will have to sacrifice and let go of- and honestly, it really is not a train smash if you are not the one who is not bathing your baby everyday or ironing the laundry every week. I go with the rule of the 80/20. What 20% creates 80% of the results that really matter to my family and friends and I focus on that. It’s okay and healthy to ask for help and focus on what really matters, whatever that is for you.
Initiatives to support young women leaders are on the increase. What would you say are the unique benefits of women-only initiatives and where do you think future programmes should put the emphasis?
Women only environments bring out a powerful balance of strength and vulnerability that is almost unimaginable when there are men around. Alone we are so powerful to express our true strengths yet vulnerable enough to lean on each other and support each other. I have definitely grown and become more refined in my identity in women only environments, which was very critical for my growth, and excellence even in male dominated areas. More emphasis should be placed on helping participants heal and release their past and stop discounting their potential and futures based on past mistakes. A lot of mindset work makes a whole lot difference.
What advice would you give to your older self say 10 years from now and what principles/lessons are you learning now that you believe will serve you well then?
Wow this is a very interesting one because it’s usually advice to younger self. To older me…hmmm….I guess it would be to never regret anything from my past and remember that I am in a corridor of endless possibilities and if at any point I missed a door , life has a way of ensuring I still ended up where I was meant to be.
As a goals- guru so to speak, what would you say is the most challenging goal you’ve achieved and what was critical to its accomplishment?
My hardest goal to date has been converting GoalGetter from just being my passion into developing business systems and models for it. When you run your own business, a lot falls in your lap. I have thoroughly depended on my tribe to help me through this from having my friends distribute planners in other cities or our wonderful ‘tete’ watching my son as I am out pushing for business. My coaches and mentors walked me through a lot of it and my husband has literally been the wind beneath my wings. An innovation hub in my city – Bongohive has also been a great help. It will be a year mid November since I was thrust into the deep end of business but the great news is I made it and from here we can only get better. Every new level of the journey demands a new version of you- figure out that change then embrace the process and pay the price.
For more information on Vera Ng’oma’s work and resources in leadership, personal and career development and excellence building visit www.verangoma.com and www.excellicaleadershipgroup.com