Helping Leaders Achieve Sustainability

Love and Success

Last week I celebrated my birthday and I was so humbled by the amount of love that I was showered with. This included my social media friends; ex colleagues; business partners; clients; family and close friends.

This experience once again taught me how fortunate I am to be a human being and to be surrounded by such love and affection. It reinforced my long held belief that people are inherently good. They are often looking for outlets to show and express their love and kindness. Of course someone’s birthday gives them that opportunity and space to say …you are one of us; you matter and we love you.

Given that reality what is then my reciprocal responsibility as a person? Surely it must be to receive love and also give love. It must also mean to live a life that is worthy of being called a human being and do onto others in the same way I have been or like to be treated.

I cannot fulfill this responsibility if I don’t attach a significant meaning to being human. It means that my definition or outlook of success must include the notion of giving and receiving love. You can give love by fully embracing the concept through a number of ways namely:

Building lasting relationships;
Applying your trade to the best of your ability;
Being an ambassador of excellence;
Looking after yourself; and
Being a good citizen by living a life of integrity and benevolence.

In my next workshop (s) to be held on 28th October and on November 18 (choose one); I would be exploring the concept of SUCCESS for individual participants.

I know for me it definitely includes LOVE and am curious to find what it means for others.

As I conclude I would like to end with a quote on Love….”We loved with a love that was more than love” ( Edgar Allan Poe).

Love and Success to all

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

012 9987337

Interested in attending the workshops?  Visit: to register.








Sweet taste of success

Last month we ushered in a new season…Spring. For many of us it is a time for renewal and rebirth. It is the last season as we prepare for summer and the year-end. People use this time to get rid of all of winter’s practices (good or bad). For some people it is time to get back on the grind and accelerate the pace to the proverbial finish line.

The hive of activity that is focused on self-renewal; care and rejuvenation is encouraging; fascinating and a marvel to watch. I genuinely love the idea of people doing more and working on being more. I have also witnessed some feelings of despondency when people either realize that they are either behind on their plans or have regressed. Whatever your personal circumstances are, we should not despair; as you can start again…why not?  It’s a season of second chances.

I have decided to write about success as I have observed that oftentimes the anxiety around the spring season is linked to progress towards someone’s dreams and goals. I have spent the winter months reading about the concept of “success” and sought to translate it to what it means for me. The more I researched the topic the more I realized the personal nature of the meaning and application. Just to give you a teaser on some of the thinking and discoveries

The key to success is to start before you are ready” – Marie Forleo

“Unsuccessful people make decisions on their current situation. Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be” ( 

“ I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t have” (Words of Success, Instagram)

It dawned on me that success means different things to different people however at the core of that is a personal decision.   Oftentimes we think about “what would others think of me” if I don’t succeed or measure our success based on others or societal pressures. I do believe that there is a lot of value in benchmarking what we do and our way of being with others however comparing ourselves to others can be quite disempowering and lead to feelings of despondency…”I am not good enough.”

I am super excited to be sharing my discoveries and share them by hosting a workshop series on “Nurturing Success”. During the workshop (s) we work on a personal definition, reflect on our unique circumstances, create the necessary benchmarks and then set up monitoring measures that are unique and tailored to the individual. We do this in a chilled; non-judgmental; supportive and interactive one day workshop (s) on Oct 28 and Nov 18 2017…please choose one day.

The workshops are individually based; foster a sense of collectivism and creativity with the support of a leadership and success coach. There is space to reflect; design and learn new tools for nurturing our success journey.

Let’s face it…being successful is cool…provided you have defined it for yourself based on your own values; dreams and aspirations.

Join me and embark on a rewarding success discovery and individual mapping journey as I can I assure that we all looooove the sweet taste of victory.

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225


p.s. please feel free to contact me if you wanna learn more about this or sign up for my newsletter at




Leading through change

Last week I wrote about “weathering the storm’ and that was a first bite at the interesting topic of leading in challenging times. I gathered enough information to write a second blog on the same issue. Is it not wonderful that notwithstanding the challenging and volatile times that a lot of practioners and authors are sharing with the rest of us their thoughts and experiences on how best to navigate the times?

Let us count ourselves as extremely blessed that notwithstanding the so-called adverse conditions there is enough material at our disposal to equip us with the relevant tools.

John Maxwell’s reflections on the topic are quite encouraging as he asks the question – when do people need a leader the most? He argues that it is in times of volatility and uncertainty, as most people often freeze; stand still; start doubting themselves and there is a lot of indecision. He sights the role the then Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani played during the 9/11 crisis. What had happened in New York was unprecedented and many people were left despondent. The role Mayor Giuliani played was instructive in terms of leading the charges, making the necessary decisions to bring New York back to functionality; created a makeshift command centre whilst calming everybody in and around the city.

Leading from the front requires agility, self-confidence, resilience and clarity of purpose. Great leaders are not the ones who run for cover during difficult times; they stand up to be counted and ensure that they rally the troops and bring a sense of hope and direction, in other words they bring a certain level of calmness to the situation and bring everybody on board in seeing the bigger picture.

It is my submission that in order to play this role a leader needs to have certain attributes that they bring to the party and these I discuss below:

  • Know your worth– leaders need to know what they stand for; what are their strengths and what destination/direction are they leading everybody to?   Often times I ask leaders what do they have to offer; what do they bring to the organisation and more importantly what is their legacy? I often get surprised about how many people have not confronted these questions. My advice is – spend time on these big questions and create clear and measurable indicators for yourself in whatever leadership role you play.
  • Be content – knowing your worth and value proposition put a leader in great stead to lead the charges and often times he or she is less swayed by stuff that derails them from their course. They are able to discern between a small breeze that is creating a minor turbulence from the real winds of change, which might even require a change in strategy and tactics. More importantly, they know when things are about themselves and when stuff is about the environment and are able to respond appropriately.  In addition, they are confident in what they do and don’t personalize things.
  • Strengthen your emotional intelligence – I have come across many leaders and managers who are often not conscious of their impact on others. They could be knowledgeable and outstanding individual performers but are oblivious to the needs of the collective and often lose support from team members just by the way they relate to others.   The doorway to greater emotional intelligence is self-awareness. Ask for feedback on how you impact on people and dedicate time to personal reflection as well.  Maya Angelou famous quote on this is – “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel”
  • Build stamina and grit – this quality is required and gives you that extra motivation to work harder than everyone else.   Angela Duckworth’s work on this is instructive and she defines “grit” as that extra something that separates the most successful people from the rest – it’s the passion, perseverance and stamina that we must channel in order to stick to our dreams until they become a reality.

I am starting Mastermind classes in September in order to work with leaders to build these often intangible but necessary skills. Working in groups and online (video calls from the comfort of your office/home) I will be leading conversations and engagements with like-minded leaders who are prepared to invest in themselves and build their success index up a few notches. If you are game please contact me so that we enroll you accordingly.

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225


p.s. please feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about this or sign up for my newsletter at


Weathering the storm

I live in South Africa, where in the last year or so there have been profound levels of change and uncertainty. Looking into the future, there is an increasing amount of anxiety around dinner tables and people asking what has now become the familiar question – “What is going to happen?” I sometimes wish that I had a crystal ball and had the ability to answer eloquently and with a heightened sense of wisdom.

The more I am posed with this question, the more I see the need to reflect and try and answer it. Primarily for myself but more importantly for the people that I socialize with, be it family, friends, clients and/or possible business partners. It has now become customary and expected at many of social engagements that one has to provide an answer.   Writing this blog is an attempt to answer the question personally and by grace I hope to reach and influence others.

“If one thing is certain, times are uncertain. Still everyone wants a path to success.” Kevin J Daum.

As humans we are all of on a quest to succeed and find happiness whatever the prevailing circumstances might be. It is the one thing that probably separates us, as humans (at least in my belief system)… The one thing that distinguishes us from our co-inhabitants on planet earth. We are always in search of success, happiness and more importantly ‘meaning and purpose’. We seek to make a difference and leave some sort of legacy.

How do you do this in times of uncertainty? How do you lead yourself and others through this often complex and volatile world? With this blog, I will attempt to answer those questions, as I am not one who likes to live by chance or meander around aimlessly without a plan. Some people believe that sometimes “no plan is the best plan.” To me, this is a higher level of consciousness and I must admit I am not yet there. I understand what ‘surrender’ is, and often times I wish that I would develop the competence to ‘give over to a higher self’ or the universe… But I personally struggle to implement this in my own life. I do however ask that you indulge me and allow me to share my thoughts in this regard.

Before I do that, I would like to refer you to a YouTube interview with Satya Twena in Gerard Adams on ‘Leaders Create Leaders’. A big part of me is fascinated by Satya Twena’s story. She came to America/New York with no job, no money and no plan on what she is going to do and today she is running a very successful hat factory. I encourage you to find this clip as her journey and story is very inspiring. However, her starting point might be a little unnerving for someone who is as risk averse as I am.

Let me share some tips for you to ponder and engage on:

  • Embrace change and learn to ride the wave – as indicated change and uncertainty is as certain as the fact that the sun will rise from the east and set in the west. It does not help if you do not anticipate and prepare for this eventuality. A time of volatility and uncertainty can be the best time to prepare adaptation strategies, reinvent yourself, and diversify your offerings. Remember everyone is looking for an answer or a solution so dig deep and think out of the box and provide workable solutions that will give you competitive advantage. Remember, the more the uncertainty there more people would be looking for “how to’’ solutions – Ride the wave and be the go to person during these times.
  • Be focused and stay on course – in order to make it in these times we needs clear dreams and goals that will remain our compass to find our true north or organisational mission. This is not the time to go for short cuts however, it is the time to sharpen our resolve to dream big and relentlessly pursue the mission as if your dreams and goals are congruent with who you are and offer the much desired solutions. So how do you justify using setbacks and life challenges to derail you? Keep moving and continuously put one foot in front of the other!!! Be purposeful, remain focused and before you know it, you will have climbed a mountain! My daily affirmation in these times is – “keeping it moving”.
  • Be grateful and celebrate success – Being grateful of how far you have come is a great motivator for dealing with uncertainty. Count your blessings and as you do this daily, you will be amazed at how much you have achieved and marvel at all the great things that you have to offer. I keep a gratitude journal and when the chips are down I go back to it. Often times I realise how far I have come and how giving up will be throwing away all of those gains. Of course, the small celebrations (in economically challenging times, even a cup of cappuccino as a treat!!) are a great motivator for individuals and teams.

Leading in uncertain times requires a lot of personal resilience and inner strength! However there is nothing that tastes a sweet as a victory once you have weathered the storm.

Pam Yako

Leadership Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225


p.s. please feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about this or sign up for my newsletter at




In about a month ago I was asked to propose a toast at a graduation ceremony and as it is often customary in doing the honours one has to say a few words. I chose three points to make namely: humility; importance of family and community support and lastly the importance of continuous learning. For purposes of this blog I would like to explore the third topic i.e. continuous learning.

Brand Pretorius, (In the driving seat: lessons in leadership; 2013), identifies continuous learning as one of the key attributes of effective leadership. He makes the point that “our capacity to grow determines our capacity to lead”. He quotes other respectable leaders like Mahatma Gandhi who shared the following wisdom: “Live as if today is your last day, learn as if you are going to live forever”. He also refers to Warren Buffet – “We need to go to bed every night knowing a little more than what we knew when we woke up that morning”

There are many leaders who have pronounced on the subject of continuous learning and this does not necessarily mean academic or formal studies (although there is ample room for this as well). It means opening yourself up as a leader to learn new ways of doing things and learning to enrich your knowledge base with new things, discoveries, approaches and innovation. This unfortunately cannot be done unless you adopt what many scholars call the growth mindset. Dr Carol Dweck describes a growth mindset as an “understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed”.

As a leader in a continually challenging and volatile world you would agree with me that in order to make the cut or dare I say, survive – you need to be well ahead of your game and you need to understand that what worked yesterday might not necessarily work tomorrow. This does not mean that you should not embrace the wisdom of yesteryear or experience but it is embracing the past, the present and the future. The one way you can bridge this gap is to adopt a different mindset – one that believes in growth and continuous learning.

To share some of the tips for continuous learning:

  • Reflection – where am I in my career, business etc.  Is this where I would like to be? What works and what does not? What could I do differently and what could I do more or less of? Do I need to change my approach to get a different result? I find this gives me incredible insight into my leadership journey and helps me to constantly calibrate a better path.
  • Read – you cannot read enough as everyday someone somewhere is generating new knowledge and approaches to resolving the world’s problems. Many successful people have one thing in common – they read and some even study!!!! We are very fortunate these days there are a number of applications available on our Smartphones and Tablets that we could collect mobile books e.g. Kindle, Blinkd, Audible etc. Of course, for some people nothing beats the feeling of turning the page on a hard copy book with your fingers – whatever mode you use – just READ.
  • Feedback – seek feedback from people you trust and value their opinion and as well as getting 360 degrees assessment from colleagues and peers. Many organisations have only one-way performance appraisals, which, are often done once a quarter or year if lucky and they are often one-dimensional. There is nothing wrong with asking people’s opinion on your performance – this will give you incredible insights and areas of improvement and growth – how did you experience me in that meeting? What do you think about my idea? In you view how can I show up effectively in the world? Etc.
  • Embrace failure – at some point in our lives you will fail and this is nothing more than an opportunity to learn and do things differently and try new approaches and ways to do things. This might include improving how you did it the last time. Many successful leaders today have one thing in common and that is at some point in their career/business lives they have failed or were rejected – do not despair – rise again and come back stronger and as they say – learn from your mistakes.

On the 24th of June 2017 I am hosting a workshop on Mid-year Reflections and Accelerate your leadership success in 2017 and beyond. This is an opportunity for you to take a minute and look at what has worked, what needs to be improved and recalibrate you leadership journey. Should you be interested please contact us on +27 12 998 7337 or

Happy learning

Pam Yako

Leadership Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225


p.s. please feel free to contact me if you wanna learn more about this or sign up for my newsletter at


Sisters united in song

On the 8th of March we celebrated international women’s day and I had the honour and privilege to host 9 sisters who shared their personal journeys, lessons, struggles and all of this done simply for the love of others. I still get goose bumps on how many women out there actually are prepared to make the time, subject themselves to some deep questioning from me and do all of this at no cost. I want to salute and celebrate these women and count myself as being blessed to able to hold the space and create a common platform for women to be themselves and open up, share, offer themselves for others not to make the same mistakes and all of this is done out of love.

Being the host of the 9 interviews I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of commonality, it was as if they were singing from the same script. It became very clear to me that there is unity in action and all I needed to do was to make it possible. There was a common song and personally I love music and more importantly how does music both literally and figuratively ignite a higher level of being for people and who they are.   These women were basically singing the same song and these were some of the lyrics – “How can I build as I grow”, “Lift as you rise”; “If you can’t change the wind at least adjust the sail”; “Find your purpose and dance to your music”; “Embrace your vulnerability and not be apologetic about being emotional”; “Be the change you want to see in the world”

The common theme was presence, claiming your power and being authentic and all of this was raised with such melody and high levels of resonance that I started to feel that I was part of something big and large whilst being visionary, practical and even spiritual. It felt like a revolution in the making and a gigantic movement of significant proportions and it could not be harnessed and be confined into a small place. I realised these were the sweet sounds of sisters united in song and with a clear purpose and zeal to make the world a better place for current and future generations. Every woman shared a part of herself in a phenomenal way and I became convinced that the future is bright and the sisters have arrived and are prepared to be bold for change and are willing to build as they grow.

I was left with a big challenge in my hands and that is to write up all the interviews and make them available for other people to experience them and my team and I are busy with this project – we will write up everything and make it available soon. In the meantime the spirit of the 3-day conference made me think of one of Quincy Jones’s songs called “What good is a song” and just to share the chorus with you.

“What good what good is a song

If it cannot move you, it cannot release you

What good what good is a song if it is not good enough to sing?

If aint got not message, if it cannot inspire, if it can’t sent you higher”

Listening to the singing of these ladies certainly sent me higher and inspired me to do more and be more and strengthened my resolve to work with women leaders in helping to create a better world.

To find out how and to get access to some of our programs please visit my website and sign up for my newsletter ( or contact me at or more importantly please comment on the blog and let us enrich the message as the more the merrier and the sweeter the song sounds.

Most specifically sign up for my programs at and click on events and if you want a free 45 minutes coaching session please do not hesitate to contact me at or call +27 12 998 7337.

Your sister in song



Celebrating Women’s Efforts

On the 8th of March 2017 we will be celebrating international women’s day (IWD) across the world.  On this day hundreds of organisations celebrate and recognise women’s efforts through a myriad of events.  The colour for this year is purple which symbolises dignity and justice.

The 2017 celebrations are held under the theme  “Be bold for change”.  I love this theme as it galvanises unity in action  aimed at bringing about change.

This reminds me of Mother Teresa’s quote on change – “I alone cannot change the world, but I can still cast a stone across the waters to create ripples.”  This is very bold and is the essence of today’s blog.

We live in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world and this requires leaders who are able to stand for what is right and be responsible so that they can take us on a different trajectory.  It requires boldness and resilience as the least we owe our children is to create a brighter future for them and restore peace and hope.

We need leaders who live on purpose, be responsible and responsive  whilst embracing the change the want to see in the world.  As we celebrate women’s efforts and dare I say – struggles,  this year I have two questions for you:

  • Are you a change agent or your role is to follow or play a wait and see game until others throw a stone to create ripples?
  • What difference are you making in your own life, those around you or the broader society?

In celebration of this year’s IWD I am hosting conversations with 9 phenomenal women who will be sharing their leadership journey including their hopes and dreams.  In addition, they will be sharing their highs and lows and hopefully spur and motivate the rest of us to go out there and be change agents.  For further details please visit my website and sign up for the newsletter or simply send an email to

Finally in honour of the role played by many women across the world let us go out there and play our part in making the world a better place by embracing and being the change that we want to see in the world.

Yeah to being change agents!!!

Pam Yako

Leadership Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225 (should you wish to book your free 45 minutes Skype coaching call)









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