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André Nortjé, Strate CEO, on how to get the most out of your career

How did you find yourself on this career path?

I do not think I found this career path – it certainly was not always that deliberate. What was deliberate though, was my need to always take on new and complex challenges. I never shied away from taking on more responsibility – even though I sometimes had little experience in that industry. Surround yourself with strong people who will help you figure it out.

What and who inspires you?

Creating a compelling vision for businesses and then leading people in realising the vision inspires me. Towards the latter part of your career, you also measure success differently; it is understanding the impact you have, not only for business outcomes, but also for people outcomes.

As for who inspires me – I love the “underdog” who excels against the odds.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out their careers?

Do not get stuck in one business or industry. Focus on gaining broad-based experience in multiple businesses and industries. It will serve you well later in your career.

If offered, take on leadership positions as soon as you can. Learning how to work with people is critical to all aspects of life, not only your work life.

What has been the most valuable skill you have ever learned?

Always start with defining the outcomes you want to achieve first – spend the most time here. The “how to execute” generally flows easily from here!

Understand the psychological drivers behind change. Change is the only constant, so if you are exceptional at managing it by taking people along on the journey, this will differentiate you.

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