Besides the resilience to push on during a global crisis, directors also need to adopt the humility of seeking advice from experienced individuals who can act as the wind beneath their wings.
I am lucky in the sense that resilience has always been a part of my life growing up. Being born in a refugee camp in Uganda, I have seen the resilience my parents had in getting my siblings and me safely to Australia.
When it comes to humility, I believe that the hardest thing for mostly young and new directors to do is to seek help from those who have walked down a similar path. This was my case, especially at a time when my ego was getting the best of me. However, after making enough mistakes on my own and realising I could have avoided several of them if only I’d listened to more experienced individuals, I started to surround myself with mentors who were in the space of what I was doing and aimed to do.
One of these is Tim Fairfax AC FAICD, who I met during his time as the Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, when I was awarded a student leadership award.
I remember Tim’s words hitting me at a time when I had taken a substantial risk for my business. He told me to, “continue taking risks, but when taking them, don’t be too stubborn”.
Hearing those words from a more experienced director, backed with practical examples, was truly an eye-opener.
Tim generously decided to invest in my growth by covering the expenses of the Company Directors Course as well as my AICD membership. Without having put my ego aside to reach out for help, I believe I would not be where I am today.
Duku Foré’s autobiography, The Poor Kid With Rich Dreams, is published through Thrive Revenue.