Maggie Mushira: Partner, Global Search, Shortlist
Confronting insecurities by speaking about them, balancing strategy with execution, and how great leaders can step in and succeed with almost any team
The Everyday Leader podcast features inspiring individuals building and leading teams across Africa. Listen to episodes on your preferred podcast platform here.
About our Guest
This episode’s conversation is with Maggy Mushira from Shortlist. She is a seasoned executive recruiter, executive coach and trainer. For the past 11 years as a search consultant, she has gained extensive experience working with various global multinational, startup and scaleup companies in various sectors. Prior to this, Maggy held various roles in Standard Bank Africa covering business support, recruitment, training facilitation, learning and development and customer experience management. In her role as an executive recruiter, Maggy has successfully overseen the end to end executive search process responsible for over 300 c-level hires across Europe, Middle East and Africa. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a Masters degree in Business Psychology. She has completed her British Psychological Society recognized training in assessment and development centers. She is also an IFC accredited executive coach and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) UK.
Everyday Leadership in Action
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Maggie:
Confronting your insecurities out loud can help overcome imposter syndrome: In her first job at a bank, rather than volunteering or applying, Maggy was identified and appointed as a team leader of a customer service team. She was aged 26 at the time, and while she had found herself gravitating towards various leadership roles growing up, part of her was still anxious to step into this professional management role. She was supervising a team of 5, some of whom were older and more experienced than her. She worked with several mentors and coaches to help her overcome her anxiety. She discovered that speaking aloud her concerns about feeling unworthy of leading others and having her coach mirror these thoughts back to her made her realize that her inner thoughts made much less sense. This gave her the confidence she needed to move forward.
Great leaders can step in and succeed with almost any team: In her current role at Shortlist, Maggie often searches for senior leaders to fill vacant roles at companies. Her guiding principle is that future performance is best predicted by past performance in similar roles. In finding an ideal list of candidates, she relies heavily on interviews, psychometric assessments and reference checks. While there are many types of leadership styles and team dynamics, she has found that leaders with high emotional intelligence (EQ) are able to adapt successfully when joining an. Often exceptions to this are when the existing top leader, such as the CEO at the company has a low EQ to begin with, situations which she tries to avoid.
Learning from the ground up enables a leader to balance strategy and execution: Because Maggy entered the recruitment industry in an entry-level role and worked her way up to a senior leadership role, she is able to relate to the challenges of her team. She also finds herself comfortable switching between an executional and strategic lens on a day-to-day basis when guiding her team’s work.
The Everyday Leader is a podcast featuring conversations with leaders from across Africa’s companies, organizations, and governments about their experience managing teams and projects throughout their careers.
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