Barloworld Ingrain’s Rosetta Tamela on what makes a good leader

CFO Club Podcast spoke to Rosetta Tamela, finance manager – business support for Ingram South Africa (which is a division of Barloworld Ingrain) about what makes a good leader.

Written by: Staff Writer

During her career, Rosetta Tamela has worked at some of South Africa’s largest corporates, including RMB, Nedbank and Sasol. Rosetta now works for Ingram, a division of Barloworld Ingrain as the finance manager for business support. 

In a recent CFOClub Podcast episode, Tamela explained that she was fortunate enough to work with CFOs and be mentored by experts across the finance and accounting fields. 

These are some of the lessons on leadership from her journey that she is passing on to the next generation. 

Great leaders embrace those that may be better than them

“I’ve engaged with so many executives. I will quote one of them, which I learned a lot from (Paul Victor).

“He always said to me, ‘Rosetta, there is one thing that most leaders and managers still fail to understand. When you have strong people in your team who are even stronger than you as a manager – surround yourself with those people. Don’t work against them because if they do well, they represent you. 

“That’s how I think in the leadership space. Most managers and leaders, they still don’t get that right.”

Leaders make their teams’ lives easier

Finance teams operate in high-pressure workplaces. So how does Rosetta help her team manage this workload? 

“I think leadership needs to look at innovation using more technology so that we can alleviate a lot of pressure from the teams to improve on efficiencies,” says Rosetta. “And also, eliminate non-value adding activities so that finance expertise can add more value where required by removing routine work that normally a waste.”

But what does this mean in practice?

“I have implemented a Sage system, an ERP (enterprise resource planning). And then I also implemented a treasury system. It also improves the processes and eliminates a lot of manual work that was done. So I do feel proud of myself.”

Mentorship builds leadership and vice versa

“I’m very passionate about the growth of young talent,” Rosetta told the podcast. 

“So when I had the opportunity to have an intern reporting under my space, I made sure that I dedicated some time to coach her, train her and give her all the valuable information that she needed. 

“I thought of myself at that age when I started at RMB, that someone also gave me the opportunity and the person dedicated the time. So I find it a good thing to also do the same for someone else in order to see the talent of young people flourishing. 

“It also makes you feel good when you see someone under your leadership doing well after you’ve trained [them]. You’re like, ‘Wow, I’ve done a good job on this one’.”

Rosetta is a parent, which shapes her views on the importance of mentorship. 

“If you are a parent, you must think of your kids as well, that someone, somewhere, will have to do the same (mentor). Yes. So it (mentorship) comes from that angle of saying, Let me do good because I’m also a mother.

CFOClub Africa members can listen to Rosetta’s full podcast. To learn more about becoming a member, follow this link.


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