Each one of us has a life story, and the way we frame our stories provides what Prof Bill George calls, " the context to our lives, and through such stories we find our passion and inspiration to make an impact in the world". Three key influences have shaped my life- firstly, my late father, Mzwandile Mali, whose drive, lessons and inspiration propelled me into leadership positions at a very young age, secondly, amazing leaders and influential individuals who guided and moulded me from what was regarded as " the lost generation" into the person and leader I am today; and lastly, team members, followers, colleagues and staff members whom I have had the honour to lead over the years.
Through these influences, my life story has been about leadership and influence - in volunteer, elected and appointed positions in the Private Sector, Public Sector, civil society organisations, corporate boards, youth and student movements, community organisations and sports organisations across the African continent. This has given me unique insights and perspectives into the challenges and opportunities of leading people in different settings. Although I may never fully repay those who contributed to my leadership growth over the last 30 years, I do have an opportunity to contribute to the success of those I lead today and those who will take on leadership roles in the future.
One of the ways to do this is through these monthly Conversations with Lincoln aimed at leaders and aspirant leaders across the Continent. It is aimed as a platform for reflection, learning and deep introspection about how to be better leaders. I will be writing these as a fellow leadership practitioner, a fellow traveller on this leadership journey, whose own education remains incomplete.

As we progress in our leadership journey through these Conversations, we must heed the caution of Jim Collins, that when we succeeded, we must look " outside the window" and give credit to others who contributed to our success; whilst on the other hand should we stumble or fall, we must look " in the mirror " and take responsibility and full accountability.
To give true meaning to conversations, I look forward to hear your stories, experiences and challenges in your leadership role or aspirations to lead. I dedicate this Blog to my late father, Mzwandile Mali, the people who supported me throughout, and to the people I have led over the years... You have all made me a better person ... I hope to keep on growing through more deeper and meaningful Conversations with some of the sharpest minds on this Continent.
-Lincoln Mali