Being a natural people’s person, Lebogang is a self-motivated individual who is inspired by passionate teammates who are driven to achieve their goals. She is fueled by taking on new challenges, as she believes that life is a race which is meant to be won leading. She prides herself in leading both her teams and herself with integrity and humility.
Lebogang Mzantsi, Head of Business Development at Young Living Essential Oils, is a woman that is not only passionate about entrepreneurship but about seeing more and more women becoming their own bosses.
I’m positive that young aspiring entrepreneurs in this country should be exposed to more business figures like yourself; so kindly tell us who Lebogang Mzantsi is and where does her success root up?
Lebogang Mzantsi was born in the late 70’s in Soweto. She is the eldest of 5 siblings and a mother two 2 teenage boys aged 17 & 15 years old. She was brought up by her late maternal grandmother because her parents got divorced. My success firstly I will say comes from my humble beginnings; I give credit to my late maternal grandmother who was very influential in my upbringing. She advocated that for one to be successful, you must work hard to achieve success.
Born in Soweto in the township of the less privileged, she always said that one must study hard to be able to change the conditions we lived in. We did not have a helper during those days, working hard meant starting to cook and doing my laundry and that of my siblings at the age of 9. Doing house chores and being responsible at the early age shaped my focus and I worked really hard to finish school and went to study further at Pretoria Technikon. I dropped out after the first year due to limited funds as my grandmother couldn’t afford to pay for my fees. I looked for employment and my first job was at Woolworths in a retail store.
I would always admire management who at the time I felt they have a great job as they are able to work sitting down. I worked so hard because I was tired of working 8-hour shifts standing on my feet. I knew if I had to change my situation, I needed to double my effort so that I could be promoted. I was determined to change my situation, so I worked hard and for me that was how I got noticed and subsequently promoted and, to date I work very hard to achieve my set goals. While that was a long time ago, since then, I haven’t looked back. So I would say goal setting, determination, working hard coupled with a zeal to always achieve more than I needed to, got me to where I am today.
Besides being a successful and professional business developer, how do you manage to lead aspiring entrepreneurs into reaching their successful entrepreneurial goals?
I believe that you should lead by example. Human nature is such that people instantly switch off when they are being dictated to. I am proud to be a part of a company who values people as much as the quality of the products it produces. People are of paramount importance to Young living, that ethos flows down from the executive management to the staff. Having said the former, I believe in working hard, being approachable and instilling value in those who are placed in my team.
I believe that you can achieve anything you want to if you are strategic and work hard – I try to instill these values into my team by leading by example.
Why do you believe your superiors entrusted you with roles such as working in senior level positions which were focused on developing and managing high performance sales and marketing teams in competitive environments?
Firstly, I would say given my years’ experience in the industry and the achievements I have been able to secure throughout my career – again, working hard and doing more than you ought comes into play. My work experience spans over 20 years and from that, I’ve spent about 12 years working in network marketing. The knowledge I’ve learned in industry paired with years spent in my career spoke for itself. I believe that the determination I displayed together with having achieved tangible results got me noticed and gave my superiors reason for them to trust me with their businesses. I have managed successful teams which always exceeded the expectations.
Which of the many brands that you have carried on your shoulders would you select as the major contributor towards the experience you’ve gained around your areas of expertise?
Woolworths, TransUnion, Avon, Justine, Clientele Life, Amway South Africa and IQ Academy
Why is strategy a crucial fundamental to successful businesses?
Strategy is pivotal to the success of an organisation. Distractions, particularly in our day, are rife and a clearly outlined strategy helps to carry the vision forward. It helps us as a team, collectively achieve what we set out to achieve at the onset from when the vision was first birthed in leaderships’ minds. In short, a strategy helps to provide vision and prevent individuals from losing sight of their company’s aims.
Being a self-motivated individual, why do you think it is important to contain passionate team mates in a general development of any form of business?
I have learned that you can pretty much teach yourself anything in the world, provided that you have the drive to learn. This means that you must have passion! People who have a good spark of passion are those who have achieved notable success both, for themselves and, for the betterment of others. Think of some of the biggest achievers of our time – Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Bill Gates – all of them had one thing in common: Passion. I love being around positive, motivated and passionate people. Hence, I base the bulk of my hirings on these tenets.
What would you point out as your greatest challenge in your industry, and how did you face it off successfully?
The greatest challenge I have faced is representing a company which gets mistaken for a pyramid scheme. Sadly, in the South African sense particularly, many people have been scammed having given their hard-earned cash away to unscrupulous businesses who base their model on pyramid schemes. Most people don’t know how to discern between a pyramid scheme and a legitimate network marketing or, direct selling company. Aside, a word of advice to the readers would be to how to spot a pyramid scheme. Legitimate network marketing companies offer the sale of a tangible product whereas pyramid schemes do not.
Kindly paint for us a picture of who Lebogang is outside her work environment.
Lebogang is a divorced mother to two teenage boys. Outside work I enjoy travelling and spending time with my family. My second love is coordinating events, I love cooking and hosting so any family event I attend, I get tasked to event-coordinate – no complaints though as it is one of the things I love to do! I also enjoy the finer things in life namely, reading and playing music. I also take part in community events.
As a traveler, which destination did you leave your heart behind in?
Mauritius, I just love the serenity of the place, their beautiful beaches and the food is to die for.