CFO Dineo Molefe recommends a purpose-driven mentality

Home » Interviews » CFO Dineo Molefe recommends a purpose-driven mentality

CFO Dineo Molefe recommends a purpose-driven mentality

Dec 29, 2023 | Interviews

Throughout her professional career and her life so far, Dineo Molefe has always been guided by values. ‘Once we have scaled the corporate heights, have made the money we will make and held the positions we will hold, it will all boil down to whether or not we have made a difference to humanity,’ the CFO of telecommunications giant MTN South Africa says. ‘That is what is important; that is what we should keep in mind in all our endeavours.’

The CFO role within MTN is quite operationally inclined in comparison to other CFO positions. As such Dineo is involved in the mechanics of running the business. ‘At a senior level, roles are how you shape them. You need to determine what your role will be in the organisation according to what interests you and the talents you perceive you have to better the company. I don’t position myself in MTN as responsible for only the finance function; I lead in such a manner that I am jointly responsible for the success or failure of the entire organisation.’

Advice

If she could do it all over again, Dineo says she would allocate less time to work than she did at the start of her career. She advises young professionals to be less hurried. ‘It seems as if we are all under extreme pressure that everything needs to happen now. It is important to regularly take time to pause and evaluate whether what we are doing is aligned to what we were put on earth to do.

 

Dineo firmly believes that we all have a life purpose and that professionals need to assess whether what they are doing is fulfilling that purpose and is aligned to their value systems. One should be guided by what brings one inner peace rather than doing things that please everybody other than oneself.

‘When going down a particular road in your career, have regular check-ins with yourself to see if what you are doing contributes to your peace and joy. Take time to evaluate if it contributes to your wellness, spiritual and otherwise. Set clear boundaries for yourself as an individual that you will not cross regardless of how financially rewarding it may be. For example, don’t take up a job at an organisation whose activities are not aligned to your values.’

Dineo also believes professionals should also apply themselves fully rather than worry about what they are not doing at that particular moment. If you are at work, give yourself fully to your work and likewise if you are at home. Do not try and do everything at the same time – understand who you are as a person and be true to who you are.

‘So, for example, I see myself as a woman whose life’s purpose is to make a positive contribution to all those around her. I am positioned to uplift and contribute to people’s growth and success using whatever means are available to me. I am a person who has been graced with many gifts, including the gift of life and a keen interest in the advancement of women.’

Challenges

In becoming who she is, Dineo has faced many challenges including growing up in abject poverty where luxuries, such as including meat in meals, were very uncommon. In teaching her own children, she stresses the importance gratitude and repeatedly nudges them to be considerate of the less fortunate. Once, when the family was driving through Johannesburg, they saw a homeless boy walking barefoot along the side of the road. There and then she ordered one of her sons to give the boy his shoes. She is nurturing her children to be givers and to appreciate everything they have as a product of hard work rather than something they deserve.

A great challenge for Dineo was losing her husband when she was in her twenties. It was a devastating event.

‘My life has been full of a number of crises including bereavement and stressful work situations,’ Dineo says. ‘I handle these circumstances by focusing on the end-goal and see everything that happens in between as part of the process. Nothing that is worth doing is easy and I have developed resilience from the tough experiences that have come my way.’

Dineo classifies crises into three types: those that happen as a consequence of our actions, those that happen to us despite our actions and those, like the coronavirus, that happen to the entire human race. She believes that with all three, we are given what we have the capacity to handle. She believes that remaining steadfast in pursuing our life’s purpose will give you the necessary strength to deal with challenges.

Seasons

‘There is no endless night . . . eventually morning comes,’ declares Dineo. ‘You should just recognise that life is full of seasons, gloomy winters and sunny summers. It is important to recognise which season you are in and to adapt to what is required of you in that particular season.’

There are various sources that Dineo derives information from as a guide for how to live her life. The Bible is her favourite book which she says gives her the appropriate guidance on the decisions she makes. She reads other books as well and applies whatever noble teachings they may have as long as they do not conflict with the Good Book. She recommends The Book of Joy – Lasting Happiness In A Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

‘The authors reflect on the journey of life and what is important. They cover what really gives joy and meaning to life and what should and what shouldn’t move you as an individual. This book helps you reflect on where your focus should be and reminds you that every battle in life does not need to be fought.’

It is thanks to strong values, a clear sense of purpose and incredible integrity that Dineo moves forward each day and not only tackles her work, but every interaction beyond the office.

This article is an extract from the book Masters of Money – Strategies for Success from the CFOs of South Africa’s Biggest Companies available here – https://www.takealot.com/masters-of-money/PLID90121297?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiAyp-sBhBSEiwAWWzTnmLGsW3EWthrsEzrN69lcPhFqkxkQjPsxSF6CHoP2oj6-XRBtDB5gBoCfA8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

You May Also Like
Financial Minds: LinkedIn
Latest
CEO Rui Morais leads by listening

CEO Rui Morais leads by listening

Rui Morais had a significant role in this growth trajectory and in mid-2021 it was announced that he would be taking over as CEO when Ivan retired. Even though he was only 37 at the time, Rui says he wasn’t daunted by the task of being CEO of a listed entity with a turnover of R26 billion, because he felt he had the necessary support.

Kalnisha Naidoo appointed CFO of Lactalis South Africa

Kalnisha Naidoo appointed CFO of Lactalis South Africa

In an exciting development, Lactalis South Africa has announced the appointment of Kalnisha Naidoo as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective July 2024. Kalnisha brings over a decade of extensive experience in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry to the role, highlighting her strong track record in financial leadership and strategic management.

CEO Ncumisa Mkunqwana’s journey from self-doubt to tenacity

CEO Ncumisa Mkunqwana’s journey from self-doubt to tenacity

When Ncumisa Saba-Mkunqwana fell pregnant in the second year of her articles at Deloitte in Gqeberha, she was determined not to let that halt her career. Committed to provide for her unborn child, she focused on crafting solutions rather than being fixated on the situation.

CA Leandra Matthews leads with empathy and excellence

CA Leandra Matthews leads with empathy and excellence

Among the lessons Leandra Matthews would give to her younger self is not to let your value be defined by someone else’s inability to see your worth; stand up for yourself more and trust your gut.

‘When I was younger, I really doubted myself and my sentiments would get muddled by ums and ahs when I was trying to express myself in meetings. In retrospect, if I prepared myself better, I would have been able to contribute quite positively to the discourse and not let my confidence drop,’ she explains.

Assurance Leader Stephen Ntsoane is passionate about touching lives

Assurance Leader Stephen Ntsoane is passionate about touching lives

Stephen Ntsoane was born and raised in Soweto, Johannesburg where he matriculated at Fonsluminis High School. He went on pursue a 3-year National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting at Technikon Witwatersrand. Navigating his way to a Chartered Accountancy qualification, he did a 1-year bridging course at the University of Johannesburg (previously RAU) and completed CTA at the University of Kwa-Zulu- Natal through distance learning.

Amé Thwaits promoted to partner at EY

Amé Thwaits promoted to partner at EY

In an exciting development, EY Africa has announced the promotion of Amé Thwaits to the position of partner.

Amé is currently the EY Africa Innovation and Digital Leader in Assurance heading a division of 50+ people. She is a registered auditor (IRBA), signing audit opinions of various significant subsidiaries of listed entities. She has over 14 years of mining and financial services industry experience and SEC (PCAOB) and JSE experience.