Having spent many years of my life in Durban, I know the Pavilion Shopping Centre very well. It is a sprawling property that, in my mid-twenties, I would go to for shopping, eating out and late-night entertainment. Here’s the thing. Whilst I was doing that in my mid-twenties, Lynette Ntuli, also in her mid-twenties, was actually the GM of the Pavilion! And she was also the first South African woman to ever manage a super regional shopping centre (+100,000 sq GLA) in the country (youth and race aside!!) What a powerhouse and force this woman was and still is. She went on to found Innate Investment Solutions, a professional services firm in the built environment that provides property and infrastructure development services as well as enterprise asset management solutions. Her mission is to provide holistic property development solutions across Sub Saharan Africa. Lynette is also a Founding Director and Chairman of IgniteSA.com, a youth oriented digital media and programme platform which curates content in Education, Skills and Entrepreneurial Development in South Africa. She also sits on the boards and working groups of various real estate organisations and has won many awards and accolades over the years – far too many to mention. I was thrilled to be able to interview her and garner some insights about what it is that drives and inspires her to keep going forward in life.
The Characteristics Of Success | In a recent reflection, I found that a spirit of discovery and adventure have aided me more than I care to appreciate. I am not afraid to start again, or to try things even if failure seems imminent or to ask questions – lots of them. Eternally being open and humble to being a student of life, business, the world and its people means you never grow old at any of it, and you give yourself permission to pivot and evolve.
A Key Talent | The sum total of all my strengths would probably add up to sheer DETERMINATION. There have been so many odds against me and curve-balls on my journey, that without this characteristic I think there’d have been so many points where it may have been easier to let go, to stop, to walk away and never look back.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Believe, really believe in yourself, and back yourself first through any door, at any table and through many things. On the larger stuff, nothing is permanent – money, success, failure, fame – so keep moving, and redefining your successive positions and moves. Also, there is no substitute for hard work and time.
Dealing With Fear and Doubt | I deal with these emotions and energy regularly, from within and externally too. Just being a young, black woman in South Africa who exists in so many dimensions – socially, culturally, economically, professionally – is an extreme sport! The benefit of experience, wisdom, learning and introspection is that you come to a point where you can sit with these thoughts and energies and interrogate their many appearances, their validity, even their motives and start to decide for yourself what you will, can, can’t and won’t digest and how it can or can’t affect or limit you. It’s a constant conversation of “Be Not Afraid”.
Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | I have always loved reading and books and that has been my greatest source of knowledge and information. Lately I am really into podcasts! I can be anywhere and completely zone out and just listen to thoughts and ideas and cultivate my own expansion and growth on every level of my life. The honest result of all that listening is that my current interest in social media has waned dramatically (!!) and I am now so much more conscientious about what is going into my mind and why.
People are also important, a solid tribe who understands your beat as much as they understand your silence. I also love the water and the ocean, and can be found in its peace, beauty and force very often.
Balancing High Performance with with Happiness and Contentment | Us high performance junkies – it can be a lot to handle! We put ourselves under so much time and pace pressure to get to, to be through, to move onward towards, to press..press.. press and don’t give ourselves nearly enough space to step back and look at this life to ask “is this still my dream?”. Sometimes you’re doing all the right things, but everything you’re building on the outside perhaps doesn’t feel as good on the inside. So I’m finding that you have to find your own signature happy ‘middle” and go back to it and into it ALL THE TIME, so you can keep that necessary and healthy perspective.
I am Inspired by | So many people move me and many of my role models don’t know that they are! I am inspired by people whose way in the world is their own, and they aren’t afraid to be about that agenda without bringing harm to others and impressing their walk on anyone else. I look up to people I feel I could follow to war, but also to people whose wars haven’t changed the essence of who they are. Many of our heroes are in plain sight, you just have to keep yourself open to seeing capes in different shapes.