Karabo Songo | CEO Brave Group

Karabo Songo is a qualified South African brand and marketing specialist with business interests that focus on the advertising and marketing industry. He is currently CEO of Brave Group and has also sat on various industry boards incl. Association for Communication and Advertising and IAB South Africa. He has also been recognized by several corporate organizations through various business nominations, judging panels and awards such as Entrepreneur of the Year, Bookmark Awards, Apex Awards and many others. I caught up with him recently as he shared some of what he believes makes him the person he is today.

My Definition Of Success | Success means having a clear view of where you started, how you tracked with the hurdles as well as the opportunities you took advantage of, the lessons and relationships made along the way and ultimately an appreciation of how far from the start you are as well as the person you are becoming in the process. Success is the ultimate personal moment of reflection. It has changed drastically as it used to be very outwardly focused and started based on material wealth. Over time as I begun the journey of conquering myself, it becomes more everyday about what I can do to bring change to me and therefore impact  the world with an improved version of me. Almost similar to uploading the new “you” just like software updates.

My LIFE-MISSION in one sentence | To Build Incredibly Effective Families Both Professionally and Personally. It is clear to me that great support structures will build the world into a better place.

The Difference Between good And Great | The people who are great at what they do have taken the time & practice to truly occupy their minds/time with the single subject matter. It becomes an actual obsession in my view that you constantly work to improve on one day at a time. The greatest also, more often than not, are the ones that have sacrificed the most to be the best.

A Key Talent |  My ability to listen and connect with points of view that I disagree with. I am an extremely active collaboration partner. It helps me to find joint success for all at the table and also to empathize.

Getting Unstuck | I get stuck on projects daily whether big or small generally due to myself not accepting the level of results that I achieved at the goal or believing we can do better. I generally inspire myself by reviewing great results achieved by other groups in a similar industry or other industries. Post that, I convince myself about the state of mind and commitment that they require to produce the results. I also take inspiration from my teams based on how badly they want to win and I always think that I must do the maximum best not to let myself down. I believe we accept bad/mediocre performance all too easily.

Critical Skills I Develop | Mindset – I believe that managing your mindset is key. I don’t focus too much on my feelings. I focus on what I deliver and will get to the feelings later. Planning –  I am avid planner and I am becoming better over the years. It is fast becoming one of my super powers. Networking & Conversations with People –  I have an ability to connect with people from all walks of life on various subject matters without judging and I think I can become even better at it. This is a skill that’s required for various aspects of leadership and sales.

Lessons I Have Learnt | Time Management – It is important to build a system around you to maximize our daily output. This also includes time to rest, exercise and increase your productivity. An Organized Personal Life – This is a lesson that has come from varied angles of society including business schools, religions, business leaders, etc. It is key to have a clear way of simplifying your life in order to have a productive environment that supports the pace of productivity that you would like to achieve.

Build Existing Businesses – too much emphasis is based on founding businesses and part of the solutions is saving businesses that already exist and scaling them. In SA, people are often obsessed with starting companies but the main thing is to run scale-able businesses whether you started them or not.

One deeply honest thing that most people don’t know about me | I have walked a long journey of finding myself as a man who was raised without a biological father and in a very masculine orientated environment of business where egos, bad & self-destructive behaviour dominates.

It is a tough process to walk the journey of defining what kind of man will you represent in society and to pursue it. It ends up with a lot of sacrifice in relationships and associations chasing values that are not usually endorsed and then dealing with Daddy issues which filter into everything we do as man subconsciously.