CFOs turn to their outside interests to de-stress


A look at how CFOs balanced their work and play time this year.

The role of CFO is stressful, so business leaders need to take some time out of their busy schedules for their favourite hobbies as this helps with stress management and can even enhance their skills.

CFO at Sappi Southern Africa Pramy Moodley (featured) said she started baking during the Covid-19 lockdown as a way to manage the stress of navigating the crisis.

“Whenever my work pressures got too high, I would go into the kitchen and start baking cakes for my family” she said.

She added that as the pressure piled up, she baked even more, and her two sons and husband could no longer eat at the pace she was baking. They then suggested that she take the leftover cakes to work. “My coconut and chocolate cakes are quite popular, and people have started placing orders for them in advance,” Pramy said.

Read more: CFO Pramy Moodley baking her way through crises

Leadership likened to building a bike
CFO of Douglasdale Dairy Brad Wentzel didn’t let Covid-19 slow him down: he said he learnt a lot from his hobby of building motorcycles, and said leadership is a lot like building a bike.

“As a leader, you must invest in understanding how to use those tools, even if it means leveraging the knowledge of those who were experts before you,” he said.

“As with my now second iteration of my motorcycle build, I have been investing in expanding my leadership knowledge base, asking questions and identifying the gaps in my abilities. As a result, I have come up with my own leadership manual.”

Read more: The service manual to becoming the best version of yourself

Cars, cars, cars
For Yota Baron CFO of Ford Motor Company South Africa, her passion lies in cars and that assured her that a career in finance was suitable for her. Yota said she first fell in love with Ford when she was eight – when her father bought a blood-red Ford Granada coupe.

“I started at the company in a very junior finance role, and my story shows how you can succeed in a corporation over time if you are prepared to learn, to work hard, and to grow as a person and leader," she explains.

Read more: Yota Baron has been pursuing her first love, cars, her entire life

Ready to take the world
AEEI CFO Jowayne van Wyk, said a trip to the US sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (better known as NASA) at age 13 was a game changer.

He adds that he has been obsessed with planes since then: “It was an unbelievable experience to go through, with people from all across the world participating in courses and simulations. We even got to hear Neil Armstrong tell us about the moon landing,” Jowayne said.

He said that the experience sparked a dream for him, and he returned to South Africa hungry to take on the world.

“Coming from a small town, I thought if people could land on the moon, and I could have this experience at such a young age, then I could achieve anything I set my mind to. It encouraged me to dream big and not to limit my thoughts.”

Read more: The spicier side of Jowayne van Wyk's life

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