“What I always say is it’s heads, hearts and your soul. Does it feel right in all of those areas? So the head meaning the more logical analysis part of the opportunity; is that something that makes sense for me? Does it make sense for my career? Is it something that I’d like to do? And then ‘heart’, Is it something that I’ll actually be excited doing? Is it something that I’ll enjoy?” And then ‘soul’ because it has to be really fixed to my core value.” – Rhonda A. Ocha
A reality of the current conditions of work and leadership is that the existing barriers and misconceptions make it difficult for women to achieve leadership roles as easily as their male counterparts. Even when women apply the same growth steps as men do, they tend to receive backlash and discouragement. Necessitating the need for strategies that will enable women to leap to top leadership positions.
Our conversation with Rhonda A. Ocha, the Director of Market Delivery at Mastercard Europe, is part of the Leadership Conversation series and is now on Spotify and Apple podcast.
Rhonda is a Belgium-based American who has worked at diverse global companies for over 30 years where she has handled roles in business development and key account sales in the United States and Europe withing the courier, internet, airline and financial technology industries. She is a member of the Mastercard Women’s Leadership Network steering committee since 2008, an Advisory Board member of PWI Brussels and an active contributor to their STEAM Programme.
What does it mean to take the leap to leadership and how have you successfully done that?
An important part of any growth journey, especially leadership, is change and Rhonda highligthed this by first noting that the time for change is different for everyone, just as our journies are different. She added that, “Each person has to evaluate and determine when it’s time for them to change. And for me, I’ve always had a plan, but those touchpoints of when it’s time to change and leap to a new position or role is not always known in advance.” This establishes the importance of creating a career plan and understanding the importance of being flexible and adapting to challenges on your journey to realising your career/leadership growth goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to be adaptable and accept changes, but you also talked about taking opportunities. How does one take the opportunity and rise to leadership?
Although there are success stories about people who ‘grabbed’ major opportunities immediately after they became available, major career opportunities are best evaluated before being jumped into. Rhonda elaborated on this when she said, “When you see an opportunity, there is a period of evaluation. You may recognise that it is something for you but sometimes you don’t always recognise it.” This creates the importance to hesitate in order to analyse if that opportunity ‘feels’ right, in both an emotional and objective/logical way. If your analysis aligns and generally feels right, then it’s time to take the leap.
During the Rise and Lead Summit 2019, you said that your mother inspired you to get to where you are today. Can you tell (us) more about that?
Rhonda admitted to the inspirational role her mother played in her life. “My mother was a big inspiration for me but it actually started a generation before with my grandmother”, she said before she went on to talk about the inspirational entrepreneurial story of her grandmother who managed the family’s farm, and in the process taught Rhonda’s mother about the importance of being financially independent.
Growing into leadership is not a linear journey. Want to learn more about the topic, understand how Rhonda has overcome the challenges on her journey to leadership, and prepare yourself to take the leap to occupy leadership positions? Listen to this episode on your favourite podcast platform, and be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss anything!
The post EP12: Taking The Leap To Leadership With the Director of Market Delivery Mastercard Europe, Rhonda Ocha appeared first in Rise and Lead Women Forum.
Rise to Leadership Podcast, which was launched on March 8, is a bi-monthly show (weekly in March) that explores topics that matter while sharing stories of inspiring leaders who are creating positive changes.