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Enable people by inspiring them

Beke, an associate partner in London, gives her views on leadership and working at McKinsey.

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Beke is an associate partner in London. She has worked for McKinsey for seven years, in London and Johannesburg.

Tell us about your path to McKinsey.

I studied Aerospace Systems Engineering and joined an engineering firm straight out of university. I stayed there for five years, then, ready for a change, enrolled in business school. A year into London Business School, I realised I still did not know what new career I wanted to pursue, so I decided on consulting to test multiple industries and topics while developing my leadership skills.

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Tell us more about what you are passionate about outside work? How do you manage to make it work with a demanding career?

I used to think about balance as making choices between work and life until a mentor wisely encouraged me to think about living a full life. I spend time on everything that is important to me. Part of life is work and part of it is not, but both parts are equally important to my happiness and well–being.

In my non–work life, I love to spend time with family and friends. We travel and explore foreign cities and cultures. I’ve managed four trips so far this year. My sisters and I also care for an elderly parent and it is important for me to spend real quality time with my family.

You joined McKinsey to develop your leadership skills. What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is about enabling people to accomplish things they otherwise couldn’t by inspiring, coaching, connecting and building capabilities in them .

You are part of the team planning Inspire, a women’s leadership event. What prompted you to get involved?

I have always been passionate about developing women leaders, although men and women have helped me along my leadership journey.

Searching for a way to give back, I helped establish Inspire, a women’s leadership event for future leaders from the UK and Ireland. Leading this event helps me contribute to the growth of the next generation of women leaders and gives me an opportunity to connect with other women who are on different parts of different journeys. The interactions and sharing that occurs at Inspire helps me grow as a leader.

If you are looking for new ways to develop your leadership capabilities and networks, Inspire might be the event for you. It’s a two–day workshop in which participants will stretch and challenge themselves and learn how to play to their strengths. Click on the link below to learn more about Inspire and apply by 28 June.

Apply for Inspire