Ogilvy SA: Abey Mokgwatsane

Ogilvy SA: Abey Mokgwatsane


I’ve received a good deal of advice in my career but I think the piece that I keep coming back to is the one given to me by my uncle, Ken Modise, who has been my mentor in business for a long time.
He said, “Strategy is not about what you do – it’s about what you don’t do.”

In business we are faced with an abundance of choices. A winning strategy is as much about choosing what not to do as it is about choosing what to do. With so many choices, it’s important that you choose which things to let go of so that you have the resources available to focus on the few really important things.

Sometimes doing so can be a tough call – it’s often tempting to try and be everything to everyone, but that can’t be your strategy. I have found that asking yourself what is really important to the business and choosing to focus your energy on that, automatically helps you to eliminate other potential strategies and choices. It’s not about ignoring the potential for doing things in a different way, but rather about choosing your course of action from all the choices available to you – and then sticking to it.

It’s advice that I’ve found to be relevant to decision-making at all levels in business and I implement it on a daily basis.

“Strategy is not about what you do – it’s about what you don’t do.”


Juliet Pitman
Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.