Work Smarter Says Matsi Modise

Work Smarter Says Matsi Modise


Vital stats

  • Company: SiMODiSA Association
  • Current position: Managing Director
  • Visit:

On big goals

I don’t like easy. I love a challenge. It’s just about finding a way to achieve your goals. I’ve learnt that with most businesses and organisations the ingredients are all there, but they aren’t always working well together.

You need to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve if you expect your whole team to work together towards one attainable goal. That starts with your vision; you need to be able to articulate it. And then you need the right team to execute it.

Related: Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs

On productivity

You generally know what needs to get done – so just do it. The only real secret behind productivity is simply to avoid procrastination. You also need to realise that you can’t do it alone.

Build a team with complementary competencies, and then give them the freedom to do what they do best. You’re a conductor.

Find people you trust and you can direct them without micro-managing them.

On being militant

I’m incredibly tough on non-delivery. There is always a time for play and rest within the work place, but no excuse for non-performance and mediocrity.  We should always aim high.

On selling a vision

Passion and energy sells. You need to believe in what you do, because if you don’t, how will you convince other people to believe in you and your business? In my previous life as a banker I learnt this lesson the hard way.

I didn’t believe in what I was doing, and so I felt suffocated by the environment. You can’t make sales, create a loyal customer base and grow your business unless you can sell your vision, and that starts with belief.

Related: 10 Successful SA Women Entrepreneurs’ Top Advice On Balancing Work And Family

On work/life balance

I’m not a balanced person. I compromise sleep, family time, friend time and personal events in favour of my work, but I also understand that I’m building something and it’s a sacrifice I need to make.

One day I’ll find more balance, but now my focus is on realising some big, specific goals, and that takes time and attention. These things don’t happen overnight.

On shaping the future

Taking the helm of SABEF is exciting for me because this organisation has the ability to shape the future of South Africa. But if that’s a role you want to fill, you need to take it seriously.

If you want to change communities, you need to be able to engage with them at their level, understand them and listen to what their needs are. No decision is ever made in a bubble.

Claim to fame

Has taken over the helm of the South African Black Entrepreneurs Forum (SABEF) and aims to create one unified platform that links all other entrepreneurial associations, incubators and funders in South Africa.

Read next: 10 Dynamic Black Entrepreneurs