Asanda Gcoyi: Talent on its own will never be enough

Asanda Gcoyi
Many people are talented in something but don't invest time in becoming the best - Asanda Gcoyi Click To Tweet

It’s time again for you to meet one of the people that make the SLA website run smoothly. We’re talking about our contributor family who SLAY with their writing. Asanda Gcoyi is a talent hunter, she’s the CEO of CB Talent, an empowerment hub dedicated to all things talent development.

Through her passion, Asanda works with entrepreneurs and highly successful people in order to help them take their success to a higher level. We’re all lucky that she shares some of this wisdom in the articles she writes for SLA.

A certified master coach, Asanda Gcoyi is the boss of turning talent into something more powerful.

What defines talent to you?

I think it is ones’ ability to showcase what you can contribute in any given context. Talent has to be pegged to passion for it to be meaningful. Further, talent requires hard work to be of any use.

Many people out there are talented in something. Quite a few take joy in just being talented in whatever they may be talented in; yet they do not invest the time required to become the best at what they are talented in.

As such, talent on its own will never be enough. Think of any successful footballer and imagine their work schedules. You will find hours and hours of hard work behind that success; not only god-given talent.

You will find hours of hard work behind success; not only god-given talent @Coachasanda Click To Tweet

What goes into starting a talent development firm?

It is one of those businesses that stem purely out of passion. You must understand people, and what motivates them and be able to ascertain how this all fits into the overall business imperatives.

Luckily, you don’t need much in terms of start-up capital, so bootstrapping does the trick for the first six months or so.

Tell us about being the Chairperson of the Ethics Portfolio Committee (EPC) at Coaches and Mentors South Africa (COMENSA). How did you find yourself in this role?

When I returned from Beijing, China in December 2014, I was actively looking for ways to reintegrate myself into the South African business landscape having been away for over four years.

As a qualified coach with a keen interest in understanding the professional from a South African point of view, I thought the best thing to do would be to find opportunities to get involved. Luckily for me around mid 2015, the committee had an opening, I applied and I was invited to join.

Less than a year into it (around 6 months), I was asked to take over as chairperson. It was an excellent opportunity for me to develop professionally in the important area of ethics and conduct of the profession.

I really enjoy working as part of the ethics portfolio and I am often challenged out of my comfort zone, which is very important for me. If it is not a challenge, I lose interest.

Asanda Gcoyi graduating at the Henley Business School in Johannesburg Executive Speakers Programme
Asanda Gcoyi graduating at the Henley Business School in Johannesburg Executive Speakers Programme

You studied in China’s Peking University; can you share more about your experiences as an African woman in China?

Peking University and Tshingua University are the top two universities in China so you can imagine the competition! I had no doubt in my ability to get admitted because they too take into account your GMAT scores for business school studies.

As the only and first African woman at a Chinese top institution, it was both an honour and a testing time for me. There was still a ‘curiosity’ on Africa and Africans so in a way I was representing more than just my race and gender but the entire continent!

I have never been one to be meek so my time at Peking was characterised by involvement both in academia and the social space. I was voted into the class committee a month into the studies and I was responsible for the events portfolio. That tells you a lot about my ability to be me irrespective of where I plant myself.

Asanda Gcoyi's experiences in China gave her the background to be a multicultural specialist Click To Tweet

What four skills would you say is needed for someone to be a multicultural specialist?

To be a multicultural specialist, I would say one needs;

  • Advanced self-awareness;
  • Exposure to diverse environments is key;
  • Actual experience working in cross cultural environments and
  • Areputation (track record) of successful multicultural engagements.

How is your understanding of the East and West behind your “developing the leader in you, to impact business” idea?

The East and the West are so different in many respects and understanding these differences is key in this day and age. Taking these two and infusing local perspectives (read African) is what I believe can set one apart in business, and professionally.

For the longest time, we were concerned about the ways of the West and didn’t pay much attention to the east until China became the powerhouse it is today. I think that to really be a global citizen/leader, you can’t not understand these two within your local context.

Are there any particular things you look out for in finding people to support?

I look for a can-do positive attitude.

What will be your New Year resolutions?

I have three New Year resolutions

  1. Take CB Talent to the next phase —accelerate growth!
  2. To be kinder to self.
  3. Grow spiritually!

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