Lead at Marketplace

Sonia Apondi
4 min readMar 5, 2021


Last year, the global pandemic caused a lot of disruptions with quite a number of organizations embracing remote work for their employees. It was a difficult moment for everyone. We had to adjust to the new norm brought about by the pandemic. Never in my wildest dream imagined that I would work from home. This sounded awkward and weird to me. At the back of my mind, I wondered how I was supposed to balance my online classes with Lapid Leaders Africa and at the same time handle office work without supervision. Amidst the pandemic, I was privileged to finish the first module of self-discovery at Lapid and graduated successfully virtually. At the beginning of the year, I completed my second module of lead at the marketplace and will join the third module of lead in Africa before the end of the year.

My experience at Lapid has been amazing and awesome. I learned notable lessons that I intend to apply at my workplace and in my day-to-day life. Some of my top three biggest lessons were on executive presence, seven principles of highly effective leaders, and different types of personalities at the workplace. Executive presence is the ability to project confidence and gravitas under pressure. A person with executive presence has the ability to read the room to enable them to influence the audience. In a world of complexity, it’s vital to be noticed, heard, and to be trusted. This is an essential competency for both employees and their leaders. What struck me the most were the importance of being self–aware, managing my peers and supervisors, being fully present, gravitas at the workplace, and professionalism and accountability.

Employees demonstrating executive presence at their workplace by knowledgecity.com

Self-awareness i.e. Understanding my strengths and weaknesses and fully utilizing them at my workplace. From the session, I was able to jot down my key strengths and weaknesses and how I intend to improve on my weak points.

Managing my peers and supervisors meant that everything I do should be able to let my boss shine and at the same time develop good working relationships with my peers to reduce conflicts that would ultimately drive the organization effectiveness and competitive advantage.

Being fully present- It’s important to be proactive during office meetings by actively listening to what my colleagues say, asking questions on the agenda, volunteering to write the minutes, thinking ahead of my managers, and having a clear point of view on important choices at hand and at the same time support them with examples.

Professionalism and accountability which is being accountable for my mistakes, failures and promises without blaming others.

Sharpening the saw! ‘’ We must never become too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw’’. This was extracted from a popular book called the 7 habits of highly effective leaders by Steven Covey. More and often practice makes one perfect towards what they do, be it cooking, sports, and at the workplace. From this principle, I got to understand that for my personal development I need to seek continuous improvement and have a balanced program for my self-renewal and growth as an individual such as:

Mental which involves learning new skills, reading, writing, and teaching.

Social and emotional through establishing strong networks for future use.

Spiritual whereby our belief systems determines what we believe in and physical entails fitness, exercise, and embracing healthy eating.

Embracing different types of personality-In a world full of uncertainty and the unknown, it’s only those that are dynamic that will appreciate the importance of teamwork and accept that we are all different in our own ways. This topic reminded me of the quote from the book of Genesis that in the beginning, God created mankind in his own image and his own likeness. It is worth noting that every individual is unique in their own way. In a nutshell, learned concept of personality as summarized in the diagram below:

Picture by Astute Communications

These were my major key take-outs from the lead marketplace sessions where under the executive presence I was able to ask for feedback from my colleagues, what my presence convey at the workplace, and areas that I need to improve on. From the sharpening the saw concept I was able to learn about fundraising concepts for non-profits. I did a portfolio project for fundraising strategies that will be adopted by Lapid Leaders Africa and presented to judges.

Lastly,I have been able to embrace teamwork at my workplace effectively by seeking to understand rather than to be understood. The concept of DISC personality made me understand the different types of personalities at my workplace. We are all human beings and at the same time different in our own ways.