Vivacious and tenacious Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson is a co-editor at We Will Lead Africa. The author, consultant and Women4Africa nominee is passionate about changing the narrative about ‘Africa’ and ‘Africans’ in a way that’s more than just academic …
Name: Yabome Gilpin-Jackson
Describe yourself in three words: Vivacious, tenacious, fearless. My friends say: sun, fire & steel
Previous occupation: Always been… consultant, academic and writer
12-month goal: Complete my current writing projects: We Will Lead Africa Vol 1, research book on Resonance: Where Transformation Happens After Trauma, and a paper on Identity Interrogation. Global reach with my research, writing and speaking through promotion of “Identities: A Short Story Collection” and “We Will Lead Africa”
Describe your outlook & what makes your work, unique: Fearlessness in speaking my ‘truths’ and doing what I feel compelled and passionate about.
Your greatest career highlights to date: Making Consultant a year after I started in the field of Management/Organisational Consulting, after I’d been told the fastest career path for an Analyst to make full consultant was five years. Then, there’s the work I am doing with my colleagues and dear friends who are my co-editors for We Will Lead Africa Volume 1, to be released on Africa Day, May 25, 2017. “We Will Lead Afric”a is a collection of everyday African leadership stories making a difference on the continent.
Is international appeal important to you? Yes, in terms of broadening the conversation about global African identities and leadership in Africa. The academic audience that I have been speaking to addresses one group only. However, a broader, fuller, more complete narrative of ‘Africa’ and ‘Africans’ is needed across the board.
Most important piece of equipment you use in your career: My notepad – hard copy or electronic. I always have one. I’m always ready to jot down ideas, thoughts and sketches wherever I am.
A typical day for you is: FULL! Up early, get 3 kids ready for school, get myself ready while they have breakfast made by Daddy before he leaves for work, out the door, drop off at school and daycare, off to day job (consulting), respond to business requests for private consulting on my breaks (if I take them), finish work and head off to campus to teach evening class (on semesters when I am teaching), head home (between 9pm and 10pm), eat a light dinner while hanging out with hubby (who picks kids after work, gives them dinner and puts them to bed when I’m teaching), finish off class notes and post next assignments, do emails and/or write and/or prepare for a workshop or speaker event for another hour or two, bed. When not teaching, the evening is full with family time, activities with the kids, date nights when we can get away. Somewhere in the day, I’d have paused to reflect and pray and when I can, I get some exercise – these two, I haven’t yet found a perfect schedule/routine for in the fullness of life, but I keep them in focus.
What legacy would you like to leave? That I inspired leadership action in everyone I interacted with (especially my children) by the example of my life and actions.
What is the hardest professional decision you’ve ever had to make? Currently, to keep working a 9 – 5 while I build my writing career; all I want to do these days is write all day.
Your biggest career mistake: Waiting too long to start pursuing my passions. Every time I start doing EXACTLY what I love doing, it all seems so easy …
Most common & avoidable mistake you see in younger people in your career: Holding back because they are young! My fearlessness has served me since I started my career in consulting when I was considered ‘too young.’ I see so often that people who emerge early to lead their field go much further in making significant contributions to their fields and impact on people’s lives. It’s never too early to start.
Single piece of advice you give your mentees: What are you afraid of? What does your future look like if you succumb to your fear and do nothing differently?
You live in: Vancouver, British Columbia (and I’m terribly homesick for Freetown, Sierra Leone at the moment).
Favourite food: Fried plantains and prawns
Biggest spiritual/life lesson you’ve learned: I need faith and community and personal passion to thrive
What do you do for leisure? Reading (ha!), Afrobeat dance parties (with myself if I’m in the mood to dance but alone!) Taking myself to the spa, a getaway with my hubby.
One app or piece of technology you cannot do without: My laptop which is also my tablet, entertainment centre, notepad, has my spiritual reading apps …
Your most over-used word/phrase: “Seriously!”
The release of Volume 1 of “We Will Lead Africa” is slated for 25 May 2017. Her other events can be found or booked here. In the mean time, you can catch up with Dr Yabome Gilpin-Jackson on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube.