In conversation with Momentum’s Letshego Rankin, Executive Head of Institutional Investments at Momentum Investments, about the power of inspiration.
Since she was a young teen, Letshego has built up an arsenal of meaning ful mantras that she uses to “pump” herself up, on demand.
Her go-to quote is the immortal words, first said by author Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that frightens us.” It’s a quote that “pumps” her up as much today as it did when she said it to herself at her first professional interview, back in 1995.
The interesting thing about inspiration is that by simply letting our “light” shine bright, we become a shining example to others. Letshego says that in her view, often this is more impactful than inspiring through words.
In fact, she explains that there have been several women throughout her career (including now, in her role at Momentum as the Executive Head in Institutional Investments) who have thanked her for being a role model, simply by striving to be the best version of herself that she can be. “I take it very seriously – to pay it forward,” Letshego replies, when asked if she is mindful about the potential that we all have to inspire others. “It’s important that women not only own their success, but also share their success.” She continues that she’d like to inspire “tenacity, resilience, focus and integrity” in other women, especially those who are looking to follow her footsteps as a custodian and caretaker of others’ wealth.
She firmly believes that by inspiring more women to enter the financial arena – both as a profession and for personal empowerment – there can be a sustainable and significant change.
So then, who has inspired Letshego herself?
Well, first on her list is her mother, who Letshego says was the crucial example in teaching her the value of being driven today. Having recently graduated with her Doctorate, Letshego’s mother was always studying while raising a household of children.
Speaking of family, Letshego also tells the story of her grandmother, a clear role model, who raised 11 children all while running the day-to-day operations of the family farm. In fact, she used this to argue that while finances are typically “a man’s world”, since the dawn of time women have proven more than capable. This belief of the potential that lies within each and every woman informs Letshego’s thinking.
One important piece of inspiration that she took from the many female role models that she looks up to, is to first focus on your career – as a means towards financial freedom – and then to prioritise a plan to manage the assets that you acquire, making them sustain you in the long-term.
Looking further than her immediate circle of successful women, Letshego identifies Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook’s COO and author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead – as someone that she looks up to, especially in terms of how to be highly driven in the workplace while achieving balance with one’s home life. As a mother of four, this definitely comes in handy for Letshego.
Rounding out her list, Letshego says that she’d love to pick Michelle Obama’s brain, something that millions of women around the world can relate to. Mrs. Obama is someone who has not been scared of her light, shining bright and leading the way for others.
Letshego’s own light shines brightly in what society may view as a male-dominated industry, showing other women, that we, as women, are powerful beyond belief.