Niven Postma | Let Go & Lead | Gagen MacDonald

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Niven Postma | Mastering office politics: The critical leadership skill

Sep 20, 2022

Business leader, writer and speaker Niven Postma speaks with Maril about leadership, tough empathy and the importance of navigating office politics.

In this episode of Let Go & Lead, business leader, writer and speaker Niven Postma speaks with Maril about the importance of recognizing and navigating office politics. She talks about Niven’s leadership journey — one which, ironically enough, began with her getting fired — and proceeds into a wide-ranging conversation about the balancing acts of leadership. They discuss the “tough empathy” that leaders must find, what it takes to get politically smart in the workplace and how Niven’s ideas sync with Gagen’s Three Things that Change Everything framework.

About Niven Postma

Niven Postma has held executive positions since she was 29, in a career that has spanned multiple sectors and roles. Before starting up her own consultancy and embarking on her PhD, her positions included being CEO of the Businesswomen’s Association, Head of the SARB Academy at the South African Reserve Bank and Head of Leadership and Culture for the Standard Bank Group (the largest bank by assets in Africa). She is a Harvard Business Review and Inc. Africa contributor, a strategy and culture facilitator for clients in industries as diverse as financial services, retail, media and manufacturing and an expert lecturer and facilitator on women’s leadership development programs around the world. She is also the Chairman of the Board of Cotlands, an NGO that does cutting-edge work in the Early Childhood Development space in South Africa and beyond.

About Let Go & Lead

Let Go & Lead is a leadership community created by Maril MacDonald, founder and CEO of Gagen MacDonald. Maril brings together provocateurs, pioneers, thought leaders and those leading the conversation around culture, transformation and change.

Over the course of the past 12 years, Let Go & Lead has existed in many forms, from video interviews to resource guides to its current iteration as a podcast. At its core, it remains a place where people can access a diversity of perspectives on interdisciplinary approaches to leadership. Maril is also working on a book incorporating these insights gathered over the past several years from global leaders and change makers.

Maril has interviewed over 120 leaders — from business to academia and nonprofits to the arts — through the years. In each conversation, from personal anecdotes to ground-breaking scientific analysis, she has probed the lessons learned in leadership. From these conversations, the Let Go & Lead framework has emerged. It is both a personal and organizational resource that aims to serve the individual leader or leadership at scale.

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