I was fascinated by maritime law and the complexities inherent in it as a body of law, so I was in the search of a university that could deliver on not just theoretical principles, but also practical knowledge. I chose the University of Southampton because it has a great reputation for maritime law; Southampton delivered on both theoretical and practical training, we even went out to sea!
Law is like a universal language that you have to know. You can’t escape it. You go through life either learning and knowing it, or paying those who have learnt and know it to help you with it. I wanted to be in the former category, hence my love for law. I studied public and international law, business law and social sciences, private and Islamic law and then maritime law. I even chose aviation law as an elective. It’s pretty safe to say I’m in love with Law.
My masters course was only one year, which meant I had little time for anything other than studies. However, I did play a bit of badminton, learned how to swim and tried to get over my fear of kayaking, which didn’t really work, and tried to develop my mooting skills. I just dabbled in everything that interested me, trying to take it all in before the year ended.
The Discovery Centre is an organization focused on the training and development of individuals and organisations. As CEO I get to travel a lot; I am hardly in one location for more than three weeks at a time. I go where there is a training and development need my organisation can fill so whether it is speaking to students at Howard University in Washington DC, or training military personnel in Guatemala or even law enforcement officials in Paraguay, travel forms a major part of my job because training and development is not location specific.
There are many things about my job that I love. In fact being able to say I love my job is a reward in and of itself; not many people can make that declaration. I enjoy teaching people how to believe in themselves again. Life happens and most of the time it results in us losing confidence in our brilliance and not believing that what we have to contribute to the world is worth much.
I feel like an excavator most of the time, excavating buried dreams, hopes and aspirations. I love teaching people how to bet on themselves and live intentionally, creating the quality of life they want. I especially love seeing results in individual or organisational growth and development.
Motivational speaking gives us that push that re-awakens us to possibilities. We need that as a first step to overcome the vicissitudes of life. However motivation is not enough to create lasting change. I deal with systems, strategies and structures to creating sustainable change. Motivation without the consistent implementation of an intentional and sustainable plan is really just wishful thinking and because I love seeing results, wishful thinking just will not do.
It’s fulfilling being a published author. Writing a book is what approximately 90 per cent of the world’s population says they will do, but never get round to because it takes an incredible amount of discipline and confidence in your message. I have co-authored two personal and business development books with Brian Tracy, one of the most respected authorities in business success and personal effectiveness. Both books won awards and were recognised by the National Academy of Best Selling Authors in Hollywood. However, the book I’m most proud of is the one I am currently writing targeted at helping multi-talented people overcome the confusion and pitfalls that comes with their wiring.
I have a soft spot for Southampton because I feel like I found myself there. I wrote my first book there, made major life and career decisions in the serenity of the Southampton Common. I had a house there for as long as I could before it became impossible to keep going back for long periods of time. I still visit Southampton when I can; there is so much to love about the city.
I definitely would. The community is great, the lecturers are brilliant and genuinely care. They support you even after you have graduated. I still have lecturers like Johanna Hjalmarsson, Lloyd’s List Research Fellow in Maritime and Commercial Law, who was my lecturer on marine insurance law, following my progress and sometimes sending me resources as I travel and train around the world. The resources at the University of Southampton are also world class. I still use the library every now and again. I am a very proud alumna.