Founder and managing director of Newmella & Associates
Wendy Mahoney is the founder and managing director of Newmella & Associates. Newmella
was launched over eight years ago with a desire to help people and organisations to access human potential for innovation. Over the years of working with some of Africa’s largest brands, they have refined their approach and created unique programmes that accelerate the self-inclusion and inclusion of others necessary to accelerate sustainable innovation.
“That is, innovation able to sustainably solve wicked problems in this rapidly evolving age and add value to the entire ecosystem, ensuring we all thrive in this new age,” explains Wendy.
Accessing human potential
Wendy’s professional passion for accessing human potential and enabling people to thrive transcends into her personal life. She currently chairs the 30% Club campaign for Business Engage in KwaZulu-Natal, which focuses on driving inclusion within the corporate space. She serves on the National Business Initiative Council for KwaZulu-Natal focused on inclusive growth and on the Tedx Durban, Vega KwaZulu-Natal and Institute of Innovators and Inventors advisory councils. She is a non-executive director for Dare Restoring Worth; an NPC focused on the development of youths in rural areas. Together with Cathie Lewis and David White, Wendy has initiated the Green Lights Sustainability Initiative (GLSI) to help business leaders better understand sustainability as a global dilemma.
Wendy has been blessed with an amazing career and in reflecting on what may have motivated her, she would say it was a combination of five aspects. “Resilience in the face of challenge, courage to step into the unknown, desire to give of my best, belief that anything is possible and those who have walked beside me and seen my potential when I did not.”
Her last two corporate positions were the sales and marketing director of CNBC and Forbes Africa and the chief revenue office of Trudon owned by Telkom. Wendy commented, “I became a regional executive at 29 and a national executive at 33 and I could attest my success to my experience working for a Dutch media company based in Belgium between the ages of 23 and 25. That experience was a turning point in my life because of the training I received and the belief the company had in me to start managing teams at the age of 24. Knowing how that company’s training changed my life has driven me to impart the same life changing experience to others, allowing them to access their potential as mine was.”
Wendy commented that her resilience has been both a blessing and a challenge. She has had three burnouts, the first at 25, the second at 31 and the third at 36. She explained, “You see most people stop when they are tired, but I didn’t, because of my resilience I just kept pushing until I fell over. I call my third burnout, my Hiroshima. I literally burnt my life down and was lost for a number of years.”
Somehow in the midst of that burnout Newmella was founded and found its way simultaneously to Wendy. “We grew up together. I was very lost after exiting corporate as success had defined me and I didn’t know who I was without my career. I had to acknowledge that three burnouts was indeed a pattern and that I clearly had a lot of inner work to do. I took a sabbatical and lectured innovation at Vega for two years while doing my Masters at Vega in Brand Innovation and researching the language of the mind (NLP) in the United States and Australia, because I wanted to understand what happened to me.”
“Why does one wake up one day, have it all and be dissatisfied, burn it all down and walk away. The short answer is that I was sublimating, work and my success is what I used to fill the void of not feeling enough. I started the long process of truly valuing myself, knowing that I was enough without achievements, to learn the dance between surrender and free will, and guiding others on the same journey with my learnings.”
Wendy’s journey to self-inclusion and the role self-inclusion plays in accelerating innovation, has allowed her to learn that you cannot accept another unless you accept yourself. This learning is crucial to accepting the diversity essential for innovation and has driven Wendy to develop a new framework for leaders that can solve the complexity of problems in existence,
enabling all to thrive.
That, says Wendy, is what her PHD research, which she plans to complete by 2024, aims to provide the world. She is in the process of publishing her first book on leading in this new age and developing a world class learning management system specifically geared for agile leadership.
On the personal front, Wendy says, “I am in the process of uniting networks in KZN for the purposes of catalysing hope and inspiring potential. Whatever we focus on we see more of, I believe if we focus people on hope, there will be more to feel hopeful about.”
Her advice to young women is that every human was created unique, and that we all have unique God given potential. “Our job is to discover our unique potential and then help others do the same. We don’t have to be anything or anyone else other than who we are and then figure out how to bring that gift to the world.”
Wendy added that truly nothing is impossible, when you believe there is a way, there is a strategy, there is a person to support you; nothing truly constrains any of us other than our own minds.
Wendy commented that she is passionate about playing a significant role in the community both professionally and personally. She is a professional speaker and moderator and has produced a lot of online content over the years, all geared at inspiring a better way of being and doing, for a better world together.
Wendy concluded, “I aim to leave a legacy that will live beyond me that contains a formula for this better way. In all I do I seek to enable and inspire human potential. This is what gives me the greatest joy.”