• 27 Jun 2023
  • SBS-ED
  • 5Min

Maersk Africa Leadership Development Programme feature: Selvie Govinden Naidoo

Maersk Africa Leadership Development Programme feature: Selvie Govinden Naidoo

“I always believe in continuous learning. I wanted to become a better version of myself while remaining authentic.”


Selvie Govinden Naidoo, who comes from a finance background, won the Top Achievers/Director’s Award for the Maersk Africa Leadership Development Programme. “With prior international experience both globally and across Africa in my 15 years of being part of the AP Moller Maersk family, I believed I could promote diversity and contribute to the group’s learning by sharing my ideas and views. This motivated me to join the Maersk Africa Leadership Development Programme as I believed it would serve as an excellent opportunity to build on my existing strengths and to continue to support my organisation’s growth strategies and initiatives.”

The Maersk Africa Leadership Development Programme is a customised programme from Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development (SBS-ED). The programme is specifically targeted at building a diverse future leadership pipeline, and is renowned at Maersk. 

Read on as Selvie Naidoo shares how the programme has impacted her professional and personal life.

“I did not only want a management transformation – but also the opportunity to shape my mind so I could better navigate the strategic journey we are on at Maersk while giving myself the chance to meet great minds from all over the African continent,” said Selvie. 

Her primary development goal was to gain more business acumen and access cross-functional experiences. “I was looking to accelerate my leadership development and be better equipped to fill more senior leadership roles in the fast-paced and ever-growing environment,” she shares. 

“I hoped to gain learnings that could practically apply in my day-to-day professional and personal life. I also wanted to build a strong internal network with existing and future leaders, to enable synergies across countries, while facilitating the roll-out of best practices to benefit both Maersk and myself in the long run.”

Selvie shares that she enjoyed several of the modules and utilises her learnings in her daily working life. 

With her finance background, she found the Strategic Financial Management module to be a refreshing reminder of how impactful financial elements are in an organisations’ decision-making.

Another module that stood out for her was the module on Managing Customer Service Excellence. It highlights the need to always place customers at the heart of any business vision. “A core pillar for me is to always to understand the customers’ needs first and not just the product offerings we have,” she shares. 

“It is vitally important to focus on your customers’ experience and take necessary, proactive measures to ensure that you deliver a world-class service all the time. This has filtered into my daily routine, as I have made it a habit to constantly remind myself about how important it is to think of the customer first before making any decisions.”

She also puts into practice many of the coaching techniques she learned in the programme. “I have found that these techniques helped my team and other colleagues in their career development,” she shares. 

“For me, it is about helping them to learn, rather than teaching them something. Equipped with such techniques, my team members have been able to find their own solutions, which helps them to maximise their own performance. Thereafter, I can leverage their strengths and knowledge to free up time for more strategic projects, which has been really useful.”

“Furthermore, the module on Driving High Performing Teams has really helped me to understand team dynamics and to assess and evaluate my team’s effectiveness. I put these learnings into practice during my last finance conference. We determined the ideal position of our team, and identified actions to enhance the performance and functioning of our team to achieve this position – which took everything to the next level! In my daily role, I use my learnings of inspirational leadership from the module on Competencies For Leadership Effectiveness to guide others and to lead in better ways. It has helped me to bring the best out of those around me.”

“Overall, the Maersk Africa Leadership Development Programme has helped me to be able to see the bigger picture, bringing about new perspectives,” Selvie shares. “It has helped me to better align my approach as I handle projects and become more empathic and understanding of others – not only professionally but in all interpersonal dealings. I have increased my understanding of self-care, self-awareness, and mindfulness – which I use in both my professional and personal life to reassess my personal goals. My husband and I have even practised Systems Thinking at home through the use of future life planning activities and reflections!”

Reflecting back she shares, “The experience and learnings gained through the nine-month duration of this programme have been invaluable, and have certainly exceeded my expectations. I believe I have grown significantly through doing it. The programme has provided me with the vehicle I needed to improve my performance as a leader. I feel like I am now equipped to fill a more senior leadership role.”

SBS-ED partners with organisations to develop their leaders and managers, either with off-the-shelf programmes, or through bespoke programmes that are specifically developed and tailored to the needs of the organisations. We can create an entirely new programme that meets your people’s exact development requirements. Alternatively, organisations can tailor existing knowledge and the delivery thereof according to their specific requirements. For more information about these in-house learning solutions, complete the contact form on this page.

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