User story:

Feroza Haripersad
Foschini - Store Manager
I picked up mistakes easily and disciplined people very quickly … They would call me “Mufasa." And then I started Mygrow. No one at work calls me Mufasa anymore ...
Beyond Metrics / User Stories / Feroza Haripersad

Since starting my Mygrow, I have become a lot more approachable.

I used to just shoot my mouth off, but now I actually listen. Instead of reacting off the cuff, I now process before responding. The team was scared of me and never brought anything to me, they always went to the floor manager first. Now the team feels a lot more comfortable with me – they even WhatsApp me at 11 pm! (So the pendulum has swung a little far to the other extreme and I may need to create some boundaries 🙂 But the current situation is much better than it used to be.)

Let me give you some of the backstory to better understand how I have grown through being on Mygrow.

For most of my life, I have been someone who is very driven and motivated to succeed. Truth be told, I was driven to make my mark on the world to prove my siblings wrong. At work, I was a hard task master. I had an “iron fist”. Everything was always black and white. I picked up mistakes easily and disciplined people very quickly. (I even got into trouble with my boss once for pushing my team too hard, and pointing out all their errors.) The other managers were scared of me when I came to their floor. They would call me “Mufasa”.

About 12 years ago I lost my mother and it was like the whole point of life shut down. I couldn’t see any reason to carry on. I realised that so much of my drivenness was rooted in looking after my mother. I retreated, I stopped investing in people, I went on a downward spiral and felt like I was in a deep dark hole. (My 7-year-old daughter said to me at the time “You used to be the fun one, now you are the boring one.”)

It took me many years to come back from that, and then just as I was emerging from that darkness, my eldest sister died. She was 17 years older and like a second mother to me. That loss plunged me even deeper into that deep dark hole all over again. I completely disconnected from people. I became that Iron Lady at work. My team felt I was pushing them too hard. I would hide away at work and just criticise and bark orders from afar.

It was during the hard lockdown that I really began to process and deal with the way I was responding to the world as a result of these losses. I had the time and space to take stock of who I am, and how others see me. I know covid was tough on so many, but hard lockdown was actually really good for me. I learned to accept things. I realised I couldn’t be in control of everything.

“And then I started Mygrow, and the growth journey has helped me to see that, even though I had started to work on myself, I still had a lot more work to do.”

I have done a number of other self-development courses in the past, but Mygrow has been the first one that I’ve been able to be really disciplined with. The way it takes you on a journey over a long time was really helpful. The techniques we do on Mygrow have helped me a lot. Now, when something happens at work to tick me off, instead of reacting right away, I pause. I listen. I try to understand and then I respond more constructively, instead of letting my emotion lead me to react in ways that were damaging to others, and to my own leadership influence.

At work, this has helped my relationships in very real ways. The team is more at ease with me.

In short, before Mygrow, my loss made me shut down and disconnect from the world, or else lash out at it. Now I am able to be more in control of myself. No one at work calls me Mufasa anymore 🙂



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