FD Kinya Kimotho's six soft skills for life

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Kinya Kimotho, Diageo's finance and strategy director for partner emerging markets in Africa, subscribes to the Japanese concept of Ikigai, which describes having a sense of purpose in life, seeking that motivating force that gets you out of bed every morning.

Kinya Kimotho is a seasoned finance professional who has served as finance director at GlaxoSmithKline, The Nielsen Company and Kenya Breweries Limited. She is currently the Diageo finance and strategy director for partner emerging markets in Africa.

She shares six life philosophies, which have proven essential drivers for her career and personal life.

First, Kinya believes that if your name is on it, then it better be good. She believes in doing her best such that if there is something that she has worked on, she can look at it with pride.

“Secondly, I believe in treating people as I want them to treat me. I am not fussed about titles; at the end of the day, you need to be true to yourself. I believe in having one persona irrespective of who I am with. I am not the type to smile with you privately and ignore you when I am around people of a certain seniority,” she says.

Kinya is a firm believer in continuous learning. Her curiosity in acquiring new knowledge has made her one of the early adopters of various things. For instance, she enjoys all learning and dabbling in all things crypto. ‘I don’t mind getting my fingers burnt and living to tell the tale later. I keep an open mind,’ she adds.

“A fourth factor that plays a key role in my life is faith. I am a practical Christian who does not wear her religion on her sleeve. I believe that you should demonstrate your beliefs through actions rather than mere words. In my view, you should incorporate your belief in how you show up daily,” Kinya explains.

Her fifth philosophy involves identifying true friendship.

“In life, you will have many acquaintances but very few friends. It will serve you well to know the difference. I come from Meru in Kenya, and a friend is someone I could call in the middle of the night if my car broke down in wheat farms in Timau. Very few people would drive from Nairobi to save me from there, and those are the people to whom I am fiercely loyal.”

Finally, Kinya believes that her purpose in life is growth for herself and others. It is for this reason that she is careful to consume things that expand the breadth of what she knows whether it is a show on Netflix or a book she is reading. She subscribes to the Japanese concept of Ikigai, which describes having a sense of purpose in life, seeking that motivating force that gets you out of bed every morning.

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