When 19-year-old Dorcas Dlamini joined Protea Hotels as a junior sales coordinator in 2003, she made it her mission to learn as much as she could from her superiors through informal mentorship and coaching.

Her passion paid off. By 25, she occupied her first managerial position as the group’s regional sales manager for the Eastern Cape, and Durban. In 2010, she became Protea Hotels’ sales manager for government, and was an integral part of the team that managed the FIFA World Cup project for the group. By 30, Dlamini was Protea Hotels by Marriot’s first black female group sales director.

Now 33, she looks after the group’s sales strategy throughout South Africa and the rest of the continent, managing a team of 70 people in an industry driven by service excellence.

Dlamini’s remarkable leadership skills have not gone unnoticed. She won the prestigious ASATA Future Leader in Travel Award in 2014, and was recently named one of the Top 40 Women in South Africa’s MICE, which recognises leaders in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry.

Inspired by her parents, who both served their community as educators, Dlamini plans to start a foundation that will mentor young people to achieve greatness.

Because, in her view, that’s how build great teams into greater companies.

|You can’t do it without a great team behind you, and without good people around you.|