An Interview with our Founding Ant – Dale Porter

Dale is a Chartered Manager, with a background in Project Management, Programme Coordination, Change and Relationship Management, in South Africa and the UK (London).
She is recognised by colleagues and clients for her tremendous work ethic, professionalism and focus as well as for her empathy, support and sense of humour!

Dale founded Afro Ant in 2009 and has led Afro Ant through the past nine years as our original “Chief Ant”; While remaining a Director on the Board, she recently handed over the reins to Pavi, our new MD (watch this space for an interview with Pavi – but we’ll give her a bit of time to settle in first 😊!).

Learn more about the Afro Ant Team

 

In 2007 you had “An ant of an idea” – What convinced and/or motivated you to take on the challenge of starting your own company? 

I always wanted to have my own business ‘one day’ and an opportunity arrived sooner than expected. It took a few months and the support of a few good souls to help me make the leap.

Dale reflects that establishing Afro Ant was less of a challenge than growing and maintaining the Company, noting that  “Margins are always impossible challenges. People are not products but my life would have been easier if they were! Not as much fun though…

What is most important or valuable to you in the Afro Ant work environment?

Growth, peace and a healthy, happy Team.

Asked what she considers to be the most valuable contribution that a boss / manager / leader can make to their organisation,
Dale submits “a healthy (mentally, physically) environment” together with identifying and growing potential to propel a company to successfully achieve its goals.

 

What is the best / most interesting thing about your role over the years, as Founder and former Chief Ant?

People always. Best, most interesting, most rewarding and most infuriating!

Dale observes that the spectrum of Ants – the contrasting qualities, both within (e.g. humility combined with excellence in one Ant) and between (e.g. range in EQ and competency levels) different people – “is fascinating. And, mildly terrifying.”

If you were describing Afro Ant’s Vision and / or Purpose to friends or family – what would you say?

To make a difference in the ecosystem of life.
No, really. This turns into a long story. 

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement with regard to Afro Ant?

Creating a space for people to grow personally and professionally myself included.
It is always very heart-warming to see people recognise the potential in themselves and reach for it. 

 

Asked how she relaxes and unwinds, Dale’s response:
Work 🙂
And on the question of her favourite season or time of year
Aah, Winter. Love it! Can work more, quite happily
.

Well… Guess, no great surprise, considering Dale’s remarkable devotion and work ethic!

 

Who are your heroes (fiction and/or real life)?

My husband and other so-called ordinary people, and Ants.
We get up and keep going each day, even when it is VERY hard.

 

What is your motto?

Not for polite company and poorly spelled but it is nonetheless ”V V” (abbreviated
~ ed. …but many Ants will recognise this acronym – Ask an Ant near you 😀)

 

What key lessons have you learnt in founding and growing Afro Ant over the past decade?

How tough and how soft I am. How people will never cease to be amazing. How wonderful people can be. What proper horrors (~ ed.) we can be too. The importance of a healthy margin but that love really does make the world go around! 

 

Thank you, Dale for taking the time to complete this interview – but most importantly, thank you for being our truly extraordinary Founder, Leader and Team Mate – and quintessential Ant! 😊