Acting her values: Tigist Abate, A senior management team member of CBE
“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” ~Walt Disney~
Tigist Abata was born in 1973 and grew up in Addis Ababa. She was the fifth in a family of six children. Her father, who passed away thirteen years ago used to call her “Beletech” meaning “Excelling , outshining “ understading her wisdom from her childhood activities. She is married to her childhood friend and classmate celebrating their silver jubilee; they have two children– a boy and a girl.
Tigist obtained her BA in accounting and MA in International Business. Her career path started at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) a week after her graduation. She has been working for CBE for the past 19 years. Through the years she has become an exemplary human capital of the Bank going through the corporate ladder and is now serving as the Director of Credit Appraisal, helping people to get loans for development projects. She feels honored to be a banker. Being a banker she says, is basically to administer public money which entails being
genuine, having clarity of mind and a great deal of knowledge of the business world to make sure the money lent goes to the right hands, who are responsible to make loan repayments timely. “This is a huge responsibility and challenging but I love it and it is the right place to enjoy professional excellence”.
Leadership for Tigist is challenging the status quo and taking full responsibility for what she is doing. Her position demands decisiveness, risk taking and inspiring her teams. As a caring leader she understands the importance of stress free work environment and facilitates such environment . She always insists to her colleagues to see the big picture in their day-to-day activities and guides them to understand the role of CBE as a major organ of transforming Ethiopia.
Tigist believes that value is something we uphold and use as a guide in our life. She has self-respect and a healthy love for herself. She says that caring for and loving others start from self. She is a spiritual person and lives her spiritualy by being affectionate, optimistic and passionate about what she does and the people around her and being mindful of all her blessings. She works consistently on self renewal and makes time to read and get refreshed. Her life’s philosophy is staying positive; her conviction is happiness is a choice that we invite into our lives.
Role model to her is one who serves as a mentor and a life coach. She says she is the product of many people who helped her to be where she is today. She considers two of her elementary school teachers as her role models. Her father, who believed in the value of reading showed how to value her profession more than any material advantage. Her personal qualities of self respect, courage and persistence were gained through her father. Her childhood friend and husband thought her to value her identity and become passionate about working in and for her country. Her mother, who is a good listener gifted with ample patience contributed to her being far-sighted. Her brothers thought her to be confident in everything she does. She credits Ato Bekalu Zeleke, the President of CBE who showed her to be more motivated and professional as well.
Tigist admires a character named Emma in a book “Woman of Substance” for her endurance, courage, respect for self and wisdom. In real life, she admires Nelson Mandela particularly for his ability to forgive in order to unite the people of South Africa.
Success for Tigist is living our values and doing what we believe in. Doing her job properly, facilitating loans for valuable projects which are helping to transform our country and seeing the success of these projects are what she calls her achievements. If she were not in banking, she would have been a life coach, which she dreams of being after her retirement.
Tigist believes all human beings have to support each other. She strongly believes that as women, we have to raise the bar by doing our very best diligently and Tigist is a exemplary and a role model of what she preaches. She says all we need is courage and confidence which she shows in her professional life as well as all the relationships she has with female colleagues. She emphasizes that we, women have to break the stereotype molds that the society set for us.
What she gives back to the community is her contribution in facilitating loans requested for development projects. There is nothing more pleasing than seeing people succeed in their project and investment.
Tigist spends her leisure time with her family, socializing with friends and visiting prisoners and needy people.
She says AWiB is an ideal and inspirational platform where the life of a person can be changed in a single session. She became a member of AWiB in May 2013. She gives credit to AWiB for paving the road to self-awareness and further growth and learning. Coming to AWiB helps her internalize her values. AWiB has a huge future as a life changing association.
She is very much grateful for God’s power in helping her accept the situation of her autistic son which she refers to as “a blessing in disguise”. She has learned from this child to be caring for all humankind. She praises God for making her spiritually stronger and resilient in life.
Tigist would like to urge the youth to respect themselves because someone who has self-respect will care for others. She would also like to advise them to be courageous, confident, persistent, and smart. Striving for personal development, avoiding negative attitude, making good friends who can understand one’s personal goals and looking inward for self assessment are all very important.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Nelson Mandela
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