Hey you, how did your weekend go? Mine was super fun, productive and inspiring. The most interesting part of the weekend being the event I attended on Saturday. Truth is, I was going to delegate someone else to attend in my stead but something kept telling me, “Elsie, you don’t want to miss this event’ and thankfully I listened. I’m still reeling from the Custodian Mentors conference. There were three key speakers in attendance – Wole oshin (GMD, Custodian Investment Plc), Oby Ezekwesili (Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI) and Leke Alder (Principal, Alder Consulting).
The lessons picked may seem as same lessons you hear over and over again from motivational speakers or books, but seeing these very successful individuals relate these lesson with their journey gave me a different perspective and inspiration.
“I was born into a very disciplined home and this is part of the reason I can’t stand indiscipline” – Oby Ezekwesili
However, like I mentioned on twitter (follow me on @elsieisy), one thing which stood out for me is the relationship between their upbringing, fatherly love and who they have become. Words from Leke Alder and Oby Ezekwesili resounded the vital role of men in shaping and instilling values in our society. They both learnt the best lessons of their lives from their fathers. Lessons which till today, have remained the foundation of their success. I believe men have large roles to play if we are going to get it right by being responsible and involved fathers. Men should start teaching boys how to be men and responsible fathers.
Below some of the vital lessons from each distinguished speaker at the Custodian Mentors Conference;
- When you understand your goal and where you are heading to, you must be deliberate and intentional in the way you position yourself.
“I rose very fast because I was deliberate and intentional in the way I positioned myself. It’s important you craft the way you want to move.” – Wole Oshin
- Commit to what you are doing and stay focused.
“It’s important that you commit to what you are doing and stay focus. Don’t be afraid. There is never a bad time to start any business.” – Wole Oshin
- Be in charge and involved in everything you do.
- People will disappoint you. Brace up
“If you want to move to the next level and step up as an entrepreneur, you better be in charge of everything you do. It’s not going to be a fun ride at the park. People will disappoint you.” – Wole Oshin
- People that are cut out for what they do don’t feel the pain. If every obstacle you face hurt you deeply and make you want to give up, then ask yourself if you are really cut out for what you are doing.
“We are in a system where we have political and economic issues and they mess dreams and aspirations up. Your ability to be able to plan and to know that these things are a part of what you want to do is what you need” – Wole Oshin
- Define the culture of your business from scratch. How do you you’re your brand perceived? Also, be ready to evolve.
“Culture is what determines the direction of an organization. Right from the onset, it’s important to pay attention to your culture. Attitude to work is part of the culture amongst so many other things. It’s important that you structure yourself at the base level such that you have enough equity and stake in what you are doing. Your ability to be able to transform yourself and your business goes a long way – Wole Oshin
- Be a person of value. Never compromise on values.
“Being a person of value will give you sustainable value. A person without value cannot be insured. You cannot take risk on a person who is already a risk.” – Oby Ezekwesili
- Integrity is not complete until it is consistent. – Oby Ezekwesili
“It’s ok to negotiate your view but never ever negotiate your values. If anything touches on you giving up your values, it’s not worth it. The day you hand over your value to get something, you lose yourself.” – Oby Ezekwesili
“Integrity is a credit facility. Have integrity. Never ever put those who love you in a difficult position. There is nothing as bad as money without authenticity” – Leke Alder
- Have a voice. Own your voice. Never let your voice be stifled. You are not entitled to anybody’s voice.
“In many families, we do not encourage voice but later on we expect people who were never given the opportunity to use their voice to start using it. Some people think they are entitled to the voice of other people on issues bothering the country. Have you spoken? I owned my voice a long time ago. – Oby Ezekwesili
- Social media is a blessing to this generation. Understand the power of social network and use it wisely.
“This generation is the most socially networked and yet you don’t understand the leverage in the power of the social network. Ours were the list networked. The social network is the best time in human history that the cost of knowledge crashed so that there is a universalization of access of equal knowledge.” – Oby Ezekwesili
- Live a purpose driven life. Look out for assignments, not jobs.
“Get a purpose driven life. A person of purpose does not do jobs. A person of purpose runs on the basis of assignments. Anybody can do a job but not everybody can do an assignment.” – Oby Ezekwesili
- Be ready to learn always. Equip yourself with necessary knowledge in whatever area you have chosen. Also, study wide. Try to know a bit of everything.
“Some of you form that you know what you don’t know. There are times when I see some of you argue with experts on their field just because you have a twitter handle. I didn’t go chasing after career. All I did was go gain the knowledge I needed to gain and carried on with what as a child I did not want to see – bad governance.” – Oby Ezekwesili
There are things they will not teach you in school that you have to teach yourself. Life has no excuses. – Leke Alder
- Be known for one thing and be good at it
“Some of you are enterprise greedy, you want to do everything. But some of these things cannot function together. Drop that side hustle and follow the logic of your heart. Do things the way you know how to do it. – Leke Alder
The best thing that you can ever do to yourself is to pour yourself into that one job that you have. Put your best into everything that you come across. All you need in life is one opportunity. – Leke Alder
- You cannot be POOR and PROUD! – Leke Alder
- Use your imagination. That’s one thing God has given you. You can be anywhere and imagine things – Leke Alder
- Do not let religion kill your creativity.
“One of the things that kills creativity in this country is religion. Don’t let religion kill your creativity. – Leke Alder
- Don’t confuse an idea with the idea of an idea. When you have an idea, work it out, think it through before you share with anybody – Leke Alder
- Never be afraid to take on giants. All you need to do to take on giants is to change the rule of engagement. Your work has to go to an elevated level, beyond making money to contributing something way bigger than you. – Leke Alder
- Don’t listen to NaySayers. You are not too young to contribute. – Leke Alder
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