Women in Leadership Q and A: Maureen Omokhomion Shares Life Lessons From Her Leadership Journey

Anything is possible and doable if you put your heart to it- Mrs. Maureen Omokhomion

Mrs. Maureen Omokhomion is a dynamic African woman, highly disciplined mother with an innate capacity and passion to care for and mentor others. She has a B.sc in Economics, an MBA (Finance) and trained as a self driven seasoned banker, imbibed very strong values of self appraisal to ensure continuous productivity and value creation.
She is driven by a strong belief that you can impact lives by consistently sowing seeds of confidence in them to become better persons. Maureen is very strategic in approach to life as she believes that anything is possible and doable if you put your heart to it.
She is currently a member of the Governing Council of FUTO and CEO, Preen Group (an outfit with interest in Corporate & Industrial Cleaning, Business re-engineering, Training and Consulting). Maureen is the founder of Ibhariegua Global Initiative, which lends a voice to the abandoned child and President of Achieving Ladies, a Christian women organization with over 500 members.

How Her Father Influenced Her Journey

I would say I was very fortunate to have a father who was a very well respected leader and seasoned administrator. I was taught at an early age to be open to learning, take responsibility for my actions, share knowledge with humility and there were clear sanction grid.

There are usually hurdles in the leadership process especially when you lack the requisite skills and knowledge to execute a task. You must be humble enough and willing to learn new skills as you cannot give what you don’t have. As a leader, never live in denial. Also, when you are in privileged position to lead, never hoard knowledge and don’t be cynical.

For me, leadership is about empowering lives as a role model. It creates influence through impact. I believe strongly in leadership by example and ‘walking the talk’

She Inspires Her Team By Being A Role Model

As a team leader, every team member is important to the success of your team. Because you take responsibility for the success and failure of the team, you must first position yourself as the role model for every member to learn from. You must be willing to make sacrifices, source the right information and be a good team player so that you are able to impact knowledge and push team members to be better versions of themselves. When you develop a strong team, there is consistency, continuity and sustainability of good results.

I recall once as a team lead, I noticed that the performance of one of my key team member was dropping consistently. I had to have a one-on-one with her and I discovered she had a domestic issue. Immediately, I had to go out of my way to address the issue. With continuous encouragement, she was able to pull herself out of it and we met our targets.

Sometimes, you have to deal with personal issues of team members to get maximum productivity.

She Grows By Learning From Every Experience She Encounters

As a leader, you evolve and grow through followership. You must learn from someone, processes, structures and environment. Every experience is a learning opportunity for you. As an evolving leader, who is willing to grow, you must thirst for knowledge, open your heart to learning, and be disciplined, humble and ambitious. Don’t be afraid to fail. If you fail, take responsibility, make corrections and move on. Don’t cut corners and never compromise your integrity and dignity. Never have an attitude of self entitlement and always be respectful.

She Believes Integrity Is a Must-Have For Every Leader

Every leader should have unquestionable integrity because as a leader, you are a mentor and you are impacting knowledge, transferring information and skills to your mentee. You are expected to pass the right values to your mentee for successes to be sustainable over time.

Her Favorite Quote

‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way’ by John C. Maxwell.



Women in Leadership Q and A: Chidinma Nwaigwe’s Shares the Enriching Wisdom that Keeps her Going as a Leader

I am simply an optimistic person, a go-getter and resourceful person. – Dr. Chidinma Nwaigwe.

Dr. Chidinma Nwaigwe has her first degree in Medicine and Surgery from University of Lagos Nigeria.  A Post-graduate Diploma in Hospital Management, and Masters in Public Health.
A Sole Director at Everlife Preventive Services a preventive health company that promotes prevention. Working with Schools, Companies and Community. Their focus is on Health Awareness Sensitization, School Health Screening and Correctness and Promotion of Healthy Living from the Cradle.
She is also Co-Director of Peadville Consult Limited; an education-focused company that offers basic educational foundation to Children at a low price., and a Director at Fraval Medical Services; a comprehensive health facility that cares for families with specialists consultants in Ear/ Nose/ throat and dentistry. She is a wife, mother, teacher and an entrepreneur.

How She Overcomes the Hurdles of Leadership With a Smile

My journey as a leader has been bitter-sweet with a smile experience, where every smile crowns my reward.
Of course, there are hurdles, however overcoming those hurdles have been the greatest source of inspiration.
Quotes that drive me are these two. One by Robert Kiyosaki; ” face your fears and doubts and new walls will open to you” and “inside every problem, lies an opportunity “.
I believe God specially created me and equipped me with resilience, perseverance, determination, consistence and PASSION to pursue my goals with utmost satisfaction, after every challenging experience.
These experiences whether positive or vice versa guides and reforms my person positively. As I say ” if the desirable is not available, the available is upgraded to the desirable to achieve results.” Its just the mindset.

Dr. Chidinma Nwaigwe on How She grows as a Leader: “I Never Give up, I just Restrategize”

I grow by believing first the need ‘to know’. With knowledge I can evolve to an enriched personality portraying my values at every contact I make with a person of any age group especially with our younger generation.
I never give up, I just restrategise. I think up an idea, feed it, nurture it, and expose it. I evaluate as it goes from stage to stage to suit the particular need. I create a balance in my daily living by engaging in hobbies like dancing, cooking, resting and listening to music while focusing on my desires. I believe integrity is a core value I must replicate.

She Identifies and Builds Team Members

In building a team, I look at the overall mission and vision of the set objectives. I study the team members and identify the strength and weakness of individuals. With an individualized approach to each team member; it propels the strength and turns a weakness into potential. Also, I believe in the concept ‘PUSH’; which stands for ‘persist until something happens’.
A recent experience with a team member; a member of my staff, is that she is always beaten and assaulted by her husband -physical and emotionally. She was a housewife with three children and applied for a job at my school and was accepted. We placed her with the toddlers, and she did exceedingly well.
I noticed her fears and scar-filled face which she denied, and attributed it to a classlessness on her part. I had to devise a plan to help her by challenging, motivating and reforming her thoughts about being a woman. Her God given grace and so on.
She picked up herself, believed she was worthy, stood firm by this time her husband left her with the children and ran off with another woman. With no help from family or friends, I geared her up. After three years now, a past housewife has been transformed to a woman with skills, focus, and grace. She is living happily, taking care of her children and others by herself. She is chasing more dreams in higher studies, and now handles the graduating class of the school.

She Believes every Leader Must be a Good Listener

Be a good listener because for every action there are several meanings. So to be on top of your game; read between the lines with an open mind. A good foundation can be shaken but never destroyed.

What She has Learned From Her Daughter

The best leadership quote I learnt from my daughter Chimchetam Dozie is “A leader does not aspire to make a living, but aspires to make a difference” And I believe in making that difference.

Registration for African Women in Leadership Conference for Women in Leadership is ongoing now at awlo.org/anniversary.

Women in Leadership Q & A: Annie Essienette is Inevitably a Leader who identifies and Raises More Leaders

In our Women in Leadership Q & A Series, AWLO talks to a Woman of Worth Annie Essienette. Annie Essienette is a private sector leader who displays exceptional leadership not only as a professional.

She has found herself playing key parts in other arenas, and brings to bear her leadership prowess. She is a member of African Women in Leadership Organisation Lagos Chapter.

Her passion is to see a new Nigeria materialize where well informed outstanding youths will take the fore.


Annie Essienette is an outcome focused, career driven, innovative and strategic senior marketing and communication professional with over 15 years combined experience in Marketing Management.

Her marketing experience cuts across Market research and analysis, customer marketing, high-level customer engagement, data driven marketing, corporate communication, brand management, event management, and corporate social responsibility.

Mrs. Essienette holds a Masters Degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos and a B.sc in Information sciences from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a member of the Nigerian institute of Marketing chartered, and Nigerian Institute of Management.

She is also well-versed in internal communication across Media, Telecommunications, Information Technology, Security and Infrastructure industries. She loves playing chess, reading, volunteering, spending quality time with family and motivating young women in the areas of career and marriage. She is married and a proud mother of 3 lovely boys.

About some of the hurdles in leadership she has encountered over the years, and how constant engagement is key in people and expectation management

[Tweet “with leadership comes accountability to the people who first entrusted you… – @hailanny”]

I have always found myself in leadership be it at school, work or vocational service. It comes with a consistent display of commitment and a high sense of responsibility as well as going over and above the call of duty.

However it has not been without its challenges. With leadership comes responsibilities and accountability to the people that first entrusted you with such responsibilities, as well as the team in whom you have been entrusted.

Some of the hurdles I have encountered over the years includes people and expectation management. There is the constant pull between doing the right thing and pleasing constituted authority, in which case one has to find a landing that is both workable and acceptable while still getting the job done.

Another challenge is followership. To lead you need followers hence you also needs to ensure that all the stakeholders in your delivery value chain are carried along in the process as there can be no leadership without followers.

In my journey, what I have seen to work effectively is the act of constant engagement. For communication to be effective in leadership, it needs to be consistent and sustained across the various stakeholders to ensure everyone buys into the sense of responsibility especially in key decision making processes, that way the responsibility of winning or not is borne by all.

The sad truth however is that the bulk still stops at your table as a team leader or key action owner. As a leader, one should always be ready to take responsibility, feedback and learn from failures, while sharing the glory of winning with the team.  So I will say engage and keep engaging end to end to be effective as a leader.

As a leader she is willing to identify and raise other potential leaders. However she looks for markers.

Every good leader must replicate his or herself.  Like I said at the beginning, my leadership responsibility has cut across, work, school and vocation.

Take vocation for instance, as you lead, you are bound to identify some champions amongst your team members; champions are identified not just by skills, but by commitment, availability and teachability.

Once you identify individuals that are willing to learn regardless of their qualification, the natural tendency is to groom them to be able to carry the touch even if it is not in the immediate and you do that best by delegating certain key responsibilities to them and as they excel in one, you entrust them with another.

Case in point, as soon as you are inducted into my local chapter Rotary club, every new member is assigned a mentor. In the course of mentoring one of such, I have come to realize that often times, the mentee within the shortest possible time is fast becoming a mentor due to the level of commitment and assimilation. Once such talents are identified, nothing stops them from being elected into a leadership role regardless of the time they have spent in the organization.

Annie Essienette served as President of Rotary Club of Amuwo, and various coordinated activities in services to humanity

Every Leader Must Evolve and Grow, and how does Annie Essienette do this?

[Tweet “I have evolved my skills and knowledge firstly, through reading – @hailanny”]

Leaders they say are readers. I have evolved my skills and knowledge firstly, through  reading, and secondly by identifying good mentors.

On reading, I ensure I read up books both in my professional field and in leadership. I have also come to find out that there is nothing really new under the sun, most problems encountered in the call of duty have had existing research or guide written on them, as a leader all you need to do is look for and find such write-ups and adapt the solutions to whatever situation you may be facing at that moment.

On mentorship, for every leadership position or structure I find myself, I identify a mentor that has either been there, or understands the system more than I do.

Such mentors can be internal or external or a combination of both. What this does is that you learn at the feet of a master and are navigated from the onset so you avoid the usual leadership pitfalls.

An internal mentor is equally quite strategic as it also helps you understand the culture and character of the organization and more importantly navigates you through your path to career advancement.

Mrs. Annie at the IBM Cloud Innovation Forum 2017

She thinks there is more than one essential characteristic in Leadership. Her top three are: Integrity, consistency and reliability

You asked for one, but I think these three are key for me: Integrity, consistency and reliability. Everyone will trust someone with a high degree of transparency and integrity.

As a leader, you must also be consistent with your values, as a matter of fact it should be a strong character trait that you are not a flash in the pan, hence your delivery on excellence must be consistent as every leader is as good as their last laurel.

And lastly of course if you are consistent it just means you can be relied upon.

[Tweet “Leadership is not about a title or a designation…”]

A Few Mantras that She lives by

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers. Robin S. Sharma, a Canadian writer and motivational speaker known for his The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series. Sharma worked as a litigation lawyer until age 25, when he self-published MegaLiving (1994), a book on stress management and spirituality.

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy

You must be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi.Jun 28, 2013- This applies even to leadership as a leader must lead by example.

Attend African Women in Leadership Conference for Building Capacity in Leadership & Creating International Networks from 19th -21st July 2018 at Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Center Abuja. Visit awlo.org/anniversary for details.

Women in Leadership Q & A with Nathalie Nicole Smith

Nathalie Nicole Smith is a beauty and wellness maven who has spent the last seven years building a powerhouse brand that caters to the needs of women mentally, physically and spiritually.

A graduate of Howard University and a 93.9 WKYS “Top 30 Under 30” honoree, she is the founder of a non-profit organization called, Women Who Boss, and a beauty and wellness company, called PlushRx.

A National Director with Total Life Changes, she has received numerous awards as a top-earner in the business. She recently is expanding her efforts into Africa where her project 1KWomen has a goal to encourage and support 1000 women to become financially free internationally.

[Tweet “Belief and hard work beats talent – @natnicolesmith”]

Two habits that keep you grounded as a Leader

Number one, I am always believing. The second habit is hard work. When you believe and work hard nothing is impossible. When trials and tribulation occur God always works it out. Belief and hard work beats talent for you to keep persevering.

One Experience in My Life that Shaped your Leadership Journey

Opening up a store at 23 shaped my leadership journey. It taught me how to influence, manage and support others. Working with individuals older and younger gave me the ability to build mental toughness and patience with different walks of life.

[Tweet “When one masters their feelings, their business will grow – @natnicolesmithsmith”]

One Lesson that Women in Leadership can Learn from Me

Real business should not be affected by your emotional state of mind. Women are known to go through a lot of different emotional ranges. When one masters their feelings, their business will grow.

The Type of Association Crucial to a Woman in Leadership’s Personal Growth

Effective leaders surround themselves with positive people. When you are connected to those that share the same perspective, standard and character traits as you, you will prosper.

[Tweet “Effective leaders have to be intentional – @natnicolesmith”]

One Mistake that a Leader Must not Make

Never be unintentional. Effective leaders have to be intentional. You have to see the end now and cast a vision for others to follow.

Q & A with Timipre Wolo: I am Never Afraid to Leave my Comfort Zone… and Break New Grounds

I am a graceful, elegant, and purpose-driven woman of faith on a mission to fulfill destiny. I am never afraid to leave my comfort zone, tackle challenges and break new grounds in the quest to live my dreams, and ultimately impact my world.
I am a Lawyer by training, specialized in Oil & Gas Law. I come from Ekowe in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. I am the MD/CEO of TFN Energy Limited and was recently appointed Chairperson, Ladies in Oil & Gas (LIOG) Nigeria. I Founded the Center for Gender Equality, Education and Empowerment (CGEEE). I served as a member of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Legal team; as special Assistant to the Executive Secretary; and subsequently as pioneer head of the PTDF Industry Collaboration Unit. I have become the youngest person to ever serve on the PTDF Management.

[Tweet “”I am always thankful and having no sense of entitlement – @timiprewolo”]

Two habits that keep Timipre Wolo Grounded

The first is Gratitude. I am always thankful and having no sense of entitlement. And the second is being consistent.

One Experience that has Shaped my Leadership Journey?

Losing my Mom at the age of 12 propelled me to take on certain responsibilities at home and life became more about looking out for my siblings and that experience practically helped to shape me into the woman that I am today. Looking out for others and inspiring people to take action naturally became a part of me.

One lesson that other Women in Leadership can Learn from Me

Use whatever power or opportunity you have to lift others up, and stay humble and grounded, no matter what.

[Tweet “I have very few friends because I would rather have one very good pair of shoes, than a dozen broken pairs – @timiprewolo”]

What Type of Association is Crucial for Women in Leadership?

Seek out people who inspire you and challenge you to be better. People you can learn from and those who can look you in the eye and tell you as it is, and not necessarily what you want to hear. Also stay connected to your spiritual parents. For instance, Mommy and Daddy David Abioye have always been a very strong source of inspiration, counsel and encouragement to me over the years. No leader, male or female can possibly climb the ladder of success alone, we all need guidance, counsel and support at one point or the other in our journey through life. It is also important to choose your friends as a leader.

I have very few friends because I would rather have one very good pair of shoes, than a dozen broken pairs. On that note, let me use this medium to give a shout out to my very good friend-turned-sister, Pastor (Mrs.) Joyce Pender and hubby, Pastor GT Pender, for always having my back. Love you guys much.

[Tweet “Never see yourself as a ‘leader’ but as a servant, called to serve – @timiprewolo”]

One Mistake that a Leader Must not Make

Never see yourself as a ‘leader’ but as a servant, called to serve. Never look down on anybody. If anything, treat everyone as equal, including your support staff. We are all equal before our creator.

Are you a woman in leadership and would like to inspire our readers with your story as or do you know any woman in leadership with an inspiring journey? Please share with us via contributor@awlo.org