AWLO INTERNATIONAL YOUTH SUMMIT CAMEROON 2021 SPEECH by Dr. Elisha Attai, Founder of AWLO.

All protocols duly observed

Ladies and Gentlemen

This year’s International Youth Day is peculiar because it is happening at a point in time when the world is recovering itself from the global shock of the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, the theme “The Role of Youths in Promoting Peace and Nation-building through Entrepreneurship and Innovative Leadership” cannot be more timely and relevant because, without the impact of the youth, this global recovery process cannot be effective. Also, without the impact and contribution of the entrepreneur, the economies of nations cannot regain their momentum and return to their glory days.

Certainly, without the promotion of global peace, the world’s religious, racial and economic crises may not witness stability. At this very point, it becomes increasingly clear, the words of Aristide Briand, that the world should “Draw back the rifles, draw back the machine guns, draw back the cannons – trust in conciliation, in arbitration, in peace!  …A country grows in history not only because of the heroism of its troops on the field of battle, it grows also when it turns to justice and to right for the conservation of its interests.”

The solutions and resolutions at this time rest with the global youth community. This is the critical moment when the world holds the contributions of youth sacred to education, the economy, politics, and business, and as their sign period of maturity, when the physical forces begin to flag, and equally sacred to ease and agreeable relaxation. For the AWLO youth, we recognize that it is only natural that old people would have to go at some point. That is what age does. But the problem is that there are too many youths who are too impatient to wait for time to have its course.

Therefore, it is my most candid advice and admonition that the AWLO youth shine as a beaming example in the context of global peace-building, nation, and world-building through their contributions to national, regional, and global peace, economy, and politics by developing their entrepreneurial skills and business acumen.

As you celebrate and commemorate the 2021 International Day of the Youth, I implore you to keep these words in mind and make them your compass for navigating your path into the future that approaches. Congratulations for making it through. The very level of energy and resilience that brought you this far will take you farther. See you all at the top!

Long live AWLO!

Long live AWLO Youth Council!Long live our world!
Dr. Elisha AttaiFounder/Global President of AWLO


AWLO Induction 2020 Keynote Address: Creating the Opportunity and Space for Women Through Unity and Togetherness.

A Keynote Address by H.E. Mrs. Francess Virginia Anderson, Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the Republic of Ghana and Ambassador to the Republic of Togo and the Republic of Burkina Faso, at AWLO Induction 2020

Founder of AWLO Dr. Elisha Attai, Executive of the African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO), Your Excellencies, esteemed organisers of this auspicious event, fellow inductees, awardees, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

I wish to first and foremost register my pleasure and honour to be here today, and to convey my profound thanks and appreciation to the organisers of this programme. Permit me to heartily congratulate, in advance, deserving and worthy awardees and inductees as well as those who, in diverse ways, contributed to their respective success.

I am immensely grateful and I feel privileged to be here tonight as both an inductee of AWLO and above all the keynote speaker for this memorable event. And I wish to appreciate and thank the authorities of AWLO for bestowing upon me this great honour.

Admittedly, not many have been so blessed to materially and socially achieve what most of us here present today have achieved. And we give thanks and praises to the almighty God for His infinite mercies and favours. Not that we are more deserving, but I am convinced that having us in the positions we find ourselves is for us to create space and opportunities for others not so fortunate as us. This notwithstanding, I wish to salute all the women who have contributed so much to society but whose contributions are sometimes overlooked, diminished or undervalued.

If child rearing were monetised and added to GDP in our patriarchal societies, arguably, women’s contribution would have been far greater. In our African societies, a woman gives birth, but the community, especially women rear the child. They make them the fine men and women they eventually become.

The topic of my address is Creating the Opportunity and Space for Women Through Unity and Togetherness.

For centuries women have fought for their basic rights, ranging from the right to education, to access to quality healthcare services, to voting rights, to inheritance, to employment and equal pay. The struggle for women’s emancipation continues in all spheres of human endeavour. For so long we have been and continue to be marginalised, overlooked and underappreciated. But radical change is in the air and hope continues to stay alive.

Whilst we graciously acknowledge that notable, and in some instances unimaginable, progress have been made, there is still a long way to go to achieve both equity and equality between the sexes. Sadly, a single top job given to a woman often tends to disguise the massive inequality and extreme marginalisation in our societies.

In the recent past we have seen so-called glass ceilings broken across the globe. A growing number of women are now heads of state and government in Europe, Asia, and New Zealand. And America is about to have its first number 2 in a woman of diversity and its first Secretary of the Treasury a woman. What is so striking is that most of these women are young, energetic and committed to the cause of women’s liberation, empowerment and inclusion. In addition, many more, the world over, are leading both public and private sector organisations with remarkable successes. The Board rooms are now experiencing what I would describe as “women’s invasion”. Our top quality representations across the world and in different spheres have outperformed their male counterparts in many areas and have exceeded the expectations of many.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake the best is yet to come.

Africa has also witnessed the accession to the presidency by two eminent women leaders in the persons of Nobel Laureate H.E. Helen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and H.E. Joyce Banda of Malawi. Other prominent women continue to show strong leadership and play their part, with distinction, in the global governance system. We have seen the likes of Zainab Bangura of Sierra Leone, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Amina Mohammed both of Nigeria, Winnie Byanyima of Uganda, and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma of South Africa demonstrate top quality leadership, steering the ship of their respective organisation or department. They are role models for many of us and have inspired many others to take up the challenge for women’s inclusion, participation and contribution towards sustainable progress and development. And in their own rights, these individuals continue to promote women’s empowerment and fight for greater representation of women in regional and global decision-making. We commend their efforts and urge them to soldier on.

All of the above developments are a stark reminder that there is no limit for women. However, many of these great and historic achievements came at great sacrifices to these individuals and their loved loves. In the course of their professional lives they have faced and endured discrimination, disappointment and despair. Despite these, they had the drive to overcome these challenges and achieve success. Many persevered in the face of innumerable rejections, but perseverance and resilience prevailed. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I believe the same can be said of most, if not all, ladies present here tonight and countless others out there.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, be under no illusion that women will continue to face formidable challenges from time to time as they strive for inclusion and equity. Many of these challenges will come from male chauvinists and equally so from our women folks. But perseverance, hard work and dedication to result and excellence will enable us surmount these challenges and other frustrating setbacks we will face. With God on our side, we shall prevail.

The world has witnessed unprecedented levels of development progress in the last half century with increased enrolment and school completion rates for girls, better educated women population, greater access to maternal and healthcare services, increased job opportunities, and accession of women into top jobs in business, government and politics. Africa has had its own share of progress, but far less has been achieved comparatively.

In the past decade, many countries on the continent experienced reduction in poverty levels and substantial investment in infrastructure and human capital. These notwithstanding, hunger and disease continue to blight our progress, and women and children have been disproportionately affected.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, governments across the continent are taking active steps to further the cause of women through the promulgation of statutes to protect their fundamental human rights and the implementation of programmes to support women’s economic and financial independence as well as political liberation and inclusion. Whilst we acknowledge the strides made so far, implementation challenges continue to undermine the success of such endeavours. And we urge governments on the continent to do more to dismantle these barriers and create a level playing field for all actors, whilst protecting the underprivileged and the disadvantaged. Where positive marginalisation holds a true promise, every effort must be expended to harness the benefits.

For Africa to accelerate and sustain growth for poverty alleviation and development, leadership at the political, legislative, judicial and administrative levels must be inclusive, accountable, strong, visionary and committed to the wellbeing of all people. And accelerating and sustaining women’s advancement must be the trust of our strides for human progress.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, AWLO was created to bring together, for a common purpose, women who have served and continue to serve society at higher levels. This course they have pursued so well and we are proud to be part of it as well as take it to the next level. And this brings me to the fundamental issue of what women can do to support each other and advance the cause of women’s liberation and personal and professional fulfillment.

The key question is, how do we utilise this opportunity given to us as catalyst for financial, economic and social emancipation of women and girls and for the development of our continent and the world at large? These and many more will exercise our minds and shape our thoughts about what we can offer society in the face of the growing challenges in the world. There are many ways we can leap forward in the right and sensible direction, and I have attempted to highlight a few.

First, we must endeavour to identify and nurture the talents of women in our society if women are to continue providing top quality leadership across all endeavours.

Second, we can transform our society for sustainable economic and political progress by providing education, health care services, and income-generation knowledge and support to women. This will facilitate the transformation of our economies into modern entrepreneurial nations.

Third, in order to preserve and ramp up the modest gains we have made, it is imperative that we continually reinvent ourselves to meet new and emerging challenges at the local, regional and global levels. And this reinvention strategy will be critical to the continent’s ongoing success and women empowerment and inclusion.

Fourth, we must recognise and appreciate the fact that opportunity is good and sustainable if it is “opportunity for all” irrespective of gender, belief, political orientation, race, education, and social class. Where this is insufficient or absent, there has to be a redistributional mechanism that ensures benefit for the greater mass of society, if not everyone.

Fifth, to sustain women’s personal growth and development efforts and aspirations, women and men alike must continue providing needed support and mentorship to our women folks across the continent.

Sixth, promoting fairness and transparency will assist us build a solid foundation for a viable, progressive and stable society. This is not only limited to government, but it is a responsibility for all irrespective of the sector we find ourselves.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, strategic and deliberate choices have to be made to support our colleagues, and this is where we can, and must do better. This is a sure-fire way for sustainability and equitable economic and social progress. The benefits of opportunities accorded us should be spread and no one should be left behind. Our governments’ development strategies must ensure that women and the poor expand their choices and opportunities.

Citizens must be accorded the space to meaningfully engage and participate in shaping decisions which affect their wellbeing. If we are to attain this, politics in Africa must evolve and be more consultative and inclusive. Marginalisation in whatever form is pointless, without merit, and unsustainable. Non-inclusion and persistent and widening inequality can only sow the seeds of discord and chaos.

Both regional and sub-regional institutions like the AU, SADC, ECOWAS, EAC, etc. must take the lead in bringing women together to discuss emerging challenges affecting them so as to prescribe durable solutions to holistically address them. This cross fertilisation of ideas and experiences will help build synergy in all aspects of our quest for growth, inclusive and sustainable development.

To all women present here and across the globe, we have seen situations wherein women fail by design or default to fulfill their sacred obligation of supporting each other. This must be discouraged and frowned at, at every level and in every circumstance. We must be each other’s keeper. We must not only make a place for ourselves at the high table, but we must create extra space for others to join us. We can achieve more by expanding opportunities for our girls and women. And we can make this happen if we renew our commitment to this ideal for the benefit of all and not the insignificant minority.

You can be the change you want to see. And that starts rights now and with you.

Conclusion

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by stating that governments must endeavour to raise living standards through accelerated and inclusive growth. And the contribution of women themselves would ensure multiple wins that would build resilience and lock in women’s advancement and development gains.

Let me re-echo the sentiments of some of our inspirational and great women leaders:

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher

“Amazing things happen when women help other women.” – Kasia Gospos

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” – Michelle Obama

“The day will come when man will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.” – Susan B. Anthony

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamics, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” – Sheryl Sandberg

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” – Mae Jemison

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” – Sheryl Sandberg

The wisdom in their assertions is glaring, and without an iota of doubt, I completely agree as common sense and equity fundamentally require.

Africa needs women in leadership positions for balanced and sustained growth and development; and this can be achieved through mutual support for each other in both our professional and private lives.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a fulfilling and happy 2021.

God bless our beloved Continent, Africa!!!

Thank you all!! Merci a tous!! Obrigado!! Gracias!!


Welcome Address delivered by Mrs. Eno Attai – First Lady, AWLO – at AWLO Induction Dinner 2020

The Founder, African Women in Leadership Organisation, Dr. Elisha Attai

Distinguished Guests

Eminent Members of AWLO

Friends of AWLO

Gentlemen and Ladies of the Press

Ladies and Gentlemen

As we gather here tonight for the unique 2020 Induction Dinner of the African Women in Leadership Organisation, it is an obvious fact that the world around us is not exactly the same that we left behind at the conclusion of the 2019 Induction Ceremony. Between December 2019 and now, one year after, many events have unfolded across the globe which has left many countries, their economies and travel protocols altered permanently.

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic saw much destabilisation in the public health system of most countries of the world. For the African Women in Leadership Organisation, this had meant that many scheduled programmes, including conferences and outreaches, were either postponed, put on hold or outright cancelled. The African Women in Leadership Conference (AWLC), scheduled to hold in Sierra Leone in the first week of April, was forfeited to the harsh onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Atlanta Summit was equally not speared in this case.

To keep our community and global networks together, the African Women in Leadership Organisation had alternately made recourse to webinars and digital townhall meetings where we shared ideas and interacted with special guests of global repute. In spite of the pandemic, the African Women in Leadership Organisation facilitated many of these online sessions covering a wide array of themes and focus, including gender inclusion, women and girl-child economic empowerment and indeed the almighty rape scourge.

But, happily, here we are tonight, converged as a body of gender advocates and gender parity campaigners. This is not a sheer coincidence. We have been among the lucky ones to be alive and active today. Much gratitude is due to the almighty God. Many would have wished to be alive but they were not as fortunate. It is in this very sense that this year’s Induction Ceremony is dedicated to giving thanks to God almighty for all that we have been through as persons in our individual rights, as African Women in Leadership Organisation, and as citizens of the globe. As the researcher Ruth Benedict once said, ‘A man’s indebtedness…is not virtue; his repayment is. Virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively to the job of gratitude.’

In the same spirit, I like to acknowledge the creative leadership of the Founder of the African Women in Leadership Organisation, who also doubles as my husband and life companion. I like to commend his grits, good spirit and fortitude through the trying moments of AWLO’s journey, and for being able to put together great teams to work with from time to time. For the African Women in Leadership Organisation under Dr. Elisha Attai, there has never been a scarcity of leadership as everyone is either a leader or a leader in the making. This singular fact has kept us going as AWLO, and I believe it is also worth being grateful for. As William Faulkner the novelist once wrote, ‘Maybe, the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly all the time, is having to receive it.’

Over the years, I have found myself at the receiving ends of gratitude from my husband. But, this time around, I think it only decent and decorous to really give honour to whom it is due. As it was once said, ‘Gratitude, like love, is never a dependable international emotion.’ So, as we receive gratitude, we must be able to return gratitude to those for whom it is due, including people and indeed God almighty. Therefore, I commend the Membership of AWLO for demonstrating a rare doggedness, commitment and strong faith in the leadership of the organisation. Distinguished AWLO members, your consistency through the years have been commendable and we use the platform of this occasion to appreciate you all for being the great and committed followership that you are. Kudos to you all!

It is in this very reflective mood and in the spirit of appreciation, that I welcome you all, ladies and gentlemen, to this auspicious occasion. I remain hopeful and positive that the convocation of tonight will serve as a springboard to launch us into the new and more promising moments in our experience as African Women in Leadership Organisation.

Once again, welcome to the 2020 Induction Ceremony of the African Women in Leadership Organisation. I wish you all a great, refreshing and unforgettable positive experience.

Long live the African Women in Leadership Organisation!

Long live African Women (and their men)!

Long live the world!


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AWLO Rape Sensitization Tour

The AWLO Ikot Ekpene Chapter, being moved with compassion concerning the high incidence of rape in surrounding communities, and across Nigeria, took on a rape sensitization tour.

The tour took place on Friday 20th August, 2020 from 10am to 2pm, across communities within Ikot Ekpene Sanatorial District, Akwa Ibom State. From villages in the Ukpom and Ibiaku communities in Ikono, to Ini Local Government Areas.

The mission of the sensitization tour, was to urge participants to ‘Say No To Rape’. Through shedding light, on the harmfulness of rape, pain to victims, and position of the law on sexual violence offence (including life sentence).

Participants included, villagers of all age groups and gender. And sessions were indoors and outdoors – junctions and bustops. Sensitization sessions were on; causes of rape, consequences and effect of rape on victims, experiences of rape victims, and finally rape and the law.

Participants were strongly urged to desist from acts of sexual violence. Mrs Blessing Whenshall who is a Police Officer explained the legal implications of sexual violence. Especially at Ini Local Government Area, known to have high prevalence of rape. The AWLO Ikot Ekpene Chapter team was led by the Coordinator; Mrs. Emem Ukpong, others on her team were the Public Relations Officer; Mary Ekpo, and Mrs. Imaobong Dick.

The feedback from the total of 200 participants in attendance proved the sessions to be enlightening. As they promised to share their experiences, expose acts of sexual violence, and take the message of “Say No To Rape” to their churches and community.

At the core, AWLO is advancing the status and leadership of women. And is at the fore front of creating awareness on ‘women rights as human rights’. Therefore, enabling women to attain their full potential as equal human beings.


The Women Executives and Potential Leaders Symposium Report

The Women Executives and Potential Leaders Symposium is an annual initiative by the African Women In Leadership Organization Cameroon Chapter. To bring together female leaders; to discuss, learn, and share perspectives. Concerning key thematic areas, for the growth of women and female leadership.

The first edition of the symposium held on the 22nd August 2020 in Yaoundé, on the theme; Women leaders: working together to Achieve Innovative Performance.

The Symposium brought together female leaders from public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The goal was to learn, share and build capacity, to develop innovative strategies for the improvement of female leadership, build problem solving skills, and organisational productivity.

The program was led by Mrs. Yenwo Bertha, President of the African Women in Leadership Organization (AWLO) Cameroon. It is a strategy to reinforce the organization’s commitment to empowering women, and mitigating the challenges of female leadership in Cameroon.

This was further buttressed in a deliberation, and development of a Policy Declaration, on Cameroon Women Leaders Innovative Performance in Public, Private and Non-profit Sector.

It brought together highly successful and budding female leaders to discuss key issues, in line with women leaders working together, innovation, productivity and Performance.

It went further to bridge the divide between older successful female leaders, and the younger female leaders. This is to be achieved through an annual intergenerational mentorship. It will not only to promote intergenerational collaboration, but sustainability of female leadership in Cameroon.

Download the full report on The Women Executives and Potential Leaders Symposium here.


Notes To Women in Leadership by Dr. Karmetria Burton

In this month, we are deliberate about sisters lifting each other up. So, we asked women leaders to take an insightful Q and A, and pour out their heart to other women leaders about their Leadership journey. We took some profound notes from Dr. Karmetria Burton.

As a transformational leader, Dr. Karmetria Burton has worked in various strategic management level positions with national and international responsibility involving diversity and inclusion for such companies as Xerox, AT&T and IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) where she served as manager of supplier diversity.

Dr. Burton’s business acumen and empowerment techniques have harvested respect amongst her peers as she is a noted contributor on Business, Corporate, Diversity, Faith, Self-Improvement, Leadership and Empowerment.  Additionally, Dr. Burton has worked in academia instructing students on business, diversity, marketing and leadership courses. She is also the founder of The Paint Your Lips Red Movement. An empowerment campaign for women.

Dr. Burton

Here Is What She Said:

It’s Not About You as The Leader but More About the Results

[Tweet “It’s Not About You as The Leader but More About the Results – @karmetriab”]

Praise and recognize your team. Understand your team’s strengths and know how to maximize and utilize them.

Never allow the position to become greater than the mission. As a leader it is important to always keep the goal in mind. Why are you there? It’s not about YOU as the leader, but more about the results.

Quit Taking It Personally

[Tweet “Quit Taking it Personally – @KarmetriaB”]

QTIP – Quit taking it personally! Sometimes as women, we can get emotional, and take things personally. Very often it is never about YOU. It’s important to have strong emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Stay Feminine but Also Keep Your Edge

[Tweet “[Tweet “Stay Feminine but Also Keep Your Edge – @KarmetriaB”]”]

As a woman leader we often can lose our femininity. Stay feminine but also keep your edge. When I have executive meetings I usually wear peals or a flower; which shows I’m a “feminine” leader in charge. Keep your edge by remaining vocal when necessary and provide a solution to the situation.

Associate with Men as Well

Be associated with MEN as well. Often as women leaders we gravitate to other women, because we are comfortable. In reality men are in key decision-making positions too. Don’t be afraid to have male mentors.

Always Do Business Ethically

Always do business ethically. Be a credible leader. Your brand is important.


The Importance of Structuring your Business – Tara Durotoye

Did you catch the passionate Instagram-live session with Tara Durotoye?

Tara Fela-Durotoye is the current CEO of House of Tara International. She is known for pioneering the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria. Tara launched the indigenous House of Tara product line, Orekelewa, and the country’s first makeup school in 2005 which has now graduated over 1,500 students to go on and start their own businesses. Through Tara’s remarkable efforts, House of Tara has become a national brand with 23 branches, over 10, 000 beauty representatives and over 100 employees in most major cities across Nigeria and distribution channels in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and a plan to expand to other cities in Africa, Europe and North America.

Just as you are excited about hearing from Tara, so was I. She recently started her online course, and took to Instagram to share a sneak-peek into this course. Well, this turned out to be not only a sneak-peak, but an educational conversation on structuring a business, This is a subject we all know the beautypreneur to be passionate about. Here is what she emphasized on:

LET THERE BE A CORPORATE CULTURE

Tara Durotoye sharing with some African entrepreneurs about building a culture of leadership using House of Tara as case-study

Tara Durotoye’s experience at Exonn Mobil has been a game changer for her in business development. Tara recalls picking up on the core value of ‘safety’ while visiting Exonn Mobil in USA.
“There was always something about safety on the toilet door, on the foot mat…when somebody puts on a screen, it was on the screen-saver. And so when I asked the people at Exonn Mobil about it, they said; this is their value as an organization, that they had a lot of talk to reiterate their values. So, I understood the importance of creating values that are tied to the business that you do. It didn’t matter if I was a makeup business or a service business”.

She shows us the ‘House of Tara’ Fun Book which documents the company’s organizational processes. “The House of Tara Fun book is a hundred-page document that says; how we attend to customers, our appropriate dressing…for us at House of Tara, with a smile on our face we say, ‘welcome to House of Tara’”.

Even though these were things they had practiced, she had to document it. “The only way you can scale is if you document processes. The more I started focusing on the steps we are putting in place, it made me less afraid for the future. Knowing that, even when I am not in Uyo, they will do what they are trained to do. Does your staff know the guidelines? If not, why are you expecting so much from them?”

She likens processes to how recipes are standard procedure, and said it leads to businesses outliving their founders.  And also, so many years later she now finds that, “I would have been less impatient with people, if I had processes.”

Another main thing, she says is treating a business as a separate entity. “Many companies don’t outlive founders because they don’t separate money that is for them and money that is for sustaining the business. I had to put myself on a salary, so it defines what I can afford. Many times, your company starts making millions and you think it is your own. It is important to separate the finance of your company from yours”.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF PEOPLE

Tara Durotoye checking up on her team at a movie set in Abuja

When Tara Durotoye was starting out in business, she found that she was going to need ‘a mindset shift’ and ‘change in language’. “It is not ‘my company’ but ‘our company’.” A sign that a strong people element was at the core of sustaining an organization. “You need to understand the role everyone played in the place. As entrepreneurs we may have an entitlement mindset; that the people who work for us are there to slave for us. Unfortunately, we are all colleagues collaborating… sharing one vision”.

She talks about businesses often downplaying on the impact of self-serving leadership, “I am looking forward to seeing more businesses that outlive their founders, because they are building businesses that give value to not just the founder but to the people.”

She says that dealing with people according to engagements and set down rules further defines a structure. “You can’t just sack people. That is why people don’t want to work for small businesses. You need to have graded penalties. What does someone do to deserve a certain punishment, as opposed to depending on the mood of the Founder or CEO.”

She notes that, the value that you get from the people who work with you appreciates only when you develop a relationship with them. “As Founder, people don’t care about what you care about until you show that you care about what they care about. When you want to have the heart of people, they have to know that you have them in your heart first.”

Apparently, developing a great people experience makes the work a breeze. “At the end of the day it’s about ‘the people’. We call our human resource; ‘the people experience team’. We say it’s a ‘human organization’ about the humans in our organization. Humans have a spirit, have a soul, and live in a body. You can’t be a manager and not care about your team member as a whole”.

Also knowing that people like to own a part of the vision, and not feel micro-managed, and that’s when they are most productive. “People want to feel like they are part of something. People want to have autonomy, and know that their voices are heard.”

Tara shows she believes, and invests in her team members, who may in turn become pillars of the organization. “My focus is not on Judas. It is about my eleven. That is how we have kept some of our makeup artists”.


My Leadership Journey – Ajoke Enebeli

In this month, we are deliberate about sisters lifting each other up. So, we asked women leaders to take an insightful Q and A, and pour out their heart to other women leaders about their Leadership journey. You will find some inspiration and takeaways from Ajoke Enebeli.

Ajoke Hepzibah Enebeli is an entrepreneur who’s founded a culinary business in Nigeria, and is currently expanding to America. She graduated from The Enterprise Development Center of the Pan Atlantic University, in addition to studying Strategic Management and Social Entrepreneurship. She has over 15 years leadership experience in public management. She also has spearheaded several development work initiatives for women. Mrs. Enebeli is currently the Coordinator of Rivers State Chapter of African Women in Leadership Organisation, and a member of Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria.

She prides in two habits that keep her grounded as a leader. ‘Perfection and performance’. “I have a natural flair for perfection and my friends from way back called me ‘miss perfect’. I was almost a critic but advancing in age and in life, I have understood the true meaning of tolerance; giving people the benefit of the doubt and giving room for errors in my walk with people”.

[Tweet “I worked with a seasoned administrator who believed in nothing short of excellence – Ajoke Enebeli”]

Enebeli’s work as the head of administration at the joint administration and matriculations Board JAMB is the one leadership experience that has shaped her. She says;

I worked with a dynamic, experienced, and seasoned administrator who taught me how to dot every ‘I’ and cross all ‘t’s. One who believed in excellence and nothing short of it.

Given my passion for growth and pursuit of knowledge, I was closest to her thereby imbibing and absorbing all she had within.

In her absence I stood in and ensured there was no vacuum, I represented her on official assignments too.

My Boss is now amazingly is one of my chapter members and supporters. A woman who now looks up to me her former subordinate, now AWLO Chapter Coordinator and leader. Here I must say is the case of praying that our children be greater than we are. She is a mentor, mother, and leader with results and evidence, – me!

She mentored me in Administration, unknown to her she was sending me forth to active leadership. She trusted me with almost everything even to the home-front. I became part of her family and friends. I speak of a grand-mother of about eight grand-children.

I could write memos and letters on her behalf, proof read and edited her papers for presentation and signed documents on her behalf as the then zonal Coordinator of JAMB River State Nigeria.

When she was on leave or official assignments, I was the next administrative head to handle the office, not just for fondness sake but because of competence and delivery. I would carry everyone along and give succor to fellow staff.

Suffice it to say that I am a born leader who needed the inspiration of a born leader to get me out to the world. Doing what I know to do best; to gather, lead, care, and mentor the less-privileged in our society.

If you would permit, I speak of no other Woman Of Worth but Mrs. Beatrice Etta -Inyiam, the South-South Coordinator of The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board ( JAMB).

[Tweet “As a leader, do not expect everyone to love, applaud and affirm you all the time – Ajoke Enebeli”]

Here are 3 lessons Ajoke leaves us with:

One lesson that women in leadership can learn from Ajoke Enebeli

Move on, don’t stop, keep moving and never let anything stop you from moving on

What type of association is crucial to a woman leader’s personal growth

A purposeful and goal-oriented association

One Mistake that every Leader must not make

As a leader, do not expect everyone to love, applaud and affirm you all the time.


LEARN ABOUT AWLO: AWLO Chapters are Women Leaders creating solutions for their Community through Teamwork

African Women in Leadership Organisation’s vision is founded on leadership development for women of African descent. We are preparing women leaders for leadership through an experiential Leadership development in AWLO Chapters. We believe that women are capable of initiating action, and mobilizing resources and people to create change for their community.

[Tweet “Being a woman is not an alibi.”]

To us, being a woman is not an alibi. Not that the sincere out-cry of those abused and disadvantaged should be overlooked or that discrimination against women should be ignored, but we are deliberately creating a new crop of women leaders who take responsibility for the change they want to see.

 

AWLO Rivers State Chapter in Nigeria created opportunities for young women to learn professional catering

How is AWLO doing it?

Through Building Relationships for Productivity

[Tweet “We are for women taking initiative and forming teams to proffer solutions”]

We are for women taking initiative and forming teams to proffer solutions. The essence is to provide access to relevant networks, and form a competitive work-force.

A chapter of AWLO is like an ecosystem; a work-force for impact. Through chapters we are creating development initiatives. This is a platform for finding coherence and shared goals, to deliver value.

A Chapter is led by a coordinator, who collaborates with her team to strategize on possible actions in alignment with the organisational theme.

Leadership Experience

[Tweet “An AWLO chapter is a leadership-tailored program for women”]

A chapter is a leadership-tailored program. For women to experience and gain transferable leadership skills. Skills such as taking initiative, team work, structuring, how to convene meetings, project management, and others. We are deliberately creating avenues for more functional leaders to emerge through a chapter structure, and changing the narrative of women not being great team mates.

Personal Development

[Tweet “It is self-leadership first; a leader who goes the way, shows the way.”]

This is all  we are gunning for. To help women leaders become better people. For us it is self-leadership first, because a leader who goes the way, shows the way. This experience helps women to improve their network, learn transferable skills to scale in their various works of life, and attain their full potential.


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