I was invited to speak on a panel at a women’s event yesterday and I really enjoyed meeting and speaking with other inspiring women
One of the highlights of the event, for me, was when I was asked to share my thoughts on how to succeed in a male dominated environment
Now, to be honest, I have never personally experienced a work situation where I was treated differently because I am a woman, but I know those situations exist and there’s a lot we can do to support more women who aspire to leadership roles in business and government.
So, because I have never experienced a specific bias, I could not give a direct answer to the question, however I shared my thoughts on how anyone can succeed in any work environment with a personal story
Right after my MBA program, I got recruited into a leadership program at a leading Telecommunications company in Nigeria (Telco). I, and all the others recruited, would be assigned individual projects in 4 business departments over a 12 month period, after which we would be appraised on our performance.
In the first month of working on my first project in the Sales department, I was bored.
My project was to work with the Head of the retail shops to successfully convert the Telco’s 50 retail shops from cost centers to revenue centers. In simple English, that means the company wanted the retail shops to stop bleeding cash and start contributing revenue to the business.
To get this project done successfully, we would have to retrieve the financial records for each retail shop from the finance department, analyze costs and revenue lines for each shop and come up with a strategic plan based on each shop’s peculiarities.
Prior to this, the finance department lumped up the financial records for all the retail shops, so nobody was interested in taking on the herculean task of separating the financial records for each shop
I took on the task mainly because I was interested in seeing the outcome. I found out quickly it wasn’t going to be an easy task but I was determined to finish what I had started.
In addition to my boring operational work during the day, I had to work on weekends and spend hours with staff in the finance department to lobby them to help me retrieve financial records.
But it paid off eventually
The Head of the Sales department (My bosses’s boss) took notice of my work and asked me to make a presentation at the company’s national sales workshop.
This was my first project on the leadership program, but it really set me up for the rest of the leadership program and I finished the program with leading scores.
Moral of the story? Take on the difficult tasks. Solve the big problems. Do what nobody else is willing to do which will make a major impact and do it really well
This, in addition to your emotional intelligence and networking skills, will set you up to succeed in any environment.
You will grow as a person and gain more skills as well. My boss’s recommendation on Linkedin reminds me of this daily.
This morning, I woke up to Chude Jideonu’s daily vulnerable email and it had this tweet by Mrs Ezekwesili, a vice president of the World Bank in Africa.
and it was a great reminder to me to keep on attempting the incredible
For some of us, we started out this way, always ready to put in our best and take on difficult tasks, but we lost our steam at some point.
It’s time to get your mojo back
Start with a small win. Focus on a small mission. Keep away from negativity and keep evolving
Today’s post is a reminder to make the best of your 20s and 30s
Save. Invest. Live. Get a new hobby. Get fit. Eat healthy
For me, my next attempt to push the envelope is getting my book out. I am having serious birth pangs already and I can’t wait to share with you what I have been working on
Stay tuned for more updates on my book and more importantly, get back your steam and charge full ahead into the second quarter of the year
You’ve got this!