By Okuneye Moyosola
Mr. Oluwakayode Alonge is the Group Head, Human Resources, SIFAX Group. He was one of the resource persons at the 3rd Women in Leadership and Career Empowerment Program (WILCEP) Africa, Mentorship Programme. He spoke on the need for personal assessment in various aspects of life. Alonge also shared tips on development the required skills to manage a successful business and a flourishing career path. Enjoy it:
Speaking on a topic titled “Wheels of Life”, Alonge stressed that anyone could make the critical decision to transform his or her life by filling in accurately where he or she ranks on a pie chart which has Health, Relationships, Environment, Career, Money, Brightness of Life, Personal Growth and Spiritual Life.
He started off with a puzzle, asking every participant to write down the five most important people in their lives. Only one participant emerged a winner of his puzzle as she penciled down her name as one of the most important people in her life. Alonge explained that one of the erroneous notions most people had was to believe that other people are more important and valuable than themselves. Explaining the wheels of life, he outlined the following:
Describing health and the general state of feeling well, he said it explains the way you feel yourself. Appearance (how you look), Mobility (how much you move throughout the day), your moods, energy levels, nutrition, sport, sleep.
You need to know you health status and be able to rate it on a scale of 1-10. Do this sincerely so that you know how healthy you are and take steps to improve from where you are.
There are 4 kinds of people in your life. There are those that add and multiply to your life. Another type is those that subtract and divide from your life. Those people that add to you and multiply you, are the kinds of people you should have in your life.
The truth is that nobody can come into your life and leave you the same way. They will either subtract from you or add to you directly or indirectly. Be strict with your relationship, examine your relationships and prioritize your relationships. Nobody has the right to your relationship. It’s common for women to remain in relationships where the man keeps subtracting from her and not adding value all because of love.
What kinds of friendship are you keeping? Who do you love? Human beings cannot survive without love. Love is critical to human’s survival. Who do you love and who loves you back? Access your relationship.
Your physical environment is also very important. This includes your surroundings, colleagues, acquaintances, neighbours and opponents. Do you like where you live? Where you live is not necessarily the house that you live in, it involves everyone that is around you.
You can be living in Ikoyi and still not be in a fantastic environment. What kind of association is going on around you? Where do you work? What is the work environment like? What kind of support system is existing where you work? There are some of us that are fighting our friends and they are friends to our enemies. We are fighting those who are friendly to us and we are friends to those who are fighting us. If your environment is a toxic one, you need to calm down and take a u-turn. Examine your environment.
Do you have a career? A career is not a job. I have a career and I have a job. I have carried out my career to SIFAX Group. SIFAX Group is my job. Presently, I am Group Head of Human Resources. Tomorrow, I can be somewhere else but you can be sure that I will be somewhere around HR or something similar. HR is my career; SIFAX Group is the job I am doing now. A career is long term while your job is present day. Your long term assignment is your job while your long term work life is your career. People that don’t know about their career do several jobs and they don’t have a career in it. When you are moving from one job to another that is not related to each the other, then you won’t be able to build a career.
Water can mold a whole lot of mountains and it does this through consistency. Just give it time; it will make a whole mountain for you. Career represents concentration. Have you found a career? Do you have a career? How satisfied are you with your work?
I was at a company some years back and I worked really hard there. The company organized personal financial management training and one of the people who spoke at the event asked us to calculate our net worth. I was sad because I was not impressed with the results and immediately, I made some drastic decisions.
If you don’t do an assessment of yourself, you wouldn’t know how to adjust and make corrections. I listed out all my liabilities and all my assets and when I calculated it, I was more than N2million in debts and I didn’t know. You know I was in debt because the company was keeping me there and was granting me loans. I was accumulating loans. I was doing my job very well and I was one of the super stars in the company but I was dying.
By the time I moved from that place to another place, my income tripled. When they wanted to get someone to replace me at the previous place of work, they got three people. The three people did the job that I was doing back then. I was managing seven different distinct departments. I was over burdened with work and I didn’t complain because I like to work. Not until, I saw the red traffic light. My family was also suffering this too. I couldn’t take my children to good schools and I was hoping that God would change the situation. But I didn’t know that God has done his own bit, it’s me that didn’t do mine. I spent 8 years in that place and I couldn’t boast of anything other than a debt of N2million. Within 4 months of leaving that place, I moved my children to one of the best schools in Nigeria. I could afford to take a correct HMO for my family. You won’t know what you are depriving yourself of until you do a proper analysis.
Unfortunately, some of us cannot calculate how much we are owing. How much are we making? What is the state of your life? Access yourself moneywise.
Are you growing mentally? Are you growing in terms of maturity? Women need to think for themselves. Like Tunde Bakare said, “if Muslims want to enter the mosque, they pull of their shoes but if Christians want to enter the church, they pull off their brains”. I don’t disagree with him. When many people want to enter into marriage, they pull off their brain. This is common with women. He is your husband, doesn’t mean that he is your destiny. You have to think for yourself. How are you feeding your brain? When last did you read a book? I urge you to read this book titled “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. I can guarantee that your life wouldn’t remain the same again if you can read the book. What certification do you have as regards your career? What do you know about your career? There is one oracle called Goggle where you can get access to all the information you need. It teaches anyone that is willing to learn. The power to make life what you want it to be is with you. Where will you be in the next 10 years? What will you be doing?
Brightness of Life
Do you like the way you are living? Do you like your prospects? What are the activities to make your life brighter? When last did you go out for relaxation or holidays? How colourful is your life? Can you afford to wear more than one colour? There has to be variety in your life. You control how you shine. Nobody should tell you otherwise.
If you don’t have a spiritual life that is ongoing, you have signed off yourself to the other duplicate of life. Unfortunately, it is the spiritual life that determines the physical life. What kind of spiritual life do you have? I love my mum so much because she births someone great like me. It takes a lot of effort to be a mother. Your knees have work to do. The mother controls the destiny of her child. We can’t do without our mothers. You need power to be a mother. Some people get their power from different places, but for me, I get my powers from Jesus. I address my spiritual problems through prayer and fasting because I know Jesus has the superior power. When you spend time with God and fellowship with him, things will turn out well for you. The bible said no weapon fashioned against you shall prosper. The enemies will gather but they will scatter because of Jesus for your sake. It’s not just about going to meet pastors for prayer. You are an oracle. Pray for yourself.
Not all of you can own a business. You have to access yourself to know whether you can run a business or not. With some kinds of personality, some people cannot run a business. Some will need partners to run the business effectively. Unfortunately we are in Nigeria where people are not trustworthy. If you try to partner with the, they might run you down. In a normal situation, you should be able to survive even though you cannot own your own business. If you look at the biggest businesses today, they are partnerships. We have Face book, Apple and Amazon. All of these are partnerships. However, in Nigeria, partnership is very risky. Although, there are people who are succeeding with partnerships in the country. Access Bank and GTB bank is a partnership. There is also another assessment to determine people that you can work with. There is a way you can’t access the people that you partner with, so that you don’t get into the wrong hand.
Women make the best entrepreneurs in any society in the world. Also, know that if you give your concentration to it, you can do it. Although some of you may be weak in some areas that will make you disqualified from running a business, if you school yourself, you can do it. Women are better off doing it than the men. Why? This is because when women make their money, they will spend it on the family but when men make their money, they will spend it elsewhere.
Finally, if in 10 years, you are not teaching people what I’m teaching you today, then I would have failed with this presentation today. If you have not started reaping the rewards of the things I asked you to do in 10 years, then this whole session was a waste of time. If in 10 years you have not transformed the whole of your life completely, then this would be a waste. You don’t need more than one year to transform your life. I speak as one who has been through a transformation process before.
All you need is consistency. Try and change your sleeping pattern or any bad attitude in just 21 days. If you can change it for 21 days, what is one year, five years or 10 years? You can change you whole life and be a better person if you make the choice today.