YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE IN A MANAGEMENT POSITION TO BE A LEADER; LEADERS ARE FOUND THROUGHOUT ALL LEVELS IN AN ORGANIZATION. LEADERSHIP PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN DETERMINING THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF AN ORGANIZATION. LEADERSHIP SKILLS CAN BE DEVELOPED, IF YOU WANT TO BE A SUCCESSFUL LEADER YOU MUST. – By TEAMEMAGES
In the business world, we often equate “leadership” and “management.” We tend to recognize upper-management as the leaders of an organization. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that the two concepts have almost nothing to do with each other. Good managers can be terrible leaders, and not every leader possesses the practical skills to make a solid manager. Leadership can be present at any level of an organization, from the entry-level associate to the CEO. That is one of the most powerful aspects of leadership: it is open to everyone. All it takes is a willingness to raise your hand and the capability to inspire others to reach their potential. In this engaging interview with Adewunmi Abayomi – Founder/CEO, Global Leadership Institute, EMAGES tries to establish the “Art of Leadership” as it relates to management at all level.
EMAGES: I will like you to give us a brief profile about yourself.
ADEWUNMI: My name is Abayomi Adewunmi, am from Osun state. I was born and brought up in Ile-Ife, schooled in Ile-Ife and I spent the better part of my childhood in Ile-Ife, I studied Chemistry at Obafemi Awolowo University, Diploma in Business Administration at Ahmadu Bello University, Entrepreneurship management – Lagos Business School, and finally, Diploma in Africa Management Initiative – Kenya Enterprise in Advertisement. I currently live in Lagos where I run a company called “Global Leadership Institute”.
EMAGES: What is GLOBAL LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE all about?
ADEWUNMI: Is a Human capacity development firm. We seek people, businesses, Government to achieve their great performances by helping them focus on areas that drive their business performances. We help peoples businesses work with the government.
EMAGES: In which aspect or direction do you work with the government?
ADEWUNMI: Just like the way we imply leadership; so we are an advocate for leadership and teach leadership personality to people for their lives and businesses. We teach them business ethics, skills, and build their business to succeed. We create an enabling environment for their business to run all over the world – international recognition. And we also have the plan to work with the Government itself as right now, our opportunity is around individuals within the government space. We advise them and work with them on strategy development.
EMAGES: What is leadership?
ADEWUNMI: I will bring it down in two sentences. Leadership is knowing the way, showing a group of people the way, and also being the first along the way to drive them to that destination. Leadership is all about making people do what they need to do to move from a position to a better position; to achieve their best in people, resources, government, and countries. Leadership cuts across every spare of life and it’s all about utilizing everything you need and especially helping people reach their fullest position.
EMAGES: What is the full meaning of ethics in a content of an organization?
ADEWUNMI: Ethics means a set of rules and guidelines by which an organization or institution operates. It could be written or unwritten. It’s like a set of the constitution like code of conduct of lawyers, code of, and doctors. The lawyer will say is not ethical for me to divulge information shared with me by the client so it’s difficult for the court to ask them to do that. Bringing it down to leadership ethics has to do with keeping everything within an agreeable and morally justifiable manner. For example, if I am working with some set of people in leading a company; as the CEO of the company, ethics means if there is a rule book for the employee even if the employee offends me in any way personally as long as he/she has not violated the set ethics, it will be unethical for me to punish him. It is unethical to punish employees due to hatred or personal feelings. Not being ethical, is an example of favoritism, nepotism, ethnic bigotry, relation. Some organization promotes based on your religion and this gives a fundamental problem to the organization. From such leadership, we start having a square pen in round holes which in the long run reduces efficiency, productivity and brings down the morale of the team, and as I mentioned earlier, without the team there is nothing you can do. You are the leader and not the Omega you are leading people to do something, so if they don’t feel like working with you again due to your unfairness which is the whole excess of leadership and ethics, then you need to review yourself as a leader.
EMAGES: What does leading with ethics means to you?
ADEWUNMI: Equity and fairness. Looking at the content of Nigeria political expert the governors in Nigeria today – those are the two biggest things that are missing when there is no equity and fairness a section of the institution begins to feel like they have been the leaders and that would not allow the business to move forward. In building a team, there are some stages you need to work on. We have the storing stage and warming stage. At storing everybody is trying to make their point like there’s a conflict of interest. When you are not ethical as a leader, a lot of things can go wrong. So, in the long run, it counter-productivity/productive and it’s a pie most people are digging that they don’t know what they are getting into which is a cause for every business in Nigeria unethical leadership.
EMAGES: What do ethical leadership believes in?
ADEWUNMI: Being fair and equity because equity is not talking about equality is when you give some platform to everybody ineffective of their deficiency. So equity is looking at what you mean and the deficiency and making something available to you. Integrity means sticking to your words, staying true to your beliefs. So if you believe in equity and fairness integrity is the core attribute you should have because without it you cannot exhibit the equity of fairness.
EMAGES: Give us an insight of a model of high ethical value of leadership?
ADEWUNMI: From my definition of leadership, leadership is knowing the way, showing the way, and going the right way. A very big distinction being a leader and a boss: a boss asks you to find the way while a leader shows you the way. A boss does not do anything for you but feels you are entitled to do things for him while a leader knows you are supposed to work together. Leadership is fairness, equity, and integrity and in other to exhibit these three things you must have skills in emotional intelligence – that’s knowing how to deal with people. In a case where the law states that money should be deducted from a staff pay if 5 minutes late that’s the rule but in fairness and if apply emotional intelligence with a cogent explanation or evidence but still go ahead to deduct because of what the law states then there is no fairness.
EMAGES: As stakeholders, what should we consider as we lead?
ADEWUNMI: The stakeholders you should consider your team because your team comes before you, he who wants to lead must be ready to serve not to be served. A leader must first see him/herself as a servant in every ramification because you have to go the extra mile, you have to break the ground, you have to plan, think ahead to face challenges to create and find solutions. It more of seeing than being in the board room. The biggest motivation as a leader is to strive to achieve the goal. As a leader, if the goal of where you are going is important you will do anything to get your team there.
EMAGES: Trust and ethical leadership, how does it connect?
ADEWUNMI: When people do not view you as fair and just which is what ethics is all about, they begin to feel the distrust within and it will be difficult for them to trust you even when you have the best intention and say things with honesty. This brings about low morale and poor productivity, take a football game, for instance, once players believe in their coach, they play with full determination with the motive to achieve the planned result.
EMAGES: How does leading with ethic transform people?
ADEWUNMI: The most important three things to learn from a leader are Hetos, glutes, and patos. The patos is talking about the credibility of a leader. Glutes are talking about the logic in what the leader is saying; it tends to assess it in terms of if it is sensible, logical, or arrogant. And Hetos commands 75% percent according to the psychological expert. 75% of the reason why you decide to listen to somebody deals with understanding people’s emotions. You are a leader because you get there before them, or you qualify. The credibility is there or you have the logic as most times you apply logical thinking in your discussion/analysis. But you find it difficult to connect to them emotionally. To lead people, you must have them build trust around you be fair and truthful, give equal opportunities. Once these attributes are in place, it is easy for them to learn from you because you have proved yourself as a leader worthy to emulate.
EMAGES: How does an ethical culture power up an organization?
ADEWUNMI: We have three major ethnic groups in the country, we have Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, which constitute the major culture and tradition in Nigeria, and it is not built-up in a day. It was built-up with moral passing, down to information to all ends. For example, an organization that you are setting up whether you like it or not must build-up a culture that forms the basis of your ethics. We do not have traced tow-three generation in the country, how many companies of the both are around again because the leadership is frosted with dishonesty, lack of integrity, lack of fairness and lack of equity and that is because the company does not have co-operative culture and organization culture well documented. You should have the necessary procedure and policies in place as a guide for any staff in the business so that the reason(s) for termination would be justified. Any system where there is no rule, there is no sin. And train all the leaders within the system.
EMAGES: What different does it bring to apply ethical principles and values to code of conduct to implementation of basic policies that helps an organization?
ADEWUNMI: It is not an arithmetic progression of its geometric progression. If you have a well-run organization you need three (PPPs) product, people, process, and as a leader, you won’t be able to manage the three Ps effectively without a proper process in place. When you have a well-documented code of conduct, ethics, a company culture that is consciously been grown and developed, your process is a flawless process that implies free from wastages, increase efficiency, productivity, and above all customer satisfaction. A good process in place brings about better results. The most problem we have is capital, investment, when this lacks, it disengages you from running the business efficiently and productively.
EMAGES: Is ethical leadership negotiable?
ADEWUNMI: No, non-negotiable. It is like filling the bath tap that is leaking, you can continue for the next one million years the bath-top will never be filled up.
EMAGES: What does mission, vision and value means and how does it clarify our ethical value?
ADEWUNMI: The mission and vision statement is a standard document, a primary document where your company organization, culture, and policy is developed. The mission statement is saying how do you want to be known, how do we want to move to our destination, vision statement refers to where you want to be and what you want to be known for. Your company culture helps break it down further into smaller action steps for staff to understand. Most time your vision and mission are two abstracts for your employee to understand.
EMAGES: What are the specific ethical leadership behavior a leader needs to carry out all the basic responsibility in any organization?
ADEWUNMI: I will break it down into different attributes; Interpersonal skills, communication, Negotiation, Emotional and Intelligent skills. Powerful skills you need there are soft skills that require you to be visionary. You must know where you are going to and know how to get there, it must be success-driven, it must be a picture you can paint, if are asked to make a movie out of it you can describe it and don’t encourage to go to the destination you don’t understand.
EMAGES: What could be an aftermath of unethical behavior of a leader?
ADEWUNMI: The terms will be signed and the organization continue to spiral in terms of self-destruction
EMAGES: How do you manage unethical set of people within an organization?
ADEWUNMI: The first thing is to understand and to be pathetic try to put yourself in the shoes of those difficult people get to the rare course of why they are difficult.
EMAGES: Is it possible to lead them into grade area of the organization?
ADEWUNMI: If you have tried everything possible to reach and motivate them and not seeing the change maybe it’s time to let them go. It’s like cancer; an organization has to get out quickly.
EMAGES: How should people make decision when they encounter difficult situations within the workforce?
ADEWUNMI: Sit back and understand it first do not give it quick answers. It is very easy to get a solution to any problem if you get the right questions. A major reason why so many of us find it difficult to solve problems is that we don’t define the problem as they are. They are so many platforms you can ask questions and random people will answer it.
EMAGES: In every organization, you have your set goals with the company’s goals. A situation in hand where he was unable to achieve these set goals, what do you think?
ADEWUNMI: When you set goals they are there as a guideline and not there as ultimate. Once you achieve it, you set another goal, it is meant to drive performance and commitment, after doing all you need to do and still don’t achieve it, try other ideas to achieve it. As a leader call your teams together as much as you are trying and you aren’t able to meet your target ask for your team opinion as it’s a collective effort.
EMAGES: What are the step we should take to ensure that you get the right ethical leader for an organization?
ADEWUNMI: The only problem is that team members may feel someone who does not know what they are passing through is coming to lead them. I think an organization that does this effectively, recruits potential leaders to the company. Don’t recruit just because you want to fill a vacant position.
EMAGES: Looking at your establishment what do you do?
ADEWUNMI: We are specializing in consulting and development. We work with a team to develop their business whether you have an idea or not. We help you set up the process. Or if you have underdeveloped or underperforming services we help you out. The first one is a business strategy and basically, we have four execution points that we do. Business strategy and organization, model development, marketing plan development. You want to start a business you don’t know what to do, we come together and have a consultation and help you develop a plan and also help you to execute it. We market it for you, run planning, marketing analysis, and research, organization development, employee engagement, digital and technology consulting, executive staff solutions equipment, HR, customer services, and training. What we do right now is advocating; it’s not a business in which we make money, we organize a conference – national submit that we bring in leaders from varying sectors to speak. We did the third edition last year in February so we look forward to the fourth edition this year. We do that through advocacy, talking to stakeholders, and the government sending mails to them and speaking to them.