Ireti Samuel-Ogbu: Five Messages to My Younger Self About Leadership
By Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, EMEA Public Sector Head, Citi Transaction Services March 18, 2013 03:54 PMMy name is Ireti Samuel-Ogbu. I started working at Citi as a management associate more than 24 years ago. I have worked in Nigeria, London and South Africa in a variety of roles, from operations to relationship and product management. I am currently the EMEA Public Sector Head for the Citi Transactions Services business, based in London.
The topic of leadership is important to me because banking is a service and solutions related business, which is dependent on the caliber of the workforce. Even though management gurus expound time-honored, enduring principles, leadership is a constantly evolving topic. I prefer taking on a more centered and holistic approach to becoming an effective leader. Being a successful leader translates not just to a work environment, but life itself. Here are five tips to my younger self about leadership:
1. Find meaning in what you do
It is important to relate what you do to your broader values and aspirations. Aligning your profession to your overall purpose as an individual makes work another avenue of self-expression; it can become an extension of your personal brand or legacy.
2. Take on a positive frame of mind
Contextualize experiences, especially those that are challenging or stressful. Try not to view events through a negative lens. Constraints can become opportunities and our greatest perceived failings can be a source of even greater learning.
3. Connect and network with peers
Try to test ideas or solicit advice from a diverse network of people. Many experiences are not unique, so being open to sharing, even at the risk of losing face, can be rewarding and empowering.
4. Be bold and pioneering
Take an unprecedented step with your career. Work out worst-case scenarios in your head and once you come to terms with what can go wrong, be courageous and take a calculated risk.
5. Manage your time and energy
Don't forget about yourself. Find activities that refresh you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Build in thinking time so you don't burn yourself out. Be driven, work hard and work smart.