Lillian Madeje ‘18 describes herself as a passionate changemaker from Tanzania. In this video interview, Lilian talks about her personal leadership journey since joining the ALUSB programme, the importance of empowering her team, and her thoughts about what lays ahead after graduation, this July.
Here are some highlights from Lilian’s interview:
How have you grown and developed as a leader since you joined the ALUSB MBA?
“Joining the class, I was actually looking for the technical capabilities of the programme. I had just started my company in 2014, and 2016 was when we were starting to grow…I needed the hardware to make sure that I would function well.
I can attest to the fact that over the past 16-17 months I have been able to grow as a leader…the concept of a leader who is seen…I am really keen on grooming the team that I’m working with, on getting them to see the vision that we have for the company.
What’s more important to me is the growth within the team and the feeling that the team has. This is displayed by people going the extra mile while delivering on a project. I can actually leave for a week without stressing because I know that the team is on point.
What got us to that point is not because Lilian said so, but it’s because of a team effort. I have been able to trust my team, to delegate and to see opportunities that can empower my team to do better.
It’s all about learning.”
What does the future look like as an ALUSB MBA Graduate?
“It’s a bittersweet feeling. July is coming…and we are excited because it means we have gone through the boot camp and we’re coming out the other side.
…I know we’ll be meeting. Now have a reason to visit different cities in Africa and have meetups. Other than that, I know for a fact that given the work I do, if I need someone in a certain country, all I have to do is pick up the phone and call, and I know that I will have support”.
Watch Lillian’s full video interview here:
We had the privilege of gleaning some wisdom from guest faculty Gbenga Oyebode, lawyer and chairman of Aluko and Oyebode, one of Nigeria’s top commercial law firms.
In this interview Gbenga shares his tips for doing business in Africa, his reasons for teaching at ALU School of Business, as well as his thoughts about what kind of leadership is needed to advance Africa and help bring about the African Century.
“Our ability to manage our people better, to mentor our people and show true leadership around the problems that bedevil our continent…that’s going to be the difference between the past and the future.”
Here are some highlights from Gbenga’s interview:
What is key to doing business in Africa that most people overlook?
“The 50+ countries on the African continent are not all the same….I think the real key is knowledge of the local market. Try to understand the market you go to, try to behave like the locals, to to understand what they want, their aspirations…pay special attention to the likes and dislikes of the local communities”.
What led you to teach at the ALU School of business?
“I have always felt that the gap on the continent is around education and leadership. I think that if we are going to achieve our objectives, and if in 20 years we look back and we ask, ‘What have we done?’ , it would be that we have educated our people better and at all levels, but that that education also includes significant investment around leadership”.
What kind of leadership is needed to drive Africa forward in the next 10-15 years?
“Our students must focus on leadership as a core skill, in addition to all the other specialist skills that they have acquired along the way…that’s going to be the real difference. Our ability to manage our people better, to mentor our people and show true leadership around the problems that bedevil our continent…that’s going to be the difference between the past and the future”.
Watch Gbenga’s full video interview here:
Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Arowolo ‘18, a wife, a mother of two, and a Nigerian entrepreneur, with plans to expand beyond Nigeria. As Toyin enters the home stretch of the ALUSB MBA, she shares a message for women considering this programme, and talks about the moral responsibility that lays ahead now for the founding class of 2018, as they prepare to graduate.
“The core of this programme has been leadership, but it’s also been ethical leadership – and more than anything, that’s what Africa needs.”
Here are some highlights from Toyin’s Interview:
On striving for work-life balance during the programme:
“I look back and wonder where I had the time to do this. I have two girls, I.am a wife, I work a nine-five job which is more like an eight to eight. I am active in church, started a business midway through business school.
What advice would you have for people considering this programme?
“In the midst of all this, I am happy to say that I have kept up with school work, it hasn’t been easy….it’s been a beautiful experience…in two years as pre-ALUSB and post ALUSB – there’s definitely been a change.”
On what lies ahead beyond graduation:
“As founders, we have an even bigger responsibility to go out, do good and be the kind of leaders people look up to. One of the things that leadership does is inspire us and as the first class, the founders class, I think that we have the moral responsibility (to do so), which is even greater.”
“I think that all eyes are on us, and me as an individual as a member of the class….the sky’s the limit of all of us and we have so much work to do”.
Watch Toyin’s full video interview here:
Words cannot express how proud I am of you, that you have made it successfully to the end of this grueling program of business leadership transformation and earned the right to be called the FOUNDING GRADUATES of ALUSB. You caught the vision, married it with your passion, you were selected among thousands, you have persevered, you have grown as leaders, you are equipped, and you shall continue to soar. Every one of you has been transformed from the competent managers that you were two years ago into competent Pan-African business leaders. I am honored to have played a part in your future success, of which I am confident.
To those whom much is given, much is expected. The journey that you started with ALUSB is not coming to an end; it is changing in its nature. You are now no longer students who are being transformed by our program; you are now graduates whose accomplishments and leadership will shape the brand and design of the program. Most importantly, your leadership will shape Africa. As you celebrate this milestone, I urge you to remember why you chose this program, and why this program chose you. We chose each other because we are passionate about changing Africa. Africa needs you desperately to make Africa great. Make Africa great by creating thousands of new jobs. Make Africa great by inspiring others to become better leaders. Make Africa great by consistently demonstrating V3 leadership.
I am so proud of you.
Make me prouder.
Brenda Kobola’ 19 works in the Human Capital space at Standard Bank Group. In this interview, Brenda discusses striving for work-life balance as she manages work, study, and family life. She also describes her personal leadership journey since she joined ALUSB.
Here are some highlights from Brenda’s interview:
How do you strive for work-life balance in the midst of so many competing priorities?
“At any given time, I have to make priorities, and I have to decide what I am focusing on otherwise if I split myself, there is no quality in anything that I am doing….it’s not easy, but you have to be disciplined. If you say today is my study day, it has to be that”.
How have you developed as a leader since you joined ALUSB?
“I came here, and we were talking about the V^3 Model. I said okay, I feel that I am that African leader. As guests came to speak to us about the different elements of the V^3 model, I started questioning myself….and as you start questioning yourself, you realise that the journey of a leader is about how you craft it as you go along”.
How is ALUSB building Brenda as a leader for African Century?
“I think for me, having the opportunity to sit around leaders, having guests that come in and tell you their stories… it just pushes you. What do I see around me? What can I do? How do I improve things around me and the issues that I am identifying, and what do I do about them? I think that, for me, is the biggest learning so far”.
Watch Brenda’s full interview below.
“This MBA has taught us how to use and leverage the business, leadership skills and so forth to make an impact, and what it means to be a visionary leader”.
A member of ALUSB’s inaugural MBA Class of 2018 and a global health international development professional who was born and raised in the USA, Haroun recounts his professional journey, as he made the move back to his family roots in Sierra Leone.
Here are some highlights from Haroun’s interview:
About the move to Africa:
“It was actually the MBA that pushed me to be on the ground in Africa; right after the first MBA intensive (week) I decided to quit my job at USAID and get a position in Africa”.
On the ALUSB community:
“There is a great representation of the Pan-Africanism, we’re very connected, we all have great networks in the various industries that we’re in, and the potential of great leadership in these areas”.
On the MBA curriculum:
“ALUSB MBA has taught us how to use and leverage the business skills, leadership skills, and so forth to make an impact and what it means to be a visionary leader, to be a visionary leader, a value based and a virtuous leader”.
On Building Leaders for the African Century:
“I see a lot of potential in our class, I see future presidents in our group, future business leaders, private sector leaders making great impacts all around the continent”.
Watch Haroun’s full video interview below.