Name: Olu Mike Omoasegun
Title: PASTOR (PROF)
Organisation: 1. BIBLE UNIVERSITY, 2. CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH, MOUNT OF MERCY GASHUA YOBE STATE NIGERIA, 3. FOUNTAIN INTERNATIONAL REPORTERS, 4. MIKOAS GLOBAL CHRISTIAN EDUTECH LTD, 5. MIKOAS GLOBAL EDUTECH INSTITUTE
A motivational keynote speaker, a leadership expert, a certified ordained pastor who valued dedication and service of the people. He works with individuals and organizations to amplify their communication, connection and confidence so they can make an influential impact on the world. He mentors with passion, guiding his clients and audience to effectively strengthen and elevate their leadership vision to new heights. He is the current president of Bible University Canada, holds 3 PhDs, Global Professor, Professor of Biblical Studies, and Master’s programs at Bible University, Pastor, Christ Apostolic Church, Gashua, Yobe State, Nigeria, Founder/Coordinator, the Author of Life Prayer Ministry, CEO, Omoasegun Global Links, Founder of Mikoas Universal Institute, and CEO, Fountain Reporters, A motivational speaker, writer, counselor, and author of more than 110 published books, several papers, and numerous articles, Co-authors “Christ Throughout Africa” with Dr. Tonny Hyman from South Africa
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.
I hope Olu's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?
I build trust with employees, customers, and other stakeholders in the following ways:
i. Lead by Example: I set a positive example by consistently demonstrating honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior. I adhere to the same standards I expect from others.
ii. Effective Communication: I maintain open and transparent communication with all stakeholders. I actively listen to their concerns and feedback, showing empathy and understanding.
iii. Consistency: I ensure that my actions, decisions, and communication are consistent over time. This consistency helps in establishing a sense of reliability and trustworthiness.
iv. Competence: I continually invest in my skills and knowledge, and I encourage my team to do the same. This commitment to competence builds confidence and trust among stakeholders.
v. Empower and Delegate: I empower employees to make decisions within their areas of expertise and trust them to carry out their responsibilities effectively. This demonstrates my confidence in their abilities.
vi. Recognition and Appreciation: I acknowledge and appreciate the efforts and contributions of employees and stakeholders. Celebrating achievements fosters a positive and trusting atmosphere.
vii. Transparency: I share important information about our organization's goals, challenges, and strategies. Transparency builds trust by keeping stakeholders informed and involved.
viii. Ethical Behavior: I uphold high ethical standards in all my actions and decisions. I address ethical concerns promptly and with integrity, ensuring that our organization maintains its ethical reputation.
ix. Conflict Resolution: I address conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner, promoting open discussions and finding solutions that respect diverse perspectives.
x. Accountability: I hold myself accountable for my actions and decisions. I also expect accountability from my team and ensure that we meet our commitments.
xi. Accessibility: I make myself accessible to employees, customers, and stakeholders. I am available to address their questions, concerns, and feedback promptly.
xii. Empathy: I show empathy and understanding towards the needs and concerns of others. I consider the impact of my decisions on individuals and the broader community.
xiii. Customer-Centric Approach: I prioritize the needs and satisfaction of our customers. I go the extra mile to meet their expectations and exceed them whenever possible.
xiv. Feedback and Improvement: I actively seek feedback from employees, customers, and stakeholders on a regular basis. I take action to make improvements based on their input, demonstrating that their opinions matter.
xv. Long-Term Perspective: I focus on building long-term relationships rather than pursuing short-term gains. I consider the long-term impact of my decisions on our organization's reputation and sustainability.
xvi. Adaptability: I remain open to change and adapt to evolving circumstances and feedback. I am willing to learn and grow as a leader to better serve the needs of our stakeholders.
By consistently implementing these strategies, I aim to build and maintain trust with employees, customers, and other stakeholders, fostering positive and lasting relationships.
2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?
As a leader, "VISION" and "MISSION" hold distinct meanings and play crucial roles in guiding the direction and purpose of a business. Here's what they mean to me and how they are practically applied in the real-world business context:
Vision is the aspirational, future-oriented statement that outlines the long-term goals and desired outcomes a business aims to achieve. It represents the company's overarching purpose and provides a clear picture of what success looks like in the future.
Real-World Application: In the real world, a vision serves as a source of inspiration and motivation for employees and stakeholders. It guides strategic planning and decision-making by aligning efforts toward a common, compelling goal. Leaders articulate the vision, ensuring it's communicated effectively throughout the organization. This includes:
• Defining a Clear Vision Statement: Crafting a concise, memorable statement that captures the essence of the desired future state.
• Aligning Goals and Strategies: Ensuring that all business objectives and strategies are in line with the overarching vision.
• Continuous Reinforcement: Regularly communicating and reinforcing the vision to keep it top-of-mind for all employees.
• Measuring Progress: Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress toward realizing the vision.
Mission represents the fundamental purpose and core reason for a business's existence. It defines what the organization does, whom it serves, and how it adds value to its customers or stakeholders. A mission statement encapsulates these principles.
Real-World Application: In practice, a mission statement guides day-to-day operations and decision-making by providing a clear sense of purpose and identity. Leaders use the mission statement to:
• Set Priorities: Ensure that all activities and initiatives align with the organization's mission.
• Cultural Alignment: Foster a company culture that reflects the mission's values and principles.
• Customer Focus: Keep the customer or stakeholder at the forefront of all business activities.
• Employee Engagement: Inspire and engage employees by connecting their work to the mission's greater purpose.
• Adaptability: Use the mission as a foundation for adaptability and resilience in the face of challenges and changes.
As a leader, vision and mission are not mere statements on paper; they are guiding principles that shape the company's identity, culture, and trajectory. By effectively communicating and living out these guiding statements, leaders can inspire their teams, drive strategic decisions, and create a strong sense of purpose throughout the organization. This, in turn, can lead to improved performance, stakeholder satisfaction, and long-term success in the business world.
3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?
Empowering the people you're leading is a crucial aspect of effective leadership. It involves giving individuals the autonomy, confidence, and support they need to take initiative, make decisions, and contribute to the organization's success. Here are several ways a leader can empower their team:
Delegate Authority: Trust your team members with responsibilities and authority that align with their skills and capabilities. Avoid micromanaging and allow them to take ownership of their tasks and projects.
Provide Autonomy: Encourage independent thinking and decision-making. Let employees have a say in how they approach their work and solve problems. Offer guidance and support when needed but avoid dictating every step.
Set Clear Expectations: Define clear goals, expectations, and performance standards. Ensure that team members understand what success looks like and how their work contributes to the organization's objectives.
Offer Opportunities for Growth: Provide opportunities for skill development and advancement. Support employees in acquiring new skills, taking on challenging projects, and pursuing career goals within the organization.
Encourage Innovation: Create an environment where new ideas and creative solutions are welcomed. Celebrate innovation and provide resources for experimentation and improvement.
Foster a Learning Culture: Promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Encourage feedback, both giving and receiving, and provide opportunities for professional development.
Actively Listen: Listen attentively to your team members' ideas, concerns, and feedback. Make them feel heard and valued, and incorporate their input when appropriate.
Recognize and Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and reward accomplishments and contributions. Publicly recognize and celebrate individual and team successes to boost morale and motivation.
Lead by Example: Demonstrate empowerment in your own leadership style. Show that you trust and empower your team members by giving them opportunities and responsibilities.
Provide Resources and Support: Ensure that your team has the tools, resources, and support needed to excel in their roles. Remove obstacles and provide assistance when necessary.
Encourage Collaboration: Foster a collaborative and inclusive work environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and working together to achieve common goals.
Promote Accountability: Hold individuals accountable for their actions and decisions. Encourage responsibility by setting expectations for quality and timeliness of work.
Communicate Transparently: Keep the team informed about organizational changes, challenges, and progress toward goals. Open and honest communication builds trust and empowers individuals to make informed decisions.
Provide Feedback: Offer constructive feedback regularly, focusing on both strengths and areas for improvement. Encourage self-assessment and self-improvement.
Celebrate Learning from Mistakes: Encourage a culture where mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth and learning rather than as failures. Share lessons learned from setbacks.
Lead with Trust: Trust is the foundation of empowerment. Trust your team's intentions and capabilities, and give them the freedom to succeed and learn from their experiences.
By implementing these strategies, a leader can create a supportive and empowering environment that enables team members to reach their full potential, contribute effectively, and achieve both individual and organizational success. Empowered employees tend to be more engaged, innovative, and motivated, which ultimately benefits the entire organization.
4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?
There are many mentors that influence me positively, but I’m focus on Pastor John O. Adewinmisi, a revered pastor and leader, had a profound impact on my leadership journey. I had always been passionate about helping others but struggled with self-doubt and a lack of confidence in my leadership abilities.
Pastor John, as he was affectionately known, recognized my potential and took me under his wing. He saw in me a spark of leadership potential that I was unaware of. Pastor John's mentoring style was characterized by patience, encouragement, and unwavering support.
One day, I was faced with a challenging situation at our church because I was his curate. There was a crisis within the youth group, and I felt overwhelmed. Doubts and insecurities crept in, and I considered lose hope in my position.
It was during this challenging time that Pastor John stepped in. He listened attentively as I poured out my concerns and self-doubts. Then, he shared a story from his own leadership journey.
He recounted a time when he faced a similar crisis in his early days of ministry. He had felt overwhelmed and ill-equipped to handle the situation. However, with the guidance of a mentor who believed in him, he persevered and learned valuable lessons that shaped his leadership.
Pastor John's message to me was clear: Leadership often involves facing challenges and doubts, but it's how we respond to these situations that defines us as leaders. He reminded me of my unique strengths and the positive impact I had already made on the youth group.
Over the following months, Pastor John continued to mentor and support me. He encouraged me to take calculated risks, make decisions, and learn from both successes and failures. He provided me with books and resources on leadership, faith, and resilience.
Through Pastor John's guidance and unwavering belief in my potential, I’m not only resolved the crisis within the youth group but also became a confident and effective leader. I went on to lead successful initiatives, inspire others, and make a lasting impact on the community.
Pastor John's mentorship not only transformed my leadership abilities but also instilled in me the belief that with determination and the support of a mentor, anyone can overcome self-doubt and grow into a capable and influential leader.
This story illustrates the profound influence that mentors like Pastor John can have on individuals' leadership journeys, helping them discover their true potential and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?
I maintain focus in my leadership role through a combination of strategies and practices:
i. Setting Clear Goals and Priorities: I ensure that I have well-defined, achievable goals and prioritize them based on their significance and impact. This helps me stay on track and concentrate on what matters most.
ii. Delegating Responsibilities: I delegate tasks and responsibilities to my capable team members, trusting them to handle their areas of expertise. This allows me to focus on strategic and high-priority tasks that require my attention.
iii. Effective Time Management: I employ various time management techniques such as creating to-do lists, setting deadlines, and utilizing time-blocking to allocate specific slots for crucial tasks in my schedule.
iv. Limiting Distractions: I identify and minimize common distractions in my work environment. This includes turning off non-essential notifications, closing unnecessary tabs or apps, and maintaining a clutter-free workspace.
v. Practicing Mindfulness: I regularly practice mindfulness through activities like meditation and deep breathing. Being present in the moment enhances my ability to concentrate and reduces stress.
vi. Regular Goal Review and Adjustment: I periodically review my goals and priorities to ensure they align with my organization's evolving needs. I am ready to adjust them as necessary to stay focused and aligned.
vii. Saying No When Necessary: I have learned to say no to tasks or commitments that do not align with my current goals or that could stretch my resources too thin. I do so politely while explaining my reasons when needed.
viii. Setting Boundaries: I establish clear boundaries for work hours and personal time. This prevents burnout and allows me to recharge my focus through relaxation and self-care.
ix. Batching Similar Tasks: I group similar tasks together and address them during specific time blocks. This minimizes context switching and enhances my efficiency.
x. Technology Usage: I wisely use productivity tools and apps to manage tasks, schedules, and communications. However, I am careful not to become overly dependent on technology.
xi. Seeking Accountability: I share my goals and priorities with a trusted colleague or mentor who can help hold me accountable for staying focused and on track.
xii. Continuous Learning: I stay updated with industry trends and leadership best practices through continuous learning. This enhances my knowledge and confidence in decision-making, reducing uncertainty and distractions.
xiii. Celebrating Achievements: I acknowledge and celebrate my achievements and milestones. Recognizing my progress boosts my motivation and helps me maintain my focus on long-term goals.
xiv. Regular Self-Reflection and Reevaluation: I take time to reflect on my leadership journey, considering what has been effective in maintaining my focus and what areas may need improvement. I adjust my strategies accordingly.
Maintaining focus is an ongoing effort that I prioritize in my leadership role. By implementing these strategies and remaining mindful of potential distractions, I can enhance my leadership effectiveness and make more informed decisions for my organization.
6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?
Planning for the week, month, and years ahead in my role is a vital aspect of my leadership. Here's how I approach planning at different timeframes:
i. Setting Weekly Goals: At the beginning of each week, I set clear and achievable goals for the week ahead. These goals are aligned with my broader objectives and priorities.
ii. Prioritizing Tasks: I create a detailed to-do list for the week, prioritizing tasks based on their importance and deadlines. This helps me stay focused on what needs to be accomplished.
iii. Time Blocking: I allocate specific time blocks for different tasks and activities. This structured approach helps me manage my time effectively and ensures that critical tasks receive adequate attention.
iv. Reviewing Previous Week: I review the achievements and challenges of the previous week. This reflection informs my planning for the current week, allowing me to build on successes and address any unresolved issues.
i. Monthly Goal Setting: At the beginning of each month, I set broader goals that encompass the key outcomes I aim to achieve during that month. These goals are more strategic and long-term in nature.
ii. Detailed Planning: I break down monthly goals into actionable steps and tasks. This involves creating a comprehensive action plan that outlines what needs to be done and by when.
iii. Budgeting and Resource Allocation: If applicable, I review budgets and allocate resources for the month. This includes financial planning and resource allocation to support the achievement of goals.
iv. Performance Evaluation: I assess progress toward the goals set for the previous month. This evaluation helps me identify areas of improvement and adjust strategies accordingly.
i. Annual Goal Setting: At the start of each year, I define overarching annual goals and objectives. These goals align with the organization's strategic direction and my personal leadership vision.
ii. Long-Range Planning: I engage in long-range planning by identifying major milestones, initiatives, and projects that need to be accomplished throughout the year.
iii. Quarterly Breakdown: I break down the annual goals into quarterly objectives. Each quarter has its own set of priorities and focuses to ensure steady progress toward the annual goals.
iv. Performance Metrics: I establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure progress. Regular monitoring of these metrics helps me stay on track and make data-driven decisions.
v. Team Alignment: If applicable, I work closely with my team to ensure that everyone understands the annual objectives and their roles in achieving them.
vi. Reflection and Adjustment: Periodically, I reflect on the progress made, assess what is and isn't working, and make necessary adjustments to my plans and strategies.
Throughout these planning processes, I remain adaptable and open to change. Flexibility is key, as unexpected developments can require adjustments to my plans. By planning at different timeframes, I can maintain a balance between short-term tasks and long-term strategic objectives, ensuring that I am consistently working toward the overall success of my role and organization.
7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?
If I were to offer advice to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively, I would share the following insights based on my own experiences:
i. Recognize the Importance of Delegation: Firstly, I would emphasize the significance of delegation in leadership. Delegation is not just about distributing tasks; it's a crucial skill that empowers your team, fosters growth, and allows you to focus on higher-level responsibilities.
ii. Trust Your Team: I would encourage the young leader to trust their team's capabilities. Recognize that your team members are capable individuals who can handle tasks and make decisions when given the opportunity. Trust is the foundation of effective delegation.
iii. Start Small: If delegation feels overwhelming, I would suggest starting with small, manageable tasks. Begin by delegating less critical or lower-risk responsibilities to build confidence in the process.
iv. Clear Communication: Effective delegation hinges on clear communication. I would advise the leader to articulate expectations, objectives, and any constraints associated with the task. Be open to questions and provide any necessary resources or support.
v. Empower Decision-Making: Encourage team members to make decisions within their areas of responsibility. While you should provide guidance, allow them the autonomy to solve problems and find solutions.
vi. Provide Feedback and Recognition: Regularly offer feedback on completed tasks, focusing on both strengths and areas for improvement. Acknowledge and appreciate your team's efforts, reinforcing their sense of ownership and accountability.
vii. Learn from Mistakes: Understand that mistakes may happen when delegating tasks. Instead of placing blame, view mistakes as learning opportunities for both you and your team. Discuss what went wrong and how to avoid similar issues in the future.
viii. Delegate According to Strengths: Match tasks to team members' strengths and interests whenever possible. This not only enhances task performance but also keeps your team engaged and motivated.
ix. Be Patient and Supportive: Recognize that delegation may take time to master. Be patient with yourself and your team as you navigate the learning curve. Offer ongoing support and guidance as needed.
x. Evaluate and Adjust: Periodically assess the effectiveness of your delegation practices. Ask for feedback from your team on how you can improve the process. Be willing to adjust your approach based on what works best for your team's dynamics.
xi. Lead by Example: Demonstrate effective delegation by delegating tasks within your own responsibilities. When your team sees you embracing delegation, they are more likely to do the same.
xii. Seek Mentorship: Consider seeking mentorship or advice from experienced leaders who have mastered the art of delegation. Learning from their insights and experiences can be invaluable.
Lastly, I would emphasize that effective delegation is an ongoing journey. It requires practice, self-awareness, and a commitment to developing your leadership skills. By gradually building your delegation skills and trusting your team, you can become a more effective and confident leader.