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7 Questions on Leadership with Adaora Momah

Name: Adaora Momah

Title: Co- CEO

Oranisation: The Mind Transit

Empowering businesses and leaders to thrive, Adaora Momah, CEO of The Mind Transit, leverages her diverse expertise in law, business consulting, and strategic coaching. Having witnessed the detrimental impact of neglecting mental health in high-achieving environments, Adaora is passionate about integrating holistic wellness into every aspect of business success.

From supporting West African governments at the Economic Commission of West Africa to navigating complex legal landscapes as a lawyer across the UK and Africa, Adaora has tackled challenges head-on.

Over 15 years of sales and marketing experience further honed her ability to understand and fulfill client needs. Today, Adaora guides businesses across industries like technology, mining, fashion, and real estate toward sustainable growth built on a foundation of strong mental well-being. A sought-after speaker, educator, and coach, Adaora's passion extends beyond corporate walls. She finds deep fulfillment in investing in children through online education and embracing new experiences while traveling the world.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Adaora's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

I think the biggest challenge of being a leader is handling people without micromanaging them for success.

Motivating and inspiring:

Keeping team members engaged and motivated, especially when facing setbacks or during periods of intense pressure, can be tough. Finding new ways to challenge and inspire them to bring their best selves to the table is a constant effort.

Managing diverse personalities and work styles:

Finding the right approach to lead individuals with different strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles requires flexibility and adaptability. Balancing individual needs with the needs of the team can be a delicate dance.

Addressing conflict and building trust:

Dealing with interpersonal conflicts within the team and fostering a culture of trust and open communication is crucial for team cohesion and productivity. Navigating these situations sensitively while maintaining objectivity can be challenging.

Making difficult decisions with impact:

Leaders often face tough choices that affect not just themselves but also their team and stakeholders. Weighing different options, considering potential consequences, and making the right call under pressure can be emotionally and mentally demanding.

I once had a team member with immense potential but struggling with personal issues that impacted their work. Instead of taking a punitive approach, I offered support and guidance, connecting them with resources and adjusting their workload. That helped us move on faster.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Leadership has always been an inherent part of who I am. As the eldest child, responsibility was woven into my DNA. I listened to and encouraged my siblings, shouldering their burdens as effortlessly as carrying my own. This innate inclination to support and uplift others naturally extended to my friends and peers, who often sought my counsel and support. Witnessing the positive impact I had on them ultimately drew me towards formal coaching training, equipping me with the tools to truly empower others.

Even early in my career, while juggling law studies with a part-time job at a marketing agency, my leadership instinct shone through. My tenacity and strategic thinking impressed me, and within a few months, I found myself leading a team, overseeing colleagues significantly older than me. Despite my youthful age, I tackled challenges with resilience and built positive relationships with my team. One defining moment came when I spearheaded a campaign to fight for fair compensation for our colleagues.

My previous experiences had instilled in me a deep sense of advocacy, and I boldly presented our case to the management, securing a well-deserved bonus for the entire team. This success cemented my belief that leadership isn't just about driving profits; it's about championing the well-being and rights of those around you.

From that day onwards, I've strived to lead with a purpose larger than myself. Whether it's exceeding targets or advocating for my team's rights, I firmly believe that true success lies in collective achievement. As I continue my journey, I carry the lessons of responsibility, empathy, and advocacy etched in my heart, guiding my every step as a leader who thrives not just for myself, but for the collective good.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I used to be a workaholic who transitioned to work-life balance. So I would always preach for a balance that births better impact.

Morning Routine:

Start the day with a mindful activity like praying then I do light exercise or swim to set a positive tone and focus the mind. I usually skip breakfast cause I like to fast till noon.

Strategic Start: Dedicate this time to focused, uninterrupted work on high-priority tasks, such as strategic planning, reports, or complex decision-making. In this block I avoid email notifications and meetings, allowing for deep thinking and productive problem-solving. Utilize tools like timeboxing and focus timers to maximize efficiency and prevent burnout.

9:00 AM - Team Engagement:

Schedule team meetings, one-on-one sessions, or brainstorming sessions to connect with key individuals and discuss critical projects. Actively listen, provide guidance and support, and delegate tasks effectively to empower your team. Encourage open communication and foster a collaborative and inclusive environment.

11:00 AM - External Connections:

Dedicate time to client meetings, external collaborations, or industry conferences to maintain networks and stay abreast of market trends. Utilize the morning's strategic thinking to make impactful presentations or negotiations.

1:00 PM - Lunch and Recharge:

Take a proper lunch break, ideally away from the desk, to nourish the body and mind. Disconnect from emails and work-related communication to allow for genuine relaxation and prevent feeling constantly "on."

2:00 PM - Administrative Efficiency:

Dedicated time to managing emails, responding to non-urgent messages, and clearing administrative tasks.

4:00 PM - Learning and Growth:

I schedule time for personal and professional development. Read industry publications, attend online courses, or listen to educational podcasts.

6:00 PM - Winding Down:

I gradually disengage from work by setting clear boundaries and avoiding late-night email checks. I Spend time with family and friends, engage a hobbies, or engage in relaxing activities to recharge and prioritize personal well-being. This allows for mental and emotional detachment from work.

10:00 PM - Rest and Rejuvenation:

I prioritize a regular sleep schedule and ensure adequate rest to maintain focus and energy throughout the next day. Sometimes I go to bed later but on those days I have power naps.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

A recent leadership lesson I've been reminded of is the importance of striking a balance between making rational decisions and fostering a positive environment. I realized this while reading a case study about a manager who, during a team conflict, let their emotions cloud their judgment, ultimately leading to a less effective resolution. This sparked a reflection on how I approach similar situations. Now, I strive to actively listen to all perspectives, gather facts before reacting, and then provide clear, constructive feedback while offering support and encouragement. This approach has helped me build trust with my team and create a more collaborative atmosphere where everyone feels empowered to excel.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Posner is a timeless classic that outlines five fundamental practices for effective leadership:

Model the Way: Lead by example, embodying the values and behaviors you expect from your team.

Inspire a Shared Vision: Create a compelling vision of the future that motivates and unites your team.

Challenge the Process: Encourage innovation and risk-taking, stepping outside your comfort zone to achieve greater results.

Enable Others to Act: Empower your team by providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed.

Encourage the Heart: Celebrate successes, recognize contributions, and create a positive and supportive work environment.

This book has served as a roadmap for me in managing and dealing with teams across the board. It's an ongoing development but it's helped me become a more effective and inspiring leader, making a positive impact on my team and organization.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

One advice but I have broken it into 3 main points: Grow, research, and collaborate.

1. Embrace the growth mindset:

Of course, setbacks happen. But see them as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Each mistake should teach you something new, and use that knowledge to build a stronger foundation for the next attempt. It's research!

2. Resilience and action:

Don't get stuck in self-pity. Dust yourself off, analyze the situation, and pivot. Asking for help is key, too. Have a tribe that knows your goals, and let their support fuel your progress.

3. Focus on collaboration and community:

Building success isn't a solo act. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, colleagues, and friends. Together, Celebrate wins, learn from stumbles, and make your vision a reality.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I remember when I first took over the team in my first marketing company in the UK. We had a target but morale was low, and our sales target loomed like Mount Everest. The pressure was crushing, and I saw it in their eyes – doubt, anxiety, whispers of "impossible."

So, I did what felt counterintuitive. I called an all-hands meeting and laid it bare. "This goal scares me too," I admitted. "But here's the thing: we climb this mountain together, or we fall together. "I also remember asking them "What is your why?"

That honesty cracked the ice. We talked – openly, and honestly – about challenges, concerns, and even personal anxieties. Slowly, a shift happened. Vulnerability sparked vulnerability. They shared their strengths, and I mine. We built a plan, not a boss's dictate, but a roadmap we built together, brick by brick.

The days that followed were a blur of shared hustle. We strategized, practiced, and cheered each other on. Late nights became a badge of honor, fueled by laughter and a newfound camaraderie. Every win, no matter how small, was celebrated like a summit conquered. And then, the big day arrived. As the clock ticked down, a nervous energy crackled in the air. We huddled, hands clasped, eyes locked. "Ready?" I asked. "Ready!" they roared in unison.

And we were. We hit the target, not just dead-on, but with a resounding boom. But the real victory wasn't the number on the scoreboard. It was the journey, the trust forged in vulnerability, the team that grew stronger with every shared struggle.

I learned that day that leadership isn't about being a lone hero. It's about sharing the map, the burden, and the joy of the climb. It's about showing faith in your team, and in turn, letting them build their faith in you.

So, when the next daunting target appears, remember: that vulnerability builds bridges, teamwork scales mountains, and trust fuels the rocket that hits the bullseye.

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