Name: Chisom Anosike Njoku
Title: Chief Results Officer
Organisation: CAN Project Options and Services
Born 4th August 1970; first child among seven children of same parents, literally leadership was thrust on me to model a lifestyle, example and direction for my siblings. This was an expectation that was not clarified in my childhood and adolescent years: I followed and flowed with the tide, basically allowing the opinions of others to sway me. An eagle was feasting with chickens and not setting sights to a higher calling - leading, stepping forward and blazing a trail to enable others take a stand.
I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering in 1991 and have worked actively in IT, construction, energy, oil & gas, educational and services sectors of economy; consistently I have brought my perspective to the solutions space knowing that I can make a difference with the bent I bring on board.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Chisom's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
A leader blazes a trail that others are not familiar with; and getting people, colleagues and team mates to join you on this trail can be a heady issue if trust have not been built over time. One must "dig his own cistern before he can draw water from it"
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I became a leader on my realization at 10 years of age that I was the go-to person that my siblings and school mates relied on to speak out for them as well as fight for their rights.
Taking on this role, required that I talked to them and understood their concerns in other to make a case for them. Sometimes also, I had to serve as a counsellor, advisor and saw myself explaining the merits and demerits of progressing their cause
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
1. Wake up, exercise and have a devotion to connect to a higher power or source as a morning routine/ritual
2. Plan the day, taking into cognizance yesterday's unfinished and/or re=assigned activities
3. Check my emails/correspondence for work that demand urgent attention, are significant/impactful and need to be kept in view (KIV)
4. Visit site, review progress of work; engage staff and team on challenges associated with work and possible mitigation
5. Check mails, read and review reports; develop future work plans on the basis of observations made
6. Retire to bed after going through plans made and committing to the subconscious mind
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Every one has ideas that can address a problem or challenge. Allow your team to be free to offer a solution through being open and accessible to you; clearly define and share the challenge that a solution is sought
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?
"Lead without a Title" by Robin Sharma.
Leadership is not about a title or a designation. Titles do not fight battles. Leadership involves a lot of battles - personal, corporate, societal, emotional, etcetera. It's about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for the cause you believe in.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Never give up. Thrive. Shine. You only live once.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Against all odds, I have persevered in what I believe that there is better, finer and higher way to get things done. Knowing this drives the need for self examination and improvement in the leadership journey; I am in a competition to have a better version me daily. All said and done, true leadership is first and foremost self leadership for if I cannot lead myself then I have no reference and capacity to influence, impact and inspire others.