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7 Questions on Leadership with Emmanuel Olajide

Name: Emmanuel Olajide

Title: Researcher | Operations Expert

Organisation: Ghent University | Legend Biotech

Olajide Emmanuel is a CAR-T Operations Expert at Legend Biotech, Belgium, specializing in innovative cancer treatment since 2023. Previously, he was a Researcher at Ghent University, where he developed a nematode screening method, improving efficiency by 50%. His tenure at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria further honed his skills in molecular biology and team leadership.

Olajide holds a PhD in Biology from Ghent University and two Master’s degrees in Agricultural Sciences and Agro-Environmental Nematology. He is recognized for his leadership in biotechnology and agricultural sciences.

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

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


Jonno White

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

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership for me has been learning to balance the needs of the team with the goals of the organization. It’s a delicate balancing act that requires constant attention and adjustment.

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

My journey to leadership was not a straight path. I started as a team member, learning the ropes and understanding the dynamics of our work. Over time, I took on more responsibilities and was eventually promoted because of my dedication and commitment to our mission.

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

I believe in starting the day with a clear mind, so I often begin with a meditation. I then review my tasks for the day, prioritizing them based on urgency and importance. I make sure to take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout and end the day by reflecting on what was accomplished and what needs to be tackled the next day.

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

A recent lesson I’ve learned is the importance of empathy in leadership. Understanding the perspectives and feelings of team members not only fosters a positive work environment, but also leads to more effective problem-solving.

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 Bible and The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has greatly influenced my approach to leadership. It taught me the importance of strategic planning, understanding the competition, and adapting to changing circumstances.

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

My advice would be to listen more than you speak. As a leader, it’s crucial to understand the needs, ideas, and concerns of your team. This can only be achieved through active listening.

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

One of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had as a leader was when our team was faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Despite the odds, everyone pulled together, contributed their unique skills, and we were able to overcome the challenge. This experience reinforced for me the power of teamwork and collective effort.

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