Name: Khalid Ayodeji Taofeek
Title: Growth and partnership manager, Olabisi Onabanjo University tech community.
Organisation: Olabisi Onabanjo University.
I'm a passionate Embedded System and IoT Developer who's all about technology and its positive influence on the world.
I'm driven by my love for STEM education, working to inspire the next wave of leaders, innovators and problem solvers.
When I'm not coding, you'll find me championing Renewable Energy, exploring ways to create a greener future.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Khalid's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The primary challenge of being a leader lies in effectively managing expectations while comprehending the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, as this directly influences the overall success of the team.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Since my childhood, I've always wish for an environment that helps me discover my talents, nurtures my talents, guide me, support me toward my peak potential. Noticing a trend where many prioritize personal results over collective advancement, I took it upon myself to create an environment dedicated to helping individuals realize their full potential. Through mentorship, tailored guidance, providing and partnering with
brands for learning resources, and facilitating real-world experiences via internships.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I maintain a disciplined routine by going to bed early, allowing me to rise in the middle of the night for focused activities such as reading, coding, prayer, and attending to essential matters. After completing morning prayer, I dedicate 1 hour to exercise and personal well-being. Commencing work at 8 am, I go for break from 12 pm to 1 pm then conclude my workday at 4 pm. The evening involves planning the next day from 4 pm to 4:30 pm, followed by a moment of prayer. This is how I live everyday except for days I need to travel or attend community events."
"I adhere to a structured schedule, retiring at 9 pm and rising at 3 am for focused activities like reading, prayer, and essential tasks. After tending to morning rituals and exercising by 7 am, I dedicate time until 8 am for staying informed and self-care. Starting work at 8 am, I break from 12 pm to 1 pm, concluding the workday at 4 pm. Evenings involve planning the next day from 4 pm to 4:30 pm, followed by a moment of prayer. This disciplined routine is consistently repeated.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Recognize that not everyone on your team matches your energy, and understanding that diverse experiences significantly influence commitment.
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?
Zero to One" by Peter Thiel, "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, and "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki changed the way I see things.
I've never relied on luck, I create my own opportunities using timing and positioning to guide my actions. This shift happened in my second year at university when, despite knowing how to code, I wasn't getting gigs but people I nurtured were getting gigs.
During a wood practical project, I suggested making an automated wardrobe without keys. My group initially resisted, thinking I wanted them to fail, but I persisted. Despite challenges and little to no support, I kept at it, fixed the issues, and the wardrobe worked. The instructor popularly known as Baba Workshop was impressed, and we all scored A.
In my third year, during Covid, Baba workshop recommended me to the university authorities to develop a hand sanitizer dispenser to reduce the spread of Covid'19. This project not only succeeded but also led to the need of creating a community. While working on it, I invited other students to join, and that's how our community started. Then in my final year, I merge with another person that shared the same community interest to create a bigger community.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Be open minded and never let the criticism get to you.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
My ambition to become the faculty president. The election got canceled and I was feeling sad because I knew that having a sit at the authorities table will go a long way in effecting changes.
I picked myself up and continue teaching and advocating to get a skill while in school.