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Business Executives can learn from Toriola’s Leadership Style

Business Executives have heard stories about taking the lead in Organizations from across the world. As a leadership and career mentor myself, it breaks my heart very often when the majority of the anecdotes we share during training sessions with clients in corporate Nigeria are from foreign business experiences. Foreign to our culture and personalities. Most Business Executives in Nigeria corporate world are seldom seen to be “taking the lead” accepting culpability and assuring their clients an error will not be repeated.

That is the reason many Nigerians and I were shocked (Pleasantly) when Nigeria’s MTN CEO Karl Toriola came up all over social media to take responsibility for the outage experienced by its numerous customers last weekend. And to promptly refund all resources missed. So I asked myself, beyond the talks, what essential lessons can Business executives pick from all these?

7 hard lessons Business Executives can pick

  • Lead from the front: Businesses won’t drive itself and I understand the role our cultural mindset has played in making us do more, than show. However if you as a Business Executive, do not show what you do as a leader, you may never get that chance to be judged by your good intents.
  • Trust your people: You have to be capable of stepping back and trusting the people around you from time to time. I think a lot of us entrepreneurs have the habit of trying to do it all. Most Business Executives prefer to be very much in the weeds and try to take on too much. It takes a certain level of maturity and experience to know when to step back a level and let the situation play out versus diving in and tearing things apart.
  • Realize that your action alone is not enough: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You cannot transform teammates into something they’re not. You can inspire as best you can, but a business executive, you need to know that some motivation has to come from within. They have to have an inner fire to make a difference, and without that, no amount of effort on your part will allow them to realize their full potential.
  • Leadership first, management second: Seasoned Business Executives Know that Leadership and Managing are not the same. Leadership is about building the vision, working at achieving the goals set and then increasingly showing your people “WHY” they should support the vision with all they have
  • Confront People behind Closed doors: If you have to confront anyone, in your team don’t do it at your office or in front of your employees. Do this out of respect for the person and for your image as a leader. For that reason, those matters should be handled behind closed doors.
  • Document Everything: One of the hardest lessons for Business Executives is how important it is to document everything in your company, whether by video, voice or writing; even though it’s a pain for everyone at the time. When you start to grow, there comes a point in time when not having good documentation can really hurt, and I’ve been there.
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