Chairman United Bank for Africa and Heirs Holdings, flanked by young hires at Heirs Place
Still in a great mood from the UBA Red Tv rave over the weekend, I spent my Monday with five outstanding young men and women – Daniel, Ifenlota, Francess, Olaoluwa and Nnamdi from the United Bank for Africa. I’d like to think of them as part of the next generation of young leaders at the bank.
Throughout our informal session and our open conversation over lunch, I listened to them talk about themselves, their families, their careers and ambitions, and some of their concerns as young people in today’s Nigeria. We spoke about work, the economy, their futures and even migration overseas! Lol. It was so much fun to share stories and trade perspectives with them, while gaining insights and useful suggestions from their experiences working with us. In order to build to last, an organisation must cultivate systems and feedback mechanisms to encourage this type of dialogue. Open, frank discussions to listen, learn, inform, engage and educate.
As I answered their questions around my childhood, my days as a young banker, the merger experience between STB and UBA, and how I balance work, family, faith, exercise and my love-hate relationship with food (lol), I recognised in their eager faces myself thirty years ago, keen on beginning my career and buying my very first car. That familiar streak of ambition and passion to succeed against all odds. Spending this time with these young ones is always worth it. Leaders who do not do so are failing in Leadership 101.