Kike-Lola is the founder of My Boss Is Me, a virtual and personal development firm. She is a “serial entrepreneur”, author, speaker and a network marketing industry professional best known for a straight-shooting and result-driven approach to business and life.
Born and raised in Toronto, Kike-Lola believes entrepreneurial experience encompasses life skills that all women should develop as a way to reach their fullest potential. That’s why she refers to the entrepreneurial experience as the ultimate life skill.
She realizes business ownership is not for everyone, but Odusanya believes all women can benefit by exploring the mindset, talents, and knowledge of successful entrepreneurs and take control of their lives, proudly declaring, “My Boss Is Me.”
It’s time again for you to meet one of the people that make the SLA website run smoothly. We’re talking about our contributor family who SLAY with their writing. Asanda Gcoyi is a talent hunter, she’s the CEO of CB Talent, an empowerment hub dedicated to all things talent development.
Through her passion, Asanda works with entrepreneurs and highly successful people in order to help them take their success to a higher level. We’re all lucky that she shares some of this wisdom in the articles she writes for SLA.
A certified master coach, Asanda Gcoyi is the boss of turning talent into something more powerful.
What defines talent to you?
I think it is ones’ ability to showcase what you can contribute in any given context. Talent has to be pegged to passion for it to be meaningful. Further, talent requires hard work to be of any use.
Many people out there are talented in something. Quite a few take joy in just being talented in whatever they may be talented in; yet they do not invest the time required to become the best at what they are talented in.
As such, talent on its own will never be enough. Think of any successful footballer and imagine their work schedules. You will find hours and hours of hard work behind that success; not only god-given talent.
What goes into starting a talent development firm?
It is one of those businesses that stem purely out of passion. You must understand people, and what motivates them and be able to ascertain how this all fits into the overall business imperatives.
Luckily, you don’t need much in terms of start-up capital, so bootstrapping does the trick for the first six months or so.
Tell us about being the Chairperson of the Ethics Portfolio Committee (EPC) at Coaches and Mentors South Africa (COMENSA). How did you find yourself in this role?
When I returned from Beijing, China in December 2014, I was actively looking for ways to reintegrate myself into the South African business landscape having been away for over four years.
As a qualified coach with a keen interest in understanding the professional from a South African point of view, I thought the best thing to do would be to find opportunities to get involved. Luckily for me around mid 2015, the committee had an opening, I applied and I was invited to join.
Less than a year into it (around 6 months), I was asked to take over as chairperson. It was an excellent opportunity for me to develop professionally in the important area of ethics and conduct of the profession.
I really enjoy working as part of the ethics portfolio and I am often challenged out of my comfort zone, which is very important for me. If it is not a challenge, I lose interest.
You studied in China’s Peking University; can you share more about your experiences as an African woman in China?
Peking University and Tshingua University are the top two universities in China so you can imagine the competition! I had no doubt in my ability to get admitted because they too take into account your GMAT scores for business school studies.
As the only and first African woman at a Chinese top institution, it was both an honour and a testing time for me. There was still a ‘curiosity’ on Africa and Africans so in a way I was representing more than just my race and gender but the entire continent!
I have never been one to be meek so my time at Peking was characterised by involvement both in academia and the social space. I was voted into the class committee a month into the studies and I was responsible for the events portfolio. That tells you a lot about my ability to be me irrespective of where I plant myself.
What four skills would you say is needed for someone to be a multicultural specialist?
To be a multicultural specialist, I would say one needs;
Exposure to diverse environments is key;
Actual experience working in cross cultural environments and
Areputation (track record) of successful multicultural engagements.
How is your understanding of the East and West behind your “developing the leader in you, to impact business” idea?
The East and the West are so different in many respects and understanding these differences is key in this day and age. Taking these two and infusing local perspectives (read African) is what I believe can set one apart in business, and professionally.
For the longest time, we were concerned about the ways of the West and didn’t pay much attention to the east until China became the powerhouse it is today. I think that to really be a global citizen/leader, you can’t not understand these two within your local context.
Are there any particular things you look out for in finding people to support?
Being a boss is not for the weak at heart. Even though all you wanted to do is build your dream and make some money on the side, for some reason you have to deal with late suppliers, dissatisfied customers and unpredictable government regulations. Add in there, the challenge of having a solid workforce and its a surprise that starting a business isn’t the last thing on anyone’s mind.
Time and time again we hear from our community that finding good employees is a major challenge to growing a successful business. We know there can be some days when you just want to fire everyone. Like every single person, including yourself.
While firing everyone would certainly be a cleansing process for your soul, unfortunately you would be out of business before you could beg everyone back. And begging is not a good look for a boss. We have a plan to help you skip the dramatics and figure out how to hire and keep quality employees who can help you build a sustainable company and positive culture. Join us for a webinar on Tuesday April 26 for a special webinar on talent management with Chika Uwazie, CEO of human resources software company Talentbase.
Some of the topics we’ll cover:
How to find employees that fit your company culture
Things to look out for building a strong team
Ways to keep your employees engaged and motivated
Tools to help you track employee performance
Chika Uwazie is a human capital professional and also the Chief Executive Officer of Talentbase. Before joining Talentbase, she worked at several international organizations including The Whitaker Group, World Bank, and Exxon Mobil. During her time at the Whitaker group, an African investment firm, she worked very closely with the CEO Rosa Whitaker, to spearhead several initiatives. Some of these initiatives included working with the Tony Elumelu foundation, the AGOA trade program, and Purchase for Africa, a nonprofit organization. After working with the Whitaker Group, she was a consultant at the World Bank within the East Asia unit. Chika streamlined their human capital data as well as lead operations for the young professional committee to ensure growth and development for the junior professional program. Additionally Chika obtained her Masters in Strategic Human Capital Management at Georgetown University.
For her work in human capital she has been featured in Human Capital Magazine and Vanguard. She also has been featured on Afripop and Human IPO for her work in the digital media. Additionally, she was listed by Concept Link as one of the 20 Must Follow Women talking about the African diaspora, and was named by Marieme Jamme as one of the 50 Africans you should know in 2013. Chika is a sought out writer who has written for Ventures Africa, Y Naija, and Forbes. She also organized and spoke at several conferences including the first tech panel for the Wharton Africa Business conference and Social Media Week Lagos.