Leadership qualities for the digital age [Transcript]

The Good Citizen Radio Show – Leadership Qualities for the Digital Age [with Adedoyin Adedeji]

Host       Hi Everyone, good evening. This is Bekeme and you are listening to the Good Citizen Radio show. The show is brought to you by CSR-in-Action and is funded by Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation aka ACT Foundation which is a ground breaking organization established in 2016 to support local, national and regional non-profits working in health, environment, entrepreneurship and leadership and of course you know why they sponsor the Good Citizen Radio show. This show is for you and me, everyone who is Nigerian, anyone who is resident in Nigeria; the show is all about us taking leadership in whatever situation we find ourselves. We are who we are and that is of course why ACT Foundation funds us – because we are focused on leadership and its interesting today because we are also talking about leadership but this time for the digital age. A little bit of Nigeria history, did you know once upon a time in Kano there was a great warrior princess  – Magajiya Maimuna who led her Calvary from Zaria to Kumbwada and Kumbwada today is still led by Queen Hajiya Haidzatu Ahmed who presides over a thousand subject, basically that part of Nigeria up in the North is ruled by a queen and there is some story that there is a curse on that throne, so if you are a man and you dare sit on that throne, you will die off. But it is interesting to note that we have women leaders in the core of the North. I find it really interesting and on top of this, something else that is interesting is that we have new partners on the show. We are super excited everyone is listening, and they are happy with what we are doing, so don’t go anywhere, we will unveil them in a while.

Ok, today’s show. We often assume that leaders are people who are high up in the sky; who basically don’t exist amongst us and that these people, in moment of crises, make the right decision that leads to change or that will douse the tension. News flash, that is not always the case. It is usually far from the truth that leaders are know-it-all people, who have their answers at their fingertips. They are you and I and they adopt to change and learn from challenges as they arise. The challenges often involve changing situations that may stem from external influence and all of them. There is research from the Australian institute of management that reveals that 72% of people have left an organization due to their leadership team or their direct manager or some such. I have often try to explain to people, to counsel people, that they need not focus on the individual that they deal with every day at work, they need to focus on themselves and the situations, because sometimes or knowing that that situation is transient and knowing that that particular attitude from that leader is transient and then taking the time out to look at it from the other person’s point of view because everybody has a lens or frame by which they say in a particular situation, so don’t just assume that because this person is my boss or whomever, as my grandmother would say, “they should be able to smell their fingertips and know what the solution to every situation is or know that you yourself are going through a particular challenge” and that’s why you have been turning up late at work so they shouldn’t be angry with you because typically you are there on time. A 2019 global human capital trend survey also reveals that one reason people quit their job is their inability to learn and grow. People often time just shut down. Now whilst there are many challenges with leadership, something that have come to save the day is technology. You would all agree that technology has come to save the day. In Nigeria for instance, technopreneurs are disrupting the eco system and they are playing active roles in the development of various sectors of the economy. Many solutions are developed by Nigerians; platforms like Paystack, Remita by SystemSpecs, Flutterware, even Verve is becoming the most wildly use in this part of the world and this development has brought about a new crop of leaders who are making  a change globally and this same technology and digital platforms are helping our work and progress to be known globally, that is why the Forbes under 30 list which was released last year has 20 Nigerians featured on it. Popular amongst the names are Alex Iwobi and Adeniyi Omotayo, Jessica Anuna, Richard Akuson and Evans Akanno.

A McKenzie report suggests that the secret to developing a well-groomed leader is to encourage four types of behaviours namely: solving problems effectively, operating with a strong results orientation, seeking different perspective and supporting others. I think that even in today’s digital world in leadership, these four principles still apply. We have an expert in the house, a very special guest, his name is Adedoyin Adedeji who is a managing partner of clique head limited an IT consultant and digital marketing agency based in Lagos and he is also the COO International Centre for leadership Development in Nigeria. He is an IT project manager, a writer, a social entrepreneur and an alumnus of Barrack Obama’s young African leaders initiative regional leadership centre Yale. He is a member of the International Institute of Global leadership and the author of a book titled “Choosing a Rewarding Career in Technology,” thank you for coming on the show Adedoyin.

Adedoyin   Thank you for having me here.

Host             It is really great to have you this nice cool evening. To discuss the digital age, before we commence with the questions, I just wanted to use this opportunity to touch base with our WhatsApp group. I did tell you all that we have a thriving WhatsApp group and constantly, they are influencing us behind the scene in terms of the discussions and one of our most prolific users Ireti has this to say. She says “We don’t need any more analogue leaders in this digital time. Therefore, leaders should be complused to demonstrate a robust understanding of the environment and the teeming mass that dominate that environment. One of the critical reliance or worth of any technology is the integrity of both data and human. So what is the difference between and analogue minded leader and a digital one? A practical way to explain it or albeit the exceptions as she says it, an analogue minded leader still thinks in bits; the way technology use to work. Therefore, they are single minded or have self-interest primarily whereas a digital minded leader thinks in packets the way 21st century technology manages and transmits data. They have a theme/collective mindset benefit.

Another user says “a very appropriate topic as usual, my contribution is that I have been doing some research on the manuscript I am working on and the issue is propaganda and disinformation in the digital age and that has been happening a lot, even on the show we have discussed how different entities, both government and others less than stellar individuals are taking advantage of social media especially and causing people to follow a trend they don’t really understand and people just see something and then jump in on it. In summary, it’s a lot easier to access information now than at any other time in human history, by the same token, it easier to spread false information and fake news more than before. Part of leadership is understanding once responsibility to be a critical user of social media, you do not assume fact not proven where the subject is of some significance, teaching leadership literacy includes such critical assessment or fact.” What do you have to say about those contributions Adedoyin?

Adedoyin   Well, I think one of the key things about the era that we are in is that the face of leadership is changing and one of the things a lot of young people need to understand is that we are at an era where we have more power than we use to have. But the difference between now and then is the fact that we have so much power but the question is how do we use this power that technology has given to us as young people? How do we leverage this power to achieve result? We have seen across the world young people doing a lot of thing primarily because of technology irrespective of their background you see a lot of people doing awesome things across the world largely because technology has empowered them to do. In a lot of ways, by trying to leverage technology more, young people can understand the power that technology gives to them and also by valuing technology, not just saying “oh I have a smart phone and I can use it to browse” but understanding the value or responsibility that comes with it, it makes a whole lot of difference to an average person.

Host             Absolutely, I agree with that very strongly, we have lots of digital wars. That is why I say to people I am terrified of twitter for instance, just say one thing and those keypad wars just jump at you.

Adedoyin    I think that is where the power comes in, I think the right thing is every young person needs to understand how best to leverage it. It is not something to fear but something to master. When you master how to operate the right content to get the right engagement, I think you are on the way out there to becoming a leader. Among the young people we have today, who would you consider a leader? When you look at it, you would realise that most of those people can consider a leader within the space we are in at this time, are people that have learnt to master the use of technology and social media.

Host             Right now it seems that some people don’t want to work, they just want unwholesome content to take advantage of. Because we do have people like Segalink who are making waves for the right reasons which is thankful and then you also trolls who’d come at you and say, “go and sit down there, why are you even doing this?” and then there is Falz, Ruggedman who we once had on the show. These guys are lending their voices and there are many other people who are just spreading unwholesome content, who have even a lot more followers.

Adedoyin   I think the core of the problem is that we are not seeing enough good content, let’s put it that way. Young people are not having enough role models, so what is close to a role model is seeing probably a young artist that is probably buying a Benz and his making so much money, for them this looks more like a role model and like they say ‘Fake it till you make it’, so a lot of times this is what most of our youth see and is the closest to what they could say that this person is a mentor or a role model. So I think we are at a junction where we need more people to come up and then be able to come up with good content that has value because we are at a point where people would ask what the value of going to school is because those that have benefited from being a graduate are not speaking up enough. Somehow, people don’t see a lot of those role model around them, the closest they get is those musicians and invariably, we are where are today because of that.

Host             The thing is why most we be so enamoured by a bling? I don’t know how else people who have graduated and have gotten jobs have how else to talk about the benefit of going to school. I think it is a values thing, if we look at it in that way. I think young people feel that they don’t get enough from doing graduate roles. However, there is also a mistake in the sense that people believe that they go to school to get jobs, which is not necessarily the case. There is always room for entrepreneurship, and so what education would do for you is broaden your mind, broaden your horizon, you have the opportunity to practicalise some of the things learnt when you have access to good education and when you don’t have access to good education in the formal institution, when  you hear certain things, if you are inquisitive person, you go out and check them out. Again, the digital age allows you to check them out, now people take it for granted that they are going to secondary schools even primary school and they have laptops.

Adedoyin   Funny thing is, some of the young people we work with in my organization, one of the first thing I ask them is how many of you at one time or another use the internet? At every time, we get about 80% of people raise their hands. The next question I them is how do you access the internet? and they all say mobile devices. In the past we used to have what we call the digital divide – this is the ratio of those that have internet versus those that don’t have access to internet. Interestingly around 2018/19, the World Economic Forum came up with a statistic to show that, the digital divide has actually shrunk and primarily, because of mobile devices, now we are having more people from low income background accessing the internet because of mobile technology. The new digital divide is not access to the internet. It is rather what do you do with the internet you have? We are at that crossroad now where, we need to teach young people that you might have access to internet but also educate them on what they can do on their mobile phones, it is not just taking a picture and putting it on Instagram, but the truth is we need to go deeper and further and be able to use what we have, what technology has given to us and harness it properly, because if you don’t value it, you would end up abusing it.

Host             Thank you for that submission, I agree totally. We are going to go on a short break on the good citizen radio show, we would be right back in some seconds.  


                      Welcome back guys to the good citizen radio show, you have been listening to me Bekeme and my guest Adedoyin, talking about leadership in the digital age. Before I go on, I did mention that we have new partners on the show, the new partners are: Hype and Steam which is an online fashion store and we also have Ryanne John, I don’t recognize me, I look so glam, thanks to the makeup provided by Ryanne John and I would talk about how you can benefit of this new partnership that would utilize every show.

The phone lines are open 0700923923923

                      Adedoyin, do you think that there is a difference between a leader in the digital age and in the traditional times?

Adedoyin   Yes, there is and I think there are a whole lot of differences between a traditional and a digital leader. One is amplification of your voice. Let’s go back in history, one of the greatest leader Awolowo, if you see some of Awolowo videos you have to do a whole lot of leg work to get in touch with people, or to get a message across to people

Host             We have a call, Excuse me


Caller          Good evening,

Host            Hi Ndidi, good evening, how are you today?

Caller         I am very fine thank you, Mr Adedoyin good evening sir,

Adedoyin   Good evening.

Caller           Talking about leadership in our digital world, what I believe is that technology can only help us to bring out what we have inside of us. If we have nothing inside, then technology cannot portray anything, so we start with what we have inside first; do we have integrity for leadership? Are we leaders ourselves? What I understand is that everybody is a leader in his or her own capacity, so what we have inside is what the digital world can help us to portray, when we were learning computer, we were taught garbage in and garbage out. Some people would say computer made the mistake but that’s not true, you made the mistake while the computer portrayed your mistake. It is for us to build up ourselves then we can now use the technology to portray it to the whole world to see our leadership capabilities and abilities by then, they can now identify us by what we are actually portraying, somebody can have all the digital technology in the office and then it’s of no use.

Host             Thank you Ndidi, you always make a lot of us, I agree a 110% and that is what we are talking about earlier when I said it is about the values but then you talk about the amplification, because first of, you have to have something, you have to have common sense first.

Adedoyin You need some capacity for technology to amplify, so if you don’t have it, there is really nothing serious technology needs to amplify for you. I think that one of the ways technology also needs to come in this area is, developing further capacity. It is now using that power that you have to develop other capacity. I was once in a gathering in Unilag and then one of the things the audience were saying was, “ok you are telling us that we can change the world and all that but our educational system is not good enough, our educational system is not helping us” and the next question I ask them is that, do you use the internet? They said yes. Ok this internet you use, what have you learnt using the internet, they couldn’t respond. Truth is, we are at a time where technology has created what we call an equalizer – the same set of phones we use today, is the same set of phones the kids in US use, so you can do whatever you want to do, there are no excuses anymore. The era of background and school is no more a feasible excuse because as long as you can access the internet, you can do almost anything you want to do.

Host             That’s how you see some funny people go to popular threads, begging for 3,000 naira to purportedly feed their child and we know it is a lie, so you have access to the internet and that is what you use it to do. So any final words from you because this show really gets exciting because there are lots to things to talk about, so I give you a minute to talk about any final words that you definitely think our listeners needs to hear.

Adedoyin  I think, two major things I would talk about is digital emotional intelligence: a lot of young people need to understand how to communicate and interact online, it is very critical because it can make or destroy the future. A lot of young people have lost opportunities because of the way they contribute online and the second thing is continuous learning, we need to continue to learn, learn as much as you can, the internet space is there, we have what we call the COO/MOO6 where you can learn and develop your selves and lastly I would talk about, take charge of your privacy, understand what you need to share online and what not to share, it is very vital, you see a whole lot of young people that don’t understand the importance of their privacy, and they are in a whole lot of mess today so I would like to encourage our listeners to do those things.

Host             Thank you, and then in summary from me, I think that every time you get information, think. THINK is the acronym for is it True, is it Helpful, is it Inspiring, is it Necessary that is-is it useful or is it Kind. You must take it into consideration before you pass an information. Thank you for coming to the show Adedoyin, remember we are being sponsored now by Hype and Steam and Ndidi thank you for calling, you have worn yourself a sandal wide block heeled strap shoes from Hype and Steam, if you would send us a message with your shoe size – send a message to 09062634111 and remember that if you shop today on Hype and Steam you would get a whopping 60% off on all items  including their misguided items, just visit hypeandsteam.com.ng.

Word on the street also is that Ryanne John is giving out 50% off on last extensions and make up sessions. You get free eye lashes as well ranging from magnetic lashes, strip lashes, mink and so on. Just listen on, follow us on social media to get more information. Thank you for listening on the good citizen radio show, you have got to look glam, so you have got to follow us and learn more. I am your host Bekeme, the show happens every Friday at 8pm on inspiration FM 92.3, thank you to our sponsor ACT Foundation and thank you to the fantastic team CSR-in-Action.

                     Have a great weekend.

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