A Seed Today Is a Forest Tomorrow!

I was just checking my Facebook page when I saw a post tagged to me by Adebisi Olaitan. He posted our recent picture and said:

“Thank God I met you in the journey of my life. God bless the day I met you sir.”

I was deeply touched and greatly humbled, to say the least. I really felt duty-bound to celebrate and thank this great mind for making us proud too.

Mr. Adebisi Olaitan is the MD/CEO of Stomach Care foods. One of the fastest-growing fast food brand in the capital of Osun State. He recently invited me to commission their newly built ultramodern outlet in Osogbo. The same way he did in 2015, when the business commenced operation from a rented space.

I met Olaitan in 2014 after I was headhunted by a commercial bank for business restructuring and turnaround of some non-profitable units. Upon resumption, Olaitan was introduced to me as my secretary. He was so humble and he looked very smart and neatly dressed!

Olaitan is a Masters degree holder from the university of Ilorin who took up the available job of a secretary after graduating. I called him to my office and said, Olaitan, I don’t operate arm chair banking and i am an unsual business development manager. This is a dying business unit and for me to still retain you as a full time secretary is nothing but a luxury, which I can not afford for now.

My laptop and android phone are mobile offices, So, I work on the go and do it myself! Other secretarial job can be handled part time. But more importantly,I see great potentials that has remained in their latent form in you and I want to unlock it. Therefore, I’m reassigning you to the Business Development Unit where you will work with and learn directly from me.

Please note, this is not coming with additional pay and it will even make you work more and harder. But, if you can learn to say NO to good things today, you will say YES to better things tomorrow. If you can give yourself profusely to this new assignment, you will grow your skill set and be eternally grateful you did.

Within a month, Olaitan’s commitment to his new job function was simply amazing. He served diligently and he was very supportive in delivering on our goals and targets. One fateful cold morning,we were travelling to Ilorin, Kwara State to consumate a transaction and I opened a discussion with him….”You can see that for three(3) consecutive months now our figures have looked north (upward) and our business unit is no longer on life support machine or in the intensive care unit. With you and other team members we are delivering on management’s expectations. But, I never wished to grow alone, I love to see others grow with me, but the choice of growth is always a personal decision. Our location will be very stable in few months and I will be moved to another ailing location to work on. You are a contract staff and your career projection here is limited. If you can be like Elisha to my Elijah, as I climb higher on the ladder of purpose, you will also be able to do same and that will be my greatest joy.

I shared some modest business ideas that I expect young entrepreneurs to tap into with high dose of ingenuity. One of them is food business and I asked if he had ever thaught of been an entrepreneur? He said yes and that it has always been his innermost desire. That was all I needed to hear. I encouraged him to use his leisure time and night to start thinking, reading and learning about food business. So,we started to plan about how, where and when to creatively start a decent food business restaurant with little cost in Osogbo. I contributed in the business development formulation and I told him, the business must start with what you have to prove ingenuity. If it means moving the fridge in your house to sell drinks, moving your dinning chairs and table for customers to eat and transfer the DSTV you only get to watch when you get home at night for the customers delight, we will do just that to start. You don’t need a million naira to start, you only need a million creative ideas.

I advised him to bring his wife on board and let her take charge. His wife resigned her teaching job in a private school and joined in the business planning while he continued working. Not quite long, my assignment in that location was completed and after about five (5) months and 20days, I was moved to another location. Few months later, I got management’s approval and leave of absence to vie for the House of Assembly seat in Osun State. To the glory of God, I succeeded at the polls and Olaitan also succeeded at setting up his restaurant. I forayed from banking into governance and Olaitan equally transited from banking into entrepreneurship.

Four(4) years down the line, Olaitan’s business has grown from a rented space in a shopping complex into a fast food brand with a befitting edifice in the heart of Osun State capital. Despite our very tight schedules, Olaitan still keeps the relationship intact, seeks my advise regularly and treasure my mentorship.I have a lot of respect for him too.

Olaitan and other members believed so strongly in my leadership ability as the team head. They followed me religiously, even when it appears they can not comprehend where it was leading us.I uprooted all of them from their comfort zone and we really worked . On my part, I also ensured I provided leadership with integrity, sincerity of purpose, hard work, utmost professionalism and competence.

I am very happy about Olaitan’s achievements today but I am not suprised at his progress at all. When it appeared I was moving him away from his comfort zone and stretching him beyond limits to deliver on the corporate goals of the bank, he never knew he was equipping himself for a time like this.

Whenever you have the privilege of planting seed of greatness in others, people who are equally determined to grow and succeed, please don’t hesitate to do so.

A SEED TODAY IS A FOREST TOMORROW.

Good morning and have a fulfilling Tuesday!

( I will share the inspiring story of three (3) other guys in my team РTawose Olakunle Opeyemi, Kumolu Johnson Bankole and Olasunkanmi, next week)

‘Tunde Olatunji
Office of the Chief Whip
Osun State House of Assembly