As she turns 60 and formally retires from her role as deputy managing director of German multinational, Deutsche Bank Nigeria and chairperson of non-profit entrepreneurial network, Women in Business (WIMBIZ), seasoned business leader and financial operations specialist, Adeola Azeez shares many years worth of profound life lessons and wise counsel for the next generation of African business leaders with host and co-founder of Joy, Inc., Chude Jideonwo.
Speaking on some of the core values that guided her throughout her career, Adeola said, “Always be prepared. You know yourself, you know your capacity, your ability, what you want and what you don’t want. For the things you still want, always be prepared,” she said.
“One thing I have learnt in the past 4 years is to manage my expectations. So when I expect a position or a reaction from somebody that I thought was a walk-over and I don’t get it, I am hugely disappointed. So be prepared, manage your expectations,” she continued.
Adeola also implored the younger generation not to be unduly critical of people and situations as criticism breeds ugly results. “We are very judgmental in this environment, so don’t judge,” she said. “Those that judge, sometimes don’t like the outcome of it. When you judge, you already have a mind-set about a particular person and then if it doesn’t turn out that way, some harm or damage could have already been done”
In her closing remarks, Adeola encouraged the youth to assume leadership positions in their chosen fields while standing on the shoulders of the outgoing ones. In her words, “The young have grown and they are here to lead. So, you are not the generation of tomorrow. The leaders of tomorrow are here today. The only value that we are bringing to the table is experience.”
Even in retirement, Adeola Azeez continues to inspire many professional and entrepreneurial women across Africa, motivating them to take advantage of opportunities and make the most of their -God-given potentials.
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