A lesson from my assistant

I am Omoni Oboli and I represent Naija! Please do not see this as complaining; I love my job, but I haven’t had much sleep since I started production on a new project. Not only that, but I didn’t have much time after I finished principal photography of my new series, before I started on another person’s production. My body is screaming sleep! But this is what the job entails, and though it isn’t always like this for me (since I choose to give enough space between movie productions I’m involved with), I welcome it when it does and try to adjust accordingly.

It’s been a hectic period, but it also takes my mind off other issues that plague us daily. Looking at all the faces of those who depend on me daily for their livelihood is something I never take for granted. I have a great team. My production manager and executive assistance, Tomi Adeoye, is one in a million. She’s a serious load carrier, stress reducer, burden sharer and workaholic. She’s always on cue, knowing how I think and how to get things done. She left the United States, of which she’s a citizen, to work for me, and I cannot seem to recall not working with her. It’s as if I’d always known her. Her sense of duty and commitment has been unwavering.

When I first asked her to give up her IT job over there in America to come and work for me, she didn’t do it for the money, but for the joy of the work in the field she loves to work. She read up on all she needed to do and dedicated herself to expanding her understanding of how to run a movie production. She’s not afraid to make mistakes, and humbles herself to make sure that there are never conflicts between us.

Why did I start talking about her? First of all, I’m one person who isn’t afraid to give compliments to whom it is due, because I believe it helps induce a sense of accomplishment and pride in the one who is the recipient. So, it’s important to appreciate those who make it possible for me to hold myself up high and appear like I’ve got it all together.

Believe me, any business person knows where the shoe hurts, but it takes the efforts of many uncelebrated, obscure and often unappreciated people to make so many successful people appear picture perfect. She’s definitely one who has the right qualities and more. More importantly, I started talking about her because many people out there ask me often how they can work with me, or how they want to do great things, or achieve a certain feat, but lack the prerequisite to attain their ambition. By looking at her, who first started working for me for very little money, and seeing her dedication and passion for the work, I know that many haven’t even begun to understand what “pursuing your dream” means. We often complain about so many things, trying hard to make sure that everything is to blame but ourselves, yet we expect a result that doesn’t match our work. We lie to ourselves and to others about our dreams and aspirations, when we have no desire to put in the necessary work or educate ourselves for that dream to become a reality.

I would love to see more dedication to work, more sense of ownership of any work environment we are found in and a deliberate effort to give our best to our businesses and those of others we may work for with a view to building them up. Her style of always doing research, her communicative skill, her respectfulness, her sense of duty and identity with my brand are some of the attributes that help to build businesses. When we begin to look to bringing value to our work place, and not just to have a place you report to every morning and call it work, we will see the growth we want begin to manifest in every area of our economy. She didn’t put money first, and now she reaps the fruit of it, but many today put the money first and their work suffers for it.

She’s my assistance, and a very dear friend, such that I find her totally indispensable. That’s how you get the attention of your boss at work, and that’s how you turn your business around. A dedicated staff is hard to find, especially with this generation that have been led to believe that they are the bosses of their own world. They’re so caught up in themselves that they’ve lost the edge to be excellent. There are few businesses that are not built on dedicated people, and I believe an excellent staff is far more important than an excellent idea or cash flow. It’s good to have ideas, money and the right connection, but without the dedicated staff, any business can easily fail.

I have other dedicated workers who also do a great job of making things run smoothly, but I have singled her out to show that a lot can be achieved by the ordinary citizen of this dear country of ours when we selflessly stop living in the clouds, but take a different approach to help build our businesses or those of others. It was her work ethic and thought process that endeared me to her when I asked her to come. It was her pursuit of what she wanted that made her leave the United States when many would rather they stayed there. Passion is always ready to do the work! Till next week, keep smiling!

In this article:
Omoni OboliTomi Adeoye
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