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‘I feel pain when I see people performing below their potential’



Business performance expert, Alex Ade Adefemi, will today host the fifth edition of his business reterat under the theme, Get Set. Holding at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos, the programme is tartgeted at SMEs (Small and Medium Scale Enterpreneurs), Organisations, corporate executives and individuals, who want to improve their performance or that of their team. In this interview with CHUKS NWANNE, Tripple A, as he’s fondly called, spoke on his intentions to use the platform to helping participants create a blueprint for their businesses in the coming year.

What informed your decision to go into this line of training?
I used to work in advertising before I went into human and personal development; it’s a passion for me. I feel pain when I see people, who are performing below their potential; it hurts me a lot. In fact, I would just call them and tell them, ‘you know you can do this and this and this and get better result?’ for free! And for me, it started from when I was a child; I grew up with civil servant parents. My mother was the type, who was driven – powerful, energy overdrive, but my father was more on the reserved side. He was in broadcasting. Because he was in the reserved side, he was very talented but wasn’t maximizing what he could do with himself. I used to feel pained, but I was a young man, I couldn’t question my father. That pain kept eating me up and I said that nobody around me would I see them and not help them reach that level they are supposed to reach with their potential. I started reading books at a young age, reading materials that would help me develop my mind.

I started looking for books, materials, certifications and techniques that can help me help a human being maximize their potential in the fastest possible way that would help them precisely. So, along the line, I found the tool called Neuro-linguistic programming, which I’m nowusing to get more out of people.

The reality is that a lot of talented individuals find it difficult to maximize their potentials, how much has that affceted Nigerian youths?
When I think of Nigeria, I think of African China; not the musician. You can talk about the environment and the government not giving funds, but it’s interwoven. Yes, the government has a part to play; they are supposed to help put infrastructure and stuff on ground that would help the young mind to grow. I was watching a BBC documentary yesterday, on television, about these young students in a Nigerian school that wanted to become doctors and a lot of them were talking about the fact that they would prefer to go and practice abroad. Why? Because they have strike issues, lack of amenities and so on. If we can only learn to teach this young people how to begin to find their own strengths, their passions, things will get better.

If we can help a lot of them find what they are wired to do, despite their challenges, they are likely to go around it and get results. They would find targets that would help them, because this is their legacy. When they die, this is what they would say about you; you did this, you accomplished that. I believe that when God made man, God had an idea in his mind and until you can become that idea that God had in mind, that is when you actually fully maximize your potential.

Fela is an idea, he’s no longer a human being. He has gone beyond a human being; his idea is Afrobeat. When you think Afrobeat, you think Fela. How can I help every African that I meet? I have done trainings for people in Kenya, in Ghana, West and East Africa. I can tell you that it is the same thing that I carry around; when you die, what was your legacy? What idea did you carry around? Because every other thing, your business, your career, your personal life are all tied to that one idea.

Let’s talk about the business reterat, what is it all about?
One of the aims of that event is to help you realise that it is not just about passion; there’s a business of your passion, your talent and your gift. You will express your passion, but you can express it and die a poor man. You must understand that there is a business of everything that you do and master that business around that particular fashion. So that when you master it, you begin to make money.

Having worked with a lot of young people, what do you consider their major challenge when it comes to business investement?
Its is fear! It is the major challenge. As a young person, you are looking at Micheal Jackson, you want to be like him. If it is time to do what needs to be done to become Micheal Jackson, you discover that it is either you don’t have the talent for it or you might be a bit talented. Micheal Jackson was talented, but it was hardwork that got him where he was. You find some people that when they are successful, they are struggling to live a successful life because they would start hearing, ‘Na wah o! he no dey our level again o!’
Why? It’s fear.

Fear keeps you in your comfort zone. Comfort zone is a fantastic place, but the only challenge with it is that nothing grows there. It’s a nice place to be , but nothing grows. Nothing would just be moving. I keep telling my clients and I say it at the places I speak that the number hindrance to your next trophy is your last trophy. So, you can’t afford to be comfortable to get to where you are.

So, what are the keys to dealing with such challenges?
First of all, you must have a clear vision; i’s been over flogged about having a vision. When you have a vision that you want to achieve, that vision is right there in front of you. Every time you feel down or you feel depressed or you feel stress, when you remember where you are going, it has a way of saying, ‘get up and keep moving.’ I want to become the number one Performance Coach in Africa. I know that for me to become that, it’s not going to be ‘beans.’ New guys are coming into the industry and there are people, who have been there before. For me to be able to get there, I must keep working with that vision in mind.

I was having a session with a married couple, who were having some challenges and they were here. One of the things I realised was that they don’t even have a joint vision; I’m going to explain that to them in the next session. It is until both of them agree that this is our blueprint for this family and they look at it and they agree and they put addendum on it, that’s when they would begin to work better together. Every time one of them wants to deviate, the other person would say, ‘this is not what you said now.’

Can you give us details of the retreat, what should participants expect?
This is the fifth edition and it’s called Get Set. It’s basically helping you create a blueprint, a business strategy, a plan for your business, your life and your career in 2019. What are the things you need to look at to improve upon, to get certain other results this year?  So, we bring business coaches that would sit with you for roughly eight to nine hours, with lunch, breakfast and writing materials that can help you go home and plan it. This year, we will have Ali Baba speaking; Kunle Shodinya, Lanre Olushola, Steve Harris are all speaking this year. We will also have a fitness Coach Ojoy, who is going to come and talk about how to stay fit while at work so as to maintain your energy.

We will also be having Olawunmi Esan, a sex and family coach. So, what she is going to do is talk to the married people and people about to get married on how to improve their bedroom performance; we found out that it has an effect on the boardroom delivery. A lot of married people are troubling with their sex life and sex is something that we don’t normally like to talk about, but it is very essential. So, we have an expert in the house that would share with you how to get better results in the bedroom. When you have a good night sleep, when you get to work, for even the woman and the man, you would notice that you would have a better attitude to work; your emotional intelligence would be high. We are open for team registrations; there is a team discount for that. The sessions are going to be very practical and we will have group brainstorming sessions.

Don’t you think political leaders will need this kind of training to help them deliver on their promises?
I totally agree with you. When I divided what I do, it’s in three ways: business growth, human performance and leadership; that falls basically under leadership. We are looking at actually sending a few proposals to them this December, and then again in January, to look at how can we sit down with them to work out something. We have been doing it for corporate leaders; it’s now time to do it for political leaders. I have worked slightly with some people from local councils, councilors and all that, but we want to take it a bit higher and work with people, who want to run for state assemblies, governorship, and all that, and see how we can actually brand them to get a better result. We would go ahead and give it our shot; it’s now for them to accept it or not.

In this article:
Alex Ade AdefemiTripple A
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