Vicki Olatundun: Meet our Mentor of the Month of August

My passion is simple, my mission is clear....I believe in H.O.P.E (helping other people excel). I describe myself as a community-minded social justice warrior. I advocate for families and for all people regardless of their socio-economic status. I enjoy challenging the status quo, opening closed doors and helping people. I choose to make a difference. I wear many hats but the one I enjoy the most is the one my kids have given me, the "mommy" hat. It's the best title I could ever hope for. I am married with 2 small children and have the privilege of all the pleasures and frustrations that come with raising a family in these times. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BEING A PARENT! http://www.annashouse.ca/our-staff-team.html
My passion is simple, my mission is clear….I believe in H.O.P.E (helping other people excel). I describe myself as a community-minded social justice warrior. I advocate for families and for all people regardless of their socio-economic status. I enjoy challenging the status quo, opening closed doors and helping people. I choose to make a difference.

As Monday was a civic holiday here in Manitoba, I decided to publish this week’s Mentor Monday article on Tuesday (the first work day).
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Vicki Olatundun is the executive director at Anna’s House, a family resource center located in Steinbach Manitoba.  Vicki refers to herself as a Social Justice Warrior. During our interview she explains that she absolutely loves her job. In her own words, ‘I do not go to work, because I absolutely love what I do’. I completely adore her attitude to her work. Her love for people and desire to help others is very refreshing. To describe Vicki several adjectives come to mind; powerful, influential, kind, assertive compassionate, hardworking, the list goes on. Continue reading “Vicki Olatundun: Meet our Mentor of the Month of August”

Book Review: Lean In- Why I Loved It and Why You Should Too. (Guest Post)

Lean In- S.S
After reading Lean In almost a month ago! I am writing an opinion piece on this amazing book by Sheryl Sandberg. This is my first time writing such a piece so bear with me. Before reading Lean-In, I read some of the book reviews and most were great reviews and some not so great. It seems some women of color could not really understand why Sandberg didn’t address women of color in the corporate world. Or maybe they were not satisfied with what she had to offer in that regard. Either way, Sandberg did not claim to know or understand what it’s like for a woman of color to climb up the corporate ladder.Other reviews went further stating she didn’t give any specific advice for women of color. Before I forge ahead with my rant, I should tell you a little bit about this book from my perspective.
Sandberg wrote this book for all women currently in the workforce and women wanting to move forward in a male dominant work environment. Lean In was written to give you a broad understanding of the corporate world and how to move up beyond your wildest dream. Lean In is about what to expect in the corporate world and how to prepare for it at work and at home. Sandberg shares her personal experience as a top female executive working in a male dominant corporate world. Continue reading “Book Review: Lean In- Why I Loved It and Why You Should Too. (Guest Post)”

Mentor of the Month [February]:Seeds of Leadership

Yves Vandal is the Director of Communications and Client Services at Manitoba Student Aid. Over the past several years, Yves has been a leader in multiple industries which he mentions in our interview below. Let us welcome him to Memoirs of a Kenyan, as he shares with us some tips to becoming successful inspiring leaders. 

I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.

You have managed people for a good length of your professional life.  What have you found to best motivate people to excel in their careers?
I’ve found that the best motivating factors include a chance at an opportunity to expand on one’s experiences and a chance to prove one’s ability to his/her co-workers and leaders.
I’ve had the privilege contributing to the development of a number of team members, doing the organization’s part in helping them achieve their personal and professional goals while being able to congratulate a team member on a job well done or due to their ability to accomplish something out of scope of their normal work is very rewarding.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.

I think that many leaders in many sectors often fear developing their team members because they believe that their efforts will be for not, and that the team members will move on to other opportunities resulting in an effort lost.  I don’t believe this.  In developing team members, you become an employer of choice and thus, increase the quality and quantity of candidates that want to compete for positions in your organization.  Increased competition always equates to high quality candidates.
If you had the ability to change how most professionals approach their work and plan out their careers, what would you change?
If I could change how most professionals approach their work and career plan, I would try to let younger professionals understand that their goals at the beginning of their careers more often than not, are not their goals at mid-point or at the end of their careers.
I think many people, including me, thought they’d follow a specific path from the beginning to the end of their careers.  We underestimate the transfer-ability of our skills and knowledge from industry to industry.  Throughout my career, I’ve led people in the restaurant industry, the health industry and now in student assistance industry.  When I first started out, I never would have believed it, if I was told where I’d be at this point of my career.
It does create an enormous amount of excitement.  I ‘m still considered a young leader and I can’t even imagine where I’ll be 10 or 15 years from now.
What are some of the key leadership lessons you would like to pass on to others?
The most important leadership lesson I’ve  learned, is that as a leader, you are here to serve your team members and not the reverse.  It is the responsibility of a leader to find out what tools and supports their team members need to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible in a way that is inclusive of their own ideas and not solely based on a leader’s observations.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.

This should be accomplished while creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance, that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
How is a good leader expected to carry him/ her-self? And why is this important?
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.  The importance of maintaining a certain level of professionalism is that it sets an expectation for others to conduct themselves in a similar manner.  It’s also important for your team members to know about their leader’s life so that they feel like their leader can relate to their life/professional challenges.Leadership
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