BusinessDay

How leaders can survive turbulent unknown future – Ex-NDIC CEO

Leaders and managers of economy have been called upon to follow closely to leadership and be imaginative, innovative, flexible and futuristic in their own horizons.

They are expected to be well versed in quantitative and qualitative analysis embedding myriads of contingencies if they are to navigate and survive the turbulent unknown future.

Umaru Ibrahim, former managing director/CEO, NDIC, made the call in his remarks at a book launch titled ‘Leading in an Unknown World’, authored by Joshua James Etopidiok, retired director at NDIC.

He said the author, fondly known as ‘JJ’, is someone that takes passionate interest on issues bordering on leadership.

“He takes delight in interrogating daily developments, and envisages the impact of such on individuals, corporates, sovereign and the value addition implications.

The book discusses the challenges of today, the future and mitigants for survival, scoping the black swan world (known unknown), triggers of black swan events, and leadership expectations and economic models in addressing global economic challenges.

‘This book is on crisis identification and leadership exigencies. I will strongly recommend the book to all, especially those in leadership positions as well as those aspiring to be in such a position,” Ibrahim said.

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Going through memory lane, Etopidiok, the author of the book said, “in 2021 I won the young managers competition in Nigeria organised by …. management in Nigeria. So, at that early start, I realised that I needed to take leadership seriously.

“When I was growing up, at age 28, I was appointed as an executive director of a bank, at age 30, I was also appointed executive director of a bank. Then I got back to the office, I sat down and realised that the things I had been seeing and yet to see was all about leadership.

“To that extent, I needed to do a lot of sober reflection on what the whole protocols of leadership was all about for an individual, for corporate and for sovereigns. So that informs my take on the issue of leadership beyond today, imagine what your unforeseeable future will be.

“The unforeseeable future is what I thought as the unknown and as you will see in the book, the future is a replication of today. So we say today is important, it helps us to peer into the future because the future is a replication of yesterday, and today.”

In his goodwill message, Dipo Fatokun, retired director at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said, “we are not surprised that he is launching a book today, JJ is a renowned leader. We rejoice and we are happy with you. We are sure that this book will be a success.”

Responding to the challenges faced in the process of publishing the book, Etopidiok said, “the challenges were getting willing partners to partner with me because a lot of research went into it, part from the real life search, and online research because we had to talk to different sort of people across different time zones in Southeast Asia, in North America, Australia.

The other issue had to do with having penstaking editors. We needed to have printers that could give us error proof. And the other issue was how do you market this book because increasingly, you are having a situation in the world whereby people are educated but don’t want to read.”

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