By Adebisi Oladele
The Chairman, United Bank for Africa PLC, Mr Tony Elumelu, has revealed that setting goals, pursuing purpose and seeking better ways to serve people and community are secrets of his success in life and business.
The outstanding banker, who is the founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), shared the secret with select journalists during the just concluded two-day third TEF Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos at the weekend.
TEF is raising 10,000 entrepreneurs across several African countries in 10 years with a support fund of $100 million. A total of 1,000 young entrepreneurs across Africa gathered at the Law School, Victoria Island for the third conference at the weekend.
Journalists, who were puzzled by Elumelu’s phenomenal success in life and business in a period of three decades, asked her for his secret at an interactive session with the business mogul at the UBA House, Marina, Lagos.
Earlier, other top management staff of the bank held sessions with the journalists on the vision and activities of the bank across Africa.
Reeling in an unusually relaxed mood among pen pushers, Elumelu said he just sticks to the above principles which he said determines what he does and how he does them.
According to him, he draws goals based on the need to render unequalled service to people, organizations and community. He emphasized that money is earned in the process of rendering outstanding service.
Elumelu added that he works hard in achieving his goals, pointing out that nothing comes easy in life.
“I know exactly what I want to do and I discipline myself.” He said.
The business mogul advised young entrepreneurs on the need to maximize opportunities whenever they come to them. “Don’t mess up with opportunities,” he said.
He further explained that he sees things in the long term, stressing that quick fixes do not sufficiently solve problems.
His words: “If you don’t know where you are headed, how can you get there? So, for me, it is a question of having a goal, a purpose, a vision, a destination, where and why are you headed and working hard towards it. Realize that nothing good comes easy. You need to develop yourself for the future you wish to have. It is really good to know what you want to do and setting your feet on the ladder appropriately.
“Discipline, hard work, being purposeful, realizing also that opportunities come but not always. So, don’t mess up opportunities. See things in the long term perspective. No quick fixes. Let quick fixes lead to the long term, not them ending on their own. When we took over from Standard Trust, we set goals of what we wanted to achieve and also set timelines. Each time we achieve, we create a new one.”