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‘My number one love is golf’

Jenkins Alumona

Jenkins Alumona is an experienced journalist, integrated marketing communications expert, strategist, and sports enthusiast with over 30-years-experience working in top flight companies. Jenkon as he is fondly called by his circle of friends sits atop as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at Strategic Outcomes Limited Group, a multidimensional company, where he has served a range of industries and working across different verticals in the last 17 years. In this no-holds barred interview with IBRAHIM APEKHADE YUSUF, the alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Lagos Business School, etc., who is not your typical hard-as-nails CEO comes across as one individual who enjoys super fun, humble, cool, smart, and multitalented as he shares his work ethics. Excerpts:

 

What’s your management style?

Essentially, it is a hybrid consisting of the visionary, pacesetting and democratic elements, with a little dash of the transactional. The last may sound somewhat less positive, but people are stimulated in different ways. The visionary element ensures that I’m able to convey the overall vision of the company and each unit to those with responsibility of execution. It ensures that I do not necessarily have to get involved in the day-to-day operations, but still able to motivate and align everyone to ensure that we all move in the same direction. Of course, there is the need to set high standards to drive the team to achieve bigger goals. Having said that, I believe in democracy and it permeates every aspect of the organisation. This way, I encourage members of the team, whatever their positions or title to offer their thoughts, ideas and suggestions to contribute to the growth of the organisation. This, I believe, makes team members feel valued, as they should be. The best ideas win, naturally, and the final decisions are often taken by me. The last element is the transactional one and it involves using a variety of incentives to motivate the team to improve performance.

What’s your management philosophy?

Simply to provide an environment in which every team member feels valued to create a work environment that conduces to high levels of productivity. I do my best to set the example in this regard.

Do you delegate responsibility?

Naturally. One has to delegate responsibility to be able to focus on activities of higher value and have a lot more time to be productive. Importantly, it affords me more time, as it should, to focus on thinking on the strategic level and tasks that only myself can carry out.

Are you a team player?

Big time and completely too. It is the reason for having a team in the first place. To get things going and smoothly, too, requires you to listen to others and consider their contributions. I have seen success come out of team work in many places and I am a staunch believer in team work. That’s the way I believe the process can run better.

What are your other areas of interest besides business?

Sports. I have been in and around sports for over three decades. I started my work life as a sports journalist because of my love for sports. As a kid I used to walk several kilometers to buy newspapers simply because of the sports pages. I also follow social issues a lot. Because of my previous life as a journalist, I keep an eye on politics too. But I do not partake. How do you unwind?

My number one love is Golf. I am a keen golfer. And then I am mad about movies. I collect movies and I am always reading something. Books are important to me. Both for education and relaxation. And then sports again. I watch a lot of sports, especially football and boxing. I am a lifelong Liverpool fan.

What was the last book you read and when?

I am fairly gluttonous when it comes to reading. The last book I read was Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. I recommend it to you as a media professional. It may interest you that I was also a journalist. I was editor of The NEWS up to 1998 when I moved on to something else. The book will open your eyes and mind to the modern media ecosystem.

What’s your choice holiday destination?

Jenkins Alumona
Jenkins Alumona

I have been to a few nice places; I always use the opportunity of my Harvard class reunions to see new places. Or sometimes when work provides the opportunity to visit somewhere new I take full advantage. My favorite places will be Jamaica and Iceland. I also loved fishing on Lake Texoma and hunting in northern Texas.

What motivates you?

The bid to have a better society. The desire for a better life for more people. I believe more of us can be ok; should be ok.

What makes you tick?

This is a difficult one. Many things, which I think are less classifiable or intangible.

What’s your sense of style?

I am not sure I am a man of style in the strict sense, but I like elegance, the understated variety.

How do you maintain your looks?

Just basic grooming. Nothing grand. Haircut. Clean shave. No more. No less.

How do you motivate your staff?

Arousing conviction in them that they have enormous scope for improvement as people and professionals if they remain committed to what they do. I believe we all can do better.

Do you apply the stick and carrot approach?

I think it’s a very sensible approach, if not the most. Some people tend to respond well to an arm around the shoulder, while others need to be jabbed to get going.

What’s your favourite Nigerian meal?

I am not particular. Nigerian food is so many and so good; as such it’s tough to have a favorite.

Do you do the dishes?

Certainly, when I have to.

Do you cook?

I consider myself a good cook. I don’t have the opportunity to display my culinary skills so much these days but my old friends still talk about my many exploits. I am a competent cook.


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