Saturday, May 22, 2010

In their footsteps....

CNN finally figured that not all  Nigerians resident in Houston are fraudsters ( reference their reputation hit- How to Rob a Bank, that insinuated that much). Profiling business man, Kase Lawal a native of Ibadan and born in that ancient city (representing IBD), he moved to the US in 1971. Studying variously at HBCUs Texas Southern University, Houston (Chemical Engineering) and my Alma mater Prairie View A&M University (MBA). He worked in Shell until 1986 when chance sitting in a plane brought business success to him. He made it big in the 90s when the IBB administration decided to support indigenous businessmen make entry into exploration and production in the oil and gas industry.

Lessons from Lawal?

1. Luck is preparation meeting opportunity ; step out of your comfort zone. Resigning from Shell, getting started gave him the head start when IBB introduced his policy. Few people get rich earning salaries.

2. Be opportunistic...act very fast (he sent his proposal in for the tobacco trade)

3 Give back (public service, charity) is a key way to even broaden your network and enhance your profile/opportunities

4. Think big, and don't limit yourself to where you come from. This double HBCU degree holder, employs the Ivy doesn't matter now. of hard knocks have produced more CEOs than all universities less one.

5. Chaos and no regulations, offer the highest risk-reward promise for a budding entrepreneur . Take a chance. Take risk. Write your own rules.

6. Never forget where you come from...need I say more?

I disagree pointedly with Mr. Lawal upper class explanation of the Niger Delta crisis; but that is a total philosophical and experiential disagreement. In any case, I am confident he is just at the beginning of his life work if he maintains his laser focus on the industry he has come to dominate. Hope he doesn't think himself off, like they (Nigerian businessmen at the top) typically do. Expand, Globalize, Enhance.

Now is this CNN redemption in our community?