LeaderImpact Podcast

Ep. 48 - Osazele Ebinda - Recognize the Moment

November 22, 2023 LeaderImpact Episode 48
LeaderImpact Podcast
Ep. 48 - Osazele Ebinda - Recognize the Moment
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Picture the journey of a financial auditor evolving into a leader in the hedge funds, private equity, and corporate financial solutions realm. Osazele Ebinda walks us through her impressive career trajectory, fuelled by ambition, resilience, and her mother's unwavering belief in her abilities. In a world that's constantly on fast-forward, Osazele emphasizes the beauty of being present, mindful, and patient, especially in unusual circumstances. Her story is a testament to the power of hard work and continuous learning and will inspire you to push your boundaries.

This is an enlightening discussion that promises to enhance your leadership skills and help you embrace mindfulness and spiritual awareness and is full of wisdom and inspiration.

Thanks for listening!

Click here to take the LeaderImpact Assessment and to receive the first chapter of Becoming a Leader of Impact by Braden Douglas.

Remember, impact starts with you!

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Leader Impact podcast. We are a community of leaders with a network in over 350 cities around the world, dedicated to optimizing our personal, professional and spiritual lives to have impact. This show is where we have a chance to listen and engage with leaders who are living this out. We love talking with leaders, so if you have any questions, comments or suggestions to make this show even better, please let us know. The best way to stay connected in Canada is through our newsletter at LeaderImpact. ca or on social media at Leader Impact. If you're listening from outside of Canada, check out our website at LeaderImpact. com. I'm your host, Lisa Peters, and our guest today is Osaze Ebinda. As the managing principal at Acclaim Advisory Incorporated and the partner at Apaji Securities and Wealth Incorporated, Osaze leverages her expertise in hedge funds, private equity and corporate financial solutions to help her clients achieve their financial goals and optimize their business performance. Osaze has a strong background in oil and gas, having served as the executive director at Saxaby for years. She also holds a certificate in managing digital enterprises from North Carolina State and has completed advanced degrees in executive education programs at IESI and Lagos business schools. She is passionate about applying digital and financial innovations to drive business growth and sustainability in various sectors and markets. On a personal note, Osaze has founded a non-profit that helped women deal with pregnancy-related complications in West Africa. Over 4,000 women were helped by the organization during her involvement, before rolling the project over to M1, an association of medical women in Nigeria. Welcome to the podcast, Osaze. It is nice to finally meet you.

Speaker 1:

Same here, Lisa, thank you for having me.

Speaker 2:

So we sort of have this little bit of a program that we go through. But I'm first going to comment on. I feel like when I read your background, like you have a very varied background from oil and glass or oil and gas to financial. So I want you to talk a little bit about your professional story and how you got there and any of those pivotal moments that along your journey got you to where you are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know it's quite a scope of stuff, right, yeah. But so I began as an accountant. My first degree is in finance and accounting and I went on and became a childhood accountant right, so that pretty much makes one. You know, you get spread across the industry, right? Especially when you work in an audit role as a financial auditor, you audit all kinds of companies across the spectrum. So I went to business school and I found out that, wow, I didn't like accounting as much as I thought, right, because finance was so much more. It gave you the opportunity to be looking forward into and designing the financial situation of corporations, rather than looking back and checking what they did with what money came in and why they are not doing well, right. So, and that was so much more exciting Well, when I got out of business school, I joined the captive private equity of an oil and gas group. So that's how I got into oil and gas. But I joined initially in a financial capacity right, so I was building financial models and analyzing acquisitions, acquisition projects and all of that in that space. So it just gave me the insight into the oil and gas industry, which happens to be the primary industry in my home country Nigeria. So it was exciting Then. But having that background in finance, you know hedge funds and investments were always like a compelling thing for me, so I guess it was inevitable that I would go into hedge funds and investments as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it seems inevitable to you. I'm listening and I'm like, wow, because I think I think sometimes would people, would you know? We go to school, you get a degree and sometimes you think I am an accountant. Where was that point where you went? I'm going to go to business school? What was in you, what were you thinking at the time to go? I want something else. I want more Like what was that?

Speaker 1:

Well, I guess I was young, and when you're young you want to do things right and it just wasn't sufficient to be an accountant staring into rules upon rules of ledgers, endlessly right and well. And business school just would be well in the world I was in, it just was the next logical thing to do. You know, when you get your professional certification as a CA, you know the next thing you do is, well, you got to go to the next level, right? Business school. And yeah, so that was it. And yeah, and at some point after business school, I went and I got the certification in managing digital enterprises from the North Carolina State University. You know that further exposed to me that, oh my God, the world is changing. You know the world is going digital and it began to further pull and push my attention into the application of digital solutions. You know, across the processes that I was involved in, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So did you ever have anyone in your corner? Was there someone in the back? Was there a parent? Was there a teacher, a professor? Was there someone that was like you can do more, Osaze? Or I mean, it could have been you, but I'm just asking the question.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah. So my mom, you know, I kind of think that my mom is a super achiever, and not because she has built some huge, gigantic business, but because you know she's just. She would say you know, I'm first among six kids, you know. And she would say, oh, the guys, the people who are doing so, and so did you notice that they have one heads, they are not two headed. You know, you thought we can do that too, right, you know, she would prod, gently and willingly. So my mom, at the time I was living the university with my bachelor's, my mother had, only at that point, a college degree, right, just a step above high school diploma. Right, so she went and she got herself. I had graduated. She got herself a university degree, she got herself a master's degree. She went and got herself a PhD. She went and joined a faculty, a university faculty, and began to publish and travel the world, you know, and sharing and teaching about African literature, you know. And so she did all of these way after 50, you know, and she's just been such a compelling example and a strong source of motivation, like just proving consistent with that. Well, there's nothing. It's never too late to pursue what's in your heart to get done. And yeah, that's the kind of background, that well, domestic background, that I have right Now. In the course of my journey there's, of course, there's been times where there've been challenges like how do you even begin to form? You know the when you begin to reach for bigger goals and broader visions, you know capital tends to become a constraint right, especially when you are building businesses, because I have built and run different businesses at different points. You know so what is the capital formation process? How do you raise that capital? You know that you require to do. You know the things that you are reaching out to do. You know, and, yeah, well, I'll let you ask the questions and not just slip ahead and be into that.

Speaker 2:

No, I'm just like, you know, I'm like, but we really, we really talk about surrounding ourselves with people, and I mean you know, from your mother to all the people we surround ourselves that are part of our success. So I appreciate you answering the questions. So our second question is about our best principle of success. I'm wondering if you have a best principle of success and a story that might illustrate this that you could share with us.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, for me, I find that what I have found to be the best principle of success for me is helping all the people. You know. It's kind of funny, but every time I need to get you know I'm thinking well, I need to tap into another level. It's really the time for me to look around and find who I can help. Now, I particularly remember when the founding of the nonprofit right that focused on women we call it oops. I'm pregnant, dan, right, and I did that just after I had a very negative experience, you know, in the birth of my second daughter, right, so we said I had her. I suffered a late postpartum, postpartum eclampsia, right, and it was by the grace of God that I survived, you know, and lived, you know. But in through that experience, I just found out, oh my God, there are lots of people who go through all kinds of negative experiences in the course of giving, bringing another life into the world, you know, and I did not know, you know. So, going through that experience, I thought I am going to do my little bit, you know, to help as many women as I can in the sphere in which I was at that time to experience a change of story, you know, regarding their pregnancy experiences. So I founded this nonprofit. I got together a team of 18 doctors, you know, who agreed and allowed me to pay them stipends, you know, and we would get. We would go out into villages, you know, with a mobile clinic and a store of medical supplies and just go and sit in that village for days and just begin to help. You know, whoever wanted to see a doctor, you know we would walk with some faith based organizations, because faith based organizations are very influential, you know, back in Africa. So we would walk with them, say, listen, we need your women to come out, we need the men to come out. You know we want to help them with whatever. And in the course of doing that, you know, across different places we were to reach and affect, you know, over 4,000 women directly. You know that we're having serious issues. We walked with hospitals and all it was very inspiring. Here's why I'm sharing this experience Now, while I was doing all of this myself and my family you know my husband was very supportive in the course of all of this. We spent money, right, but here's what happened when I got out, in a period of about two years, it was as though God was saying to me your payday has come. You did this, I'm going to pay you, you know, because what happened then was someone you know who well, a couple of doctors who'd been helpful in the process of gathering together the team of doctors that would volunteer. You know, they were much older and more senior, you know. They came to me. They were like you know what? We just want to enthrost you with a portfolio of real estate that we have. You know, at that time, the valuation of the real estate was $5 million, you know, and US dollars, you know. And I was like what would I do with it? They were like we don't know, maybe there's a business you want to start, maybe there's something you want to do. You know, we want you to know that, we want to support you, you know, let us know what you want to do. And that is how, you know, I was able to start. At that point, you know, I didn't think. You know, at that point I just think to myself oh, thank you so much. You know, I'll look at that and all. But in the process of that, I was able to build a refined product trading company. That was that shipped cargoes of refined products, diesel ag across Africa to oil and gas sites, oil and gas fields, offshore and onshore, you know, to support their energy requirements, you know. So that's been just a funny experience, but I find that every time that you know I need to get into a new level or generate a new dimension of success, that the way to do it very counterintuitive, but the way to do it is to find something that is totally desperately in need of someone and I go be that someone, pour myself into it and pay the cost divinely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think someone listening I mean, I know myself just hearing that story someone is resonating with that and going I can do this, you know, if they're struggling and they can help others first and you know, step out and oh, that was a great story, that was great. Thank you for sharing that. So next question is just talking about our failures and mistakes, and I think we all know that we learn more from our failures and mistakes than our own successes. So would you be able to share one of your greatest failures or mistakes and what you have learned from it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, agree, right, our failures are really assets, you know. But I guess the challenge with failure is that if you are someone who really gives everything, failure can really be a terrible experience to go through, right? Well, I find that my greatest failure is not recognizing the moment. Sometimes I just don't recognize the moment, you know, like I mean, I just shared a story about the couple who came with that property right To me. Now, there was a time I was going to totally like say no, this is uncalled for, why would you do this? You know, I was going to totally stop them, like, hey, what is this about? You know I've. However, I was patient enough and respectful enough of their gesture to just politely accept it, not knowing all what I was going to do with it, right, but I was polite and I accepted your gesture, you know, in goodwill, and then I saw, oh, this is what this could be for, you know, and every one of us benefited in the process of that. Now I find continually that not being attentive in the moment, you know, can be a source of failure, because every time, especially when you're in the presence of someone or something unusual is happening in your life, you know, even if it's contrary to your expectation, just pause, you know, think about it. Don't react, you know, as you normally would, because something unusual is happening, you know. So pause, reflect, pray, meditate, whatever it is you do, and always respond with the first level being respectfully. You know, and it's in those situations that I have found, when I didn't do that, that's when I have felt the most failure. When I did those is when I have felt, you know, some of my most powerful moments as well.

Speaker 2:

That is such a great answer. The moment I was at a conference with a girlfriend of mine and there was a keynote speaker and he was a world class like author and she's texting and we are in the presence of someone pretty awesome, we're at a conference, and I just leaned over and I put my arms around her and I said don't miss the moment, that person on your phone can wait this. And she just I know, and so anyway, I wasn't sure if I was offending her. I just felt called to say don't miss this, stop stop texting. And we had coffee a couple days ago and she thanked me and she just in tears, almost, you know, just recognize that moment. Yeah, I can see that I think I think I've, you know, I've missed some moments because my head was down. I may be, you know, head was full, whatever, so that, was a great answer. So you are involved in leader impacts, so you know that we want people to grow personally, professionally and spiritually for increasing impact. Would you be willing to share an example of how the spiritual makes a practical difference in your life as a leader?

Speaker 1:

Yes, I, honestly, it would appear that the spiritual is where it's like the control room, you know, and and I kind of feel that that I mean, like I'll talk specifically about what it's been for me, you know. The question, however, brings to mind realization that everybody, you know, whether they be Christians or totally agnostics, they know that there is something higher, there's a higher power. Right, and in different ways, people are chasing after contact with this higher power, right, and because they kind of know that this higher power has the capacity to confer benefits, right, and this higher power has the capacity to create experiences that are beyond what we individually can assemble or cause to happen, you know, and for me, having a spiritual awareness, you know, has helped me to be deliberate and about contacting and contracting with this personality that people refer to or regard as the universe, the higher power, and you know. So it has brought me into an awareness and the knowledge that this is not some energy floating out there that you can accidentally have a brush with, is actually a personality that you can pursue and have intimate moments with, you know, and that pursuit is, is, is is fundamental in my life, you know, and the way I pursue it is. You know, I find points in my day to to pray, you know, to just reflect, you know. Even so, I'm going to mention the Bible, even reflect on the book of Proverbs in the Bible. It's loaded with practical wisdom, ecclesiastical, it's all the book of Psalms. I was listening the other day to opera Winfrey. She was in an interview at the Harvard Business School with another guy. They were talking about a book that they just released. I am sorry that I do not remember the name of the book, but you know, and she, she, she referred to her experience in Hawaii, you know, with the fires and all of that in that recently happened, and she was talking about how that she felt some backlash and she mentioned, almost casually, how she dealt with that, how she went, opened the book of Psalm, chapter 91, and that she read it and meditated on it and she found peace. And I was just so, I mean, like I felt a connection. I'm like that's what I do, you know, when the world gets too hard, when things that are I cannot comprehend, or when the world threatens to break me, you know, I just find a moment and you know what, I don't wait for it to be that bad, even when everything is good my kids are doing great in their sports and chasing down the academics and things are great I find a moment to just go be grateful, you know, and when things are really terrible, I just find a moment to go pray for someone, because maybe my situation is just too um the funnel into my mind. I'm like, okay, I can't deal with this, let me just find someone to pray for. So I just pray for someone and I release my own issues to this force. Who am I? Who I know is God Right? So what does a very long answer to a simple question? Oh great.

Speaker 2:

You have great answers. So I have to ask a personal question, because you talked about when you are, when you are struggling, and then you're like I'm going to pray for someone else, okay, so has he, have you ever been struggling and and actually called your friend, your mom, someone, and said can you pray for me? That's a good question. I was struggling one day and I know Bobby's listening to this now and I was just I in my like I'm, I can feel it, I should call Bobby and ask him to pray for me because I'm, I'm going to lose my mind right now. And I didn't. And then I told him after and he and he's like Lisa, that that's, that's our role and I probably like, oh, I think I left the room because I didn't want to see him, I didn't want him to see me cry. He's listening now, so. So I ask you, because sometimes I don't think we ask we will pray for everyone else, but when it's it's you or I that are struggling, do you ask?

Speaker 1:

Yes, I, I, it's, you know. So that's a very good question, right, and you've just made a great point, right, and so it's not. I would not instinctively ask, you know, but I should ask more, because God's Word does say where, where two or three agree concerning a matter that they pray about, that he will answer them. So you kind of increase the power when you agree with someone who prays for you or prays with you. I don't do that as well as I should, but, yes, there have been times when it really feels like, wow, this is just too much. I reach out, I call my mother, I call my husband and I'm like, wow, I think I am breaking up here. I need you to agree with me, pray for me. I have done that, not as much as I should. And that reminds me about another story. If I have the moment to share that, please do Not my direct story, but it just has been so compelling to me. It's a lady who was sharing it during COVID, how that her husband was so ill, he was on life support in hospital, and so she began to call up everybody she knew to pray with her for him, for him to recover and come home, which was a big, big, big ask in the face of all that was breaking down and going bad in her world. So she said at some point the doctors called her and they said listen, we just need you to give us your consent. We need to unplug this guy. She said she was perplexed. She's like, why would you unplug him? People are praying. So that was some kind of logical premise for which the doctors should know. But what it did for me when she said it is that the way she could relate so strongly to the impact of people praying with her kind of like you ordered pizza from Domino's and the delivery guys on his way and the kids are saying let's get out of the house and you're like, why would we leave the house? The pizza is on his way. That's how she made it sound People are praying, help is coming. And the guy made a full recovery and he went home to her. So, yeah, definitely pray. I should ask for prayers more.

Speaker 2:

It's a good reminder, thank you. So, leader Impact is dedicating to making lasting impact. So, as you continue to move through your own journey in life, have you considered what you want your faith legacy to be when you leave this world?

Speaker 1:

That's a great question. Good question, yeah, honestly. I would like to be remembered as someone who always give a hand. You know I love to see people win. You know when people win, when they talk about their wins, it's like I want to jump out of my body. I want to jump out of my skin, you know, with the thrill of their experience. So, yeah, I would like to be remembered as somebody who hustled for the wins of others. Yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Hustled for the wins of others. I love that, and my last question for you is what brings you the greatest joy?

Speaker 1:

I like to burn marathons oh right, no marathons, half marathons and I think I've experienced some of my biggest thrills, you know, at the point of being engaged in a run and finishing it you know, at least use it as a metaphor for other areas in my life I'm like wow, if I could finish that 21.1 K run. You know, I totally am going to just dig down and learn to enjoy this experience, you know. So I find that, yeah, the greatest joy is in setting a goal and accomplishing it. Right it's, it's a big thrill Because a half marathon or a marathon, it can break you.

Speaker 2:

I've done it, you have. I'm not a marathon. Can I sit down now? Yeah, it was tough At the end. You mean, you set the goal, you finish the goal. It's a good, it does bring you great joy. Oh yeah, great joy for sure.

Speaker 1:

Well, Zazie, I want to thank you for joining us for this last half hour.

Speaker 2:

You are an absolute joy, it is. I have been waiting to meet you and I just want to thank you for joining us today and sharing a little part of your story with all of us. You are just an absolute joy. Just thank you.

Speaker 1:

Well, Lisa, thank you so much for having me. You are such a great interviewer. You pull out the stories. You just pulled them out.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. So if listeners want to engage with you for any you know they want to find about oil and gas or hedge funds, I don't know how can people engage with you.

Speaker 1:

Where can they find you? Please connect with me on LinkedIn, I'll be delighted, yeah.

Speaker 2:

All right, that is a great place to be. So again, thank you, and to all our listeners, I hope you enjoyed the last half hour. All right, so this is the ending. If you're part of Leader Impact, you can always discuss or share this podcast with your group. And if you are not yet part of Leader Impact and would like to find out more and grow your leadership, find our podcast page on our website at LeaderImpactca and check out our free leadership assessment. You will also find on our webpage chapter one of Braden Douglas's book Becoming a Leader of Impact. You can also check out groups available in Canada at LeaderImpactca or, if you're listening from anywhere else in the world, check out LeaderImpactcom or get in touch with us by email. Info at LeaderImpactca and we will connect you. And if you like this podcast, please leave us a comment, give us a rating or review. This will help other global leaders find our podcast. Thank you for engaging with us and remember Impact starts with you.

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