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[INTERVIEW] Honourable Desmond Elliot Talks On Effective Leadership And Time Management

Hello Beautiful Minds! Thank God It’s Friday!
Today, our  motivational interview focuses on Effective Leadership & Time Management.
Having a clear understand about these two subjects is very critical for individuals who truly  want to be successful in their fields.

Many get it wrong when it comes to leading the people under their supervision effectively and managing the little time available for them to carry out their duties efficiently.

At Espact , we are very much concerned about you becoming successful in your chosen field , so we decided to reach out and have an exclusive  interview with Honourable Desmond Olushola Elliot who have so many duties to carry out, as a Legislator and Filmmaker and have devised ways to stay successful doing both.
You don’t want to know how long it took us to get this insightful interview done due to his very busy schedule so, it’s best you take few minutes from what you are doing presently, and give in your full concentration to read this expository  piece.

You might need your pen and notepad to jot out points that are uniquely essential to you.
Let’s Ride On….
Greetings Honourable, Thanks for joining us at Temmy Balogun Motivates, we are happy to finally get you to spare out of your little time to motivate youths,  entrepreneurs and every individual out there.

Let’s start with a focus on your personality, is there any difference between your personality as an actor/filmmaker and as a government official?
Hmmmmmm…I think my personality as a filmmaker helps my personality as a government official, so I would say both complement each other. My personality as a filmmaker has helped me understand how best to deal with people. Then as a Legislator, I get to meet and interact with a lot of people as well, the position is all about talking, you talk to make laws, you talk to represent and make things happen.
Though, the situations and people I deal with are different; as a filmmaker I deal with actors, producers, directors, cinematographers, investors among others , we work together to entertain people with make believe situations but as a Legislator I deal with real life situations, that are quite sensitive because they are mainly about people’s welfare and lives. These situations need me to face them head on, because people need you to come up with quick solutions to their problems, they see you as the closest to the government, and look forward to you making things happen on the spot .
As a filmmaker I create stories for people to believe, which involves significant level of creative thinking, and this helps me in my legislative duty to come uo with different ways I can deal with practical situations.
So I wouldn’t say my personalities are not different but rather complementary.

 Thanks for that clarity, our next question is; as a filmmaker and legislator, you have lots of people you’re supervising and serving, so what would you describe as effective leadership from your experience?
First of all, for people in the government sector ‘Effective Leadership’ is about service , that is being an effective servant who responds to the yearnings of the people. You need to understand where it hurts, though you cannot solve all their problems or challenges but the fact that you show some form of attention to them and try your utmost best to get them solved is a form of service.
Now speaking to leaders across different sectors, I have learnt that a leader doesn’t talk or draw conclusions quickly but rather quick to listen. The reason for this is that there are many angles to every situation, so it is wrong to conclude if you haven’t heard all sides to each situation or story.

Though doing this might be tiring but you just have to listen to everyone before making a decision, so you can give the best. Infact! I have realised that after listening to all sides, most times the solution to the problem will become so glaring. This is a major secret I have learnt and it works for all and most especially for politicians. As a politician you don’t need lots of talk, so talk less and let others do the talking for you.

Wow that was a great insight shared. Now our next is ; what is the most challenging situation you have ever being faced with as a leader? How did you handle it?
To be candid, inadequate finance is my major challenge, because people come from everywhere and all they want is for me to solve their problems.

Let me share this with you; one day someone shared his challenge with me and I was like, but you are aware this isn’t my responsibility , then he said but ‘you’re the government’ and I was trying to make the person understand that am not really the government, but a representative of the people, his response was ‘we can’t see or touch Ijoba, it is you we can see relate with, if I go to government house now, they won’t allow me in but I can come to the house of assembly and enter your office to tell you about it, because you are the close to government.’

That’s exactly how most people think but incidentally 90% of the problems people table in front of me are finance related and I can’t solve all of them because most times am handicap .

My advice to leaders within the government sector is; don’t run away from people because you don’t have what they need , let them understand your financial status at all times, when you can help do it and when you can’t let them know, they will surely understand.

An instance is my present situation,am financially tight right now but that didn’t stop people from coming in. Though am happy to see them, so I help in my little way even if it’s not financial.
My daily prayer to God always is; when people come especially those within my constituent, I want them to leave my office smiling , regardless of whatever problem they bring to me, I want them to walk out of my door with a ray of hope , believing am going to attend to them, assist them or do something about their situation. This should be the mindset of any leader within the government sector, if otherwise you are not ready for this job.
This is because as a leader in the government sector, you owe it to people, they were the one that sent you here , they are your parents, so you need to serve them, but for others in the private sector which is capitalist society, it’s a thing of choice , you can do whatever you know it’s best to do .

We understand that human beings are the most difficult to manage, what three strategies do you deploy to manage people within your supervision?
i. I try to make work very flexible for anyone I work with.
ii. I establish a friendly relationship with them in a way that they don’t take advantage of it, and still maintain respect. Doing this makes them trust you and talk to you freely. They can easily draw your attention to both the right and wrong things you are doing.
iii. I try to notice things on them, and pass compliments like ‘ your hair is looks very nice’ among others. Although they are at work but when you make them very comfortable, they are happy working with you and this kind of make them very productive. You can also take them with you for vacation or special occasions. So even when they stop working with you, they will keep great memories of time they spent working for you.
While sitting at your office, we observed that you have being practicing all you shared so far, how did you inculcate them in you?

To explain this, I will go philosophical, everything that has happen in one’s life using myself as an example ; is not because you are better than the next person , so if God chose you to manage what you don’t deserve; by this I mean why does it have to be you and not someone else? It’s clearly not because your are taller , or finer, but because of a cogent reason which is God need to sacrifice yourself to make things easy for your people or country a large by using your position, but immediately you miss it, God will use someone else which he has already prepared ahead.

An instance is the case of Former President Goodluck Jonathan, which I strongly believe  is  becoming President was orchestrated by God, but despite the fact that he has a beautiful personality, he missed his purpose at some point.
So I advise that you see anything that comes your way as an opportunity that you don’t deserve ; I see everything that have happen so far in my life as opportunities I don’t deserve but God made it come my way; from the woman I married, to my children, to people have met in my journey so far, to where have being ; but the question is why me?

If you have this mindset always you will behave well and treat others nicely because you will always remember you are just privileged, because it could be anyone else. Therefore, anytime something great happens to you, try to utilise it well and don’t mess it up, try your best to be dedicate to it and focused with it as well.

When you became a commissioner most thought you would quit filmmaking but you continued; what’s your personal reason for that? Tell us how it has been combining both?

I won’t say I continued rather I would say I didn’t dissociate myself from Nollywood, because it’s my first primary constituency . It’s actually where I started from, and without movie I won’t be here in the first place.
Before I got to the parliament, I have a media company I oversee and ensure everything is running well, which is presently run by my wife, that’s me still being part of Nollywood.
This place isn’t my father’s position so if my tenure is over, am not expected to my film career from the start, so still have to be part them of them and be carried along with all that’s happening there.
My stll being part of them, made it easy for me to request for financial support from the Governor for the family of Late Madubuogwu who passed away recently, and he already granted it. While in course of this interview, I just received 1million Naira  from the Governor, which am very grateful for.

How do you share your time within your Legislative and filmmaking duties?
Hmmmmn there’ no time, I have so much tight schedules, but I just try my best to carry out all my duties within the time I have but I am more focused on my legislative duties.
Would you say priotising of ones activities enhance how best an individual manages his or her time ?
Yes it does, though it could be very challenging especially for filmmakers but it’s the best way to work efficiently.
Let’s deviate a bit; you have an amazing dress sense, what role does your beautiful wife play in this?
She always screen my outfit, if I didn’t pick   something nice enough’ she wil say ‘ baby you need to change this’ and I will.
Then again, because I came from the entertainment world , I believe there’ a way one can mix governance with fashion .
In the assembly you can either wear suit or complete African attire, If you notice I have chosen the traditional attire because I want to be identified with my culture. I grew up in the north and this didn’t allow become fluent in speaking Yoruba language, but wearing this attire makes me represent my root and now am so comfortable wearing it anywhere even when I travel abroad. I feel African youths should be encouraged to wear their culture’s attire freely.

We agree with you! So what do you love most about being a father?
Wow!!!!!! It’s the best thing in life! It’s the chronicle, climax and peak of my life ; It’s an unexplainable feeling and an awesome experience.
Great! Let’s go back to our topic; share the top three practices that helped you build a successful career both in Nollywood and politics.
A. Building a relationship with God
B. Building a relationship with God
C. Building a relationship with God
God never created you to be a saint if not you would be an angel, that’s why we all do things wrong ,so don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes, just correct it and be you again. What God really wants , is for you to acknowledge him and build a relationship with him. And the truth is once you fear God, and you know that human beings are just dust, you will see that there are better things in life.
Yes I want to be extremely rich but not at the expense of other or rather seeing others suffer. I prefer that all us become rich and be fine.
But looking back at how I started my journey, as ‘a waka pass’ then God put the passion in me and grew me through ranks still I got to where I am today, it can only be God. SO BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS PARAMOUNT

Do you have projects you have launched or still working on for benefits youths ,entrepreneurs and individuals at large?
Yes I do, and they are done periodically .
Some of them are:
i. We got 100 physically challenged people trained during our skill acquisition programme, after completion of the training; they got monetary rewards, start-up kits and wheel chairs.
ii. We empowered 100 widows and single mothers through our widows programme called ‘Giving is fun.’
iii. We provided health insurance for elderly people across our constituency.
iv. We are currently sponsoring 17 student in Open University. All are in their 300 level.
v. We provided free rides for primary and secondary students across the constituency
vi. We run Maruwa commercial business and shared the proceeds across our constituency
vii. We have so far secured employment for 78 people in our constituency.
viii. We sponsored 50 people to cinematography festival held at UNILAG , this the maiden edition but we will repeat it yearly

That’s some of the projects we are currently one.
Also every Christmas I try to reach out to my electorates, by visiting as many houses as possible in Surulere, I make sure we cover at least 90 % . I will start this year’s walk by December 10 and end it on the 23rd , to give them gifts, we call this ‘ Gift Away Galore’, am partnering with a bank and some company on this project, with the hope that people will donate and have being buying gifts as well. The aim is just to share love around.
What are the common mistakes you would advise aspiring actors to watch out for on their way to stardom?
Firstly, you need to realise it’s not about money, now everyone is concerned about how much you pay them, do away with that mindset.
Secondly, don’t hope to be a star, stardom will come naturally, focus on your talent , and how to become best at what you do.

Youths are getting more involved in politics lately, what would you describe as the best mindset they need to impact their state and country positively when they get to any leadership position?
My prayer is for more youths to get involve. But youths shouldn’t be over ambitious; because is not everyone that can get to the leadership position, or rather get involved in policy making, but as a youth you need to understand that the only way you can get a leader out your life is to vote.
So once the announcement of the PVC distribution is made , you should be ready to get to the location first and collect yours. Why? Because that’s the only way you can tell whoever it is; from the President to the last counsellor in your local government that, you want them or you don’t.

I want every youth from age 18- 45 to get it right that their PVC is their right and power
Then am a strong supporter of THE YOUNG SHOULD GROW; my reason is that over the years we have given the older people chance to show us the way but what have we gotten? They have only help me differentiate between tribes , secondly they have helped in making things harder for me; I reside in Lagos, and you tell me to go serve in Niger state but then, you didn’t make Niger feel like a home for me.
Thirdly; the two major needs in human life are agriculture; because everyone must eat and manufacturing; how can we get creative to make our society better, but both haven’t been given.
So from all I explained earlier, my assumption is; the elders s have failed me, because they didn’t leave anything for me the child of yesterday, to become a leader of tomorrow, so why can’t I try the younger ones? For this am speaking in general term across board not just strategic leadership positions alone.
What am saying is; let’s give younger generation a chance and that includes women as well.

How do you relax?
Rest is when I see my children even if it is for ten minutes but am sure they are faring well. Then when am in my bedroom, to watch my CNN ; My son will say daddy is watching Cnunu [ Giggles] . While watching that, then I have my wife beside me telling me how the day went and ESPECIALLY how to bring out money to solve some issues , that’s when I start dozing off and utter words like ‘baby am sleeping, can we talk about this tomorrow {Laugh}, but really all these are fun to me and keep me relaxed.

Then I also wake up as early as 4am to visit the gym, before starting the day’s activities.
I also love to be amidst family and good people.
Are you available for filming and politics mentorship? How can your prospective mentees reach you?
Not really because of my tight schedules, but sometimes I attend seminars to enlighten people .
But for any other form of mentorship I can be reached via my social media pages.
As a leader, what are your words to youths and entrepreneurs?

Thanks For Sharing With Us Honourable Desmond. Stay blessed.
You Reach Honourable Desmond Through:
Instagram: @desmondelliot

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