– A leadership experience by Chris C. Ubosi
MD/CEO of Megalectrics Limited, Operators of Classic 97.3FM, Th e Beat 99.9FM and Naija 102.7FM
Being a leader means that you are faced with different challenges on a daily basis, most of which always require me to put my best foot forward. Th e truth is that every situation is as challenging as the next and each time you ought to give nothing but the best. Let me eleaborate with a most recent experience, which happened a few months back, precisely on a Sunday night.
This Sunday which began like every other Sunday ended up being one I wouldn’t forget in a hurry. I was fast asleep when I got a call from the offi ce (Megalectrics LTD) that there had been a major glitch in our operating system which had led to an automatic shutdown of the transmitting systems, and meant that all the stations would be off air for days.
Now this was me fast asleep, at the dead of the night/early hours of the morning and so all I said was ‘do nothing until I get there’. After putting a few calls through, I realised that the problem seemed quite serious and so I did all I could to get there as soon as was humanly possible. Getting to the office was not the issue. The situation was that something that has never happened before occurred that would affect our services as a media house with great followership. Before I went round offices, speaking with my ‘on duty staffs’, I was thrilled to realize that most of my workers were at work even when not on duty. How that happened I still can’t explain, so let’s just say ‘that is what you get when you have an amazing team’.
It fast dawned on me that we had a very frantic and frightened team of workers and I knew I had to be their rock. I mean, I saw the fear and
doubts and confusion in their eyes and there was absolutely no way I was going to let them know I shared their fears…. So I had to get to work.
As the Managing Director, I had to organise every one, realizing that dissemination of information through the appropriate channels at this
point was key. So the delegation began. I called a quick meeting with the general manager and heads of departments to let them know what the
immediate course of action was and for everyone to swing into action. The Sales team with the help of the head of Sales and Traffic swept into
action as they pulled their team members together and at the top of their head, they came up with nothing less than 30 clients which were
contacted and informed of the glitch and the fact that their bookings and adverts would not run as scheduled.
The Website department also had to inform the general public via social media and all of that is what I call a ‘Supersonic team’, after which I
asked everyone to go home.Yes that may sound ridiculous but I couldn’t think when they were all troubled and concerned…in fact they were too
concerned and that was too much emotion to handle and so, yes I sent them all home and told them I would be contacting them before the
end of the day.
With that done, I then gathered the rest of my Management team, my Engineering guys, Website and of course my security. Then more work
and delegation started. It took a couple of hours to contact service providers, contractors and trust me when I say I made more calls that
day than I ever have ever made in my life. But before the end of the night, we had 80% of the challenge sorted out. We were fortunate that
we had equipment for our proposed stations in Port Harcourt and Abuja on ground. With all back up’s in place, we were good to go…Th en I did
the mail asking about 80% of my staff to be off work the next day. So would all of this have been done if I was away too? Well…I don’t
know, but I know that asking everyone to go home was a very bold step because nothing speaks doom like having over 100 panicky people in a
panicky situation…it could very well drive you crazy as your composure would defi nitely fl y off the handle.
By the end of that day, I felt like I could fi nally breathe…yes so I was relieved.
Lessons I learned from this experience would be:
1. As a leader you are only successful when you can boast of a great team.
2. Fear is not an emotion that is larger than life, it is just as big as we make it.
3. When there is a ‘will, there most certainly is a way’.
4. Building backups and redundancy into processes is major key.
My advice to leaders in today’s dynamic world be:
SERVICE – because the door tags, fat salary, media buzz, means nothing without service. To be a great leader, you must be able to be of great service to those you serve and those who serve you because when the chips are down, it is going to be all about just how much service you can bring to the table.