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Book: ‘Winning With People’ Berthed Globally, Addressing Employers & Employees Dichotomy

Left to Right Lead Author, Oladapo Akinloye (COO Emerald Zone, Nigeria); Co-Author, Gbemiga Owolabi (O&HR Director, Lafarge Africa Plc) during Book Presentation of ‘Winning With People’ in Lagos.


Two human resources experts, Oladapo Akinloye and Gbemiga Owolabi have disclosed in their co-authored new book ‘Winning With People’ all that employers and employees need to know about business success.

In their new berthed book, ”Winning With People” Gbemiga Owolabi, a seasoned Human Resources Director for Airtel Networks Nigeria whose experience spanning over 25years brought it to bear in the book.

Also, Oladapo Akinloye who coauthored the book is a Human Resources expert having held various senior positions as Head Human Resources Business Partners and Human Resources Manager in different multinational organizations.

You will agree with me that the combined practical knowledge of these human resources gurus in authoring this new book ”Winning With People” will undoubtedly give a complete spectrum for employers, employees and entrepreneurs.

Speaking during the official launch of the book in Ikeja, Lagos, Akinloye said the book is about winning. According to him, every businessman wants to win, entrepreneurs want to win, adding that the formula for winning is what the book has addressed.

He said: ”The book is not just about a traditional management book, it is the cumulation of our experiences over the years.

”It is our experience of managing businesses of over forty years put together. Because we cannot continue to carry this knowledge alone, we thought of how we can share this knowledge to a wider audience. ”That is what informed us of putting this work into a book form. Akinloye explained that knowledge from the book can help a profit or non-profit organization succeed.

Speaking in the same vein, Owolabi said that if you want to be a high performing organization, it’s not the machine that does it, you have to do it through people.

”How do you get those people? When you get them, how do you make them do what ordinarily they would not want to do? How do you take them to higher-level performance and make them do what they do not want to do ordinarily? The book deals with how to make personnel in an organization become a high performing employee.

Lead Author, Oladapo Akinloye & his wife  at the  at the Book Presentation of Winning with People in Lagos

”The book from end to end speaks about the entire spectrum of managing people successfully. One key important area many organisations struggles with today are around performance management. This book talks deeply around performance management. ”How can every organization build in around performance management system? To ensure that everyone within the organization understands what he needs to do and how to do it to add value to the business. The book addressed that.”

Owolabi who stated that natural people would not want to deliver except something is done, urged employers to motivate employees to deliver the organization’s objectives.

”What we did in this book was to use leadership and management principles. We highlighted those tenets that can help you to succeed irrespective of where you find yourself.

”We put in the book some of those things we had practised over the years that worked while building those high performing organizations,” Owolabi said.

He continued: ”I have learnt over the years that there is no way an employee can be happy if its organization is not succeeding. The first thing that comes to the mind of an employee is that if this organization is not succeeding, what will follow is that we are going to be laid off.

”Therefore, if you are working in an organization that is succeeding, you will be happy, contented and fulfilled because the company is thriving at its goals and objectives.”

Left to Right – Lead Author, Oladapo Akinloye (COO Emerald Zone, Nigeria); Co-Author, Gbemiga Owolabi (O&HR Director, Lafarge Africa Plc); and Publisher of the Book – Bunmi Johnson (Oxbrandplanet Limited)  at the Book Presentation of Winning with People in Lagos 

”One of the things we talked about in this book is continuous learning to create an impact as employer and employee, so the book addresses both the employers and employees. As an engaged employer, how can continually learning such that if there are changes in the future I can adapt and continue to grow.”

Speaking further, Akinloye pointed out some key areas in the book which include learning and continuous learning by both employers and employees and how to navigate management change.

Akinloye said: ”Employers and employees must imbibe the learning culture in an organization and not wait until they come to the classroom. That is one of the mistakes people make.

READ ALSO: Forbes Ranks UNILAG Third Most Productive  African Varsity In Educating Entrepreneurs

”People feel that except they go to practice school or training hall where training takes place, they cannot learn. That is not true.

Left to Right – Book Reviewer, Dotun Adako (Group Head, Human Resources BUA Group); Lead Author, Oladapo Akinloye (COO Emerald Zone, Nigeria); Co-Author, Gbemiga Owolabi (O&HR Director, Lafarge Africa Plc); and Book Presenter, Kazeem Odeyeyiwa (MD/CEO Repton Group Limited). at the Book Presentation of Winning with People in Lagos.


‘In the book, we talked about the 70, 20, 10 principles. A lot of learning happens on the job in the workplace every day. 70% learning happens every day on the job, 20% talks about mentoring and coaching and 10% talks about learning which happens in the classroom. ”If you continue to teach me in the classroom and I have not gone to the market, I cannot succeed. There is some experience you cannot get unless on the job training and mentoring.

”Navigating managing changes is key. If this happens in the course of your career, how do you navigate these changes? For you to be successful in an organization, it probably starts from the way you bring in people.

”Because if you bring in the wrong persons that do not fit into the job, that is where the problem starts from. You need to spend some time employing the right persons with the right skills into the organization.

”Someone that will fit into your organization value, culture and goals. From there you can now start training the person for higher performance such that if the person is leaving the organization, he leaves as a proud ambassador.

”It is people that make an organization to be profitable not the process only. Good processes are fine and superb. Whatever your role and responsibilities within the organisation, always remember that the connecting link between vision and the bottom-line of that organization is people. If you get the people part of the equation right, every other element will fall in place, if otherwise, it is a matter of time before it all falls apart like a pack of cards.”

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