Positive mentors are fast becoming endangered species. Little wonder, Weyinmi Jemide is known as the influencer. The unveiling of his book, Proverbial Business was an eloquent testimony to this fact OMOLOLA ITAYEMI writes about his foray into writing, and experience as a Life coach
Light-skinned, lithe frame and bespectacled Weyinmi Jemide was hard to beat in the game of chess and didn’t slack either in scrabble in his growing up days, sometimes at the chagrin of his siblings. This and more his siblings revealed at the unveiling of his book Proverbial Business at the Incubator II, City of David, Redeemed Church Parish, Victoria Island recently.
The making of a wordsmith one might say (his dictionary was a constant companion) but Weyinmi’s first foray into writing began after a congregational meeting on a Saturday afternoon. But it took almost two years to develop it into a book. ‘’Like any other author writing a book can have it’s up and down. You fall asleep in the process, then you wake up and then you fall asleep again,’’ he revealed.
He is a founding member of the firm (Ashford & McGuire, a consulting firm in Lagos) and has over 22 years of organisational experience in banking and professional services acquired locally and abroad.
Married with three children, the Chartered Accountant by training graduated in Economics with 2nd Class Upper Honours from the University of Lagos in 1983 and got his first job with Akintola Williams in 1984. Additionally, he is a Certified Master Coach (CMC) from the Behavioural Coaching Institute in Australia – the first Nigerian to attain this certification. He is also a member of the International Association of Facilitators, a global body that helps groups build consensus, maximise participation and movement to action.
He has delivered seminar papers and facilitated sessions across industries. His knowledge has been broadened by attending courses such as a Brand Strategy Seminar that focused on building Nigerian brands, Managing Customer Equity and Mastering Strategy both at Lagos Business School and Transforming Corporate Leadership, a John Maxwell conference.
‘’My early career as an accountant was definitely a plus in writing this book, some of my mentors when started out in my profession such as Mr Hammond had a key role to play because they helped me to structure my thoughts and write my reports as a young accountant,’’ he said.
You won’t be far from the truth if you say he is influenced by his faith and his career. ‘’I doubt I would have written this book if I wasn’t a pastor because I probably wouldn’t have come across the bible so deeply,’’ he revealed. He was ordained a full pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of Dvaid Parish in August this year and also partakes in several other influencing roles in voluntary activities. He became a born-again Christian in April, 1994.
He has paid his dues professionally having worked with top-notch firms such as UBA, Akintola Williams Deloitte Touche, NNB International Bank and Ashford & McGuire consulting where he is now. Prior to joining Ashford & McGuire Consulting where he spent six years (he left this year), he was Head of Strategy at NNB International Bank Plc where he led corporate and strategic change initiatives. He was instrumental in delivering strategic solutions and in designing and lead-facilitating strategy sessions.
Guess he has been bitten by the writing bug as he has two other books in the works. ‘’One on followership will come out next year, the other is a book which I’ve already written and its yet to be published talking about how photography relates with business.’’
The Liverpool Football club supporter relaxes by going cycling, pastoring, and if time permits a lot of reading.
An avid reader, he would rather have best authors than best books. ‘’I’ll cannot say this is my best book, I’ll rather talk about best authors. My best authors are Max Lucado who is in my view the best inspirational writer in the world and a certain lady called Laurie Beth Jones who wrote the books ‘Jesus CEO and Jesus the entrepreneur’. They’re my best authors and I read a lot of their books.’’
The Enforcer as he is called in his church takes out time to partake in any positive activity towards any cause he is passionate about. He was one of the protestants at the ABSU Rape Walk held in Lagos last year against a lady gang-raped in ABSU. The protesters walked from the NTA office, through Bishop Oluwole Street, and finally back to Ahmadu Bello Way where they gathered in front of the Abia State Liaison Office. According to Jemide, ‘’this is not just a walk against the rape of one girl, it is a walk against the rape of our nation,” he said.
Proverbial Business, a thoroughly researched book is a manual for business and life based on the book of Proverbs. The electronic version of the book will soon be available.’
Alero Ayida-Otobo who did the book review at the event spoke about the author’s approach to writing, Proverbial Business is written in a most innovative and creative way. Weyinmi has successfully introduced a new word into the English language which I have already copied! The word is “Proverse” which he defines as “the introductory verse to a chapter or section of an article, a book or other scholarly documents”. Each chapter starts with a proverse and each one is taken from the book of Proverbs (Weyinmi says ‘proverse’ is a word that was created out of the need to link the word proverb with verse). As you read each proverse, it forces you to think about what the chapter will say and actually makes you curious as to what Narrative Weyinmi is going to come up with. Then the key principles begin to challenge you to examine your thinking and the Thought Activators motivate you to take decisions as you answer the questions. I really like the way each chapter is organised. She goes on to say, ‘this is an intelligent book. It carries “weight”. It is easy to understand and it is in its simplicity that you find treasures, insights, warnings and valuable nuggets of wisdom,’’ she said.
A dapper gentleman who is known for his classic style of dressing, he is the third sibling out of a family of six who maintains his father’s positive influence on him and his siblings shaped them into who they are today.
From the MC to other high-profile guests in the audience, the encomiums were not in short supply as each guest gave a rendition of his positive influence in their lives. The ‘Enforcer’ is of the view that while not everybody is going to be a leader, everybody can influence people. ‘’I influence people with coaching, training and mentoring. My books influence people. Mentoring is one tool I use in influencing.’’
Maybe that explains why his also called the Influencer, a name he uses on twitter. Relatively new on twitter where he is called the ‘Influencer’, he has almost 500 followers on twitter, not bad for someone who is all about positively influencing the other party and not a pop star.
His books don’t only influence people, he has people of influence as pre-publising reviewers, editors or writer of foreword. Maurice Suwa edited this book; Enase Okonedo, Dean of Lagos Business School wrote the foreword; Nick Ogbului, Opeyemi Agbaje, Sola David-Borha, MD IBTC, Keith Richards, MD Promasidor and Zik Zulu Okafor, Nollywood producer are all helped in pre-publishing reviews.
For a man who will attain the golden age of 50 next year, his influence on his generation and the younger one is going 50 notches higher each minute.