By Henry Akubuiro
Deji Ajayi is a writer, multidisciplinary professional and management mentor with expert knowledge in human resources, administration, training, employee relations, among others. He has just released his first book, Management Gems.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos recently on his new release, he said, after serving for about 25 years in the private sector, especially in a manufacturing company like the Nigerian Bottling Company, and having all the opportunities, he realised he should give back to society and support people still in the industry. “I decided to come up with this small memento, which will serve as a sort of impetus and motivator to those coming after us,” he told journalists in a chat.
His book is not just about mentoring. He offered, “It is about personal effectiveness. It is also about building good relationships while at work, while growing your career, so that people would be able to manage their career successfully.”
It contains topics on various areas, such as time management, how to manage, relate with your colleagues, build good relationships with your colleagues and your bosses so that you can achieve your target, despite the time limit that you are given.
“And if you are not able to finish a certain assignment, you try to find people who you can delegate to and also achieve that target. So it’s about working with people; it’s about getting things done through people,” he explained.
The book also contains a topic on creating wealth, which addresses the complaint about workers not being successful with the little they earn. Said the author, “The idea is that, while you’re working, you can still make money from outside, using your spouse, relatives and managing small businesses. I also talked about choosing a leadership style, tips on being a role model, tips on coaching and mentoring.”
Ajayi’s target audience include “future leaders in companies; youths who are the future leaders in an organisation; those who are going to be motivated and those who need mentoring and guidance, to be successful in their careers.”
What makes his book unique? Ajayi said, “It’s very simple to read, and I gave practical day-to-day examples from my own experience. It is localised. There is a session there that talks about home front maneuvers. I also talked about time management.”
After Management Gem, the author intends publishing a book on talent management or sales or selling in Nigeria. However, getting this book, his first, published, wasn’t an easy task.
He admitted, “It was not easy, because I also worked with a consultant, who had published over five books, and he has also worked with some other organisations. So we were working from time to time. But the challenge there was that, in most cases, when we sent a manuscript to him, he would have set some corrections, and so on.
“He, too, has his own assignment, and he will send it to some of his assistants to amend. By the time they send it back to me, we realise that some of those things he told them to amend are still there. So it took time going back and forth, and I just realised that that’s part of the challenges of publishing. It is not about just rushing to publish or release the book; it is about getting the best out.
“I also learnt something about printing. It is not just about printing; you also have to design the cover page separately,” he said. The author intends writing a sequel to this from time to time, “because people will be asking questions about what I have said, and suggest areas that I needed to have added and so on.”
Besides, “You can never finish writing a book on management. For instance, I gave an example of choosing your leadership style; there are so many other leadership styles that you can choose from,” said the author.