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Plan B in Business is a Cop-Out says author of new book Reformers Arise

Press Release - Business/Entrepreneur/Leadership

Reformers Arise! Plan B is a Cop Out in Business - Act Now

A new book by successful business woman, entrepreneur and transformation strategist, also known as ‘the Original Reformer', warns that there should be no such thing as a Plan B in business - or life.

Alero Ayida-Otobo has invaluable understanding of sector wide reforms in Africa, is passionate about reforming educational and health systems, and transforming individuals and institutions, not just in her home land of Africa, but on a global scale. In her new book, Reformers Arise! (Panoma Press, June 2017), Alero writes about her own experiences at the top of her corporate career in Africa and Europe, which led to a realisation that there should be NO PLAN B in life or business.


Alero has faced myriad challenges in her work at Board level where her belief that ‘a Plan B is merely a cop out' manifested into action. Alero explains: "I was not just the only woman on the board I was also the youngest. It took overturning a board decision for me to get the right attention I wanted. I learnt that it is important to be prepared always. Do your homework; arrive at board meetings knowledgeable and prepared. Know which battles to fight. Determine which board or organisational issues are important for you andlearn to step back from arguments that do not impact your priority issues."


Extract from ‘Reformers Arise! Calling Out A People Of Dignity To Influence And Action'

No Plan B

It is not everyone that has the capability not to cave in. I see it as an outward manifestation of an inner strength. When you don't have a Plan B you have within you the ability to withstand pressure and undue hardship rather than buckle under the pressure. This is something sadly missing in many of us but is a required quality in a reformer. As mentioned earlier, it is time for the African version of Harakiri. Back in Ancient Rome, committing suicide by falling on one's sword became an actual practice. The Japanese samurai custom took it to another level as it became an act of great honour to commit suicide by disembowelment with a sword rather than face the dishonour of surrender. In England, it became an expression that was widely used following the resignation of Lord Peter Carrington from his post as Foreign Secretary for the Thatcher government in 1982. He was one of the last high-profile politicians in the United Kingdom to take personal responsibility in such circumstances.

I remember I offered to ‘fall on my sword' for the first time in early 2004. I made a grievous mistake as the head of one of the key divisions in one of the largest banks in the country. The uproar that followed that mistake was deafening and it was not going away. All the good work that we had done as a division over the previous 12 months was about to be obliterated by this singular error. I refused to make excuses; I felt I needed to take full responsibility for the incident. I was ready to walk away and to fall on my sword. This was not going to be easy as this was a job I loved. I had just finished a Master's programme at a leading world-class business school and was invited back to this financial institution to be one of the key players in a management turnaround - an opportunity that does not come often in one's career.

I offered to ‘fall'. The offer was rejected. The then Chief Executive Officer stood up for me and the matter was resolved.

In another situation in an organisation I will not mention I was asked to do something that could severely affect the board if I didn't do it. If I did it I would be in the good books of the institution and be offered a promotion to a very senior position. I was at a crossroads. I asked for an hour. It was an hour to reflect and to think deeply about my values, about my beliefs, about what I stood for and believed in. I returned after that hour and offered to fall on my sword. This time I fell - I was asked to leave the organisation.



Appealing to the younger generation to act now

Alero Ayida-Otobo hopes that her new boo - a potent mix of personal experiences as a reformer and business woman, other people's stories, action points, strategies and recommendations - will inspire young people (20-35 year olds) to join the Reformers Arise Community that facilitates the exchange of ideas and talent across nations and executes transformation projects. "Young people run with vision so well, they have creative energy and the strength to build. When they are tired of a given situation with the right motivation they are willing to take risks that older people with ‘commitments' are unwilling to take. Young people often run at a pace that older people cannot keep up with. They are not set in their ways and seem better wired to try new things - new technology, new solutions, new direction," explains Alero.


The time is right for individuals and businesses to act now

"Several nations are facing some of the most challenging times in their history,"says Alero Ayida-Otobo.

"The changing political landscapes in the United States, the United Kingdom and several countries in Africa are challenging status quo and throwing up issues that are drawing attention to the many areas where society is broken - education, media, health systems and even government. It takes a different kind of thinking to fix broken systems. Social reformers are wired and trained to think in a way that addresses deep seated issues. They also strive to develop the technical competence to design solutions to address these issues. Anything less than this approach leads to superficial social action with minimal impact over time.


Alero is currently CEO at Incubator Africa, a development agency operating on the African continent that mobilises and equips Africans to collaborate and actively participate in strategic reform activities. Alero is a strong believer in continuing learning and education throughout life, whether by reading and keeping up with world news, going back to school, or engaging fully in the many life experiences that come your way.


She encourages people to "freshen up", take opportunities and act now. After graduating from Oxford, working at Government level in Nigeria, and moving to London to work in banking, Alero went to London Business School to complete an MBA which gave her the incredible "I can do anything" attitude that she carries with her today, an attitude that she believes is essential to the success of a business, career and nation. She is undaunted by challenges that would seem too big for an individual to take on, she knows the tools to use to get the job done and works hard to make a difference.


Throughout her career, seeing first-hand how a change of government can overturn the behaviour of a nation and how banking influences a country, were big eye openers for Alero, so she focused on how she could help her homeland of Africa and encourage others to do so. The release of Reformers Arise is a major part of this realisation and her legacy.


Reformers Arise is a manual for developing, refining and releasing the four key qualities (Character,Competence,Influenceand a strong desire toCollaborate)that are essential to change the songs of pain and sadness that can still be heard on the continent of Africa (indeed this could apply to many other areas of the world as well, but Alero is passionate about her home nation). It is about singing new songs of hope and victory.


About the Author

Alero Ayida-Otobo is a highly educated, widely respected business woman with a massive agenda for social change. Alero is a graduate of Oxford University, Bartlett School of Architecture and Town Planning, University of London and the London Business School. Her purpose is to "create wealth in Africa through the development of Human Potential". Alero has worked in myriad business sectors in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia, and delivered papers at conferences in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Alero divides her time between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, where she is based in London.



[image][image]Title:Reformers Arise!

Author:Alero Ayida-Otobo

Genre:Society, Politics, Business, Africa

Publisher:Panoma Press

Publication date:June 22 2017

Availability:Paperback, eBook, International distribution


Price: £12.99


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