Interviews | 16 December 2023 23:13 CET

“I Don’t Believe In Luck, Because Luck Is Just When Endeavor Meets Preparedness” Dr. Ken Onyeali-ikpe Shares On #withchude.

By "Joy, Inc"

Dr Ken Onyeali-Ikpe, immediate past CEO of Insight sits with Chude Jideonwo, for a special episode of #WithChude as he turns 60. On the show, he discussed turning 60 and stepping down as CEO at Insight Redefini, and the greatest lessons he has learnt in life and marriage.

Dr. Ken shared how he was perceived as a ‘lifer’, when he joined the group in 1994, ‘Once I went through the process, the Managing Director then, now the chairman called me a ‘lifer’. This might be because I hit the right note, and they were trying to pull me from an organization that was much bigger than Insight. I had served at Shell and I had the opportunity of staying. So, I left all those privileges to join Insight. I think they saw the conviction, and it took about four months of conversation before I made that decision. When I made the decision, it was clear. Perhaps, the chairman saw through my eye and said 'this guy is not a passenger; he's not coming here to pass through.' I didn't quite have an interview; it was a series of conversations. I told him what I wanted to do, and how I would do it massively well, and how I was going to hit the rooftop in 5 years. And in five years, I was managing director. When I became the managing director, I told them I was going to lead the group. But I wasn't boasting, I knew what it required to be there. Therefore, you have to go and get what it requires to be able to take the entitlement. I wasn't going to do it by voodoo, nor was I going to boast my way into it. I knew I had to do something to build the foundation that would put me in the position to do that. Some people will say, ‘you are lucky’, but there's nothing like luck. As far as I'm concerned, luck is when endeavor meets preparedness.

Speaking on what made him decide to leave Shell for Insight, he said, ‘I had been chosen from the National Youth Service Corp camp to serve in Shell, because they were looking for a competitor analyst who had a Masters, and I had a Ph.D. I got my Ph.D. when I was 29. I thought I had escaped NYSC but when I returned to the country, I was told I was still below 30, so I had to go for it. I worked with Shell for 1 year as a core competitor analyst. So, the assumption was that I was going to be retained, and all the whole conversation happened, but I didn't wait for that to consolidate when the Insight opportunity came because I've always wanted to be the head of a goat instead of the tail of an elephant.”

He shared further on how he embraced a value-driven life than profit driven and how this has helped him to reach the peak in his career. “I have written close to 8 books, which are unpublished because I am very self-critical. I will write a few 200 pages, keep it and say 'I will come back to it when I retire.' There are other decisions you can make in your life space to balance it. I made those decisions, and they paid off. I knew that I needed clarity of mind and that I needed to concentrate on work. So, when I was choosing a life partner, for example, I wasn't going to choose somebody who would also require the kind of help and assistance that I needed. Who would also deal with hygiene issues? So, I made sure that yes if it was character I was looking for, there was character; if it was integrity, there's integrity. That's why partnership is an osmosis. You get something that will strengthen you, not something that takes away from you just because you are looking at things that are ephemeral and, on the surface,’.

“People think it's cold and a little bit burdensome on humanity. But listen, you will pay the price because, by the time the vicissitude of life comes, those things that made you take those decisions that are flimsy will hit you so badly that you will regret whether those decisions have a foundation or not. I've just said it. I'm not saying you should become a gold digger, but what are the parameters you are looking for in a partner? Tick them. You will find them both in the ugly and beautiful. You will find them both in unintelligent and intelligent people, so find them in the circumference of what you want. It just takes a bit of design thinking,” he added.

Watch the excerpt here:

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