Foluso Gbadamosi is the Executive Director JAN (Junior Achievement Nigeria), a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Social Advocate, Speaker & Author. She is an astute Business Leader, adept at providing solutions to business problems and challenges using technology. Her portfolio spans working in different Technology & Operations roles in the United States & Nigeria, across various industries including Telecommunications, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Financial Services and Oil & Gas. She shares about her drive to bring about sustainable development using technology.
Sustainable Development And Tech
When I started out my career, I honestly didn’t plan to operate in the development sector. I am very passionate about development as it relates to the African Continent, Women Empowerment and Youth Development. This passion has evolved over time.
A country that doesn’t invest in its women and youth will suffer for it. These two groups are very critical to nation building. In addition, it is important to speak the language of the 21st century, which is technology. Technology is a major gap-bridger and problem solver. It gives access to a wider network, knowledge, information and resources that truly empowers people. Technology opens up the minds of young people to experiences beyond their immediate environment, inspires them to solve problems, do and create amazing things.
When people have access to information & knowledge, they become empowered. They begin to build businesses, create jobs and ultimately contribute to making the economy better. Young people are now taking their lives into their hands by leveraging the millions of free resources and courses on the internet to better improve themselves and grow capacity.
My Driving Force
I love to encourage people to become the best version of themselves, however I realized, I wouldn’t be able to do that effectively until I got a full understanding of myself and my abilities. This was one of the reasons I went on a journey of self discovery and this is important, because every single person has God-given talents. However, to get those talents to their peak, they must be developed.
The first step is to know yourself better, understand what your natural talents are, and then figure out ways to develop them. One of my favorite examples is Beyonce, she has a natural talent of singing but if you compare her voice from when she started her career with her voice now, you will definitely see a difference. She has always been a good singer, but she has also invested a lot into developing that talent to its peak.
What we really need to do is to identify what our talents are and stop trying to be like anyone else. I’m really super passionate about people realising their own talents because I believe that all of us were created with amazing talents. It is just a matter of identifying them, building and harnessing them. This is what drives me. I want to see people win. I want to see them achieve their goals and achieve greatness. I want to see them build something huge out of their natural talents and abilities.
One major milestone for me is getting appointed as the Executive Director at Junior Achievement Nigeria. This is my first role in the development sector. Prior to this, I had always been in the private sector.
I have also been involved in the work done by a number of reputable organizations in the development sector. In general, I am proud of the achievements around using technology to reach more people, to give them access and help inspire positive change in them.
A few years ago, I began to feel like I didn’t have any natural talents. I didn’t know what my natural gifts and abilities were, and this stirred me to go on a journey of self discovery. During this self discovery journey, I took a series of self assessment tests on a mission to understand myself better. After doing this, a lot of things began to make sense to me; it was a great epiphany.
I started to understand myself better, and that was how I got to realize all my special sparks. Things that came naturally to me that I assumed came naturally to everyone as well! I would say a pair of my major superpowers is my ability to connect with people and my natural positivity! I am a full fledged extrovert, I get energized when I am around people and when I am helping people in different ways. I have the ability to network with people easily and also connect people to each other.
On Women Empowerment
Beyond the female gender, everyone needs to “Be the change you want to see”. This should not be limited to a particular gender, age bracket or demography, but a commonplace ideal for everyone. We all need to step up. If we want to see a particular change in our society, our first task is to be that change. We need to stop complaining about everything and start taking steps to change whatever we can in our own areas of influence.
That said, I also want to live in a more inclusive society. I don’t want to live in a society where wealth is only shared by a very small percentage of the population, and the larger society suffers. I don’t want to live in a society where a particular gender or age range dominates over others to a point of inequality. I’m very big on inclusiveness and this reflects in everything I have done and I’m doing.
If you look deeply at women and what women represent, you’ll notice that societies that empower their women do so much better. When you see organizations that want to thrive, they’re very big on women inclusion on their Board and Management positions. We all have to come together to solve the problems that plague our society.
I really hope for a world where we can all be intentional about the change we want to see. This is not the time for complaints and nagging. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Change your mindset. If I had the power to make one change, it would be to change people’s mindsets! Over the years I have observed that the major thing that is holding many of us back is a limiting mindset which leads to limiting beliefs! Most times, this comes as a result of upbringing, exposure, background, environment or education. I think if we could intentionally find ways to stop these limiting beliefs, we would do better as people and that will affect all areas of our lives, including our Nation. The barriers caused by those limiting mindsets & beliefs will be removed and people will truly be able to be all they were created to be!
Foluso Gbadamosi is a Business and Technology Professional who is currently the Executive Director, Junior Achievement Nigeria. She views technology as a catalyst for personal, business & national development and is very involved in building the technology ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa at large. She is an Executive Council member of Women in Business, Management & Public Service (WIMBIZ). She also serves on the Board of Directors of Swift Networks, Cousant Technologies, KudaBank, the Advisory Board of Zest Concierge Services and Skool Media.