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E65 Leave Things Better with Dele Ajele

Tagline

Good food is easy: A Nigerian-Canadian business consultant shows how to leave the world a better place.

Bio for Dele Ajele

Dele Ajele is co-Executive Director and franchise owner of Corporate Connections® Alberta South as well as BNI Alberta South, Canada. Dele is also a business coach and consultant with a passion for helping entrepreneurs create a strong foundation for sustainable business growth. He transitioned to coaching from engineering to help business professionals achieve their business dreams.

A public speaker, Dele enjoys volunteering as a way of giving back to his community. He was a volunteer instructor with the Alberta Board Development Program training non-profit boards on effective governance. Dele and his wife Moji live in Calgary Alberta, Canada and are blessed with four amazing children and one grandchild (so far). He enjoys travelling and running marathons.

Episode highlight

Dele Ajele and his wife head one of the most successful BNIChapters in Canada, and are both sought-after speakers and presenters, passionate in their dedication to the success of entrepreneurs and small business development. Listen in on Dele’s journey from an engineer in Nigeria to a business consultant in Canada!

Links

Quotes

  • “Learn the importance of helping others, contributing to others, no matter how small, because you never know what role that contribution can play in their lives.”
  • “Don’t ever equate work with suffering.”
  • “Whatever I do, I want to do my very best at it.”
  • “Work has an intrinsic value in itself.”
  • “It is generally accepted that your behaviour impacts not only you but your entire family and sometimes your whole community.”
  • “If you are leading a business… you are not seeing people working for you as working for you but you see them as people you are there to serve.”
  • “Always leave things better for those who are coming behind”.
  • “I believe every individual is valuable if given the opportunity to contribute in their own way.”
  • “I didn’t see myself as typically… a black man, I just saw myself as a man.”

Takeaways

Childhood Incidents

Dele’s Grade 6 teacher was also his Grade 4 teacher. He noticed that Dele had not done so well in Grade 5, and was not doing well at home. He adopted Dele, which elevated his status as a student, and boosted his confidence and ability to become someone in life. Dele’s father taught him that “work is a privilege”, to value the opportunity to work and always give his best.

Influential groups

Dele explains that his family and ethnic culture taught him to be considerate of everyone in the community in his decisions and actions. He became a practising Christian in his 20s and the teachings of the Bible inspired him towards collaborative and servant leadership, based on kindness and generosity. His engineering training taught him to be thorough and focused in everything he does.

Temperament and Personality Influences

Dele claims to always have been nurturing, caring and inclusive, believing that “there’s hardly any job worth doing if it means trampling over people”. He is a listener and likes to think of himself as a catalyst for individuals to discover the best in themselves. He has worked on developing his outgoing side, talking to strangers and making them feel comfortable.

Cultural Epiphanies

In Nigeria, you acknowledge and greet an older person “in a certain posture and very deliberately”, and help an older person carry their belongings. When Dele first moved to Canada, he thought it was rude that people didn’t do that. However, he learnt that assuming someone is old can also be construed as rude in Canada, so it was a cultural learning experience for him.

Advice to an Employer

Dele loves when he can take someone from a place of confusion to identify a clear vision for their lives and have them be prepared to take on the steps to get there. “I love the kind of expression of radiance and joy that comes from such an individual at such times and that just fills my cup”, he observes.

More Great Insights!

Dele’s advice is to “leave people feeling better about themselves than when you met them” by finding the treasure in them, bringing it to their awareness and being good listeners.

Extro

Dele Ajele is co-Executive Director and franchise owner of Corporate Connections® Alberta South and BNI (Business Network International) Alberta South, Canada. An Engineer by profession, Dele is also a business coach and consultant with a passion for helping entrepreneurs create a strong foundation for sustainable business growth.

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