#LLACareerQuestionnaire First Female Managing Director, African Alliance Says Running an Open Door Policy Minimizes Office Politics

Is office politics stirred up by an employee or an employer? How lethal is it? How should you respond to it? Reactive or Proactive? First Female Managing Director of African Alliance group answers these and more in our Career Questionnaire.

What is your number one hack for dealing with difficult colleagues/bosses?

Two things – patience and demonstration. I have found out that people are not difficult by default. There is usually something that blocks them from achieving their goal and they become difficult. So, I deal with difficult colleagues by demonstrating how achievable a goal is, and by being patient enough for them to find out for themselves.

2 things you do when you are having a bad day?

I retreat into myself. I would want to be alone or talk to someone close. Secondly, at the end of the day, I could indulge in something that makes me happy, like cooking or eating something I love.

When you are creatively stuck, you…?

I take a break and work on something else. When I get back to work, I look at things from a different perspective.

2 tips for navigating office politics?

It exists, I know, but I try to run an open-door office to reduce the possibility. Office politics is lethal so I recommend keeping communication lines open to reduce this.

Secondly, some bosses unintentionally gravitate towards a few employees and unconsciously ignore others. This can create situations where work environment becomes political. “Eye service” becomes prevalent. My recommendation will be to maintain a cordial relationship with everyone and try to pay attention to the little details.

If you could have a lunch date with one woman you admire – who would that be and what would you ask her?

Hmm….Michelle Obama. It’s obvious what I will ask – what’s next? Lol. She is a powerhouse.

If you could wear the same hairstyle to work everyday, it would be?

Twists.

Your all-time favourite book is..?

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

That lipstick hue that leaves you feeling “badass” Is?

I am not sure of hues, but I am sure my makeup artist has this information (laughs)

About Funmi Omo

Funmi Omo is Managing Director at African Alliance. She began her professional career in 1991 at African Alliance as the Head of Department, Individual Business and Head of Technical, Insurance Operations. There she successfully led the retail marketing team to expand the business volume by over a 100%. Following that, she rose to the position of the Chief Operating Officer in 2006, where she was solely responsible for providing strategic direction for the company’s business operations. In 2012, she resumed the position of Executive Director, Operations at African Alliance Plc, overseeing an 80-staff team. There, she doubled the gross premium income of the company within 3 years. She also pioneered the design of the annuity products of the company boosting the annuity product range of African Alliance Plc to become a top-3 market player in the industry.

She was recently listed as one of 50 Leading Ladies in Corporate Nigeria. You can view the full list here

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