#LLACareerQuestionnaire Stella Ibienne-Fubara Says Understanding Why You are at Work is Instrumental in Managing Office Politics

Stella Ibienne-Fubara is the Director of International operations with the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing; she is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector within Africa.

With over two decades of impressive executive management, she is responsible for the operations of Dubai Tourism in Africa in line with the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism tdestination and commercial hub.

To enable success of the vision, Stella has facilitated new destination awareness platforms and relationships with the media, consumers, and travel trade industry in Africa.  She has enhanced a platform to enable all travel agencies improve their performance of travel to Dubai, and empowered the African Travel Industry employers to grow their businesses.

Stella Ibienne-Fubara takes our Career Questionnaire.

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

Difficult bosses – You do things their way unless it will compromise the delivery of your KPI. And even if a KPI is in jeopardy, you state your position calmly and respectfully….IN WRITING, and still execute their way if they insist.  Hopefully, if you have an experienced (but difficult) boss, your main task would be to manage ego but not the success of your work.  Study your bosses nuances and peeves, and deliver on them before it becomes an issue. Be submissive. Focus on making your boss look good.

Difficult Colleagues – I avoid them at all costs.  When work circumstances force interaction, I engage only to the content of the project, and assume my distance thereafter.  This skill takes time to develop, and in my early career years it was difficult not to be friends with co-workers.  I’m now much wiser, and it is easy to entertain a strict working relationship that does not jeopardize KPI’s or success. Difficult colleagues are worse than difficult bosses, they can stab you in the back and ruin your success without harming their own.


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

I rarely have bad days. Maybe, one or two things might go wrong, but that doesn’t mean the day has gone bad.  When I’m sad, I like to be alone. I Listen to music, do jigsaw puzzles, and daydream. I’m an eternal optimist. I hate to dwell on the negatives or dramatize everything.  If something is going wrong, fix it or move on.  Life is not perfect or fair, and everyone has challenges. When you start thinking that your situation is worse than others, or special and requires drama, then you become irritatingly negative. 

When you are creatively stuck, you…?

When I’m creatively stuck, I brainstorm with my staff or colleagues. Talking about challenges with others always produces new insights.  This is why I always try to have people on my team that are hardworking and smart.  Choose people for their passion and honesty.  This is true in relationships too.  But choose your listeners carefully, not everyone has your best interest at heart.

Two tips for navigating office politics?

a. Mind your own business.

b. Do not get involved in gossip.

c. Do not take side, always stay with the truth.

d. Always send emails to confirm every work conversation or decision.

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

I would like to have lunch with Angela Basset.  This would be a 4hr lunch, and I want a casual conversation to understand the challenges she faced as a wife and a mother juggling success and the ability to discern true friendship. I want her to speak to me like a younger sister, punch me in my gut if necessary.

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

The dreadlocks I have now.  Dreadlocks are inexpensive and give you versatility with natural hair.  I started my dreads in 2013, and it’s the best hair decision I’ve ever made.  I am also quite lazy when it comes to personal appearance, so I always choose the path of least resistance for hair and makeup.  I’ve never worn a wig in my life. Maybe, when I’m older and if I start balding. Wigs are just too much maintenance headache and they itch the wearer!!!

Your all time favorite book is..?

I do not have an all-time favorite book, just like I do not have an all-time favorite movie or song.  I love reading historical fiction or crime novels, addicted to James Bond movies, and I love reggae and Old School music.  I can listen to music for hours.  It’s my balm.  Reading is for the work-related plane rides I take every 2 weeks.

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