Lekan Owoduni is the CEO of Lekow Associated Services Limited, an International Freight Forwarder and Logistics Solutions Service Provider. His passion for the kids has led him into establishing Strong Tower Academy in Ikorodu, Lagos. According to him, “…we are preparing the younger ones for real life. We look at the future and prepare them according to what would be relevant in the future.” He is our role model this week.
It seems you are passionate about younger ones, how true is that?
I ventured into school project of Strong Tower academy as a result of my passion and interest in modelling and impacting peoples life positively with primary influence of my believe in Jesus Christ and leaving them a better person than I met them.
Testimonies of this abound in the life of those who have related with me for over two decades of establishing Lekow Associated Service and for this new ministry of running Strong Tower
It has been very challenging and interesting and very tasking too. Challenging in the sense that it was a passion I left for almost three decades as a youth copper in the then Gongola state as a school teacher.
Thanks immensely to credible people we have on board of the school chaired by Mrs Akinyemiju, the director of Dansol High school, who are miles ahead of me in school administration
The interesting aspect is when you see the transformation of these future leaders grow from baby to matured individuals who you no longer pass instructions to but discuss with.
How you have been able to achieve this?
What we tell people is that take any child and you’ll see what we’re doing. It goes beyond mathematics, we are preparing them for real life. We look at the future and prepare them according to what would be relevant in the future. So, you’ll find out that they are already developing for the future.
I have often sat down to ask myself this particular question: and my honest answer is_ this project is less of my personal achievement, as it is more of the numerous support of those who God have used, at every point in the development of the vision, to make this happen. I love to recall Harry S. Truman’s saying- “You can achieve anything in life, provided that you don’t mind who gets the credit.”- that a powerful statement that reflects my intricate values. Simply put, God gave me the vision of this school; orchestrated my path to cross with individuals, who prefers that their immeasurable efforts towards the achievement of the vision remain unsonged; and left me wondering, every new day_ “ how did all this happen?”
But you’re doing it for profit?
The motive is not for profit, but I know much later, profit will come in. The desire is not for money but to ensure that the kids get adequate training so that they will fit in properly for the leadership positions in the future. I know what to do here and make a lot of money, but that is not the desire.
If you go into any business for the purpose of making money, you will end up chasing money without getting, but if you venture into anything with the desire to add value, in no time money will be chasing you. When Kanu Nwankwo started playing football, he never knew it would turn out with so much money chasing him, he was playing it under the bridge until he was discovered and it paid off. So, if it was for passion and to change people’s lives, then the end is always better.
You have to give before you receive. God gave his only begotten son and got the whole world. It is the divine principle. So, don’t let your primary reason be to make money and money. So, if it was money that made me go into this, I would have been out of it by now.
How do you combine this with your freight forwarding business?
Everything I go into, I try to priotise my time. The courier business have grown for the past twenty years, and if you do any business for that long and you are still tied to it, then you’re not making any progress. It means your business after some time should not depend on you.
You must have a succession plan that will endure. So, what I do is merely to take some policy decision because I have valuable people who run the business. But Strong Tower is a new baby, besides, I don’t even run it. I have experts and seasoned professionals who know better than what I know. Besides, technology has made it possible that you can even work without you being there.
How do you relax?
I play tennis. I seldom go to parties.
Why do you think the syndrome of get-rich-quick is so high among the youths?
If you observe the leadership dynamics of this nation, one thing that you will almost find common, yet appalling, is the lack of vision, direction, and enduring values. Absent these qualities, one tend to wonder how we expect the citizens of this nation to reflect Godly characters, and be purpose-driven rather than been self-centred; the question is- how many of our leaders, today, do you find exhibiting these values? Instead, what is obtainable are leaders who turn strategic sessions where national issues are supposed to be given priority, to boxing rings-fisting over selfish concerns, whose objective has no national bearing, at the expense of the masses.
Thus feeding the mind of the younger generation with a stronger drive to pursue personal aggrandizement, against the good of the populace.
There’s a saying that “the leaders are a reflection of their society”, I believe the reverse is the case here_ the society is a reflection of our leadership failures. Leaders with no fear of God. There’s a dearth of positive role models in our society today because the right people are denied the opportunity to rise to the top.
What you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as a good husband to my wife, a good father who was able to instill right values in both my biological and non_ biological children. A great friend, follower, and leader. Most importantly, a man who served God in his generation through a purposeful and selfless life.
Your fond memories?
I’ve got a lot of those, believe me! Family memories, time alone with my beautiful wife, hanging out with friends, vacationing, you name it.
The day I meet Jesus_ having that personal encounter with Him. That experience, as simple as it appears, made all the difference in my life. That the one I cherish the most!