Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede: Olivia Pope of Leadership Development Talks to the AWP Network

Young Africans need to write, document and own their story and not let anyone exploit their talents or gifts.


How did you come up with your business name?

I chose the name Yetunde Global Consulting because I wanted a name that would stand the test of time and serve as a way to brand myself and my skill set.

Who inspired you to start?

I founded Yetunde Global Consulting in 2011 and over the years, I have had mentors who advised me to start my venture. Serving on various boards and working in international development, I was able to form important relationships with those who were seasoned in their fields…and for some reason, the same advice would always come up in conversations – to venture out and turn my professional gifts and personal passions into a form of business. Not just this, I was always good at making strategic partnerships, ensuring that organizations or teams that I oversaw always performed to their best ability.

Who is your target market?

Senior executives, managers, employees, professionals and those who want to individually or collectively develop their leadership abilities.

How have you financed your business?

I financed the company with my money. I worked full-time and organized several leadership development seminars, workshops and one-on-one sessions around my work hours. When my business took off, I focused more on building my clientele internationally. In addition, being a Lecturer of Political Science gave me the freedom to run my business hands on and put all of my resources in ensuring its success.

What is your competitive edge?

My competitive edge is my unique approach to leadership development. I am passionate about what I do. I love to see people excel, I love to step into a corporation and train their employees and equip them with the skills needed to increase profits, reduce employee turnover, breakdown workplace silos and increase overall departmental or company morale. In addition, my clients book me because they want to experience what I have to offer in person.  I walk into the room and they already know that I am going to take charge and that no individual will leave my training session without being inspired, uplifted and more knowledgeable about leadership.

You can say, they consider me the Olivia Pope of Leadership Development!

What is the long-term plan for your business?

My long-term plan is to sustain offices in certain locations around the world, to continue building a strong leadership team in those locations and to continue building lasting relationships with my current clients as well as prospective ones.

What challenges do you face?

Some of my challenges include dealing with CEOs or those in powerful leadership positions and telling them that their mode of leading their organization or company is actually causing more harm than good. At times, I find that many people who are in powerful positions are there simply because they are great managers. They have the experiences, the résumé and the management skills to rise up the corporate ladder but lack the skills to lead, to communicate effectively, to resolve conflict, and to boost team morale. This is why one of my most requested seminars titled \”How to Manage and Lead\” has become so successful. In order to be truly successful in the workplace you must be able to manage and lead.


What five (5) things have you learned since starting this idea?

  1. Leadership development is a constant,
  2. As a CEO, I too must continue to hone in on my skills,
  3. People can tell the difference between passion and just having a business because it’s profitable,
  4. Everyone no matter their age needs to hone in on their leadership development skills,
  5. Leadership is the single most essential element of a successful organization.

What key things do startup entrepreneurs need to know?

  • Passion yields profit,
  • Profit does not yield passion…it yields money which is not enough to run a successful company,
  • Find a niche that is unique to your gifts and talents,
  • Leadership development is everything. You need to hone your skills in communication, branding, being personable, connecting with people and the other elements of leadership development before you pitch or debut your product.

What advice do you have for youths looking to start an idea but say ‘there is no money’? 

With social media and the emergence of new technologies like crowdfunding sites…money should be the least of your worries. The money will come. Do your research, have passion for what you do, and be able to properly communicate your message.

How do you think African youths can continue to support each other?

African youths should start a think-tank in every country on the continent….for youths by youths – a place where youths can conduct research on social issues and publish papers about these issues. Young Africans need to continue to write and own their story and not let anyone exploit their talents or gifts. Even in the face of obstacles, youths should continue to dream and support one another. Remember, even challenges present opportunities.

How many jobs have you created so far?

I often get testimonials from clients who have received promotions, been hired or established their own businesses as a result of my services. In addition, every year I take on a number of interns who I mentor and work hands on with. Since I founded my company, I have hired and worked with a full-time team of consultants and marketing professionals.

How has technology enhanced your business? 

Technology is a key element in my business. I conduct private webinars online, share leadership development materials through my online portal, and use social media to market certain aspects of my company and more.

How can we support and improve innovation in Africa? 

We can support and improve innovation in Africa by creating more opportunities for young people and creating spaces where they can develop their ideas and innovations. If we can encourage innovation in the early stages of a child\’s education we send the strong message in society that innovation starts with the youth.

Twitter: Yetunde Global

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Website: Yetunde Global 










2 thoughts on “Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede: Olivia Pope of Leadership Development Talks to the AWP Network”

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