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Leadership Lessons I Learnt from My Mum



This is Leadership Lessons I Learnt from My Mum, Late Ezinne Deacon Cecilia Abigail Okwuwuodu Ihezuo Ezeji, Nee Nnanna. My siblings and I, 12 of us were born several years ago by one strong wise intelligent woman by name Cecilia Abigail Okwuwuodu Ihezuo Ezeji, Nee Nnanna, who became “Ezinne”, an “Excellent woman” and a “Deacon”. We were all born and saw our mother unique despite the fact she didn’t have conventional schooling. Do I shock you? Our mother didn’t go to conventional or orthodox secondary, university even full primary school, yet her love for education is super. She singlehandedly trained 6 of her children in universities, and jointly with her husband when alive she trained 2. Her opinion on issues sounds highly educated – of course, she was educated, but not schooled. Of course, you’re beginning to see the leadership lessons I learnt from my mum. Mama was an example of those I cite in my seminars who didn’t go to school, but is sound. Why? Follow me. At the age of knowledge, I noticed few things about my mother. These leadership lessons I learnt from my mum are the things I want to share with you as tagged Leadership Lessons I Learnt from Mum. They are;


  1. Enjoying Settled Life Early Can Be a Key to Success


Mama settled early, and she enjoyed settled life early from a teen age. My mother married in her 16th years, and stayed a year plus before agreeing to get pregnancy. She was older to her first child by 18 years. My father wasn’t her age mate but a mentor, father, lover and husband to her. She enjoyed settling early and was always against people wasting time in getting married. On challenges of people who got into marriage too early, my mother didn’t experience any. I did not see my father and mother argue or raise voice on each other. My father’s wish or statement was like a law to her, and my mother would submissively carry it out. My mother called my father “nna m ukwu” which translated means my master [not just master]. My father loved her to “shege.” No matter how my father played with you, it doesn’t get to where mother was or was concerned, even us the children. I didn’t see any of them attended marriage counselling or watched relationship therapy on Internet in the 1952 or 1953 they wedded; yet they got settled early, and faced other things.


At the dying bed of my father on 31st September 1984 at Aba General Hospital, the Chief Surgeon asked my father if there is anything he needs to tell his wife, he should tell her NOW. My father said there’s nothing about me and our home she doesn’t know. I was shocked. Mummy started crying because she understand the message of the surgeon [that dad will not make]. Few minutes, the light was off.

On relationship pillar of leadership, mama was on top, a leader par excellence. Many young wives and women mama counseled can attest to these. I learnt this from her.

  1. Enjoyed Mentored & Coached and was Teachable

Mama loves knowledge and wisdom. You recall I told you she didn’t go to conventional school, but she associates herself with intelligent people. I can recall mama in the 70s, 80s and 90s before I left home. Her associates have one thing in common – intelligent, and don’t engage in housewives’ gossips.

Beyond friends, mama had two great influencers in her life. One is her mother, and the other is her husband. Mama’s mother, Late Suzanna Ugodiya Nnanna to my record [I may be wrong] was one of the most beautiful, supportive, influencing and intelligent women on earth I came across in her time.

I spent my year 6 to 10 living with her as a grandson in her home. She is wisdom panorama. You can’t stay with her 10minutes without adding wisdom. I learnt so much from her. She visited mama regularly in Aba, and in every “omugwo.” Remember, mama had 12 omugwos. And mama learnt so much from her mother. And daddy don’t joke with her mother-in-law.

Papa was another leader mama had. He was a 13years none stop president of Isu Patriotic Union president-General. Any association he belonged to, he will likely be made chairman or president.  When my father spoke, people stood in awe, on power of speaking, oratory, eloquence and conviction. Any time papa was speaking whether at function or at home, mama was learning.

When mama talked, you hear wisdom, she can quote herself, her mother or her husband. Who do you quote when you talk? [Fellas, or government?] Why was mama case so? Mama was Teachable, a Learner, could leverage on a Mentor and a Coach. Get a good coach and mentor if you want to excel as a leader.

  1. Entrepreneurship Is Lifestyle

We were born seeing a hardworking, very supportive mama despite the fact that she was always bearing children from to when dad became sick and eventually died. She supported papa’s textile business. At a time, before the war, I heard she did mama-put to support her husband. Later, she joined her husband in Eke Oha Aba before it was gulped by inferno in 17 May 1976.  They moved to Ariaria Relief Market for relief.  You need to see mama and papa partnership in those 1976-1982. People celebrated them as couple in business. Mama continued papa’s business after the demise of papa on 31st September 1984 and subsequent burial. She grew the business, brought in her son, Late Augustine Uwandu Ihezuo who died in May 17, 2011. Later Ernest Chigozie Ezeji, his last son was brought in. She incubated their businesses and settled them with every support system they need including sheds filled with goods. Mama gave out shed to her daughters as love gift. Mama supported me to buy my first computer which I started Micsoft International Ventures at N130, 000 in 1993. She was accomplished entrepreneurial leader. I learnt that from her.


  1. Never Be Deterred by Insufficiency

Our plot of land in Aba bought by my father was built by my mother in 7days. That was immediately we return from burial with few days of attending to Ariaria. It was December 25, 1984, mama went to call a bricklayer called “Aisaa” to come a start a foundation. I objected and asked where the money is? She quoted her husband and said, “di m said anytime I want to do something I should start not to look out money”. Hmmm, I drew the building with exercise book and used my legs to draw it. Building started. By 1st January 1985, exactly 1 week, the house was standing. She called my attention, “didn’t I tell you?” Up to today, I don’t know the cost of the building…everything was self-help efforts. Today, I’m a landlord of the house. She was never deterred by whatever dream she had. She married for one of his sons – what a gift? I learnt this from her.

  1. Soul winning and Ministry Is for Every Believer whether Educated or Notleadership-lessons-i-learnt-from-my-mum

Mama on receiving Christ perhaps by the grace of God through me, she was so serious about it, asking questions, going for programmes wherever. She without advice disconnected herself from community entanglements that can steal into her devotion for Christ. Church meetings, events don’t elude her. She had never had a pastor who didn’t attest she was most valued member. She was compassionate, loved helping people, sharing foods, etc., even facilitating / easing marriage rites for her in-laws.

Many years go, mama used to ask me to join her visit people. There, mama will ask me to preach to them, minister healing and pray to them. And after that, we will leave for another person’s house and do same. This was my mother’s strategy of soul wining. Mama will give you verses they read in the church and ask you to read them out from the Bible for her.  She taught me that ministry is for every believer – educated or not.

  1. Activist for Truth

I saw and learnt doggedness of saying the truth from mama. She used to say that you don’t go to school to learn the truth…that it is how to bend the truth they learn in 5years. Mummy’s half-brother was a chief justice in Imo State, and mummy was the chairperson of who adjudicated his divorce case, and my mother’s ruling on the matter stood even up to today. She was stood for truth and fairness.

These few are what I can quickly recall in this seeming pressured time.

Dr Mike Ihezuo

Meet me at Ad Inquiry, https://mikeihezuospeaks.net/ and #LeadershipXcellence.

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Dr Mike Ihezuo

Content Creator

Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…


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