Quick Hits: Gbolahan Pearl Oyelakin, PMI-RMP, PMP

Image of Gbolahan Pearl Oyelakin

Gbolahan Pearl Oyelakin, PMI-RMP, PMP
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Title: Executive director
Organization: Infiniti Pointe Nigeria Ltd.
Industry/Sector: Construction


What three adjectives best describe you?

Versatile, creative and inquisitive.

What’s a must-have skill for project leaders right now? 
Effective problem-solving. The world is contending with innumerable challenges and increasingly difficult problems; this makes problem-solving skills indispensable.

Why does the world need project leaders?  To create value and solve wicked and difficult problems.

What’s the best project management advice you’ve received?  Integrity first and money next. Money cannot pay for the wages of dishonesty.

What do you now know that you wished you knew on your very first project?  Effective communication and team management.

How are you futureproofing your project skills?  Technology is forcing major changes in the way we manage projects. To adapt to that continuous disruption, I am learning, relearning and unlearning every day through different PMI offerings, expanded certifications and new micro certifications with an open mind. 

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?  The design and construction of the first gold refinery in Nigeria. It was the first industrial or infrastructural design and building project I managed. 

If you could shadow one person for a day, living or dead, who would it be?  Frank Lloyd Wright. He changed the way we design, build and live. I wish to emulate his visionary and imaginative work that emphasizes nature.

How has the pandemic changed the way you manage risk? It reaffirmed the need to always prioritize people above processes and principles. It also revealed the importance of investing in technology and promoting continuous innovation to better manage surprises.

How do you relieve stress?  First, I take a cold shower. Then, I watch movies or listen to soul music. 

What book, movie, podcast or TV show are you recommending these days? Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation by George Westerman, Didier Bonnet and Andrew McAfee. We live in a time when technology is impacting everything in life and we must adapt to change and improve the way we live, organize and execute projects.

What famous or historic person would you want on a project team?  Zaha Hadid for her exceptional creativity and innovation with building information modeling technology. She brought the future of modern architecture closer to us, shaping the project management industry through her radical deconstructivist designs.

What’s your project management mantra?  Don’t just be a problem-seeker—be a problem-solver.

Photo credit: Janet Orilua

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