Twelve (12) years ago during my diploma program, a young man walked into the lecture hall, clean shaven, nice shirt, fantastic shoes and more importantly an intelligent brain. He was a new lecturer and is specialty was electronics, a subject we were grossly deficient in. His first action was to organize a short quiz for the class, which most of us obviously failed, revealing the gaping knowledge gap he had to cover. From that day i vowed to overcome that course. Fast forward a year later, i graduated as the best grades in Electronics. After graduation i went on to work in this young lecturer’s private firm during as part of my internship. We started as lecturer and student, then our relationship moved on to Boss and Staff, Now we are friends. Without any formal agreement, i studied his diligence, pro-activeness, love for research, tenacity and above all Vision.
His name is Engineer Ofualagba Godswill
Five years ago i met another young man, in his early 30’s, He was an Asset Management Consultant doing some work for the organisation where i work and his brilliance stunned me. Now understand why this seemed out of place. In Nigeria where i come from, the Title of consultant especially in any technical field typically goes to professionals who have served in the industry and are now retired. So naturally consultants in this field would be most likely in their fifties and sixties. Back to my story. I was immediately attracted to him and then we became friends. His story inspired me a lot and i basically found my true calling. You see, i am not your regular kind of professional, i hate routines, i love adventure, i love a challenge: the bigger the better, i love solving problems or creating an improvement. Nothing satisfies like the smile on a clients face whose mind has been blown away. Long story short, my journey as a Maintenance and Reliability Consultant & Trainer, the launch of The Maintenance Institute Africa was borne after i met this amazing professional.
His name is Mr. Elias Acquah
In 2014 i had made the decision to become one of the youngest consultants in the field of maintenance and reliability, however i knew i would require some help along the way. In comes one of the best professionals in the world i have ever met. We connected on LinkedIn and i sought his advice on how to go about this journey having obtained my CMRP. He made some very great recommendations but nothing compared to the one on one we had at the ARMS reliability conference in Austin Texas that year. After that meeting my passion went into overdrive and hence the birth of TMI AFRICA. Even from afar he keeps watch over my activities here in Nigeria offering advice and rebuke where necessary.
His Name: Terrence Ohanlon
These are just a few of the amazing people who invaluable input have greatly defined the outlook of my career as a professional. As another year begins i say thank you to these great mentors i look up to. And in the same vein i am pouring myself out to younger professionals. In 2017 alone i mentored 30+ young professionals, 2018 would be even better.
All professionals need someone to look up to. The question is who inspires you? Please do share your story with us in the comment section below.
Jonathan David. CMRP, CRL, is the founder, The Maintenance Institute Africa (TMI AFRICA), an organisation harnessing and promoting best practices among Maintenance, Reliability, Asset management and Quality management Professionals on the African Continent. Follow them on twitter @tmiafrica