A day in life

As @ 1st February 2011

Tell us about you

I live in a small town called Kasoa, about 60km West of Accra. It is actually in the Central Region of Ghana. (Accra, the Capital City of Ghana is in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana) I live there with my wife, Maame Ekua, my five children namely: Ewura Adwoa, Paa Kwesi, Joojo, and Maame Esi & Kuukua.

I have been working for Barclays since I was 23 and I am happy to be able to find fulfilment in a business that has evolved and changed over the years whiles progressively developing myself.

I love living in the countryside. When I left school, I did my national service with a school in Accra. After national service I joined Barclays Bank at age 23. I started at Ho branch where I learned the basics of banking. It was then a small branch made up a team of 8. Job rotation was key to the successful operation and management of the branch. So by the time I was 1 year in Ho branch I knew all the processes in branch banking.

In a small branch, you get this amazing satisfaction and feeling of belonging to a family. You always get the support of all team members who are ready to teach you and you see yourself learning and developing and improving on your performance. This was the situation at Ho branch. The atmosphere was friendly and motivated and we were all committed to winning together.

I spent 8 years at Ho. From there I moved on to Avenue Central Branch in Accra as a supervisor in 1992. I spent 5 years working at Avenue Central developing my team leadership skills. Avenue Central too was a big social family.  And I enjoyed working in that branch also.

In 1997, I joined the Business improvement Team at Barclays Head Office. Our Team conducted branch, departmental & process reviews until 1998 when the team was changed to a project management team with a new name Programme Office and our roles changed to Project managers. I learned a lot about the business in between 1997 and 1998. From 1998 onward I ran and managed projects and then programmes, in several areas (new products, new branches, IT systems and infrastructure, introduction of new processes, relocation of teams). It was during this period I developed my project management skills and I acquired my project management certification (Prince 2 & PMP)

After 8 years I moved on to be come the Business Continuity Manager for the Bank. My first job was to set up the unit from scratch and making sure Barclays  Ghana complied with the new BCM policy being rolled up by the Barclays Group.

What role do you do?

I am the Business Continuity Manager for Barclays Ghana. I have two assistants. I have 3 main roles:
(1) Responsible for business continuity assurance for business units providing relationship management in terms of: Education & Awareness; Governance; Risk & Business Impact Analysis; Recovery Strategies – Business & Information Technology; Plan Development, Documentation & Maintenance; Plan Testing & Demonstrated Recovery
(2) To ensure the business units are prepared to respond in the event of a disruption to their operations
(3) Managing the Business Continuity Work Area Recovery (WAR) site of the bank.

What does your typical day consist of?

My typical day starts at 4.00 am. I will read up till 5.00 am then get ready for work. I am on the road at 5.30 am. From Kasoa I have a journey of about 2hrs to get to my office due to the traffic situation on that stretch of road to Accra.

It is an unpleasant situation if my car is off the road and I have to join the public transport to the office. The positive side of it when you take the public transport to the office I spend only 15% of how much it will cost if I use my car.

A quick review of the diary/mails usually shows meetings and action points. I like email as a means of communication but I also try to speak to people wherever possible, either face to face or by telephone.

What do you like most about your role – what makes you get out of bed in the mornings?

The opportunity to contribute to making things better and to learn/develop as I go along.

And what would you like to be better at?

Work / life balance. Sometimes, I find myself learning or behind the computer for hours during the week end which is not the best.

What’s your best career or personal development tip?

Have a go and develop yourself when you see an opportunity. When I have done this, I have never regretted it and always learnt a lot.

What are you most proud of?

From a humble background I have been able to develop myself to my current level mostly through private study.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

My family.

What would you like to do, but have no time to do – what is your dream?

My dream is to own a Project Management & Business Continuity consultancy firm

What book are you reading at the moment or what was the last film you saw?

The last book I’m reading is ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ – Living Your Dreams. The film I’m watching is the Merlin TV series.

What do you like & dislike in someone?

Not able to read or learn about your work / role. They do not have any knowledge about their work aside their on the job experience. Such people are just ‘operatives’ of the unit.

What 3 words best describe you, or your approach to life?

When we think about “success,” we often think about rising to positions of responsibility, prominence, and financial reward. And we often attribute that kind of success to things like ambition, perseverance, and expertise.

But success is about a lot more than making the most of your intellect, talents, and creativity. It’s also about building strong, lasting relationships—personal and professional.

Whether you’re still working your way up the ladder, there are three (3) sure-fire ways to help build relationships at work and home.

Remember: Listen, Be honest, and Keep your word.

What you’d most like to be remembered for?

For whom I am.

What character or film part would you most like to play?

Robinson Crusoe

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