Alumni Spotlight - Ernest Ogunleye
Ernest Ogunleye began his HR career in the United Kingdom in the 1990s before moving to Canada in 2002. Ernest has over 20 years of business experience as a leader and professional, having held several senior management positions in Canada and internationally. He continues to deliver front-line and strategic support to organizations in all areas of HR, Learning and Development and Management Consulting. These activities also include, among others, business strategy, policy and program development, talent management, performance measurement, education and training, and employee relations. Ernest has direct Canadian experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. This ranges from start-up businesses, small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), to corporates, academic institutions and municipal bodies. This is combined with a wealth of international experience spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.
As a graduate with an MSc in Human Resources Management and Business from Aston University (United Kingdom), Ernest went on to complete an HR Advisor Development Program at McGill University’s Executive Institute (Canada). Ernest is a Past President/Chair/CEO of the Durham Chapter of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA Durham). He has been an active member of the Human Resources Professionals Association since 2002 and holds four HR designations. The designations are Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (United Kingdom), Certified Practitioner in Human Resources (Australia), Chartered Professional in Human Resources (Canada) and the Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (U.S.A.). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) that acknowledges his experience in coaching, cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion matters. In 2021, the HRPA (Province of Ontario) made Ernest Ogunleye the recipient of the coveted and prestigious Distinguished Human Resources Professional (DHRP) Award.
Question: Where do you currently work and what do you do?
Ernest: I live and work in Toronto, Canada. I am the owner and principal consultant at EON Performance Solutions. The business specializes in Human Resources, Learning & Development and Management Consulting. I am based in Canada and have completed HR assignments in 38 other countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. If you would like more details, please visit www.eonps.org .
Q: Mentoring is one of your professional field. Would you be interested in mentoring any young professional members of the Global Award Alumni Network?
E: I am happy to state that I have on a voluntary basis mentored and advised many individuals throughout my career to date. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide that service right now. I like to do things to the best of my ability and allocate suitable time to every project and/or individual. Given my current and potential future work commitments, I would not have enough time available to provide comprehensive, focused and timely support.
Q: What are some key insight you would provide to build a great team?
- Listen to your team members. Allow everybody a chance to contribute and feel they are included. You may not use their ideas but being respected and consulted goes a long way to achieving a joint goal.
- Quickly gain consensus and general agreement from the start to define the project(s) and set overall objectives.
- Acknowledge the strengths and expertise of other team members. Praise the work and achievement done by those individual team members.
- Be accessible and approachable to all whether as a leader or team member. Also have some fun and create a supportive atmosphere.
- The leader needs to support other team members and take responsibility for setbacks and bad news. Take time to respectfully and privately take under performing team members aside to thoroughly assess their particular situation and develop remedies to promote improvement.
Q: What non project are you most proud of?
E: I am a volunteer organizing committee member for the annual Threads of Life – Steps for Life Walk (Durham Region, Ontario). Part of a team that delivered a reduced 2020 event due to COVID-19). I have had general promotional involvement from 2015 - 2018 and have been on the organizing committee since 2019.
The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support, known as Threads of Life, is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to supporting families after a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease. Our network of family members and corporate partners believes traumatic workplace injuries, occupational diseases and deaths are preventable. (https://threadsoflife.ca/) (https://twitter.com/stepsdurham?lang=en)
This combines my interests in health and safety, HR, raising awareness, business and working in my local community for a worthwhile charitable cause. This is a Canadian charity but workplace safety and accident prevention are both significant global issues. Real individuals die or are permanently disabled, leaving their families to deal with the trauma and continue with life's challenges often without them. Every country should be working earnestly with all its stakeholders to prevent future workplace tragedies.
Q: What are your hobbies and / or ambitious?
E: The pandemic has severely limited the number of activities available to all of us. However, I enjoy long distance running up to and including half marathons. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I have been doing this both socially distant and remotely. I am pleased that my smartwatch and smartphone have been able to record my progress. I run five days per week and cover in total KM 42.2/26.2 Miles. Running and/or walking outside along streets, in parks and through nature areas has done wonders for my general well being. It has provided a sense of freedom during a time of strict and absolutely necessary health restrictions.