Name: Dele Oladapo
Profession: Vice President and Chief Information Officer for corporate human resources and for law, compliance, business ethics & external affairs at Prudential Financial, Inc.
One Word That Describes You: Innovative
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It is a great honor to be recognized by a group of peers who are focused on having a positive impact on their community and profession.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
As the son of Nigerian immigrants, I was always taught that challenges are opportunities to learn, serve, and succeed. Throughout my life, I have been blessed with support from my family, fraternity, and corporate mentors. Obtaining my degree in electrical engineering was a huge challenge. My educational experience provided me with problem-solving skills that led to success in corporate America.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Important qualities I look for in my interpersonal relationships include trust and alignment in purpose. In any relationship, it is important to have mutual agreement on a common goal. Trust is also a critical ingredient to a good relationship, although you must assume that there will be challenges on the journey. Trust and focus on achieving your objective are, in my experience, fundamental factors in success or failure.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
At Prudential, talent and innovation are key components of our corporate culture. Developing and mentoring leaders is a constant part of my responsibilities. As an IT executive, I am also providing leadership in our Microsoft Office 365 implementation project, for which I have accountability for collaboration products such as SharePoint and Yammer.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
I would advise other men who want to make a difference to follow their passion and instinct, work tirelessly, and enjoy time with family and close friends.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
When I prep for important business events, I focus on the purpose or objective of the meeting and identify the value that I need and can bring to the meeting. When appropriate, I like to connect with key participants to ensure alignment.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
Jamaica is my favorite vacation destination. Last year, I had the opportunity to go on vacation with my family, along with my best friend and his family. Watching my kids have fun is the best. I am especially enjoying watching my teenage son transition into manhood–it brings back fond memories.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If I could stay anywhere in the world, I think I would choose Hawaii, because I hear that it is paradise.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I thank Black Enterprise for taking time to recognize everyday people who try to make a difference. I am a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and I live by our motto: “First of all, servants of all; we shall transcend all.” For this reason, being recognized for serving the community is particularly gratifying to me.
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