Debola Deji-Kurunmi is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, ministry gift, public policy advisor, and transformational coach for visionary leaders. Through her work of coaching, consulting and capacity building, Debola deploys her extraordinary gift of unlocking potential in people, institutions, and nations.
She is Founder of IMMERSE Coaching Company (a professional coaching practice), Executive Director at Ideation Hub Africa (a public policy and impact advisory firm), and President at Kingdom Leaders Global Alliance (a non-denominational Christian Ministry).
She is a Certified Visionary Leadership Coach by the Oleg Konovalov Global Coaching Certification, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and a Certified Masteries Practitioner by the International Association of Coaching, USA. She is also a Thomas International Certified Workplace Personality Profile Analyst, Certified Job Evaluation Analyst and an internationally sought-after experienced Corporate Trainer.
Debola sits on the Board of a number of organisations, providing strategic advisory and leadership development to firms including Mandela Washing Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria, Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative, and the Mindset Transformation and Aid Organization. At IMMERSE Coaching Company, Debola leads a 70,000+ strong tech-driven global community of change-makers living in over 100 countries, using her breakthrough coaching methodology to elevate their impact, authority and legacy leadership. Since 2014, IMMERSE has produced over 100 courses and expanded into three different subsidiaries.
Through Ideation Hub Africa, she runs a social profit accelerator, which supports Africa’s non-profits, innovators, civil society organisations, and public sector agencies, with executive education, collaborative platforms, funding opportunities and advisory. Ideation Hub is also the host of Development Dialogue, Nigeria’s leading development sector conference since 2015.
Her Network had a brief chat with her to learn more about the work she does. Read & be Inspired.
How did you discover your gift of bringing out the best in people? Walk us through your realization of your own greatness.
It really started to become clear to me in my early years at the University that most of my conversations with friends and colleagues got them so motivated that they’d typically go ahead to do something phenomenal with my ideas and advise. One of the most recurring things often said about me is that I have an uncommon ability to inspire people towards their own goals.
I guess the bigger gift is likely how I am able to creatively organise my insights into a success system that makes it easy for others to replicate the results I have experienced. Whenever anything works for me, I want it to work for others as well.
You’re an unwavering advocate of Visionary Leadership. What do you believe are some of the most common challenges that women face in leadership, and how do you think they can overcome them?
Based on almost 10 years of coaching female leaders, founders, and visionaries; I created an evidence-driven original coaching framework called the Future-Forward Female™️
Blueprint, that offers a comprehensive 5-Protocol Manifesto of extraordinary living, leadership and legacy for women. This Blueprint is currently taught at my Future-Forward Female™️ Mastermind.
What we’ve discovered from experience with the use of this Blueprint is that many women in leadership really struggle with Self-Governance -which speaks to the fine artistry of personal mastery, purpose discovery, overcoming trauma, strengthening positive habits and identity alignment etc. This means that to effectively lead others, you have to learn to lead yourself.
Tell us about your Visioning Retreat and why every progressive woman should participate in it.
We’ve built a Collective of over 100, 000+ amazing leaders across our programs, and these annual Visioning Webinars and Retreats have become so beloved. The Retreats are carefully curated coaching immersions that set the tone of each year and empower people to accomplish their purpose-goals. We explore future-shaping opportunities, significant shifts, defining directions and wealth multipliers for each year across institutions, industries and economies.
Progressive women who need a clear roadmap for leadership, authority, impact and abundance require the Visioning Retreats, whether in-person, virtually or through the Replays.
As a Visionary Leader, what are some of your favorite examples of challenges you’ve overcome that have shaped who you are today?
Here are two examples of challenges I could share with you without all the colourful details.
One, overcoming the perception barrier when working with some older male CEOs or decision makers, who initially wonder about my ability to deliver turnkey transformation for their organisations through my coaching or consulting. Sometimes, they’d wonder if I am not too young for the fees charged, or if I am sufficiently experienced to take on grand projects. Every time, I have used humility, sagacity and competent capacity to allay their fears and deliver high performance.
Two, navigating the leadership challenge of holding people to higher standards, while retaining a culture of compassion across our organisations. I believe that mediocrity is a kind of self-aggravation, and I refuse to condone it. Yet, I always love to operate with kindness and fairness.
What are some of your current goals and projects for the rest of the year?
We are working on a number of exciting projects this year and eagerly look forward to creating exceptional value for more people. Currently, we are preparing to go live with our EdTech platform to provide an integrated digital learning access for transformational education across our different organisations.
We are also truly excited about our collaboration with an International Coaching Body to expand the expertise of African knowledge brokers, across twelve distinct pillars of thought leadership.
DDK, as she is fondly called, is an author of 21 books till date, and has spoken in three continents to emerging leaders, teams of multinational corporations, global development practitioners, SME owners, and purpose-driven people.