This month is Black History Month in the United Kingdom and much like Black History Month in the United States, it began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Here at Medallia we believe in empowering and highlighting our own, so this year in celebrating UK Black History Month, that is exactly what we are going to do.
It is true, we are hiring and looking to mirror our demographic population to that of the US, detailed in here, but as Leslie Stretch, President and CEO of Medallia, puts it “we can do better.” A part of that includes recognizing that diversity isn’t just about numbers, it’s about seeing and valuing the whole person, understanding that underrepresented groups are people who deserve to have a seat at the table. It’s about people who bring a different perspective rooted not only in their education and professional experiences, but also in their culture and interactions with the world. And it’s about people who have passions, side projects, blogs, podcasts and more, which is why we lift up our employees and highlight their achievements in and outside of work.
Follow along in the journey of getting to know our employees via our Medallia Life spotlights, but for now, I would like to introduce you to Michael (Mike) Adonteng, a Medallia Sales Director in the United Kingdom, who is a husband, a son, a blogger, and of recent, a co-author of the podcast Coaches & Mentors Unwrapped.
My parents are both of Ghanaian heritage. Mum and dad got married not long after meeting in London, they had a fairy tale wedding and to this day I’m still touched when I look at the glamorous photos. They decided to relocate to Ghana when I was 3 years old and I spent most of my childhood growing up in the sunshine in Ghana and returned to London when I was 16 years old to complete college and university.
I’m ever so indebted to my parents for letting me experience life in Ghana since it has taught me culture and helped me build a level of understanding and appreciation.
I have a lot of people who inspire me, starting with my mum, who had the challenge of raising three boys through challenging circumstances with limited funds, to a number of other friends, acquaintances and individuals whose stories I’ve been touched by. The list would be endless if I was to start naming.
To be honest, instead of looking for role models, I try my hardest to become one.
To be honest, instead of looking for role models, I try my hardest to become one. Given my story, I always look for ways to live a life whereby I can be of value to others, and in achieving this they will notice that I value them and subsequently help inspire them.
My wife Roslyn (Ros ) and I have a mutual purpose, we are passionate about coaching and mentoring. It’s fascinating how the concept of mentors and coaches is foreign to most corporate professionals and even more so, young people from challenging backgrounds. For this reason, we have launched our new podcast entitled “Coaches & Mentors Unwrapped”
The purpose of the podcast is to tap into the minds of coaches and mentors and to offer “practical” steps to our listeners, with the end goal being to enhance their lives.
With Ros’ nine-plus years of experience supporting and managing young people from challenging backgrounds, both in the private and public sector, coupled with my 16-plus years working in the corporate industry, we are well positioned to represent both sides of our listeners for whom we are deeply passionate about driving change.
This podcast is the medium to help us achieve our purpose. Continuing my earlier life story, while growing up in Ghana, I witnessed my parents go through difficult times. I wasn’t privileged, basics such as nice clothing and footwear and such things as owning a bicycle or entertainment with friends were nonexistent. From more successful and affluent times in London to the complete opposite in Ghana, these experiences had a profound impact on my perception of things and also helped shape my character. Witnessing my parents divorce at 12 years old and my dad passing when I was 15 meant I had to be more responsible.
Inevitably, when I returned to London, I lacked clear direction and guidance. The consequences were very evident. I did things I shouldn’t have and mixed with people I shouldn’t have – some part of me always thought that life would be short lived.
Thankfully, I still managed to complete university with a degree, turned my life around and decided to educate others on securing mentors to guide them –– after all, why wouldn’t you want to receive guidance from someone who has travelled the path you’re about to travel on? Over the last 10 years, I’ve been fascinated by the topic of mentoring, coaching and giving back in general.
After all, why wouldn’t you want to receive guidance from someone who has travelled the path you’re about to travel on?
I met my wife in 2015 and we had a mutual purpose, to help support young people and to leverage our resources to enhance the life of others. After a couple of years of praying and several ideas on how we could launch and magnify our messaging, we decided podcasting would be the medium to leverage and to help share our passion.
We want to reach as many listeners as possible, our goal is to expand our reach globally in every corner of the world — ambitious we know, but that is the power of thinking BIG. We would like to ensure that the lives of our listeners are enriched through practical tips shared by our guests.
Truth be told, having a side hustle alongside your 9-5 is no mean feat. To stay motivated, my advice would be to write down your ‘Why’ and align this to your current role. My journey in sales has helped shape my character, my skill and my knowledge, which has in turn allowed me to leverage my platform and resources to launch initiatives to help drive change.
In the words of John Maxwell, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Take a listen to Coaches & Mentors Unwrapped’s latest podcast with Alan Morton about “8 Strategies to Maintaining Your Habits Daily”: