Lanre Adisa on Shobanjo

I was fortunate to have started my career in 1990 at MC&A: Saatchi& Saatchi, Troyka’s second line agency. Back then, Dr. Shobanjo, as our Chairman, had an office not too far from the Creative Department. Apart from overseeing and guiding the new agency, I remember he was always around every Friday evening for our Happy Hour, which made it easy for all of us to bond with him. MC&A gave me a global perspective on advertising. I left MC&A in 1994. In 1997, Dr. Shobanjo invited me to join Insight. It was one of my best career decisions. Insight was in the middle of a major transformation with a bold new focus on creative excellence. In about two years of joining Insight, I was given a joint leadership of the Creative Department. I had to manage the creatives and some of the biggest brands around. What I recall from this period of my career is the leadership style of Dr. Shobanjo.

He was a visionary in the true sense of the word. He embodied what the agency and the group stood for. Everything about him ran like clockwork. He assembled the best talent in town and didn’t have to hold anyone’s hands to get things done. I would like to thank him for the opportunity he gave me to challenge and grow myself. Sometime after we moved to Ikeja GRA, Insight won some big creative awards and Dr. Shobanjo got The Quadrant Company to organize some interviews for me in some of the national dailies. I remember an MD of one of Troyka’s unit businesses calling me to congratulate, me saying that was the first time he had seen anyone in the group given such visibility outside of the Chairman.

I never for once imagined myself doing what I’m doing now. When I look back, I know for sure that my vision and drive to grow Noah’s Ark came from the sweat and fun of my ten years at MC&A and Insight.

Congratulations, Sir. You’ll always be my icon of leadership.

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