A- A+

Leading in Times of Challenge with Eric Idehen

Eric Idehen Headshot

September 10, 2020


Eric Idehen has worked within the financial sector in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community throughout his professional career. He also serves as president and CEO of OPX International. Idehen has an MBA in business administration, a master’s in philosophy and is currently working on a PhD in organizational psychology.

Idehen’s passion project was the founding of an orphanage in 2005 to provide homes and hope for the less privileged. He says he is most proud of his work within Cornerstone of Hope Orphanage, which is located in his hometown of Benin City, Nigeria.

Eric Idehen Leadership Tips

In his own leadership roles, Idehen says he has run into many challenges. One of the most challenging has been the COVID-19 restrictions that the orphanage must now adhere to. At the start of the pandemic, Idehen went straight to the crisis management plan that was created back in 2005. He traveled from Greater Des Moines (DSM) to Nigeria to make sure that the plan would be utilized moving forward in the pandemic.

In order to mobilize the team at the orphanage, Idehen says he needed to be at the orphanage in person. Idehen used Whatsapp to communicate by phone to provide needed support when he could not be on-site at the location. Idehen made sure he was in control of the crisis management plan, creating constant communication to keep the entire team on task. He focused on allowing the team to show their emotions and talk through issues, especially fears related to the pandemic. He continued to educate the staff on the importance of following medical advice from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as information on the COVID-19 situation evolved. Nurses and doctors continued to check on the children, while Idehen focused on striking a balance between optimism and cautiousness.  

Idehen offers the following five tips to young leaders facing challenges:

·      Be proactive.

·      Act with caution.

·      Refrain from micromanagement.

·      Show compassion.

·      Treat others the way you want to be treated.

·      Be honest. 


Listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

The Leading in Times of Change podcast is brought to you by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and hosted by Mike Jefferson. The podcast features community leaders from across Greater Des Moines (DSM). To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here.

Leading in Times of Challenge

Leading in Times of Challenge is a podcast featuring Greater Des Moines (DSM) business and community leaders.