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IAM672- Consultant Helps Organisations Manage Their Growth and HR

Podcast Interview with Edgar Ndjatou

Originally from Cameroon and raised in New York City, Edgar Ndjatou (ja-too) is passionate about creating workplaces that value fair treatment, trust, and open communications. Edgar also embraces change and the opportunity it brings, which helps him connect with individuals dealing with difficult career obstacles. Before founding Officium, Edgar practiced employment law for nine years, including co-managing his own law firm. Edgar has developed a wide knowledge base to assist a client in making competent human resources decisions or to guide a client in enhancing their personal brand. Edgar’s experiences have given him a perspective on how addressing a client’s needs involves using holistic, creative, and reasoned approaches.

  • CEO Hack: Being on top of my emails
  • CEO Nugget: Give yourself time to try out new things
  • CEO Defined: Starting the pace for your organization and being accountable



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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

[00:00:30.10] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Edgar Ndjatou of Officium LLC. Edgar, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:39.20] – Edgar Ndjatou

Thanks for having me, Greshim.

[00:00:40.79] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. I'm super excited to have you on, and what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Edgar, so you can hear about all the awesome things things he's doing. Edgar is originally from Cameroon and was raised in New York City, he is passionate about creating workplaces that value fair treatment, trust, and open communications. Edgar also embraces change and the opportunity to bring it, which helps him connect with individuals dealing with difficult career obstacles. Before founding Officium, Edgar practiced employment law for nine years, including co-managing his own law firm.

Edgar has developed a wide range, of knowledge bases to assist, clients in making competent human resource decisions or to guide clients in enhancing their personal brand. Edgar's experience has given him a perspective on how addressing a client's needs involves using holistic, creative, and reasoned approaches. He also was a previous guest on our podcast, I am sixty-one. Edgar, are you ready, to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:31.00] – Edgar Ndjatou

I am.

[00:01:32.09] – Gresham Harkless

Let's do it. So I wanted to kick everything off with how you got started with your business and hear your CEO story and when you got started. Y

[00:01:38.00] – Edgar Ndjatou

started. Y So, as you mentioned, I was on this podcast before and that was when I was practicing employment law. And since then, I decided that I wanted to make a transition into consulting work. And so when I was thinking through now, what I've learned over the past couple of years as a business owner, and as a professional, I realized that there was an opportunity for me to use all I've learned, to help organizations manage their, HR, positive procedures and, more importantly, making good strategic decisions when it comes to, not only making day to day personal decisions and HR decisions, but managing their growth and making sure that they keep, in your forefront of the mind, not just the numbers and the operations, but also how do you, make sure that the people feel part of that process and identifying talent gaps that you might need, as you grow and and and more importantly, the compliance issues that might come up as you become a larger organization.

So that's the ton of things I like to work, with the clients. And also on the career side, I'll see some career consulting that particularly working with people that, are going through pretty, you know, fairly traumatic, career transitions. So usually it situations where it's not a choice but forced upon you, like a termination of some sort, particularly when that's, like, very embarrassing, or catastrophic to your life, or just that you're in a position where even need a business owner and you're and you want to do something new or different and you have a refunding yourself. You know, I can help step in and and help you think through, what your goals are, what, you know, what does the end of the tunnel look like for you. And then once you identify those goals and priorities, come up with a plan of action to to get you there and help you get there.

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[00:03:31.80] – Gresham Harkless

That's huge. And I often say, like, a lot of times people forget. I say when you peel back the onion in business, you forget that it's made up of people. And I think that as you kinda spoke to, like, those operations and that piece of, of course, you know, being of important, but I think, you know, everything that you're doing, whether it be somebody that's, you know, working within an organization or somebody, as you said, you know, dealing with their transition or, some type of, pivot within their lives. I think that the human aspect is something that, we can often overlook, and I'm glad that you obviously devote, you know, your energy and your talents to doing that.

[00:04:03.00] – Edgar Ndjatou

Thank you. Thank you.

[00:04:05.00] – Gresham Harkless

And I know you touched on it a little bit. Can you take us through, exactly, how how you work with clients and and the different ways that you do that?

[00:04:12.19] – Edgar Ndjatou

So, my dear client, the base is organizations with one to one hundred workers. That's generally the the pool I swim in with my, input business. I can do work with other larger organizations, but probably more on a product-by-project basis. I wouldn't do anything, on a retained basis at this current moment, given, just me right now in the business. And also, you know, at that point, most organizations should have someone in-house, if you're that large and you're having you need someone to do your HR. And then with my clients, they tend to work with me on a container basis. So I have multiple packages that encompass, most of a lot of services in that, and things that will do for you.

And so you could view me as an outsourcing charge department in many respects. You know, I can help you handle the day-to-day needs of your employees, the place employees can go to if you have issues in the workplace or need someone to talk to. I have any request that needs to be considered by the business owner or the organization leader. And then also working on, projects as they come up as they come about, scamming the, you know, the whole gamut of issues that, may come up? in a company or organization. Like, and more importantly, being a strategic partner, or business partner in that, as you're growing or or as you're expanding, making sure that the HR side of it is never forgotten.

So whether that means, checking once in a while to see if employees or or workers feel how they feel about the current, office climate. Do they feel that they're getting the skills necessary to grow, and that sort of thing? And then, outside of that, at least in an HR capacity, if you're not on a monthly retainer, I can also do product-based work. And so there are some things that I'll do for clients that are not part of the package that are separate package because they're very labor intensive, like, you know, recruiting, or doing any type of, like, investigation, of some sort of, say, someone has an accusation of sexual harassment and needs to be investigated. That's probably something I would do, in addition to any detainee might have with me or just set up on a project product basis.

And similarly, for my career consulting client, I do have packages, that, can select from and all my packages both on my HR and career consulting side are at least a month, of engagements, or commitments, I should say. And, yeah, for the career consulting clients, it's completely holistic. You know, I just don't wanna work or be just on your resume or cover letter. You know, I look at all your social media accounts and see your LinkedIn. How can we make sure that it reflects, who you are as a professional and enhances your your professional brand?

Also, take a look at your network. So you're networking with using your, and who are your connections, you know, who are what are the relations you can leverage to help you find, your next career, you know, help you, you know, get to your next career, destination, or help you enhance your, your brand as well. And, also, it can it can make things like interview prep or, with one of my tags, I'll even help you negotiate your selling benefits if you do have a job. So, I try to make it as personal personable, and unique to each client as possible, my services.

[00:07:55.80] – Gresham Harkless

That makes so much sense. And I was actually just gonna say that as far as, like, I can see, like, kind of the synergies between the two, where I think, you know, whether you're talking about an organization or a company, being able to to have somebody that's dialed into kinda, like, the culture, understanding that, being able to kinda, as you mentioned, you know, check-in with, the employees or the people on the team just to make sure that they're feeling developed, they're feeling appreciated. Right.

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And I think that you know, as you definitely said as well too, like, from an individualistic side, you know, with that career transition, you wanna make sure that they are, kinda getting that experience that's related to what they're trying to accomplish. And that could be different, for each organization or obviously each individual. I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. You might have already touched on this, but this could be for yourself or your business. But what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:08:40.70] – Edgar Ndjatou

That's a very good question. I would say my secret sauce would be, okay. It could be two things.

[00:08:46.50] – Gresham Harkless

Your secret sauce.

[00:08:48.50] – Edgar Ndjatou

would say the first one is helping people make reason decisions. I find that and this has happened now a lot in this the in this COVID nineteen crisis. A lot of people are making decisions out of fear. You know, and I think that is an inherent mistake in doing that because we make decisions out of fear. We don't always allow ourselves time to consider what are the what are all the possible outcomes of solutions, or creative, things we can come up with to solve problems in front of us. And more importantly, the forecast, of problems that you might encounter in the future as a result of your decision. And a lot of times I see HR that, people try to wipe out their way through problems, or they put their head in the sand when when things come up. And that's just not a good way to be a business owner particularly when you're you're the leadership of your of your organization. Right?

We have to get a leadership. And it doesn't mean you have to necessarily be the loudest person in the room or, just come to everyone's demands, but it's about making well put out reasons decisions. And one thing that I strive to bring to, not only my professional and personal life but to improve the life of my clients is to bring that approach that no matter what it is, even if Rome is burning, don't have to make decisions out of fear. You know, let's think through the problem. Let's think through why Rome is burning in the first place, you know, and then let's come up with reading solutions. So, obviously, there might be solutions that are for the short term, Let's think we work on a long term. There might be things they can have to deal with in the meantime just because, you know, that's just that is just the reality, things might live with.

And where are those things that where are those things that you can live with, and we'll just deal with them as they come along? But, I find that in a lot of my most successful engagements? with the clients, the ones that embrace, reason approaches or challenges are the ones that tend to succeed the most. The second thing I would say in terms of my secret sauce is not giving in to failure. You know? And so this is more like a personal slash professional, I guess, part of the secret sauce in that. Things will happen in life whether it's in, you know, professional personal life, you know. I believe that what most defines a person is not that they failed or that they succeeded, but it's how they react to adversity. You know? That really makes you that really kinda define a person, I feel. And more importantly, how you use those lessons in the flight into the future.

You know? And so I find that very important in terms of your ability to succeed in life because, things won't always be, rosy. You know, things will get thorny sometimes, you know. And, you have to be able to ride to the occasion and find a way to navigate through those thorny times in your life, whether it's professionally or personally. And I believe that that's something that I have started to internalize more as I as a person, that, you know, you can have a plan in mind and that plan may, you know, become unraveled a little bit or locked, and you have to find a way to, you know, pick up the pieces and get back and get back on your trajectory or change your trajectory, whatever it is. You know? But, but not let your failures, define you.

[00:12:31.50] – Gresham Harkless

It's absolutely huge. So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So that could be like an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:12:41.39] – Edgar Ndjatou

may not be the most, exciting, but I find that is supercritical. Mhmm. It's been on top of email. You know, if you're someone like me, and I'm sure you, Gresham, you're on a lot of listeners. You get a lot of information. You know, people always contacting you for stuff. You know, and so I imagine you probably get, like, three, five emails a day.

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[00:13:04.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I'm trying not to think about it. Yeah. Right.

[00:13:08.70] – Edgar Ndjatou

And a long time ago, you know, I was having an issue because I was telling emails and things got lost in the shuffle and, and then, you know, then you lose on opportunities. You know, that would help with what's happening on opportunities and because I wasn't on top of my email.

[00:13:24.20] – Gresham Harkless

appreciate those, hacks. And so, now I would ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Could be around HR or might be something you would tell a client or maybe even your younger business self.

[00:13:35.20] – Edgar Ndjatou

this is something that I've internal excuse me, internalized recently now that we are currently in a home and, during quote, COVID nineteen. I would say that it behooves you as a business owner, or leader of of an organization to give yourself, time or, well, the ability to try new things and learn new things.

[00:13:57.29] – Gresham Harkless

that perspective. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So, Edgar, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:14:07.20] – Edgar Ndjatou

a CEO means to me that you that you set the pace of your organization. And so even if something happens that you're not even involved with, it still reflects on your leadership, you know. And, so having the utmost accountability, to your actions and the actions of people that are under you is really important. Yeah.

[00:14:31.20] – Gresham Harkless

I love that perspective and that, you know, perspective on leadership as well too. And I and I appreciate it. And I appreciate your time even more. So what I want us to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, to see if there's anything additional you can our readers and listeners know, and then, of course, how best they can get all of you and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.

[00:14:46.89] – Edgar Ndjatou

Yeah. I would say that as I alluded earlier, right now, my number one goal is to be resourceful people, particularly those who have had to make, some really tough decisions with their personnel in the past couple of weeks or try to verify the employees, but try to keep them employed. There are tons of resources out there and new logistics that can help you achieve that. So more than happy to hop on a call or a Zoom call to discuss all your options and try to make it to your business or your organization. And likewise, you know, if you're, someone who's a professional, and and have had to leave employment because of what's happening with COVID nineteen or decide that, hey.

This is a great time for me to pivot and try something different in my career and need some guidance to do that. I'm more than happy to, as you know, as an initial proposition sort of sounding board to hear you out and just help you kind of mold what that transition could look like. So you can find me, on my website, which is aficion d c dot com. And from there, you'll see all my social media sites. I'm on a Facebook group page rather, than a LinkedIn profile, a company page, and also Instagram and Twitter. So you'll find those links there, as well as my email and my phone number.

[00:15:56.50] – Gresham Harkless

Well, thank you so much again, Edgar. We would have those links and information in the show notes, and I think, one of the things I try to remind myself of, and you did as well too, so eloquently, is that you know, no matter, you know, the situation, you know, good or bad economy or bad, you know, the thing that's going on, one of the best things that we can do is be resourceful. And that's never out of fashion, and it never goes out of business, and we can kinda be a resource to so many people. So, I appreciate you for doing that for us, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:16:22.29] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]


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