6:00 am – My alarm clock rings. I take 30 minutes to lie down, eyes closed, to pray and meditate on my blessings and be grateful for the day ahead. This is also the opportunity for me to visualize what I want the most from today. I am a firm believer that our thoughts are very powerful and instrumental in creating the situations and the life we want. I believe that it is important to visualize what we want to materialize it.
6:40 am – Breakfast: I get my ISAGENIX shake and my ASEA Redox Drink to get ready for the physical challenge ahead. This gives me the right energy ahead of my gym session.
7:00 am – I get ready to go to the gym for my personal training session with my instructor. It is going to be a full 45-minute body training that helps me kick start my day full of energy. I train with my instructor twice a week and run four to eight kilometers outdoors or on a treadmill at least three times a week. I need the adrenaline pumping early in the day! I am very grateful to be able to exercise in the morning. This was not possible the last few years because I was still driving my daughters to school every morning and did not have time to slot my gym sessions in the morning. As a working mum in a male-dominated industry, it has always been very challenging for me to have a real work/life balance. I had to compromise and accommodate my children’s activities. Work/life balance was not something I was familiar with.
8:15 am – Shower and get ready for work in my role in MT Energy Resources.
8:45 am – Check my social media and look at my calendar to know what’s up for the day.
9:00 am – Start my workday. This morning I have a long zoom session with my team regarding a production optimization project we are working on. We have identified in-wellbore opportunities in a mature producing field and, in this meeting, we are going to rank the opportunities we identified and create the operational program and stakeholder engagement plan. As the project leader, my role is to oversee the project management, the technical work carried out to evaluate the incremental recovery, define what should be done operationally, when to do it and what are the estimated costs to be incurred, in order to incorporate everything into an authorization for expenditure (AFE).
Since the pandemic started, I’ve mostly been working from home, occasionally going to our clients’ offices to talk to the operations staff and use the specialized tools and software I can’t access or use remotely. I must say that working remotely has been beneficial for me. It has given me the flexibility to organize my workday to suit my personal priorities. I am even able to interact with people in the field and manage operations from home. This is something I wish I could have done in the late ‘90s when I became a mum. I still remember the logistical struggle of juggling having young children, being an operational petroleum engineer and being a wife! There was no flexibility for me; I just had to be in the field, irrespective of my status and what was happening in my life.
12.00 pm – Lunch time! Before COVID-19, that was the time for a great lunch with colleagues and the time for me to really bond with my team members. It is not all gone; I had a couple of virtual lunches with colleagues recently.
1:00 pm – Reach out to key stakeholders involved in the ongoing project: project development, operations, engineering, finance and human resources team leaders to make sure I integrate their respective input. Full collaboration at all levels is imperative for the success of any project. Collaboration encourages team members to work toward one goal in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. I have always highly valued collaboration in my professional and personal life. It has been a key enabler in everything that I have accomplished today. In this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world we currently live in, collaboration is the new currency, a key enabler for positioning and success. Only truly collaborative organizations with mechanisms in place that allow for knowledge and expertise to traverse across expertise and skill boundaries are positioned to succeed. It has even become more evident now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations must build a collaborative ecosystem that covers the people, technology and processes. Fostering a culture where collaboration permeates across functional, regional and cultural boundaries is a must for organizations and companies operating in the resource sector.
4:00 pm – I officially finish my workday!
5:00 pm – Cooking time, although I get to relax with my daughters when my husband decides to cook.
6:00 pm – Dinner time with family and watching local news on TV.
7:00 pm – Time to relax with my husband and daughters.
8:00 pm to 12:00 am – I start my empowerment work through my social and humanitarian projects and this is the best time to interact with my stakeholders in different time zones. The focus of my empowerment work is on women, STEM, entrepreneurship and global leadership. It is carried out internationally across four continents under the Mireille Toulekima Global Leadership brand, a venture I created in 2018. I contribute to several leadership, technical and think tank groups around the world: Women in Energy, Lean In Energy, Women’s Economic Imperative organization (WEI Forward), Female Wave Change, Women Empowered (WE), Women Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WED), Western Australia-India Business Council and Global Goodwill Ambassadors (GGA), to name a few. I have been a guest lecturer in several technical and leadership institutions and universities around the world.
These days my work is carried out virtually. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, I’ve been featured on online TVs, radios, events, podcasts and talk shows around the world sharing my empowerment work and message. As part of my empowerment work, I founded the STEM Queens program in Uganda and Australia in 2018 and 2020, respectively, with the objective to reach out and sponsor African and Indigenous Australian girls and women to embrace STEM and increase women participation in STEM sectors. STEM QUEENS has an objective to empower at least one million women and girls in STEM by 2025. My team is working hard on the latter and we are always on the lookout to partner and collaborate with organizations and institutions around the world who are ready to embrace our vision and mission. I am also a three-time author. My first book, Local Content Key Enabler for Oil and Gas Projects in Emerging Markets: Investing, Developing and Providing Oversight in Countries of Operation, is praised and widely used in the oil and gas industry internationally by local content experts, universities, institutions and governments, regulators and investors.
Building on my second book, Stepping into Your Greatness: Twelve Rules for Building an Outstanding Life, published in 2016, I started the Greatness Engineering Movement and developed the Greatness Engineering Process (GEP) which builds on The Greatness Engineering Pyramid and D.A.R.E (Decide, Act, Review, Expand) Leadership System, two concepts I developed after two years of research. The Greatness Engineering Process is currently in its global rollout phase and I am confident it will revolutionize leadership around the world. I’ve been the executive producer and host of the global online talk show The Greatness Engineering Hour since April 2019 and the editor-in-chief of The Greatness Engineering Magazine since August 2020.
Where do I find the time to do all of this? I live by the slogan: “Don’t leave anything on the table of life.” I believe that we are unlimited and we all have greatness inside of us. When we realize it, it becomes completely about stepping into our greatness and constantly extending our comfort zone and territory through continuous learning, determination, resilience, strategic risk-taking and positioning, collaboration and, of course, a positive mental attitude.
Stepping into Your Greatness: Twelve Rules for Building an Outstanding Life
Greatness can look different to different people, but some things are universal. To be truly great is to be on a mission to do good on purpose and create an influential and positive legacy that is beyond your own needs and desires. Genuine greatness is about feeling empowered and empowering others to achieve their own version of greatness.
It’s about always seeing the best, both in yourself and in others, in your professional and personal circles and accomplishing the best as well. It’s about thinking big, believing big, acting big and realizing big.
I believe that greatness begins with a state of mind. The choice to be great is exactly that – a choice – and by choosing that path you can work to put systems, learning and mindset in place to help get you there.
Think of greatness as mindset mastery. You see no limits in what you can accomplish. No dream is too big for you. It’s about being the change you want in the world. It’s about being aware of how powerful your thoughts are and realizing everything in your life exactly how you allow it to be. It’s about making a difference in the world and making the impossible possible.
And, yes, you CAN do it!
Excerpted with permission from the author. Stepping into Your Greatness: Twelve Rules for Building an Outstanding Life by Mireille Toulekima (Chase Enterprises Publishing; November 2016).
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.