Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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The Strongest Fiber!

To know who we are, we must know where we come from. 

On my sabbatical, I desired to learn more about my origins – where I came from. And there was no better way to do so than connect with my extended family – those I could see, touch, and converse with. Because through these connections, I knew I would learn about our family members who were no longer here. Including dear ones I never met, for whom pictures and stories are the memories I hold onto. And the lessons were inspiring!

One word encapsulates the ethos of my family. And that word is love. Upon reflection, as a young child, I knew this. Because I sensed love every time my mom put me to sleep with a kiss and snuggly hug. And the many times when my dad put my tricycle and my sister’s bicycle in the trunk of his car. And drove us to his office on Saturday mornings to ride in the parking lot while he worked in the office. 

When I was younger, I remember my mom and dad being great partners and very committed parents. They would freely and frequently say that each other and their children were their ultimate priority. And I believed them because their decisions supported the statement. From the love they poured out on us – their kids, our extended family, and family friends, I learned that love is the strongest fiber in our family.

The Fiber of Love.

Today, my dad often refers to my mom as his April bride of over half a century. 😊 And many times, I have heard him say: Where would I be without this woman?? I thank God for her every day! He often makes this statement when my mom does something he appreciates. Or when he unexpectedly catches a glimpse of her walking from one room to another in their home. 

And when I was a teenager, on a spring afternoon, after school, I remember sitting with my mom in the kitchen of our home. And I asked her to tell me how she met my dad – again!! It is an enchanting story that I could never get enough of! And like a Disney fairytale, it supports the belief that what is meant to be, will be! 😊 Ironically, their story bears the same fantastical note as that of my grandparents, whose love grew through the years. When I was growing up, my mom shared a sweet and touching memory from her childhood. She said after her mother passed away, her father would often stand alone in the living room of their home in tears. And he would lift his hands toward the sky and say: My God, you have taken away my friend. Why am I still here? When will I be with her again?
Oh my! This story always brought me to tears because it is earnest and simply beautiful. It is love.

To Know From Where I Came!

Determinedly, on my sabbatical, I endeavored to learn more about how my grandparents lived. And one of the greatest treasures of my journey was the opportunity to stand on the soil where my grandfather made that statement over 40 years ago. Standing on that ground, I learned more about where I come from – a family that understands, values and cherishes love. Furthermore, as I heard stories about their sacrificial love and commitment, I was reminded that love is shown and known through action. Not mere words.

Like my parents, my grandparents loved each other exhaustively, though not exhaustinglyTheir love was pure. It was sacrificial but not martyrdom. Also, it was not burdensome, but it was complete, to the extent that is humanly possible. They steadfastly supported each other – seeing and sharing the best about each other in public and calling one another higher in private. And in their lives, they demonstrated that: love is the ultimate act of service. 

Importantly, I learned that to love earnestly and wholeheartedly is who we are as a family. It is what we do. And love is the strongest fiber in our familial tapestry.

The Strongest Fiber in a Team.

Naturally, you might be thinking… That’s intriguing! How would this apply to my professional life?

An essential question for an organization leader to grapple with is: What is the strongest fiber that holds my team together? – A competitive spirit, unabated ambition, relentless drive, or something else?
Knowing the answer to this question is critical because it provides insight into what drives a team, holds a team back, and what the team can uniquely give. 

Throughout my career, I’ve heard many leaders refer to the employees in their organization as a family. Perhaps you have too. Or maybe, you have described your team as a family to colleagues, candidates, and friends. Early in my career, when a leader described our organization as a family, it struck a nerve for many. However, I had a different response – one of excitement. I was excited because the thought of my family conjured images of warmth, generosity, goodwill, and commitment. And I hoped it would be the same at work. However, through the years, as I witnessed the inner workings of some organizations, I questioned the validity of using the concept of a family to describe the work team. Especially when many departed the organization suddenly in disgruntlement or for better-paying opportunities. And some remained on the payroll but continuously felt stifled.
Indeed, these circumstances did not resonate with my image of a family. Perhaps, you can relate.

Understandably, there are many reasons why some leaders describe their teams as a family. A leader might be vocalizing a desire or an aspiration. Others may believe their teams are operating as a family – their image of a family. While some might describe their work teams as a family to make employees feel safe… After all, a family “should” provide a strong sense of safety by helping its members believe that they are not alone. And are supported, cared for, and loved. Right? But is family the right word and aspiration?

Undoubtedly, knowing what unites a work team is invaluable for a leader. Indeed, this knowledge can enable a leader to uncover the roots of problems and strengthen an organization. In this vein, a question worth pondering is: What fiber holds my work team together?

Next time, I look forward to exploring this terrain with you.

Until then! 

For you and to you,



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