The Oasis Reporters
December 5, 2018
If you cannot learn from people’s success, you can indeed learn from their failures. There are 15 important lessons to learn from the performance of the Buhari administration.
1. Have a plan before you set out to lead. The All Progressive Congress, APC party never had a plan, they only had promises. It is easy to say I will make one dollar to one naira- that’s a promise, but how to make that happen was never mentioned. A plan is the road map to every achievement.
2. Be honest with why you want to be a leader. The reasons they gave for wanting to come to power and their incoming address became totally different. How can you say “you are for nobody but for everybody” and end up recruiting people only from your region and your state having the largest share?
3. Promise little, deliver more or promise more and deliver little. They obviously had more promises than they could definitely deliver. Of all their about 21 core promises, their scorecard shows they have delivered very little. So if you want to achieve much, make few promises and over deliver!
4. You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. Most of the gigantic promises were built on what to do, not what has been done in the past. People will not take you serious if you have all it’s takes to perform and you are still promising or engaging in a blame game. Act, do, keep doing and keep going and best of all, know where to go.
5. The past cannot always determine the future. In the past as a military administrator, it was easier to make decree, rule with an iron fist and cover gross mistakes with threats and stringent military brutality. But Nigeria is no longer under military rule and can never go that way again. Past successes may sometimes not predict future ones if the man and his methods aren’t changing. So if things are not working, change the method and if still not working change the machine if it’s still not working, change the man.
6. Never be partial. It is said that if dirts are too much in a blind man’s soup he will know it’s no longer crayfish. When you are swift in dealing with Independent Peoples Of Biafra, IPOB and proscribing them as terrorists and you then turn around to say that you don’t know what to do to Fulani herdsmen incessant killings, or you ask the people to pray about it, then you know the people are not blind, they know who and what you stand for. To succeed in LEADERSHIP you may need to step on the toes of those too close to you.
7. He that must come to equity must come with clean hands. You cannot have people who have soiled their garments with oil in your showroom where you hope to sell brilliant white clothes. And you cannot turn a blind eye when your friend steals from the marketplace and then shout ‘ole’ or ‘barawo’ when you suspect your enemy. If you want to fight corruption, start from yourself, your circle, then the circle after that, and so it goes. Change is usually a spiral effect.
8. You can never make people rich or happy by sharing 10 thousand naira to them, not even a hundred thousand can do that, when indeed the roads you took to that place you shared the money are probably in bad shape. A man who used the kpomo he would have used to cook for his in-laws to make band and gives his in-laws fu-fu without meat, should know that when his in-laws are going they will go with his wife. It is better to teach people how to fish than to give them fish.
9. Stop blaming your past. You can’t go forward until you get done with the past. If you keep blaming people on what you are asked to do, you end up becoming lame. Blame makes people lame. Humanity is lame today because of Adam’s blame!
10. Integrity is everything. Integrity is not when you are clean and clear in one area, integrity is wholistic. A man was wrongly given a carton of money instead of a carton of fish, and he returned it. To appreciate him the store owner, wanted the news to go out to the mass media, but the man objected that because the woman that was with him the time he came to buy the fish was not his wife- he was actually cheating on the wife that day. So he’s honest by not stealing, but not honest to his own wife. Integrity is doing what you said you would do, how you said you would do it and even when you said you would do it.
11. Take decisions on time. Decision taking is LEADERSHIP. If it takes you forever to take a decision, when will you act on those decisions and when will you achieve your decision?
One would have thought, the longer the decision, the better it is. But that’s an hypothesis, not in reality. Sometimes the quicker the decision, the better it is. Strike the iron when it’s hot!
12. Use professionals. Not propagandist. The difference between a professional public service and a hound of propagandist is what we experience between America and Nigeria. American economy was built by professionals not propagandists. And no economy in the world was ever built on propaganda. Even China a Communist country relies on professionalism. So what 10 Lai Mohammed’s cannot achieve, only one Liu He- the man in charge of China’s economy can.
13. Accept mistakes sincerely and don’t cover it up with more excuses. A friend mentioned some time ago that excuse givers are good for nothing and I sincerely agree. If you make mistakes, accept them, no one is infallible, only GOD is. Hence you are not GOD, you shouldn’t always defend your shortcomings. Those you are trying to defend know your blind spots. And they also know they have their own weaknesses. So why try to play holy when indeed you can confess your sins and be forgiven ?
14. Listen to others, especially your wife. Your wife is the only one that can boldly tell you your mouth has odours. The next person is a honest friend. People might be feeling ashamed or thinking you might feel embarrassed when they tell you. But if you have got honest people who tell you things rightly, rather than those who tell you only the right things they think you want to hear you will be a great leader.
15. Don’t surround yourself with only ‘yes, yes’ people. Get feedbacks from your enemies, know what people think about your leadership from those who don’t like you also. Taking sweet all the time may lead to information diabetes and soon the system will need insulins. In customer service delivery, we teach that the best feedback is the one given by your aggrieved customers. Products are well packaged, softwares become more secure as a result of feedback resources from the complaint box.
Written by Sam Zamani .
He is a management consultant,an author, and a trainer.