I SEIZE this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful festive season.
Even when there is a scarcity of cash to celebrate in all the ways we may have wished to, we can at least be thankful to the Almighty God for giving us life and saving us from the many tragedies we see or read about on a daily basis.
Whatever your plans may be for today or for the rest of the festive period, my suspicion is that at one time or another, you may have cause to reflect on your performance over the past 12 months. How have you fared? Did you complete the projects you planned? Did you start that business you always wanted?
You may have hit some successes. Others may not have been so fortunate, given the heavy losses on the stock market and other depressing economic statistics. Some of you may have lost your jobs in the massive retrenchment exercise in the banking sector.
Whatever the situation is, I can assure the all hope is not lost. Within every disappointment or failure you may have experienced lies a great opportunity for breakthrough.
Performance reviews are very important in our search for answers to the issues that confront us daily in projects, business or life.
A quote from William Pollard says â€œLearning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrowâ€
THIS implies that even where weÂ Â Â have recorded successes this
Â Â Â Â Â Â year, there remains a huge opportunity for improvement and growth in the coming years because, it just may be possible that the factors that contributed to your success yesterday may not be relevant tomorrow.
Several years ago, during a convocation ceremony at the University of Lagos, the young girl from Business Administration faculty who graduated with a First Class Honours as the best all round graduate was asked by a journalist to explain the secret of her success.
Her answer remains for me one of the best for all times. She said her secret was that â€œShe prayed like she never studied and she studied like she never prayed.â€
The wisdom of her statement lies in the time tested and proven fact that to achieve the highest levels of success in any area of endeavour, we have to be committed to pay the price in all the aspects needing our attention.
Talents, training, experience and knowledge are great assets to have. However, unless we commit to support our gifts with the right amount of work, dedication, perseverance and diligence, our future projects may go the way of previous failed ones.
As we pray to God for mercies, favour and breakthrough, let us also pray for the revelation and wisdom to know that favour and mercy will not replace the need for hard work, diligence, kindness and a genuine concern for future generations.
As we review our past performances and prepare for the coming year, now is the time to really understand the primary purpose of projects and enterprise.
To set the tone we take a cue from Lu Bu-wei, the Chinese prime minister under Emperor Ying Zheng in year 246 B.C. He saysâ€¦ In making judgments, the early kings were perfect, because they made moral principles the starting point of all their undertakings and the root of everything that was beneficial.
This principle, however, is something that persons of mediocre intellect never grasp. Not grasping it, they lack awareness, and lacking awareness, they pursue profit.
But while they pursue profit, it is absolutely impossible for them to be certain of attaining it.This saying clearly shows the frustrations that accompany the pursuit of money and profits as the sole purpose for designing projects or business.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the German born American Theoretical Physicist supports this position with this quote: â€œOne should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life.
The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in itâ€™s result and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.â€
The legendary American inventor and entrepreneur, Thomas Edison said, at first he searches the community to identify what the society needs and he proceeds to invent it.
His belief is that if he can find an affordable solution to a societal need or needs, he will be rich, whether he likes it or not. His wealth is a confirmation of this philosophy irrespective of several failures in between. Youâ€™ll agree with me that designing projects towards solving societal problems is a form of giving.
What will life be today without advanced medical science, cars, airplanes, air conditioners, cell phones, and several other scientific inventions? At the moment, Nigeria is gifted with many social problems.
From terrible banking to bad roads, insufficient housing, poor medical welfare, poor education standards, corruption, excess importation, dependence on oil and poor worker attitude in the country, the list for improvements seem endless.Â
Will your 2010 projects be based on your sole profits or will it be based on community wellbeing? I challenge you to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of giving and see if you will not have great stories to tell by December 2010.
Give to those who cannot pay you back. Build projects or businesses that are tailored to develop our society and make our community a better place for our unborn children.
The Almighty God has been very gracious, merciful and kind to me, my family, businesses, friends, and associates. I truly appreciate all of you who have sent in text messages of hope, encouragement and appreciation, those who may have been touched in one way or another and all who have resolved to make Nigeria a truly great giant of Africa. May the Almighty God bless and keep you.
Until Next year, Iâ€™ll leave you with an African Proverb from SOMALIA, â€œFlowing water makes stagnant water moveâ€