Posts by Kenneth Igiri

Entangled: Pre-release Review by Daniel Ayittey

🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 🌹 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 🌹 ENTANGLED! 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 🌹 🌹🌹🌹

 

 

The first time I met Kenny, was at an interview about four years ago. A few of the things that carried across to me as the interview progressed, were his sincerity, intelligence and then this feeling of someone with a mission on his heart.

I saw the graphics of the book cover “ENTANGLED ” before reading the book. I was captivated by the attractive, well designed cover. My initial thoughts after admiring the cover design was, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I decided to start reading a little of the book during my 30 minutes lunch break with the intention of continuing with the reading in the evening.

… Big “mistake”…

My curiosity got the better of me as I couldn’t put the copy down and kept flipping page after page till I had found out the outcome of the choices made by our protagonist. I finished reading the book by that evening.

 

Entangled is a real page turner and will get the reader hooked right from the very first page through till it ends. Kenny manages to portray some of the very real challenges of present day life in ENTANGLED.

The reality of these challenges is the heart of the whole story. The desperation of our protagonist, Phillip to live an exemplary life. The frustration of re-occurring failure to the challenges he faces. His awareness and acceptance of standards of morality that are acceptable to the Creator. Presumptions of people that lead to feelings of having been “Led on”.

 

Peeling off the first layer of the entertaining pastime “Entangled” offers, the reader will identify the many faucets of life’s personalities represented here in the names of Helen, Zainab, Phillip, Abena, Hassan and even Victoria.

Highlighting the weakness in human strength, the dangers of   allowing sin to snowball and grow bigger; Entangled has some really good life lessons for the young adults and above.

 

Within a short time from the outset of Entangled, Kenny makes it look effortless as he skillfully takes the reader into the heart of the challenge making the reader empathize with the protagonist, admiring him for setting his own boundary lines, and silently screaming at him for decisions he considers taking that could lead him to cross same.

 

The writer manages to ease the tense, fast paced narrative by slipping in some side splitters. The way the story ends is another skillful mark of a great story teller. Entangled is a great piece of work and there is no doubt that this writer is getting better with each book he writes.

 

In closing, I can confidently say that the well written contents of the book “Entangled” and the meaningful cover design of the book, deserve each other. This is one case where it would be fair to judge a book by its cover.

 

For a 6-hour flight, a trip on a bus or train, a case study that groups of young adults and above could read and discuss its life lessons or just a relaxing weekend read, the perfect book and companion would be…

 

 ENTANGLED!

 

 

Mr. Daniel Ayittey is the CEO and Principal Architect at Diseño Cisne which he runs with his brilliant wife, Xola.

Contemplating: The Value of Knowledge

 

When I first started attending church in Ghana back in 2012, I used to buy the CD for every message preached on Sundays. Before then I already had a large collection of CDs which I carried from Lagos. I remember William Ilenikhena asked me once back at Covenant Christian Centre why I bought the message every Sunday. You know those why questions we often fail to ask ourselves, don’t you? While I did not give a ready answer to that question then, I had imagined that it was necessary to have a record of every message preached in Church even though I got the point of his question: It was more important to have the message inside one, the parts relevant to one.

  

Recently I began to question the usefulness of every message I have ever heard from the likes of Dr. Mensah Otabil and Pastor Poju Oyemade who have been my Main Senior Pastors For the past ten years or so. I am not questioning their usefulness because the messages themselves are querstionable. They certainly are all extremely powerful contributions of these great minds/spirits. But I am asking myself what I have actually done with those useful messages. I asked myself the same question about every professor in whose class I sat back in school, about the over a hundred and fifty books in my current library and many others in my past read and unread.

 

 

Every now and then in the office or other fora we find grown men arguing about what is accurate knowledge in certain fields and what is not. At the end of the day one person or the other concludes that they are right. But then what does it mean to be right? What is the value of being right? What is the value of knowledge?  Is the physical, emotional and mental exertion we exercise in these discussions meaningful? Taking it a little wider, does the number of professors in a nation has translate to development? Who is responsible for the major breakthroughs of the world? Those who could talk well about what they knew?

  
The direction of this piece is we need to ask ourselves what the value of knowledge is. How does my education translate to a better life for me and my family? For my nation? Is any additional schooling necessary? What knowledge do I really need for self-actualization in life. These questions become more relevant as we live in a society which is obsessed with paper qualifications and academic achievements. I dare say in our individual lives we need to ask again what we are doing with all this knowledge and all this schooling. Keeping them in our shelves, in our debate platforms or even in our heads just does not seem to be good enough. Whether spiritually or socially, what we know has to have a way of measurably adding to the quality of our lives and those of others around us.

 

Trivia

 

 

 

Preserving Your Professional Pride

 

I have been doing a short HA/DR refresher on www.pluralsight.com and Russ Thomas said something during the module on backups that caught my attention. he said taking a backup and leaving the only copy of the backup on the same server whether backup was taken is one sure way of displaying your incompetence as a database administrator. This statement caught my attention because it made me begin thinking of all the other ways the “incompetence” of a professional with a lot of years of experience can be displayed through just one or two acts of negligence or carelessness.

 
However, I do think that the exposure of such “incompetence” may not be because the professional is actually incompetent, it could just be because he or she is not paying attention to the little details. We all have situations where an external consultant or auditor comes into our environment and makes a twenty page PowerPoint presentation which a lot of screen shots and three quarters of the slides have pictures of gargantuan log files, almost-full file systems, and wrong parameters. The Consultant or Auditor ends up scoring a huge point on your account.

 

 
I am sure this happens in other areas too: finance, security (both physical security and IT Security). it happens because the pressure of work has made a lot of us forget the basics we learnt. We know all the stuff and we can all discuss it in long meeting with a lot of finesse in our vocal prowess (was that even a correct expression?) but we simply have stopped practicing what we know. I do think some consultants would have less to do and show off with if we are a bit more careful in out apparently routine jobs.

 
I heard a wise boss once say “You are as good as the last good thing you did” and he was right. Getting things wrongs  tends to get more attention in IT and in the world than getting things right. getting things right is considered normal. You have to be either extraordinarily adept at you implementations or extraordinarily loud in promoting them for you good work to get any attention in the eyes of you managers. But just let one single file system get full and everyone will know your name!

 

 
So what is the point? Well I believe since knowledge is so prolific and accessible in our day, our problem is not likely to be that we do not know what to do, we may be simply lack the motivation, courage or resources to do it. But there are some things we can do that we are yet to do and I do think in order to preserve your professional pride, you need to pay attention to those little things. Get what the standards are from the Internet and apply them, keep the routine jobs going, assess yourself before someone else does. Russ also did say it is much better for YOU to find a problem and solve it (even when everything looks fine) that for someone else to find it for you.

 

Seeing Things Slightly Differently

Originally Posted on LinkedIn June 14, 2016

In the past week or so I have been involved in a number of tasks that required a little bit more involving problem solving skills.  Not involving because the problems were particularly difficult to solve but because there were a number of approaches to solving these problems and the issue became finding the most effective way. Have you ever come across one of those exam questions where you are asked to choose the best answer or the most appropriate answer or the answer that required the least administrative effort. That is the kind of thing I am writing about.

The first case I will share is the case where we were trying to map the columns of a set of tables from one database to those of a single table in a another separate but related database. We had managed to combine a set of about thirty structurally uniform tables into one data set using the WITH and UNION ALL clauses then we ran into the challenge that all columns at source were not present at destination. The columns we were seeing at the destination were derived for the most part. We had one or two options: simply offload the problem to the vendor or re-write the application code which needed the table (involving a different vendor). Both approaches involved a third party who did not share our enthusiasm to make this work for obvious reasons. However we at least got the first vendor to give us the mappings that existed; the rest we had to get by painstakingly extracting sample rows and comparing source and destination then writing simple SQL to create derived columns. It took some time and effort and the tenacity of Joshua Adom.

 

 

The second example I will share is that of a situation we observed after performing an upgrade over the weekend on an Oracle installation sitting on AIX. It so happened that the upgraded databases shared a certain server with another set of databases in the reporting environment which were yet to be upgraded. The first thought was to move the data to another reporting serve which still had the old Oracle version during the next restore cycle. Good idea but might overload the other server. The Christopher Atayero and Ugonna Udunwa nailed it simplistically – install two Oracle homes on the same server!
Such “simple breakthroughs”   happen in our work environments when we are able to apply simple principles to our approach to problem solving:

1. Agility. Be open to a variety of approaches. They say there are many ways to kill a cat. Some ways end up being more efficient and less expensive. Expense here refers to effort not necessarily money.
2. Skill. Expose yourself to much product knowledge. You may not be using a particular skill set just yet but one day the knowledge you have been accumulating will be demanded by a new problem.
3. Depth. Take a moment to think through an issue. The first thought is not always the best. Subject your ideas to scrutiny and keep asking whether there is a better way.
4. Collaboration. Brainstorm, review and brainstorm again. The solution to a problem should create as few new problems as possible and very low probability of re-occurrence.  Having a colleague analyse the solution achieves this goal.
5. Openness. Be humble enough to accept other solutions and contribute to them even when yours simply was not good enough. Develop a Team Mentality and let your motive be to solve the problem not to show off your smartness. You are not the world’s smartest and even if you are, sometimes those you consider below you do have ideas that are above you.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Entangled: A Little Too Many, A Little Too Close | Excerpts October 2017

Abena walked briskly towards her car and Philip trailed behind, wondering why she was in such a hurry.

“Hahaha. You think everyone is my girlfriend now? “

“Ok. Your beloved not your girlfriend”

Philip startled some passersby with the roar of his laughter. Abena wasn’t amused. Philip noticed how serious she seemed and tried to explain without giving details of what let up to their acquaintance.

“I just met her on the plane. We happened to sit together”

“I see…”

“I haven’t been on a plane outside Ghana before but whenever I go to Tamale by air, whenever people get to their destination everyone goes their own way. I scarcely see people walking with the people they sat with to arrivals!”

“Hahaha. Abena are you OK? You are sounding jealous!”

Philip had just dropped his luggage in the open booth. He walked to the passage side of the front seat as he made the last statement. Abena was on the driver’s side. She stopped and stared at him momentarily.

“You mean jealous of you flying in planes every now and then?”

The look on her face was a warning that this line of discussion was no longer safe. He changed topics.

“Nice car” he complimented, shutting the door at exactly the same time as Abena started the engine. He was always proud of his upwardly mobile career lady friend. The rest of the drive was not very eventful and as soon as they reached Ablekuma, Abena declined following him in. Zainab came towards the window as soon as she heard the sound of the small red Kia Venga stopping by the gate. She didn’t see clearly but it was obvious Philip was being dropped off by a young lady.

 

 

Back in the car Philip reached out to hug Abena and she obliged. This was a little rare between them. They held on for a few seconds then Abena pushed him away abruptly when she felt his lips on her neck!

“What? Are you OK? Did you just kiss me? What? I can’t believe this!”. She kept shaking her head and expressing disgust with the gestures on her face. Philip was dumbfounded. Why did he do that? He had no idea! He just stared into space while Abena questioned him with her eyes. He was glad she resisted at the same time surprised that she, whom he did not think of as particularly spiritual, was the one who woke him up. Abena was raised in a staunch Catholic family and morality was very important. Virginity was a strong virtue. To Pentecostals of the twenty-first century, Speaking in Tongues was much more important than virginity. To Catholics, it was different. There was pride in keeping oneself intact till marriage. Philip experienced the reality of that conviction from Abena’s response. She knew exactly where the boundaries were.

“You see you…” Abena continued her scolding, “You need help o. Please get out of my car!”

Philip promptly opened the door and stepped out. He managed to pick his luggage from the booth and came back, peeping through the glass to say goodbye. “I’m sorry” he mumbled but Abena zoomed off without responding. He pulled out the trolley handle gently and walked through the gate which had been ajar, dragging his bag and a heavy dose of depression. Something was wrong with him. He needed help.

 

 

Zainab opened up the front door and beamed with a smile, bright as sunshine. Her eyes sparkled and looked straight into his. She hugged him hard and the took his travel bag from him bringing it through the door.

“Great to have you back” Her voice was ever so soft. “How was your trip?”

“Great! God has been good. Thank God for journey mercies”

 

Both were smiling sheepishly and blushing heavily. To Zainab, it felt just like welcoming her husband home. She shut the door gently and locked it while Philip looked at her shorts which she had worn specially for this moment. He spelt the mild feminine body spray. When she turned around and look at his eyes again she knew he was ready for her. She pulled him towards herself and planted her lips on his. He did not resist. The entire cycle repeated itself again and they were in bed with each other at 7:00 PM after a few hours of sleep.

“We did it again!” Zainab started.

 

Single and Sought After – Excerpt 07 September 2017

WARNING: The title of this book may change before being published. Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Here are excerpts from pages 116 to 119


Sandra gave him a look that made him drop his hands quickly. “Please move”

She moved towards Helen who was still standing close to Philip’s Toureg. Sandra’s heavy figure ought to have made Helen, a size eight, wary about having a face-off with her. Sandra moved towards Helen and noticed the defiance in her face. She gave a her soft push. The security men tried to hold her back.

“Look! Small girl! If you try me this evening I will wake you up from whatever they have given you to drink. better shut up and go play with you mates! Nonsense”

Four men struggled to hold Sandra back. it was such an interesting scene for those who loved to watch others fight. A fight was brewing here. Between two women. It was one of those awkward moments when a quarrel breaks out and someone who is smart enough realizes there is more to  it that the little step on the toe that was visible to everyone. There was certainly more to this matter than the fact that Sandra had blocked Helen’s car. Even the Security Guards new.

Abena was close. She had been walking briskly towards Philip’s car. She knew that car quite well. Maybe this slim lady had deliberately chose to stand by it for this face off.

“Sandra!”

“Abena come and see this mosquito…”

“Bundle her away! If not I will call the police!” Helen could not be silenced. Her eyes widened. She kept her distance but kept raising her voice, threatening and insulting the ladies, sweating profusely while at it.

“Madam, what is this about? Is it just the car or something else?” Abena asked. She did not wait for an answer.

“Sandra please let me have the keys. Let’s go”

“Who is your Madam? Idiot!” Helen snapped. Sizing her with disdain in her eyes. Abena heard the words faintly. she had turned her attention away towards Sandra.

Abena managed to drag Sandra away with a little help from the dumbfounded security guards. This time she drove. She had just crossed the gate, giving the guards time to burst out in a round of laughter in their ‘office’ when it was as though Sandra’s frenzy resumed:

“Oh God, Oh God!” She yelled, “Abena you should have let me deal with  that mosquito! What nonsense. She doesn’t know her size. O!”

Abena kept quiet. She was visibly angry. Not at the slim, stylish young woman who had embarrassed them in front of Philip’s office and not at Philip himself. She was angry at herself for letting this trip to his office happen in the first place. She vowed to herself not to let it happen again. That little lady would not have had the effrontery to initiate that face off of there was nothing going on between them. Office Wife! Her phone rang. Sandra picked and put the phone in Her left cheek.

“Hi Abena. Where are you?” It was Philip.

“I left.”

“Left? What’s wrong?” He was standing by his car. Helen had long gone right behind the ladies and Philip was turning his head back and forth in the now scanty car park looking for Abena as though she would be hidden under one of the ten to twelve cars now left at the front of the brightly lit car park.

Abena hesitated and then let it out: “Your office wife chased us away. I guess she was afraid we were coming to snatch her husband!”

“What?”

“I am driving! I will talk to you later… Bye.”

“Ok..” The line was dead before he finished the two letter word.

 

 

Abena was pensive. Sandra was silent. maybe this was her fault after all. how could she have know the young man was some kind of philanderer knocking women’s heads together. The way Abena spoke about him it was as if she had him all to herself. but no one had Philip. Philip had himself and managed to give those he cared about their portion of his time. the time allocated to each lady was good enough to satisfy them and position them as very dear to him. Perception is everything.

It was in no way deliberate. he was not really trying to knock  heads together. he was not trying to have all the ladies. One could even claim they were trying to have him. he was just being nice and he did care about each princess in his ‘harem’ . He just did not consider any of them his girlfriend or anything close to that. Girlfriend? No! not even Zainab.

Helen was still on the road when Philip called. She picked the call using her bluetooth device.

“Hi Philip. Surprise, surprise. I thought we were not talking to each other!” She sounded in high spirits though she did not smile. they say one can tell if you are smiling over the phone. The excitement in her voice could not have given away her near-death experience a few minutes previously. Philip hesitated now wondering if she was actually the one Abena had encountered. He had assumed it was her since she had called early claiming his bank girlfriends were looking for him.

“Did you meet  two ladies who came to see me before you left the office?”

“Yeah…any issue?”

Should he ask this question and how should ask it safely. She hadn’t been on talking terms with Helen for weeks. If he had assumed wrong then this would probably extend the malice another few months.

“Did you speak with them by any chance?”

Helen paused. Then spoke again, with a little less excitement.

“What did they tell you? That I fought with them? They blocked my car and I simply asked them to move. Why should they block my car? …” The excitement was back … in the other direction.

“So the issue was your car?”

“Yes! It was my car. ”


I hope I will get this done by year end. Watch out for the pre-sales on crowdfund.ventsell.com

Fatherhood Series – 002 – Moments

It seemed only like yesterday when I stood in the theartre and watched the umbilical cord being removed from a Caucasian-looking tiny boy who happened to be my son. He seemed to delicate that it was scary to even touch him. A few months down the line his complexion has changed to a smooth chocolate or so. His eyes are bright and wide, gazing at everything curiously, he makes weird sounds every now and then speaking baby language which consists largely of crying and sobbing when he wants attention.

About a month ago he started smiling for the first time. It felt awesome and we kept doing things to try to make him smile because no matter how many times he smiled every occurrence was an absolutely sublime encounter. Thrilling. We wanted to make him mile and laugh all the time. Well we call it laughter because it carried the same level of excitement as a normal laughter when we look at his face even though he hasn’t started making those cracking sound we make as adults.

It makes one wonder though: what makes us laugh? What makes us cry? What the actual constitution of our emotions? Why do our emotions seem to be something we need to control as we grow for example? In a few years my boy would no longer cry when he is hungry, he would speak. When he is a teenager, a simple stare from my eyes would no longer make him smile excitedly being all grown up. He carefree baby songs would be all gone. Oh, but the wonder of those simple moments of baby life. Nothing matches them!

Treasure those moments with family while you have them. They are moments that are difficult to repeat. Some of those moments may seem to have absolutely no logically expressible meaning but they are of infinite value in our human relationships. Nurture them and treasure them. The smile, the laughter, the sing along songs, the cuddle, the game of cards where the winner doesn’t matter and seeks no prize. Treasure the moments.

Leveraging on Complimentary Partnerships

According to a study done in 2013, Africa’s population will be approximately 2.4 billion by the year 2050. This figure is 200% of the current population. The year 2050 is a little over thirty years from now this implies that most of the population in 2050 will be below thirty-five, within the age range in which people are expected to be actively working. I can deduce this because the 2.4 billion estimate is based on the number of babies being born now and the reduction in mortality rates in Africa.

 

In about thirty years most people who started working this year in regular jobs would be nearing retirement age however this will not significantly reduce the pressure on existing jobs. In addition, the rise of technology will significantly reduce the number of open positions as we know them today thus those who will be working will be doing slightly different kinds of jobs. I hope the picture is becoming clearer.

 

Now, everything I have written so far is more or less common knowledge which I have merely put I a different combination of words. Also common is the understanding that if we are to be ready for this future we are inevitably headed for, we must embrace entrepreneurship. However the question becomes: can EVERYONE be an entrepreneur? I think not. Some people cannot be entrepreneurs because they lack the required drive, enthusiasm or interest. Some people simply want to get along and they are happy with life. Others cannot be entrepreneurs because no matter how hard they try, they simply lack the capacity.

 

Capacity: Specific ability of an entity (person or organization) or resource, measured in quantity and level of quality, over an extended period. ( http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/capacity.html). The dream in most people’s hearts is to be significant in life. We are all inspired by success stories. For most people in the world, that’s where it ends even after decades of attempting to ‘do something great’ : a dream. Is there a way to address this?

 

 

I think one way to deal with this is to do an honest estimation of our strengths and weaknesses. Maybe even a full SWOT analysis of ourselves before we venture. I love being an entrepreneur, I want to be an entrepreneur, I have a great business idea and so on. But can I, yes I, can I actually become successful at entrepreneurship? Will it require too much effort from me? Will it sap me of energy so much that the joy of finally arriving there would not be worth it? If YES, then I have to take another route: find a partner.

 

This blog post discusses ten super successful companies formed by co-founders. The value of a partnership is mostly found in cases where one person compliments the other. One person is an ardent programmer with little interest in money and the other is an aggressive businessman. One person is a deep-thinking introvert and the other is a great marketer, making friends and customers everywhere. One person is the son of a humble shop owner and the other is royalty who doesn’t know what to do with money. Complimentary partnerships. Approaching business this way can scale up the number of businesses that will be running by 2050 when we will really need them.

 

I have noticed however that trust issues, hedonism, lack of vision, the quest for titles, greed and many other mundane factor challenge the ability of African entrepreneurs to work together and form valuable complimentary partnerships. We have to find ways of addressing this if we are to move forward significantly. And it is worth mentioning here that such partnerships must be genuine. Genuine in the sense that all parties involved must realize that we succeed together or we fail together. There is no fair-weather complimentary partnership that makes any sense.

 

In summary, if you have an idea that for some reason you feel that you do not have capacity to execute, you do not need to feel stuck. Find someone you can work with and make things happen. All our children are counting on you.

 

Biafra: The Humble Thoughts of a Layman

 

The Man at the Centre Stage

 

Nnamdi Kanu is definitely a force to recon with. His consistency, resolve and the following he has amassed the world over among the Igbos is phenomenal. I admire him for these and more. Many people are however worried that his rhetoric is largely emotional, stirring up the emotions of the Igbos. These emotions are stirred for good reason though: the marginalisation of the Igbos and other eastern tribes of Nigeria since the end of the war some fifty years ago. This ‘marginalisation’ is a contentious and debatable concept but most people will agree that it was only a matter of course that ruling powers would attempt to keep the boisterous and powerful Igbos in check after such a showdown. This control makes even more sense in view of the fact that before the war, the Igbos were more or less the dominant tribe. Even now, while not dominant politically or in the Nigerian Army, they have strong influence in the nation as business owners.

 

 

Nnamdi Kanu appears to be an intelligent man with a lot of knowledge of history and culture but some may doubt his depth and understanding of governance and political power. His humility in refusing to be called ‘Eze Ndi Igbo’ is inspiring. His willingness to continue the struggle after being incarcerated is an even more powerful testament to his resolve. His persistent reference to God as the initiator of the idea of Biafra’s separation from Nigeria is something I keep contemplating. I listened to his wife too who appears to share his vision and passion. My personal thoughts are that the logic was largely lacking. Again, emotions.

 

Who is Following Nnamdi Kanu?

 

The large crowds at Onitsha, Owerri and other cities who cheer Mazi Kanu are largely, as some analysts put it, unemployed, disgruntled youth who did not even experience the Biafran War. Apparently Ohaneze Ndi Igbo do not back Kanu. The war veterans, I hear, do not back him. The other tribes who originally composed Biafra also do not back him. The elite Igbos of Nigeria appear silent: The Jim Ovias, Tony Elumelus, Oby Ezekwesilis and so on seem to be silent. I can understand when the politicians do not back him because they have vested interest in the nation called Nigeria and may even be part of the problem but I am wondering why he doesn’t have strong backing from the Igbo movers and shakers in Nigeria and beyond.

 

But then, it could also be an issue of vested interest or caution in the interest of ‘Business Continuity’. The Igbos are known to be more concerned they prosperity of their individual families than a common cause built on an ideology. Will a Jim Ovia move Zenith Bank to Enugu as international headquarters? Will Mr. Elumelu register UBA as a Biafran Bank? And fo goodness sakes where is Ralph Uwazuruike in all this?

 

Educated or not, elite or not, it seems the following this new Biafran leader has is so strong that the Nigeria government is scared stiff of a referendum.

 

How Will Biafra be Governed?

 

My thoughts in the previous section spill over to this section, introducing the question of strategy. Who will be president of Biafra? Who will be in the central government (I understand it will be a confederation)? Who will drive Biafra’s development? I guess we have to count out the existing political leaders of Igbo extraction who do not even want a nation called Biafra to arrive and ‘pour san-san in their garri’. If the Igbo technocrats of Nigeria are not backing Nnamdi Kanu, who will build Biafra? Will we end up being delayed again by power struggles among inexperienced folk trying to grow a baby nation?

 

The concept of building a new nation does sound exciting. The possibility of starting on a new slate, correcting the mistakes of Nigeria. Maybe the Biafran government will pay more attention to the likes of Innosen and Tinapa. Maybe we will finally get resource control for the Ijaws if they do agree to join in secession. Maybe government will be a bit more transparent. Just maybe.

 

Rounding Up My Contemplation

 

Most people may prefer to keep mute and see how things turn out before commenting on such sensitive issues as secession. It is probably safer to keep away and see how things turn out but I do think every middle aged person of Igbo descent along with our neighbours in Eastern Nigeria should be concerned about the unfolding events. Our children might just be living in a country different from where we grew up.

7 Things I Picked Up from Ironing 60 Chair Cloths

I recently had an occasion where I needed family to help out with preparations for an event. One of the tasks that came up was the need to iron sixty white chair covers we hired just one day before the event. I had asked a young lady to do this task for me on purpose and I found out almost ten things she gave away without knowing (she is going to blacklist my blog for writing this Ha Ha Ha). I think most of them can be applied to the attitude of some people in the workplace.

 

  1. She Lacked Negotiation Skills

Ironing sixty pieces of cloth is understandably a herculean task especially when it had to be done at the end of a long day which was expected to give birth to a new day of more work. She however did not bother to negotiate the terms of the task. Could she split them in two and share with someone else? Would I help? Were they all needed? Was it really necessary to have them ironed? She simply agreed to iron the sixty pieces of cloth even when, I suspect, she knew she was not going to finish the job. Negotiating correctly helps us avoid promising what we cannot deliver.

 

  1. She Lacked Strategy

We were thought in school that the difference between an engineer and a Technician (with all due respect) is that an Engineer works mostly with his head and a Technician mostly with his hands. Strategy differentiates us from the crowd. How can this task be done most effectively? What process can I employ? Who do I need? What do I need? Taking the time to think through the tasks on our table could save a lot of time and produce better results. Get mentally engaged at your shop.

 

  1. She Lacked Skill

My subject failed to device an effective method of approaching the task before her. She simply attempted to approach the task as a straight forward ironing task. He approach may have worked for one shirt and a pair of trousers but sixty cloths? This required more skill. Skill differentiates us in the workplace when the nature and volume of the task before us changes. Learn the skills that will make you stand out when push comes to shove.

 

 

  1. She Lacked Staying Power

How many of these cloths did she work on? Maybe ten. One could forgive a subordinate would come and say, “I have gone half way and I am very tired, can I continue tomorrow?” Staying power shows commitment to delivery. Staying power shows professional pride. We often fail to stand out because we leave the office too early. We stretch ourselves too little. We give up too early. On a daily basis, drive your body further with determination.

 

  1. She Lacked Responsibility

My subject was not able to finish the task but she simply handed it over to Mom and went to bed. She had passed the buck and forgotten about it. This is quite understandable but a little irresponsible when done in the context of a workplace. How many times have you abandoned a task to a colleague and not bothered to check whether the task was completed of completed correctly? Your reputation is at stake. Take ownership of the tasks n your table and maybe more.

 

  1. She Lacked Accountability

Granted, she handed over the job. Assuming I agreed to look this over it would be a little tricky because I did not actually know she handed over the job to someone else. Accountability for the task would have demanded that she report back to the owner of the task on her progress and her decision to delegate the task. Feedback to your boss means a lot. It shows you have respect for him and for the job on your table. Keep the reverse communication lines open with your boss, it pays.

 

  1. She lacked Environmental Awareness

You are absolutely right! There is no such expression, I just made it up. Environmental Awareness. This is how I choose to describe what my subject showed a lack of when she used the baby’s basket as the destination for the ironed cloths in view of the fact that that Baby Basket was likely going to be used the early following morning. Do not be so focused on your own tasks that you fail to see how it fits into the goals of the entire organization.

 

I will have to stop the bombardment here. Trust me, lady, I did not write this to spite you but I do believe there are lessons we can all learn from every encounter. Cheer up!