"When you are multi-gifted and discombobulated - you need counselling, but when you've seen a vision and want to act sternly - you need to be inspired by those who have gone that lane"
Friday, 4 January 2013
THE BENEFIT OF EVIL
What the heck does this
guy mean by the benefit of evil? I know that’s the question roaming your mind
now. It’s quite a controversial topic and I understand that. But I just need
you to follow me for the next five minutes and you’ll want to give me a paycheck
for putting up this article.
Many a times, we prefer
to have at our beck and call, the fun, the excitement and happiness of life.
Everyone at one time or another desires a life void of challenges and worries,
a life void of troubles with everything functioning greatly and smoothly.
I’ll use Nigeria as a
typical example in this subject. In Nigeria we are exposed to certain
discomforts and “hardships” due to what we often want to term “poor
Governance”. This has so engrossed our hearts that nobody seems to be looking
away from the immediate challenges to see the light at the end of the tunnel,
or to discern what opportunities amass in these multitudes of challenges.
We have since
independence in 1960 as a nation seen one form of challenge or the other. From
our erratic power supply to poor road infrastructure, from our broken health
care system to our compromised judicial system, from our debilitated aviation
sector to our wiped away fire service system. Not to even mention the corrupt
practices of our past and incumbent leaders which has now become a norm
irrespective of the presence of EFCC, ICPC, and other law and anti – corruption
agencies and committees in the country.
Somehow some of us have
resolved in our minds that traveling out of Nigeria is the only key to solving
the problem. But let me break that down for you; Nigeria – immobile
and stationary, a perfect and constant geographic location which is an
important and primary factor in production (Land). No matter where we travel to
and how long we stay there or what we do there, the land remains constant and
will only show signs of development or improvement, when activities begin to
take place on it (when we choose to make developing the land our business). This
tells me that the land is not the problem and success is not a function of
location. If you have an outstanding idea with an overriding policy you’ll make
your statement nice and easy, irrespective of the land and its challenges. So guess what? the problem is you who thinks the nation has a problem.
Fela Durotoye is a
leading business consultant and speaker who from the same Nigeria travels
around the world, consulting, coaching and speaking to multinationals. Lancelot
O. Imasuen is a media practitioner and one of Nollywood’s best movie directors
who started his career from the ancient city of Benin in Nigeria. But today, he
travels around the world giving lectures on the same field where we would have
thought that the whites (as we call them) have more knowledge than we do. Yet
from his office in Benin, he grants interviews on a regular basis to CNN
amongst other world leading TV networks.
I do believe that we
often spend our precious time that would rather have been invested in more productive
and innovative thinking, looking for problems that are not there, and so
because your heart is fixed that certainly there has to be a problem – your
mind therefore produces a mirage which becomes the obstacle that limits you
from your goal. In other words “you
are the only valid limitation you have”. If you change your mindset and
channel your thoughts to possible solutions instead of problems (that don't exist), you actually would have made a million dollar worth of progress.
In the past few years,
the world has come face to face with economic recess and crunch, that has seen
many companies and countries including multinationals into bankruptcy, among
countries affected were Greece, Spain, and even the United States of America
which is considered the world’s power. Affected companies and countries sold
off their assets in order to balance their debts, and are even borrowing more
and more money, using even the last assets they have as collaterals. Yet other
companies are financially firm and even buying over some of the assets
auctioned away by the bankrupt companies and countries. Some individuals in the
midst of the economic crunch are having great picnic times worth millions of
dollars somewhere in the Caribbean or in the UAE. Others are buying and flying
private jets, while some others have so much to spend, that they can even lend
to bankrupt nations (note that I said; lend to nations not persons or
corporations). Steve Jobs’ Apple Corporation is one of the financial giants
that withstood this economic recess that even badly affected the U.S and raised her debt by over $16 trillion. Apple by its fiscal status
is worth more than the United States of America, which means that it can
comfortably donate to the nation to ameliorate its financial cataclysm.
During this economic
flurry, Bill Gates, CEO of the Microsoft Corporation was one of the most
prominent donors who gave more to charity. As a matter of fact, Bill has given
more to HIV/AIDS than the United Nations (UN) has. All of these simply explains that in the midst of challenges, you can still be financially buoyant. If you
have read my article on value, it talks about every business rising and falling on ideas. Let me push that
at an angle a little bit different from what you read (please check my previous
posts on this blog, or get a copy sent to your mail on request). Your ability
to sustain your feat financially in the stormy day depends on what ideas you
have cultivated at peace times. Apple had a working product, a cutting edge
value system (see VALUE; YOUR TICKET TO BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2013) and an
overriding business policy that made it impossible for them to go down in the
storm. Once upon a time, Apple had a product “Apple Lisa” which Steve Jobs
named after his daughter Lisa which also meant Local Integrated Software Architecture, and sold for $595 in 1985. Apple Lisa seemed to be the prime at the
time until a new product “the Macintosh” popularly called Mac today was made.
Steve Jobs showed up and declared an ideological war between the staff team
that produced the Mac and that of Apple Lisa. This caused the great resurgence
of the Mac which made it the most popular computer at that time and saw the
extinction of Lisa. But today we talk about the ipads 1 – 3, iphones 1 – 4s
which are all products of a well cultivated idea rich corporation – Apple.
Their innovative ability has kept them relevant in the business and world of
technology and of course increased their net worth by billion dollar checks.
Once again “every business rises and falls on ideas”.
As bad as the nation
seems to be with everybody travelling everywhere but Nigeria, seeking for the
so called greener pastures, some dudes are right here making it large and are
still relevant in the international arena. The problem is that we are often too
short sighted to see beyond the walls, to look into the storm and see that gold
mine. We are too quick to conclude and stir our hearts in the reverse bias thus
disconnecting from the possibilities lurking around us. However, there is a
back door to all of these and you can work around it.
First you need to
understand that the mind has been wired to connect the present with the future,
but needs you to trigger the mechanism by being counterintuitive. So "the distance between the limitations you see and the victory you seek are your thoughts”.
The mind has also been wired to produce whatever you see (not look), because
sight is a product of the mind but the eyes merely look. So your inability to see
or conceive that greatness you desire, makes your mind passive and of course
helpless irrespective of your location, race or class.
You’ll have to stop
seeing problems and see challenges. A Problem is something that is difficult to
deal with or understand (oxford dict. 7th ed. 2006). When you think
of something as a problem, all you see about that thing is nothing but barriers
and roadblocks and blurring. But a challenge is a demanding or stimulating
situation, a call to engage in a contest or fight (wordweb dict.). When you see
challenges other than problems, you are stimulated to task your creativity to
produce results and you will discover in the end that you’re stronger than you
were when you first engaged your challenge and that’s because “what doesn’t kill, you only makes
stronger” and “Challenges are
the platforms innovators need to be champions”. Challenges are the
bedrock of development in every economy. So when you see challenges you ought
to rejoice as it is your opportunity to inscribe your name in the chronicles of
time as a solution. “The value of refined gold is in the challenge of the fire and hammer it faced at the
While Some guys were busy
shouting down the Government and gossiping about the economic crunch, some
other guys were busy in innovation, converting what seemed to be a problem into
a multibillion dollar venture. Amidst the economic crunch companies and
countries still spent billions of dollars hiring HR managers, financial
analysts, and all sorts of consultant platforms to manage their economy and their finances. "While men yet wept about the
storm, others flew using the same storm as fuel". in the same vein, as Nigerians are
busy criticizing the country and continuously fleeing, do you know that over
14, 000 Chinese visit Nigerian embassies weekly, striving to come to the same country
from where we all want to flee?
The benefit of evil is
such that it makes you stronger than you were if you’re patient enough to sail
through. In every problem is a business. In my article "value; your ticket to business success in 2013", I talked about
how that many of the world class businesses were formed out the proclivity to
solve a problem and they never eluded the wealth benefits that followed. It
makes you a brand name, and you become a leading authority on the subject
matter. I urge you strongly to find a problem today and solve it, if truly you
want to make wealth. “The beauty of a
problem is in the solution”.