Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rolling with the big boyz – expanding your networks

A while ago, I attended a personal development/effectiveness seminar. I quite vividly recollect how the speaker emphasized the importance of networks and relationships in actualising your dreams. I also remember how surprised I was when I heard my pastor say “you are four people away from anybody in the world”. i.e. I know someone that knows someone, that knows someone-else, that knows another person that knows Bill Clinton (just an example, ‘cause I know Clinton directly, and please don’t ask me for his number!)
Some other people think its six people, but the point I think, has been made. Whatever plans or dreams we have can only come to fruition when the right people subscribe to the idea and get involved.

You and I would quite agree that dreams, visions, desires…(whatever you choose to call it!) are meaningful when they are not just meant to feed and fulfil selfish and narcissistic desires. It’s quite simple. A relevant dream seeks to impact people positively, and also requires people for its fulfilment.
For those of us that desire to make it to the world’s billionaire rankings, it’s about time we asked ourselves WHY???
I think I have a pretty good reason, but I’m not sure you do, and if you think you do, send me an e-mail – – and we would reason together.

Back to the main point – networks and relationships are crucial and central. Even in business, the most revolutionary ideas do not see the light of day if the critical mass of people do not subscribe to it.
I was scanning one of my favourite blogs when I encountered some phenomenal information – “the inventions and ideas we regard as revolutionary today, were not the best ideas conceived. They were the lucky ideas that received the critical support, persistence and faith needed for their actualization”. That just hit me!

You see, we’ve all got great ideas and prospects, but fact remains that not all would become a reality.
All of these made me wonder and I asked myself, what do I need to do in order to enlist the strategic support and arsenal needed to force my way through obscurity?
The obvious answer wasn’t far fetched. Simply get the right people to believe in it!

A few years ago, I remember observing a picture of the former CEO of UBA and some of his middle-eastern friends, all Harvard fellows.
A few years later, a business consortium from the middle-east signified interest in Nigeria’s gold-mine telecommunications industry. They thereafter obtained a license, and guess the key Nigerian figure at the centre of the deal? The same guy!!!

Lesson learnt! Ever since, I’ve made it top priority to properly acquaint myself with important, relevant and serious-minded people that matter, whenever there’s such opportunity. I also deliberately go to places where I can meet such people. I use a simple formula – exchange pleasantries, arouse their interest by discussing relevant issues, store their contact information in a SAFE and DRY place and DON’T forget to maintain the relationships!
It’s about two months now that I and about twenty other newbies got transferred to the production facility of our organization down-south Nigeria, very close to the Atlantic. In the spirit of work-life balance (an elusive dream for many!) we all participate in one form of sporting activity or the other. We have facilities for practically every kind of sport you could think of (except for ice-skating….but we’re working on it!).

We’re all doing a great job and have met quite a host of folks around here, but I wanted more. I thought to myself, how do I link up with the top-dogs around? The answer beheld me right in the face. There was one particular sport none of us (and I dare say many Nigerian folk too) had not even thought about engaging in.
Think about it, what is that sporting event that’s the exclusive preserve of the big boys… guessed right – GOLF!!
We all innocently walk past the lush green golf course and no one seemed to have any interests……except me of course!

I decided to take the bull by the horn and went on a voyage of the course with the intent of just watching the pros play. At the end of my sojourn, I had made FIVE new friends, three white and two black. One of the white folks, without me asking (but obviously detecting that I had limited knowledge of the rules) offered free tutoring and advice.
They were surprised, especially the white folks who were not used to young Nigerian guys coming to experience the highly mature and technique-driven game.
I got more than I bargained for, as I’ve also been scheduled for training without having to purchase a personal kit. (See the power of networks!)

A serious golfer can’t escape having to eventually purchase the quite expensive kit, but considering the potential rewards (such as all round recreation, and especially the future multi-million dollar investment deals that would be sealed on courses like this one), it’s certainly a worthy investment.
And who says I can’t go professional, join the PGA and compete internationally? Just wait and see!
PGA 2012 Rankings – No 3Adetayo Bamiduro………….yes o!

Yours in network expansion, I remain Trinitech the golfer!

Friday, March 07, 2008

TOP 3 LANGUAGES A NIGERIAN MUST LEARN!!! become lee-kov mohammed


RUSSIAN (we have massive natural gas reserves in common)

The spread of global wealth to emerging markets (of which Nigeria is one) is being substantiated in Moscow’s status as the world’s new billionaire centre.
With 87 super-rich people living there, it is home to more billionaires than New York. They also have a rapidly expanding middle class. Believe it or not, there’s more than enough cash to be drained from there, as long as you don't puck-nose into their political affairs, or you might end up like Kodorkovsky, the Yukos man that went from GRACE TO PRISON (not just grass).
The main driver of this super-wealth is of course their oil with new emphasis on their natural gas reserves. Guy's, I believe we know that Nigeria is certainly establishing some form of collaboration with Russia. Wouldn't be a bad idea to add the prefix 'kov' to your name after learning the language in order to enhance acceptability, (e.g. tayokov!)

ARABIC (we have fairly massive petroleum reserves in common)

Saudi Arabia has over 250 bbrls (billion barrels) of proven reserves, Iraq and Iran have more than 100 bbrls each. UAE, Quatar, Kuwait..e.t.c have about as much too . (Nigeria has less than 40 bbrls of proven reserves). Believe me, these guys have more than enough money to throw around. Their case is too much money and too little space and people to consume it, so they need you!
That explains why these countries have engaged in super-extraordinary development projects. I believe we know that many top business men in Nigeria have strategic investment partners in these countries. (you can ask hakeem bello-osagie).
to enhance acceptability, just add 'Mohammed' to your name. (Fact has it that it's the most common name in the world!)

CHINESE (you guessed right! we have massive peoplesssss in common!!!)

Speak this language, and you can be sure that you can communicate with at least 1/6 of the world's population! wow!!!
These guys have a lot of people (like us); are really using their heads well (maybe not yet like us, but we'll get there!); have a super-fast growing economy and intense demand for all kinds of services and resources especially energy and metals.
However, you need to be very careful with these ones! Their goal is to develop a car that uses 2 litres of fuel for 1 million kilomitres, therefore they can hurt us badly. But not to worry, that time won't come soon. That's why their president is falling in love with Africa, TRYING to secure their energy and metal needs for both present and future. Believe me, all you need is one good service/product. You will discover that money will roll in like kalo-kalo (classic money doubling machine)!!!


(FRENCH: For those of you that think that French should have been included, think again! Their president is busy divorcing his wife of so many years, running around with his girlfriend and walking out on interviewers; when others are busy looking for ways to take their economies to the next level! On second thought, it won't be a bad idea considering that you can use it to communicate with biz partners in Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Mali, Senegal....e.t.c. abi?)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Determined quest to conquer hydrophobia

I guess some folks might laugh at my extraordinary achievement (yeah! That’s how I see it!), but believe me, after twenty something years, I’m proud to have finally learnt how to survive in the aquatic dimension.
Though there were many opportunities when I was growing up, such as in the river near our previous house, the swimming (and fishing) pool in a neighbour’s house, the dam at the university I attended (greatest Uites!!!) and the U.I. Olympic size swimming pool, but I guess I never had sufficient drive and courage to pursue this dream all these previous years.

All along, I felt swimming was child’s play and that by merely watching athletes on T.V, I could reproduce what they did the moment I stepped into water.
My initial practice attempts at submerging my head in a drum (and sometimes a big bowl of water) earned poor results. I couldn’t fathom the possibility of opening one’s eyes underwater.

……Fast forward.

Then I got a new employer and was transferred into the Atlantic Ocean. (Really! This island called Bonny is not part of the Nigerian map we are familiar with.)
On a particular day, I went to dinner with my colleagues at the club-house and as we were leaving, I took notice of a piece of art. It was a very long canoe fitted with wooden men and women numbering several hundreds and paddling with all their strength in order to move the manual water vehicle. It seemed like they were trying to escape some imminent attack and disaster.

In attempting to unravel the inspiration behind this Davinci-like artistry, bingo! I realised it possibly was a piece of art reminiscent of those in the T.V series, Heroes.
It dawned on me that it might be some kind of prediction. I married this discovery with the violence and rampant militant attacks in the Niger-Delta and I couldn’t help, but deduce that all the passengers in the canoe were staff of my company trying to escape a severe militant attack (or something like that) in some titanic-like canoe (that’s probably hidden somewhere by management at the moment till judgement day when the mighty escape-canoe would be deployed)

In essence, this new intelligence informed my decision to QUICKLY learn aquatic skills that I ought to have acquired way back in time, but its never too late folks!
Before I could blink, I found out most of my colleagues could swim, or were already good swimmers. Wow! The die was cast and I knew this had to be my time!

Day 1: I raced to the pool and informed the life-guard that I was a newbie (just to ensure proper risk management practice; my life hasn’t got backup copies!), but in my mind, I believed I could do it on my own. First mistake: I climbed into the pool facing it (as if I was entering into a molue)

Second (painful) error: I just moved into the water and ‘started swimming’. You need not wonder what happened (I successfully drank several litres of chlorinated water and gasped efficiently). I had learned the hard way. I became as gentle as sheep and humbly asked the trainer to take me through the learning process step by step.

I had read the blog of one of colleagues who was determined and learned rather fast. With this at the back of my mind and against all odds, I determined to press forward (and still continued to drink and smoke additional litres of water) but like magic, I started to learn the techniques and my instructor was at the least, impressed.
Today, I can proudly float, hold my breath for extended periods, swim a few metres and look around underwater.
I’m certain some cynics out there are murmuring “what’s so special in that?” but me knows that’s really special.
I believe it takes a lot of determination to conquer your worst fears and press on. Like they say, courage is not the absence, but the mastery of fear. Hydrophobia of so many years has now become a thing of the past, and has been replaced by ‘hydro-friendly’.

Dear friends, old things have passed away and I’ve become a new creature that can live both on land and in water (at least for a few seconds!)

We all have things that we’ve always wanted to achieve, and though we may have ignored many opportunities in the past, there’s still hope. All we have to do is be determined, seize the next opportunity, and give it all we’ve got!
The dreams and desires of yesterday are not gone. Opportunities do not come only once in life. They keep coming everyday, just that people no longer recognise them.
Take hold of that opportunity today and move on to the next level.

All the best folks!