Sunday, October 12, 2008



This expression is such an oxymoron, and putting in perspective the all time record-breaking price of Brent crude in preceding months and the windfall of petro-dollars for black-gold producing nations, there seems to be nothing black about it after all. (except that you may likely find black minds in places where you find this resource that spins cash, like there's no tomorrow – in the words of my former MD. And let's not start to think and muse over the statistic that says that 80% of the national oil wealth directly benefits just 1%, as in one percent!!! of the population)

Back to the main point! It was christened "black" because when it was first identified (before subsequently being mined all over the globe i.e. on land, in sea, maybe in the air very soon, and perhaps on the moon, and maybe later on mars), it didn’t pass across as a valuable find, and did not constitute some beauty to behold.

                                              Lessons from BLACKGOLD

 - To actualize inherent value, significant and calculated work has to be done.

Inquisitive minds believed there was more latent potential at that time, hidden in this newly discovered resource (and they have since been proved right!). Black Gold was later appropriately harnessed, using advanced methods to extract larger quantities and the subsequent application of chemical separation methods such as fractional distillation opened doors into a new world of hydrocarbons with multiple applications.

There is often a demand placed on us to develop more advanced and creative processes and methods before we can appropriately harness latent energy for increased productivity and economic value.

In essence, a refining process is critical to creating value. Refining is all about removing shields and inhibitors that frustrate and attempt to conceal inherent glory.

 - Value-sensing is an exclusive preserve of those with strategic foresight

John D. Rockefeller built a colossus called STANDARD OIL, the origin of today's biggest oil companies (Exxon, shell, CONOCO-PHILIPS.....e.t.c.). He saw the opportunity ahead and achieved a near absolute monopoly soon enough. It took national intervention in form of legislation and anti-trust laws to break up his megalithic organization. They reasoned thus:”One man should not control the energy industry of a whole nation.” There's a level of success that forcefully drives a whole nation into envy. Bill gates had a similar experience.

Believe me; it takes vision to see a paradise in a desert. Strategic foresight is a function of the mind, and has little to do with physical vision. Some people look at our nation today, and see difficulties everywhere while others see opportunities. What do you see?

It’s important for some of us to relocate, because we require varying experiences and perspectives to develop as a nation, but let it not be mentioned that hardship forced us into asylum. Studies have revealed that a higher proportion of immigrants that relocated as adults do not really enjoy the prosperity of their target destination. It’s generations after them that begin to have access to similar opportunities as legitimate citizens. Be warned!

I've learnt to come to terms with the fact there's more breadth for value creation in an unplowed field. There are more opportunities for creating land-mark and wide-spread value in budding economies. But these can't be seen with ordinary hearts. It takes a brave-heart to see beyond the horizon.

 - Gold comes after Black

the major beneficiaries knew it was gold way before others. Soon enough, the world knew and called it the right name.

Everything of value today, has once been trampled and debased by men. The voice of the people is often not the voice of God. If you've noticed, God seems not to be in the habit of using too many people to accomplish His objectives. A visionary is often considered irrational, extravagant and unrealistic. The level of technological development in the world today is largely owed to 'irrational' people like Steve Jobs. The mark of distinction is visible, even in a man that is poor monetarily but not in his mind.

Even in prison, Joseph became the head. He blazed the trail all the way till he reached the physical palace. Apparently, he had been in the palace all along, but men did not see it till he was appointed by Pharaoh in the finite realm.

 - No one can see it exactly the way you see it

If you've done your homework well, and you preview a unique opportunity (i.e. a privileged view), then you would be relatively alone. Even if you've managed to recruit co-visionaries, they won't see it as clearly as you do.  As Christians, we often do not have such crystal clear view as that which Christ had, in the establishment and propagation of God's kingdom upon the face of the earth. That’s why we are charged to constantly study and observe His ways so that we may continually be changed into the same Image. God only, has a perfect view of what is ahead. The same goes for a visionary.

 - If you ain't ready to die for something, then u would probably fall for anything. (Well, for me - the only thing I’m willing to defend with my life is my faith). 

Point is you've got to be willing to risk ALL in pursuit of that novel idea, and it's your prerogative to keep it alive. Yours may not involve literal death, but you've got to be decisive and display such tenacity that people would recognize as a fanatical commitment to a specific course. Indeed, the world always ends up standing aside for a man who knows where he's going.


 - Finally, the principal reward for creating value and actualizing your dream is not in the respect earned or magnitude of assets under management, but in the indescribable sense of fulfillment that stems from the accomplishment of a dream and execution of an original intent. It's a state of knowing that you have lived out a purposeful life.

CAVEAT: All accomplishments independent of God do not eventually count.  Selah.