Show up! (The secret of success)

Life is a product of personal responsibility- David Oyedepo.

In the third term of my fifth year in high school, I was nominated as the lead house prefect (with two other assistants). A year before this, I got the prize for the best student in Government. Five years before this, my name would never have come up even if 100 names were shortlisted. My academic performance was at best average. Let’s just put it that I was least unlikely to succeed. I didn’t have anything that stacked up as “special”. Such position as the House Captain was reserved for those with special talent or skill. So how did I become the House Captain? How did I become a prize winner?

Between my JSS 1 & 3, I was very highly inconspicuous. My one minute fame was when I got the notoriety for being a lover and performer of Fela Anikulapo’s music. I used to serenade my friends with the tunes of the legend. My chance came when I was whisked away to the box room to perform for the revered seniors, I was overwhelmed by the crowd and I forgot my lyrics. So yeah, my one minute fame didn’t quite last too. Talk of screwing up big time. One thing I was however excitedly good at was maintaining a very clean laundry. I traded my provisions for hot coals from the kitchen staff (All hail Mr. Okoye of FGCIK). And yes, while my classmates were busy reading class notes, I was busy feasting on Encyclopedias. Talk of misplaced priority. I barely cleared my Junior Secondary School Certificate Exam.

Pursuit is the proof of desire. Be diligent!
Year four (SS1), I resumed school with other scholars. Still quite unsure of what I wanted to become, I picked up and filled the form to go to commercial class. All my friends from JSS class enrolled for science (one or two changed their minds later when the heat pressure was unleashed). I remember the utter surprise on the face of one of my friends who had helped me collect the script from our first CA test. I cleared the test! I finished my commerce textbook which was meant for the entire SS class in a term. I applied my mind like never before. While I cannot honestly with every certainty say what exactly drove me to do some of the things I did, I am sure it wasn’t just happenstance. However, at the risk of sounding religious and superstitious though, I reckon that there was the interplay of the invisible divine hand of a force higher than I. But at a very fundamental level, I showed up for success. It was not an accident at all.

Service (Trust) is the key to leadership. Be deliberate!
I would love to ask my predecessor House Captain why on earth he considered me a viable option to take over from him but until then, I would love to think I struck a deep soulical chord within him that made him trust me. It began from waking up earlier than he (the leader) would to get the job done. I woke the juniors up early in the morning and supervised them (with the help of a few of my willing colleagues). My House Captain naturally gravitated towards me. The result was that he empowered me. It could possibly amount to having schemed my way to becoming the House Captain but it was a case of stepping up to success. I saw a need and filled it. I was deliberate to the very end of the line. What is that need that you can fill? Who is that person you can earn trust from?

The moral of this piece is not to toot my own horn or blow my achievements (mundane as they are) but to assert that as human beings, we are capable of becoming anything we put our mind to. So far, I believe that my present outcome is a function of how much stepping up to the plate and showing up I have done.

Go. Show up!

Image Credit: Google


Femi Oni

Femi’s overarching purpose is to inspire brands (individuals, organisations and nations) to unlock potentials to achieve sustainable growth and impact. His mission is to mentor 1000 brands in Africa and beyond by 2025.

Specialties and Interests: Business Model Design & Innovation, Visioning, Strategy Design & Execution, Project Management, Change Management, Strategic Branding, Operations Excellence, Process Modelling, Product Management, Productivity Management, Entrepreneurial Leadership (Startups), , Social Evangelism, Education, Sustainability, Cybernetics, Risk & Compliance.