On the wisdom of elders

Categories Networking

Hello! Hello! Hi!

First of all, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU for the response to my last post! I am so glad that it was of use to so many of you and the feedback has set the tone as to what future posts will look like.

I’m starting to get into the swing of this blogging malarkey and I have realised that consistency is more important than regularity. “What is the difference?” I hear you ask. For me, consistency concerns the quality of your output as opposed to frequency. There will be occasions when you are required to be consistent with the regularity of output (such as social media promotion – but I’ll get onto that later on), but putting out engaging content is key, even if it takes a little longer to put together. As a result of this revelation, I will put out posts whenever the spirit leads me. That may be twice a week or once a fortnight but I promise not to keep you waiting for too long ?.

I was invited to a fancy-pants business and networking dinner last Saturday and, for the most part, I was feeling apprehensive. I knew that the event was being run by a Nigerian investment club, a group of people I thought I’d have very little in common with. I knew I would be one of the youngest and probably least experienced people in the room. Worst of all, I knew I would be faced with the prospect of having to endure Nigerian jollof rice, arguably the greatest threat to me as a young Ghanaian. However, the event ended up being a complete blessing and exactly what I needed at the time.

Scenes from Doubletree

The event served to provide the link between success and remaining ethical while retaining Christian faith. This is an issue that I have often found conflicting. Capitalism is fundamentally flawed as not only does it ensure that there will be a winner and a loser, but it has also been used as a machine to further oppress minority groups. Capitalism is not going anywhere, so I think it is best for me to attempt to use it to my advantage as well as that of the less fortunate (this is the issue that Social Enterprises attempt to navigate). One of the distinguished speakers, Dr. Christopher Kolade, delivered an engaging talk on the fundamentals of business success. If I’m honest, a lot of what he said may be seen as stating the obvious, but it is rare to find someone who possesses that level of self-reflection. As a Lay Canon of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, a former CEO of Cadbury’s Nigeria, university chancellor and recipient of the Commander of the Order of the Niger, Dr. Kolade could choose any title in the world. Instead, he referred the attendees to John 1:12:

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13

Put simply, the only title that should matter, whether you believe it or not, is the “child of God”, and that is worth more than any earthly title that may be bestowed upon you. After all, those titles can be rescinded. The crucial lesson that I took from Dr. Kolade is the importance of assessing self in every decision that is made. Do your decisions align with your values? Does your line of work fulfil your purpose? Admittedly, it is easy to say that you trust in God and/or the universe to align your plans, but the answers to crucial questions may only be found with a degree of introspection.

One of his final messages, one that is pertinent given where I am in MOD. TO MEASURE’s journey, was the importance of maintaining a positive work environment. It is all too easy to fall into the pattern of working for survival as opposed to working with a purpose. Yes, I know, purpose doesn’t pay the bills, but you could choose ANY job in the world but you have chosen the one you are in or the one you aspire to. You could farm corn, train as an electrician, or be a shepherd. Any of those professions would make you money but you have chosen your particular jobs for other reasons. Maybe you’re good at it. Maybe it pays relatively well. Maybe it is what is expected of you. They may contribute but is it worth sacrificing your joy for a job? On the flip side, it is important to consider how you can help cultivate a positive working environment, whether that is by rewarding workers or providing constructive (but not accusatory) criticism. This was a sentiment echoed by another speaker, Rexford Sam, who emphasised the importance of turning customers and colleagues into fans. No one will be loyal to you if they do not see the benefits of associating with you.

Not only was the event a great way for me to step out of my comfort zone, but it also gave me the opportunity to gain some wisdom that I may not have been exposed to by hanging out with just my peers. I was seated at a table where I knew N O B O D Y so I was forced to talk to strangers ?. However, this led me to meet three wonderful ladies who could prove to be vital contacts in the future. I can’t emphasise the value of taking every opportunity enough. Attending events that are not necessarily aimed at you could provide you with an awakening you didn’t know you needed. Ignore your parents; speaking to strangers is essential for expanding your perspective. For me, however, the most important takeaway from the event was this:

Lesson #5: Never compromise your values for success.

I hope this post gave you some food for thought. I know I covered a lot of ground so if there is anything you would like to hear about in more depth (or any suggestions in general), please do let me know! As ever, I love hearing your feedback via social media, but the comments box is looking a little empty…?

Love,

Bleggs x

2 thoughts on “On the wisdom of elders

  1. Another great posts! I love to hear what you learn from these networking events so please continue to post about any you go to.

    Note to anyone reading this:
    Subscribe guys! I didn’t realise I would get a notification in my email when this went live. And I can read the post from my email. Makes it so easy to keep up to the date with the post (especially cause I’m always on my email)

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