Monday, October 30, 2006

The Silent Years

I have worked with different bosses for the past four years now and over this period of time, I have been privileged to work directly and/or indirectly with a lazy boss, slimy boss, calm boss, overactive boss, thrift boss, extravagant boss, brilliant boss and their characteristic go on and on…However, I have learnt diverse lessons form each one of these bosses

During my working relationship with each of the bosses, I attempt to study their life journey (I think this is partly to satisfy my curious nature) and based on my studies done so far, I have been able to make conscious decisions on some things I have vowed never to do and/or become and I have also committed myself to develop some critical habits that I have experienced in my interaction with these bosses.

In studying these men/women, I pay very careful attention to the successful ones and I adopt a present-to-past approach to carry out the study. In order to feed my curiosity but avoid nosing around unnecessarily, I gather details a little here, a little there from comments, personal conversations held with me, and hmmm, I also turn to my famous detective move by making use of one of the most effective research tool of the 21st century …GOOGLE! I run their names on google to see if can get lucky to know about the schools they attended, their marriage and relatives and past responsibilities.

While studying my bosses’ life journey, I have been consistently hit with one major truth, which is the fact that they have not always been what I, other associates, our contractors, clients and every other person are seeing in the present. They have passed through a phase in their lives where they were obscure and non-desirable in their form at the time and some of them have even been jobless and penniless graduates.

Those were the days when no one knew their names and people were not interested in knowing who they were. I have called this peculiar period of their lives the ‘Silent Years’.

From burying my head in motivational books and listening to preachers and motivational speakers, I have been able to deduce that the silent events in these Silent Years have to a very large extent formed what my successful bosses have become in this present. They held on to their conviction of their business and idea and waited patiently in hope until time and chance happened to them. Just like the saying of one wise man, nothing can stop a great idea whose time has come.

With this faith, I offer myself an encouragement in these silent years of mine, I may not be presently desired or sought by many, I may not have the right amount of money to hold family and friends spellbound, I may not be dining with the high and mighty of the world, but I will keep being consistent, working smarter at achieving my goals and I know that ONE day, time and chance will come my way, I will be ready for it and nothing will be able to stop me nor my ideas.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Airport Experience 2

If you have been reading along since the very early days of this blog, then you would have journeyed with me through my different experiences in work and life in general. I have been denied study applications, rejected visas, being dismayed about Nigeria et al.

I have not been able to post anything for over a month now and this is because of my current workload. I am presently coordinating a project, Dance4Life in my office. Dance4Life is a service-learning HIV/AIDS project and is being implemented in like 13 countries among which 5 are African including Nigeria.

I was at my desk in the office on Wednesday, October 5 when I saw a mail alert from my Yahoo messenger. I delayed a while in opening the mail when I realised it was from one of the international guys coordinating the project and concentrated on a proposal I was putting together since I knew the mail would require more than 100% of my attention.

When I opened the mail, I wasn't disappointed cos it was a very long mail with about four attachment documents. I began girding myself for the plenty work ahead and imminent screams of deadlines. I decided to take a step by step approach in solving the challenge on the screen infront of me, so I began by first opening the mail then, I opened each attachment in a new tab so I could download all at once within one window.

After downloading, I settled myself in my seat to read, actually to study the long mail. I studied it line by line and took noted of details of meetings, expected activities over the next three weeks and so many decisions and radical adjustments that needed to be made to initially agreed plans.

On a particular line, I read that in order to finalize plans among the African countries, there would be a pan-African meeting of the country managers and the directors in Nairobi, Kenya. I knew I fell into the category and so it remained who among my bosses (2 of them, one direct and the other, indirect) would be coming. It was agreed that my indirect boss and I would go to attend the meeting.

I packed my bags and left for Lagos on Friday, attended the This Day concert on Sunday so I could meet with my indirect boss as he was kinda involved in organising the show. I resumed in the Lagos office on Monday waiting for my indirect boss and expecting letters of invitation from the organisers in Kenya which was supposed to be sent by courier since they could not get through to Nigeria by fax.

I didn't see any sign of my indirect and his telephone lines were all switched off and I just did not see any courier package in view. After waiting till noon, I called the embassy and I was told they had received the fax for the letters and I could use that for the visa application. I was later told that my indirect boss fell terribly ill and his wife, wanting him to remain alive and kicking seized his phones and would not allow him do any work until he had recovered well enough.

So, I went to the embassy hoping to only go and get information on the process since I didn’t have my boss' passport and other documents, however, the lady at the reception admonished me to drop my own application and wait to get the visa even though it was past their closing time.

I submitted the application and bravo………………got the visa on Monday, was told I had to travel alone by afternoon, bought ticket on Tuesday, packed on Wednesday morning and caught the flight to Nairobi on Wednesday by 12noon.

I arrived at Nairobi airport 7p.m, lodged at the Hilton, attended exhausting meetings all Thursday and Friday, went to a club, the MadHouse Friday night till 2.30a.m. I left for Nairobi airport at 5.30a.m Saturday morning and boarded the flight to Lagos, Nigeria. I arrived at my house in Lagos at 12noon, flew to Abuja on Sunday 5.20p.m.

And now I have been back at my office desk in Abuja since Monday morning, 8a.m.