Sunday, March 18, 2012

Secrets of Accomplishment

Earlier in the month, I celebrated my 9th year in the corporate world. It’s been interesting spending 9 whole years, in just one company (definitely one of the best companies to work for in the world). While I am far from where I want to be, God has helped me to make very modest achievements in the corporate world. I have been privileged to work under 8 different direct managers, from 7 different nationalities! I have also managed hundreds of people, from different nationalities, including an American. I have had great times, good times, just okay times, and a couple of bad times. All in all, it’s been a splendid 9 years. I have won several awards (the last one was just this week), including a final showing for the “Young Professional of the Year” award in Nigeria in 2008. For all these, and most especially for the people I have been privileged to mentor, coach, and touch in different ways, I am indeed very grateful to God. To a good extent, I am living my dreams.

Years back, while still on campus, I had taught severally on the Secrets of accomplishments. I simply taught from God’s word, and from revelations I had from books that I had read. Then, I could only practice those principles within certain confines, but was sure they’ll work anywhere. I taught those principles as if my life depended on them. I am sure some people would have reasoned that it’s easier said than done! Over 10 years after, I can say categorically that they do work! I am a living testimony to this fact. I have handled, tried, and tested all of these principles, and they will deliver when followed. They work in the corporate world as well as they would in the spiritual work, in the market place, as an entrepreneur, and practically anywhere else.

May I please share them with you, yet again?

Let God be Your Source:

To put it bluntly, there is no true success outside God! I know a couple of those reading this will question me and say “Common, what about all those who are succeeding and do not know God?”. That is exactly why I used the word “true” to describe the kind of success I am talking about. True success takes it’s roots, and it’s depth in God. Success is much than possession. It has a lot to do with your position with God. I like the way the Message Bible describes 1 Sam 2: 9. It says “He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step, but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark. No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle! “

Remember the story of the rich fool? “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” What a story that that nails home my point. If it must be good, then, it must be God!

When the root of your success or accomplishment is not God, then, I can predict that you’ll only be in the limelight just for a while. Very soon, the foundation will crumble, and the building will no longer hold. Years back, I read about the famous 1923 “Who is Who in Industry” gathering at the Edgewater Beach hotel in Chicago, USA. There was a meeting of nine of the world's richest people at that time. Combined, these people had more wealth than the entire U.S. government at that time!! They were all very successful men, well respected and looked up to as people who had "made it". Newspapers frequently wrote articles about them, and many college professors had used these men as examples, to teach their business and finance classes, "how to make it" in the business world. The list includes:

Charles Schwab, the president of the largest steel company in the world and the first man in American history to make a one million dollar a year salary!!,
Samuel Insull, the president of the world's largest utility company,
Richard Whitney, the president of the New York Stock exchange,
Leon Frazier, the president of the Bank of International Settlements,
Jessie Livermore, a very successful stock market giant,
Howard Hopson, President of the largest gas firm,
Arthur Cutten, the greatest wheat speculator,
Albert Fall, member of the President's Cabinet,
Ivar Kreuger, head of the company with the most widely distributed securities in the world.

Even by today's standard, these were VERY rich men, and most people today would LOVE to be in their shoes..... or would they?? Let's look at how all 9 of these men, the most wealthy, powerful men the world, wound up at the end of their lives.The first man to make a million dollars a year, Charles Schwab, died in bankruptcy just twenty five years later, having lived on borrowed money for five years before his death. Samuel Insull had died penniless after spending some time as a fugitive from justice. Richard Whitney spent time in Sing-Sing prison before his death. Leon Fraizer, Jessie Livermore, and Ivar Kreuger all committed suicide because they were so unhappy with their life. Howard Hopson went insane before his death. Arthur Cutten died completely broke. Albert Fall was sentenced to prison, but was released early so he could die at home broke and alone.

Need I say more?

Start With What You Have:

It is intriguing sometimes that a lot of people focus their energy on what they do not have! I really do not know why, but I have come to realize that most people do themselves a lot of harm by putting a lot of focus and energy on what they need, and not what they have. In simple terms, what you have is the key to what you need!

In 2 Kings 4: 1-4, there is this story of a certain widow who came to Elisha for help. Her late husband was a prophet, but didn’t leave much to be desired for her and her sons. Infact, he left them with a huge debt, so much so that they creditors had come to pick her two sons as slaves! Just like most people, she rushed to the man of God for help! I perceive she must have been looking forward to getting something tangible from Elisha. Elisha himself spoke her mind when he asked “ What can I do to help you”? It is surprising however, that Elisha didn’t allow her to answer this question, before asking another. “What do you have at home”, he asked. Elisha realized that the key to meeting her needs was in understanding what she had. Despite the fact that the woman despised what she had at home (just a jar of oil), this was sufficient to meet her needs!

What do you have? What can you do? May I challenge you to start doing that, until you find what you think you want to do? I challenge you never to underestimate what you have. Put it to use.

Some time back, I discovered that I had a special skill in passing my message across with a bit of humour. You’ll be laughing while I deliver the point. I was dead broke in those days, and I needed money to pay for my school fees. I offered what I had to some evening classes around my house then, and it became a instant hit! Soon, I was teaching “humorously” in 4-5 different evening classes while the success rates were improving. I became a household name as I was different from many other teachers. You would think it was a comedy club (lol)! Up till today, I still deliver training with a high sense of humour that leaves my audience captivated. I offered what I had, and started getting what I needed….and I am still doing that till now.

Do not despise what you have. Do not underestimate the gifts you carry. There is glory in the ordinary

To be continued.....

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