Yesterday, I found myself pacing back and forth the board room of Lufthansa Air just before our meeting in the fancy top level office in Victoria Island. My confidence is easy to notice as if I am never under pressure. But this time, it was different. Last week, we were at Google. It was easy. But this one, I needed to pull this off. I told my team something wasn’t connecting, but I cant find the keys. This one was hard. “If we can’t find the keys to this door, We’ll break the damn door” one of my colleagues said. This is our typical mindset at Hexavia!
And then the Lufthansa execs walked in, and the meeting started. But cracking the code they needed and breaking the barrier (the damn door) was still on my mind. We can challenge the status quo. I’ll go Roger Banister on them. And then one of my colleagues asked me after the meeting what that is.
Well…Let me explain.
There used to be something in athletics called the 4 Minutes Barrier, no one had ever crossed it.
So it was said that the human body does not possess the ability to run so fast, that it can go past a mile in less than 4 minutes. It was a scientific fact for over a thousand years, till 1954.
In 1954, a man called Roger Bannister broke it in the Olympics. Wow, tens of century myth has been broken! But guess what? It took almost a thousand years for just one person to break it, but ever since 1954 to today, over 20, 000 people have ran past the 4 minutes barrier including high school kids. So what changed in these years?
Last week was crazy, I found myself selling confidently Nigeria to Americans and Germans. These guys are no small fries, but neither am I. That’s my spirit, it may come off as arrogant, but who cares. Yes, young guys like us still in our twenties, the good news is, we got two new accounts in Hexavia, and they are both multinationals, “Google and Lufthansa”. But the sacrifice was enormous. I’ll save the details for later. But it’s an epidemic infection of a team aggressively ready to create our own door if no one gives us the damn keys to get in. All greatness, all revolutions are sparked up by one persons’ challenge of the status quo and truly that is all it takes.
Be a pace setter. All it takes in life, is for one guy to break a barrier and hundred others will follow. So don’t succeed or do it for yourself, do it for others. This last week has been hectic, I’ve found myself juggling between two high rise offices in Lagos (and I usually use the stairs and not the lift) , the offices sit in the skies, (Google and Lufthansa) it is good growth but a lot of work. Sometimes, I’m tired, I got home 2 days ago at 1 AM, after midnight because I had to still meet up with a mentee and their team at a golf course hotel, because they were heading out the next morning to South Africa as winners of the University Idea Trophy hosted by Unilever, to represent Nigeria at a global undergraduate entrepreneurship competition and I needed to help them master their presentations. I drove almost asleep on my way back. I was tired but I had to keep on. At times like these, when my back hurts, I think of the people I am responsible for, the Hexavian communities all over Nigeria, my team, our family members who’s school fees depends on us, the mentees who look up to us. We need to succeed and change things, our circumstances and that of those around us. Decades from now, my kids, your kids will either be starving or succeeding from a decision we made today. I’m reminded of this every time I am on a cross road of decisions.
Always have a deeper purpose for what you do, the “why”. In relation to management consulting and business, there’s something called the Golden Circle of a start up, it’s 3 nested circled drawn as a Venn Diagram. One is the “what”, the “how” and the “why”. Great people and businesses starts with the why, then work towards the what.
The why is to break barriers.
We need people to set new paces. We need you and more people to start up. And from Start ups to Business and from Business to Upstarts (spin offs).
Written By Eizu Uwaoma,
Brand. Mgt Consulting. Training.
About Eizu Uwaoma
Eizu Uwaoma is the founder & lead strategist of Hexavia, a business, brand, training & management consulting firm. Through his weekly features nationwide on radio, he connects with more than 5 million professionals, personally interacting with over 500 top executives & has intervened in over 50 businesses. He has a proficient gift, skill and experience in enterprise development. He is an authority in brand, human capital and business training as well as project consultancy.
He runs the Decoded, a monthly hangout for professionals in all major Nigerian cities facilitates at the Hexavian Masterclass and is the founder of the Hexavian Business Club.