Learn to add value to any space where you find yourself

Posted by News Express | 21 August 2020 | 1,590 times

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Have you ever taken time to ponder over why nobody cries when some people die? Have you ever taken time to ponder over why some people are dropped like packs of waste in relationships? Have you ever taken time to ponder over why some people are booted out of offices?  Indeed, have you ever taken time to ponder over why some people are never missed when they are not around?

Apart from malice, the logical answer to all these questions is simple: they are not adding value. There are people who while you are doing your best for them, they are, in turn, chewing you up. There are people who you would literally pour fertilizer on them to grow but they would never grow. A maxim has it that if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Simply put, if you not adding, then you are subtracting.

In the office for instance, though relieving somebody from a job is an emotional thing knowing the consequences, but no employer would want to retain somebody who is not adding value to his investment. The employer is in business to make profit so, if you are not adding value to his company, it simply means that you are a liability and in an economy like Nigeria that lacks every form of support – no infrastructure, no incentive, high cost of borrowing, multiple taxation, coupled with very high overheads – adding you to the list of liabilities would be sending the business fast down the drain. The employer may retain you on compassionate grounds for a while. But by and by, no matter the hold you have on him, no matter the emotional attachment he has on you, you must leave the company unless he is not serious with his business. As it is in business, so it is in relationship. It is only a fool that would continue in a relationship where the partner is not adding value, even in marriage.

One day I heard a very prominent Nigerian say at a social gathering that it is not the way a man treats a wife that is contributing to the economy of the home that he treats a sit-at-home wife. I also know that the way a husband that is financially viable is treated at home by his wife is not the same way another husband who is a liability – by this I mean a jobless husband – is treated at home. If you doubt this, visit homes where wives are bread-winners. You would see that they reduce their husbands to house boys.

The aim of every association or relationship is to help one another to grow. But a situation whereby one is just doing the helping while the other is behaving as if he or she is in intensive care unit, the relationship cannot continue for long. As far as I am concerned, I am against manipulative relationship. This is a situation whereby a partner takes undue advantage of the other. A situation whereby one would be doing the giving while the other would be doing the receiving. I am an advocate of a balanced relationship, that is a relationship in which what you are giving and what you are getting must be, if not equal, at least above average.

However, I want to say that apart from giving material things, one can equally give by way of service, useful advice, kind words, and good suggestions. All these are part of adding value.

But in a relationship where all these are lacking, personally, I don’t see any reason why it should continue. I have come across relationships where a partner has no hand and at the same time no head, just an invalid. One partner has no material to give to the other partner and at the same time no brain to think out anything that would help the relationship. The partner cannot even give useful advice. The worst of all is that the receiving partner was not even appreciative of the kindness of the other partner. The other partner would use his brain and energy to create wealth and then give to the other one. One does not need to be a seer to know that the days of the relationship would be numbered unless the giving partner has made up his mind to run a charity.

Whenever ladies come to me to complain that their husbands, fiancé or boyfriends are not giving them respect, I always tell them one thing: May be they are not adding value to the relationship. In the same vein, when employees complain that their employers are insulting them, talking down on them and treating them like dogs, I give them the answer: “Maybe you guys are not adding value to their companies.”

It is a fact that nobody messes up with somebody who is adding value in any space. Whoever that is adding value is an asset and nobody toys with an asset. Nobody insults or talks down on an asset. In journalism, we are taught that an editor would gladly accept a good (valuable) story from his worst enemy.

What the world is looking for are people who would add value to it. What people who are going into relationships are looking for are partners who would add value to their lives. What employers are looking for are employees who would add value to their investments. It is a fact that there is unemployment in the world, but at times I feel that it is exaggerated. A lot of business owners would want to employ, but their problem is getting the right people to employ. Entrepreneurs create jobs for two main reasons. To help themselves and at the same time help the people they employ so they would be able to meet up with some of their responsibilities.

However, there are people you would ordinarily not employ. Naturally, they would come on their knees begging to be employed and in the process promising everything in the book. But when you employ them, you would discover that though they applied to work, they are not ready to work. Rather than helping the company where they are getting their means of livelihood to grow, they would be killing it gradually and before the employer would realize what is happening, his investment has vanished into thin air. This is the main reason a lot of companies are not employing, and not really that there are no vacancies.

I want to say that there would always be vacancy in any company where every employee is adding value. Saturation can only occur when a few are doing the job of many. While many are pretending to be working, only a few would be doing the actual work. When an employer looks around his company, he would see a lot of human heads while his output is not showing the same result. When you ask such employer, he would tell you that there is no vacancy in his company.

Let me use this opportunity to make this clear: The main reason why there is gross unemployment in the world is simply because most of the work places are filled with workers and not entrepreneurs. There is a very big difference between a worker and an entrepreneur. A worker is that person who only comes to work to earn a salary while an entrepreneur is that person who comes to help to grow the company he is working for. Therefore, while a worker has salary as his main priority in the company, an entrepreneur has the future of the company as his own major concern.

Furthermore, a worker is that individual who does his bit and takes his salary at the end of the day, week or month. He hardly goes beyond his brief and whether the company that he is working for is going up or going down is never his concern as long as his salary keeps coming. But when his salary stops coming or is no longer being paid as at when due, he will dust up his CV and start looking for somewhere else to go.

An entrepreneur, on the other hand, is that worker who goes beyond his brief or what he is required to do in the company. He is the solution provider in the work place. He has a creative mind and as such would always try to squeeze milk out of stone or take nothing and turn it into something. Salary is not usually his priority. He is a visioner and he knows that things (companies) don’t just grow, they first of all take root  and that the teething stage of every company is fraught with challenges, which means within that period, salary may not be regular or coming as at when due. But he will stick with the company because he is not thinking of today but rather of tomorrow – the big picture. He will still be working with the same spirit. You will not notice any difference in his attitude to work between when the salary is coming and when it is not coming. His main concern is how to come up with creative ideas that would solve the prevailing problems in the company and put it on the path of profit and development. So, no matter the condition in the work place, entrepreneurs never quit. They never give up. They stay to make things work.

There is this widely accepted misconception, a lie that has been criminally reharsed and told over time and most people now believe it to be true, which is that governments are not good managers of business. The only reason for this is because most of the people under the pay-roll of government are workers and never entrepreneurs. Their major concern is salary, so they are merely pretending to be working while in reality they are not adding value to their jobs.

They hardly go beyond their brief. The big men in government offices who are gladly promoting this view that governments are not good managers of businesses have private companies which they outsource government businesses to and the private companies are working. But the poser here is, if their private companies could work, why won’t government businesses which are under their care work?

It is a fact that the only difference between government business and private business is attitude to work, the spirit. They deliberately refuse to add value to government businesses so that their private businesses would continue to flourish at the expense of government and the tax-paying masses. It is just like when the Nigerian government felt that Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was not working and because of that decided it should be privatized. It was still the same officials of PHCN in connivance with those in government that went and floated private companies and went to Canada, China, Korea and other countries where electricity is at optimal production to register them and use the people there as fronts to give their companies foreign colouration. They now have Independent Power Projects (IPP) and Distribution Compaines (DisCos) and have been given licence to generate, supply and distribute electricity. If tomorrow the power situation miraculously improves, people would begin to praise privatisation and demonising public corporations without knowing that what they are seeing is nothing but the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob. That the big men in PHCN in connivance with some elements in government deliberately sabotaged the power company so that government would give the job to their private firms, without knowing that all the countries in the world where electricity is functioning optimally, their national governments are behind them. The countries stabilised power generation, supply and distribution before inviting private companies to take over because the resources for running electricity are so enormous that only government can afford it.

But here in Nigeria where the currency for deception by government and its agencies is half information, the story is that all the countries in the world where electricity is at optimal level are in the hands of private operators, therefore, if we want to achieve optimal performance in power supply, we must do the same. However, they never told us the state of power supply in those countries before private operators came on board.

Again, on this issue of why government “is not a good manager of business,” I recall when my son Mickie (Michael) was having breathing challenges. He had enlarged adenoids, that is, a mass of enlarged lymphatic tissue between the back of the nose and the throat that often hinders speaking and breathing in children. Surgery was recommended to correct the ailment. But the doctors at the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, kept on postponing the date for surgery, giving all manner of excuses. Mickie was just two years old then and every day and night he would be struggling to sleep since he could not breathe very well. My wife became frustrated as a result of the long postponements which the doctors at times put at six months, claiming that they had other more life-threatening cases to handle. But when one of the ENT doctors noticed the frustration in my wife, he told her that if she was in a hurry for the surgery to be performed she should bring Mickie to his private clinic in Surulere and he would do it within three days. We agreed and went to his clinic and he performed the surgery the next day. But we ended up paying N300,000 for what would have cost N70,000 if it was done in the government hospital.

That is one of the major reasons government-owned hospitals and other institutions are dying while private clinics that are owned by the same doctors in the government hospitals and other businesses owned by the same civil servants are flourishing: They would deliberately frustrate people in dire need of their services in government institutions so that they would be forced to seek for alternative and these government officials always have their canvassers hanging around to recommend their private firms to handle those services. That is why when people talk about politicians being corrupt, I always have a good laugh and tell myself that they don’t know the people that are corrupt. They don’t know that those in the civil service are the alpha and omega of corruption. Go to the stock exchange and check the majority of the shareholders in the blue chip companies where real money is silently being made. Take inventory of the mansions in all the highbrow areas across the country; you would discover that the bulk of them are owned by civil servants. What they normally do is to rent the main building to the politicians or business men while they live in the boys’ quarters from where they would be sneaking in and out like wanted people!


*Culled from my book titled ‘How To Be The Best That You Can Be’.




Peter Anosike is a well-known journalist and development economist.

His book, Dangote’s Ten Commandments on Money (Lessons on How to Make Money from One of the World’s Richest Men), was rated as one of the best development books in the world by Wall Street Journal and FORBES. The book has been adopted as a workbook for grooming entrepreneurs by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Anosike’s other of his books include, How To Be The Best You Can Be and Look Forward and Lean Less On Your Past – all trending in Smashwords along with Dangote’s Ten Commandment on Money and How To Be The Best You Can Be. You can follow him on Facebook and Linkedin.


Source: News Express

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