The Sunday Mail
HUNT FOR GREATNESS
PEOPLE are the most important resource you can ever have.
They are real wealth. With people around, you can never starve. A bookshop without people is just a warehouse; a supermarket without people is just a huge pantry; a person without people around him is a lost soul; a business without people’s support is a failed attempt and an idea that ran out of steam; a politician without people is a lonely crusader and philosopher.
The biggest waste is to waste people, by failing to tap into their potential and deploy them effectively.
Never waste or abuse people. Never be content to have empty people around you.
Leading people is different from being a mischievous and selfish schemer using people to gain selfish ends.
When you love people, they will open for you doors to greatness.
Be a Scout
When I was at grade school at Masuku Primary School, Bulawayo, I was a boy scout. We had in the school a single well-worn but preserved with pride copy of the book by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, entitled, “Scouting for Boys.”
I remember borrowing the book to read overnight. I was inspired to learn that the movement was started in 1909 and that it was a worldwide movement dedicated to teaching boys discipline, character and survival skills. At every scout meeting we had to recite our motto, promise and the scout law.
The Scout Motto was: “Be prepared,” and the Scout Promise was: “I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.”
The Scout Law that every scout had to recite had the following tenets:
1. A Scout’s honour is to be trusted
2. A Scout is loyal to his country, parents, employers, patrol leader and all those under him
3. A Scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others
4. A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout
5. A Scout is courteous
6. A Scout is a friend to animals
7. A Scout obeys orders of his parents, patrol leader, Scout leader and all those in authority
8. A Scout has courage and is cheerful in all difficulties
9. A Scout is thrifty
10.A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed
At the time although we recited these with religious zeal and fervour, it is only in hindsight that I realise how powerful a philosophy we were being taught.
The motto “be prepared” is an important principle in life. It is always better to be prepared but have no opportunity than to have opportunity and not be prepared.
In relating with people, adopt the boy scout motto and oath: be prepared and do your best wherever you are.
People who are an important resource are everywhere and you never know when you will meet someone who can make a difference in your life.
Be prepared, carry a business card, a notebook or some tool you can use to record someone’s details.
Follow up on the contacts that you make
Fortunately now, smartphones can do a lot more and they are an effective tool for keeping contacts and communicating with people.
Not having a smartphone is not a smart idea in a changed and networked world. Be prepared for opportunity; it usually does not send an advance preparatory party to warn you of its coming.
The best way to master anything is to teach it. When you teach someone something you know you are learning it twice. Share knowledge, share insights. When you share knowledge and vital information with someone you are generous. Information is a vital resource that you can use to create anything that you do not have. To master anything faster and better, in your imagination read it as though you will have to teach the material to someone soon.
Share your experiences and what you have been through, they will speak to someone. Dying with your story, wisdom and experience bound up within you is gross selfishness.
Write your story, at worst record it for someone. A life story that is not written will be forgotten in time. Old people who do not write rob generations unborn of their wisdom, legacy, thoughts and insights.
Young people who do not read are either drunk, blind or both. The shaping of the minds and perspectives of younger generations should never be left to chance. Speak and all the people present will marvel at your oratory and chant, “Well said!”. Write and the generations yet unborn will proclaim and echo, “Well done and well invested!” Recording history is not a pas-time preoccupation in retirement but a responsibility to posterity.
To go to the heroes acre without a written story or recorded history is to burden unborn generations with an unnecessary historical jigsaw puzzle.
Open to learn
People carry vital information, insights and knowledge. People are vital resources and guideposts. Always be open to learning because learning can occur anywhere and sometimes in the most unlikely places and times.
Always be open to learn from anyone you meet. Learn from the happy, they have overcome adversity. Learn from the sad, they grew complacent. Learn from the wise, they are repentant fools.
Learn from fools, they have courage and fear nothing. Learn from the old, they fought hard and long battles. Learn from the young, they still can dream. Learn from the wounded, they know the meaning of healing. Learn from leaders they excelled at following. Learn from followers, they see where leaders stray. Learn from the great, they were once small. Learning opportunities are everywhere. If you are not learning you are truly disabled, barren and impotent.
Whenever you meet a person you can be sure there is something you can learn from him or her.
People are mobile libraries and information portals.
Failure to learn and glean useful knowledge is usually because you are not alert or attentive enough. When an old person dies in an African village it is analogous with the burning down of a vital library.
The best visual aid is a person and the most powerful force is the force of example. It usually stills arguments. Choose to be a positive mobile visual aid. What you do and how you do it teaches and instructs.
If you can be a little more purposeful, you will spread a lot of good. Whatever change you desire to see in the world, model it. Living examples are powerful teaching instruments and positive visual aids.
Whatever you are, you are a model. Everything you do is seen by someone. However you choose to live you are already modelling. Just choose to be a positive model and live in such a way that you will be considered a worthy model.
Coach and mentor
There is no person who is self-made. I have benefited from a number of people that have mentored and helped me along the way. Some modelled the way for me without any idea they were doing so. Sometimes it was a word they said, a comment they passed, an assignment they gave or some advice they proffered. I appreciate all the people that have coached, taught and mentored me. They are the crucibles that have shaped my form of today.
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy and innovation consultant and leadership coach. His life purpose is to inspire people to release the greatness trapped in them. He can be reached at: [email protected] and on WhatsApp at: 0772422634.