The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatness
A QUESTER is a person who asks questions. The questions you ask determine the direction you take. In certain jurisdictions in the past, a prosecutor was called a quester. Today, it important to recapture again the spirit of the quester. It is this spirit that animates researchers, greatness seekers, innovators and worthy scholars.
Carry noble and piercing questions and you will be led to the door of wisdom and the pools of opportunity. Let great questions seize you and you will be uncomfortable with mediocre answers and shallow quests.
Let the quester in you arise because your greatness is in the questions that you ask. You are safe if you still have questions.
You are at risk when you think you now have all the answers. Never stop asking questions. Your wisdom is not in the words you say but the questions you ask.
Questions reveal your attitude, nature, maturity, interests, strategy, mindset and vision. A person with good questions will never disappoint.
Why is the question of the seeker. Unless you are willing to ask why, you will never learn. When you do not question what you are doing and why you are where you are, you will just sing meaningless choruses and follow the lost crowd. Change never comes until you face your fearful realities, look at the brutal facts in the eye and ask why. So long as you remain comfortable, you will never change and when change comes it may be traumatic.
Whatever you accept you will always accommodate even if it makes you uncomfortable. What you accommodate you will never change. Too many people park in mediocrity lane because they are protecting the status quo and asking why makes them uncomfortable.
Unless you are willing to risk discomfort you will never grow. Anytime people avoid the elephantine questions, pretend not to see reality, they end up with a punctured eye, bruised face and ugly future. Discomfort is the motivation and catalyst for change. Ask questions that make you really uncomfortable and make change an imperative. Why? Why not?
Ask Why Not?
Too often you are not limited by anything except yourself. What people call limitations are usually excuses dressed to impress. Staring at opportunity in the face you start looking around for every excuse you can lay claim on. Excuses abound in the form of age, gender, education, relationships, time, health, money, economy, liquidity, readiness, ethnicity, history, family, children and a whole host. It does not matter how plausible your excuse is, just ask what the excuse is doing for you. Ask, ‘Why Not?’ If it is not you — who? If it is not now — when?
The world is replete with opportunity and abundance. It is simply looking for those who dare to take massive and determined action. “Why Not?” is the question to provoke radical action and initiative. Do exercise diligence and caution but not so much caution that you do nothing. Don’t avoid risk so much that all you do is whimper in fear and fail to take action. The greatest risk you have is to risk nothing. Nothing will change so long as you talk, think, fear, talk some more, comment, fear, condemn, talk again, criticise, fear, think, complain, talk in your sleep and keep whimpering outside the pool of action. When you do nothing you can expect to get a grand nothing. Multiple any number by zero and the answer is never difficult. Why not do something today?
When is a question of timing. There is time for everything in the world. There is a time to be born and a time to die. There is time to maintain and time to change. There is time to laugh, and a time to cry. The problem is that some people switch watches and when they are starting they think they have arrived. When they have arrived they think they are starting. Timing is everything and time is a highly perishable resource. You cannot afford to keep threatening to take action; fulfil your threats of action. There is a time to plan and then a time to act. You cannot be planning forever because you are here for a very short time. When will you do what you have been thinking?
How is a question of strategy and wisdom. Knowing where you want to go is necessary but not sufficient. You have to take the next step and ask,
“How?” Ambition without a strategy leaves you frustrated and exhausted. Hope alone is not a complete and robust strategy. Strategy alone without any intention of execution is empty exertion of the mind. Strategy is a game plan. Intelligence should inform strategy; strategy should inform action. It is better to fail with a game plan that succeed at doing nothing because you had none.
Strategy is a progressive quest for a winning result. You need to ask a number of questions and evaluate the information you have. Indeed get a good facilitator who will ask the questions that matter. Know the terrain. Know the depth of the challenge and evaluate your own resources and capability. Attempting too much with too little will leave you ashore without fuel when the journey is not yet done. Strategy is more than mere talk and attending a two-day retreat.
Difficulties and challenges are the names that are given to things when it is your business as a strategist to overcome. Strategies formulated to solve nothing and get nowhere are not worth the paper they are written on.
The real test of a good captain is what he does in a terrible storm when all things go wrong and the technology betrays him. The real test of a good leader is not the certification he holds but his ability to navigate the dangerous business waters and keep the ship afloat. There are many people that keep complaining of how bad things are and how terrible the trading environment is. Let them complain. Drivers who only want to drive during fair weather and clear roads are not good drivers at all.
Strikers who only score penalties during practice but cannot withstand the heat of match day are not great players. The greater the obstacles the bigger the rewards and the more exciting and challenging the strategy formulation and execution. Great strategies start with great questions. Arise quester! Seas with no waves are mere pools of water. Businesses without challenges are little charities. Where is the quester?
Arise quester, take the challenge to ask the deep meaningful questions that will move you in a new direction. If you keep asking shallow questions you will keep steering in shallow waters of mediocrity.
Do not dock on the sand. Find out where the opportunity is. If you cannot see the opportunity that does not mean that it is not there. Get to it as soon as you can and ask as many questions as you can. Whatever you do, do not stop questioning and acting. Action is the governing rule of greatness. Questions are the catalyst of greatness. Never waste a good question. Ask, why, why not, when and how.
Committed to your Greatness, Quester!
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international motivational speaker, author, 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 his Twitter handle is: @MiltonKamwendo.