Wednesday, 13 February 2013
On the path of winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Nurture your gift diligently
13th February, 2013
Good leaders have intuition. They see where others don’t. We all fall into various intuition levels.
There are those who will never see it. Making these people leaders is like putting square pegs in a round hole, when someone is gifted as a subordinate it is a mistake to put them into leadership roles. Besides, every orchestra needs a good second fiddle we’re only responsible for the gifts God gives us, not the ones we want, or others think we should have.
There are those nurtured to see it. Those folks have the raw materials, they just need to be mentored famous leadership expert, John Maxwell points out that the ability to think like a leader is informed intuition. They just need people to inform, instruct and inspire them and they will become great leaders. The truth is that without Intuition you are condemned to be blindfolded all your life.
Indeed, there are those who naturally see it. These are those born with true leadership gift, they instinctively understand people and know how to move people around, “if a man’s gift is leadership, let him govern diligently.” Romans 12:6.
The trait most critical to leadership is courage. One, it takes courage to face the truth about yourself. Two, it takes courage to change when staying as you are feels more comfortable. If you are willing to leave your comfort zone, step out in faith and follow God, you will be tested. But you also reach heights you thought were beyond you. Moreover you will go further than others who possess greater talent than you
Three it takes courage to stand for your conviction, the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Whatever you do, you need courage.” Whenever Nehemiah’s enemies threatened him he said, “Should a man like me run away? I will not,” Nehemiah 6:11. As a result he built the walls of Jerusalem in a record 52 days and got a book in the bible named after him.
Four, courage usually involves getting it wrong before you get it right. It is easy to be brave where you are strong. General Omar Bradley remarked: “Bravery is the capacity to perform properly, even when scared half to death.” Courage always takes the high road. When we keep score of wrongs committed against us, we reveal a lack of maturity. The most important ingredient of success is knowing how to get along with people. If you want to succeed, then practice forgiving. Remember, committing an injury puts you below your enemy; taking revenge makes you with him; forgiving him sets you above.
Paul writes; Act with courage, every detail works to your advantages”, 2Cornthians 4:5. Any time we want to move forward obstacles are going to get in the way. HG wells asked, “What on earth would a man do with himself if something didn’t stand in his way”? But adversity is our friend even though it doesn’t feel that way. Each obstacle we overcome teaches us about our strengths and weaknesses. It shapes us, makes us wiser and more courageous. The greatest people rose to the occasion by facing the most difficult challenges with courage.
That was certainly true of Winston Churchill. In his book, American Scandal, Pat Williams writes about Churchill’s last month. He says in 1964, President David Eisenhower went to visit the Former British Prime Minister; Eisenhower sat by the bold-spirited leader’s bed for a period of time, neither speaking. After 10 minutes, Churchill slowly raised his hand and painstakingly made the V for victory sign which he had so often flashed to the British people during World War II. Eisenhower, fighting back tears, pulled his chair back, stood up saluted him and left the room. To his aide out in the hallway, Eisenhower said, “I just said goodbye to Winston, but you never say farewell to courage.”
Another attitude of men of courage is modesty. It is the way of Jehovah to diminish the full and enlarge the modest. It is the way of earth to overthrow the full and replenish the modest. God brings down disaster on the full and bless the modest. It is the way of man to hate the full and love the modest.
Humility displayed in a position of honour, increase the radiance of that honour, displayed in a lowly position, men will not seek to brush it aside.
Therefore, the champion encounters good fortune in all his undertakings.
Our champion for today is Thomas Crombie Schelling the American economist and co-winner along with Robert Aumann of the 2005 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics. Schelling gained the award for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through games theory analysis.
He was born to John Schelling and Zelda Ayres in Oakland, California in April 1921. Thomas Schelling graduated in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1944 and received his PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 1951. He served with the Marshall Plan in Europe; the White House and in the Executive Office of President from 1948 to 1953 He wrote his dissertation on the US national income behavior while in Europe.
Thereafter he joined the Yale University economics faculty and in 1958 Harvard appointed him professor of economics. In 1969 he joined the staff of John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. And for 20 years he taught at Kennedy School as Littauer professor of Political Economy.
In 1993 Schelling gained an award for Behavior Research. Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War,
Schelling was married to Corinne Saposs from 1947 to 1991, with whom he had four sons. His marriage to second wife, Alice Coleman occurred later in 1991.
Schelling published, The Strategy of Conflict in 1960, Arms and Influence in 1969 and 1971, Schelling published articles dealing with racial dynamics which he termed a general theory of tipping. This dynamics has been cited as explanations that are found as meaningful differences Schelling has been involved in the Global warming debate since chairing a Commission for President Jimmy Carter in 1980. He believes climate change poses a serious threat to developing nations. He has argued that global warming is a bargaining problem, if we are able to reduce emission, poor countries will receive the benefits, but rich countries will bear the costs, Schelling is still alive and kicking at 92.
How Nigeria gloats on falsehood
By Bayo Ogunmupe
LIKE other emerging economies, Nigeria currently enjoys a strong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. But we believe much of this growth is predicated on false data. However, this illusory growth could be detrimental to our economic development in the long term.
In its latest Global Economic Report, the World Bank projected that the Nigerian economy would sustain its growth trend this year, with our GDP of 6.6 per cent, from 7.3 per cent last year. The World Bank believes fresh foreign investments are to be pivot of this growth.
According to the report, increased investment will be the driving force of the Nigerian economy over the medium term, pointing out that since 2000, investments have increased steadily from 15.9 per cent
to 22.9 per cent for the ECOWAS sub region.
It is expected that with these economies tapping into the global capital markets, it will help redress the constraints expected to sustain the pattern of growth in this region. This report avow that foreign direct investment is expected to remain in this New Year.
These investments are expected to increase to new levels each year, reaching a peak of $55.59 billion in 2015. Foreign Domestic Investment inflows to the mining sector, particularly oil and gas and solid minerals as well as agriculture would be supported by spiraling commodity prices over the next two years.
The report said further that prices of crude oil in the world market will rise from $102.1 per barrel by 2015. In addition to increasing sources of finance, domestic investment is expected to double through financial sector deepening in developing countries.
The World Bank said that over the last decade, bank deposits have increased by eight percentage points, supporting a 10 percentage point increase in private sector credit.
Also, widespread cuts in policy rates in 2012, is expected to stimulate economic growth up till 2014. However, the report identified the risks that could derail our region’s growth prospects. Such risks border on the downward slide of the global economy, shown by weaker growth of the Chinese economy, the ongoing fiscal consolidation in the wake of the debt crisis in Europe and the weakening U.S. economy.
Other risks border on domestic concerns, such as political instability, industrial disputes and adverse weather conditions. For their advice, we are told to focus on growing our economy while strengthening buffers to deal with risks.
Overall, the report said the risks are now less skewed to the downside than it has been in recent years. Global growth will come at a relatively weak percentage, gradually strengthening as the years roll by. It observed that GDP growth in developing economies during 2012 was among the slowest in 10 years.
But these positive ratings notwithstanding, economists aver that a growing economy that fails to impact on the standard of living of the people is an economy in recession. In his book, Gross Domestic Problem, Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti of the Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa argues that far from being a sign of progress, growth measured by GDP comes at a cost often accompanied by resource depletion and income inequality.
Indeed, Fioramonti argued that fixation with GDP growth compels policymakers to design policies that promote import inducing consumerism that attracts short-term investments. And with the declining economies of the West, economic gains are likely to be slim.
Moreover, the don said further, Africans do not have the statistical resources to measure GDP. So our statistically induced growth being based on fake figures will result in false hopes. He said further that GDP led economies attract investors looking for short-term gains rather than those interested in a nation’s long-term stability.
In alignment with that position, World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr. Mukhtar Diop, while in Abuja recently, expressed concern over the high level of poverty in Nigeria. Like Fioramonti, Diop argued that even when Nigeria’s GDP growth rate promised great potential, its current trend is inadequate to tackle the high level of poverty in the country. Diop said the most critical obstacle to growth is power, which affects big companies and manufacturers.
Indeed, economists believe that Nigeria’s economy is the greatest paradox of the modern age. Despite statistical growth, poverty has continued to rise geometrically with more than 100 million people living on less than one dollar a day. Unemployment among youth is 37.7 per cent, the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.
The greatest blame is placed on power outage, with improvement in power, cost of doing business will come down. Currently, it is too high as compared with other developing countries. Paradoxically, Nigeria’s ranking has not translated into development. The increase in GDP has not reduced unemployment, while the state of the infrastructure, remains parlous, fuelling increased poverty and insecurity.
As the economy is hooked to oil revenues, achieving food self-sufficiency will be no mean feat. The latest from the Food and Agriculture Organisation shows Nigeria to be the second largest importer of rice in the world, importing about two million tonnes a year up till 2010 – costing us one billion dollars yearly.
Even so, we spend more importing wheat and palm oil. As for exports, the only commodity which Nigeria has any presence at all, is cocoa, for which is the fourth largest exporter in the world in 2010. This is fair, but well behind our neighbours: Ghana and Ivory Coast.
While agriculture accounts for 40 per cent of our GDP, this is not likely to fall soon. But one of the problems preventing rapid growth is lack of credit. Agriculture is negligible in terms of bank lending. It barely features, it does not have any significant representation in the equities market. USAID said that 70 per cent of Nigeria’s small-scale farmers lack access to financing. All of that is hardly helped by decaying infrastructure and unpredictable afflictions such as floods which destroyed two million hectares of farmland in 2012.
Last year, government tried to help farmers by imposing tariffs on cereal imports by stipulating that breadmakers must use more cassava, of which Nigeria is the world’s largest producer. However, land tenure remains a barrier for farmers seeking to expand their operations.
The government provides some credit as part of its flagship Agricultural Transformation Agenda which has plans to set up Crop Processing Zones. Government claimed that private investment in agriculture in 2012 was $8 billion. And earlier in 2012, CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi signed a memorandum of understanding with USAID for scheme to finance it with $3 billion. If that will help, the government will have to start putting its money where its mouth is by spending more on agriculture which now makes up of only 1.7 per cent of federal spending in our 2013 budget. That portends no change from the outlay of 2012. Thus, if we are to grow and develop we need new leaders.