By Chidi Okpaluba
Any country whose leaders don’t embrace innovation or where creativity is not celebrated will remain mediocre in all ramifications.
In August 2007 or thereabout, I attended Jack Canfield’s breakthrough to success retreat at Ritz Carlton Las Vegas. It was indeed an amazing transformational experience and we were challenged to go and teach whatever we learned during the retreat as the only sure way of internalizing our learnings and spreading the enlightenment and bringing prosperity to our community.
The key take away was that if you can get people to change their minds, most of their problems including financial issues would be resolved.
On returning to Nigeria, I decided to start a massive transformation movement to help our people.
I started a television program called peak performance on NTA AM express which became an instant hit.
I also started an outreach program called life after school which we took to NYSC orientation camps and University campuses called LIFE AFTER SCHOOL. All for free.
We even also started an outreach transformation for youths called youths and dreams academy.
While all these were going on, no Nigerian leader ever called me, rather the NYSC camp directors started demanding money from me before I could speak to the Corp members, the University authorities were expecting me to give them money before helping their students despite overwhelming testimonies. I remember a particular Vice Chancellor who cancelled the program a night to the program while I and my entire team were already on ground just because we didn’t ”see” him the Nigerian way.
Meanwhile, my course mate from California went back home and arranged a program for only one secondary school in his community. Soon after that, the governor heard of it and invited him to his office asking him what could be done to replicate this in the whole school system in the state of California. Before long he was a guest at the white House sharing with the president how this could be adopted Nationwide.
He instantly became a celebrity and a multi-million book deal was signed.
Just recently a young 11-year-old black boy started a book reading club in his community and the story went viral that a young boy was encouraging young kids to read. Before you could say Jack Robinson, he was on Stage Harvey show, he was on Oprah, Amazon donated their Kindles to the club and so many leaders began to identify with the young boy.
What this means is that a lot of people would want to start something new or novel. But here you are on your own.
Why do you think our leaders are all far removed from reality? There seems to be so much lack of depth and thoughts in their works. Why are they so removed from the people? Why do we seem to worship them?
What can we do to reverse the situation? How can we begin to elicit creativity and unleash the creative genius of our people?
How do we break ourselves out of this style of leadership?
How do we make our leaders more accountable and more result oriented than what we currently have?
- Dr. Okpaluba wrote this piece from Lagos