Lesson 9: Stay in Touch with Reality
If one would follow these tips and lessons that we have observed in the times of General Mohammad Buhari who after multiple tries and failures finally got to become the president-elect in the freest, most celebrated election in Nigeria, then one would definitely begin to succeed in any endeavor he/she chooses.
But with success, comes a very common problem of forgetting what one had to go through to become successful. People get used to the successful life and they just forget that they are who they are because of the backing and support they received from ordinary people. They begin to live in their own world where everything is built around them. Some even go as far as building fences and castles around themselves to shield them from what they call the ‘common man syndrome’
If we would carefully look back at the 2011 election where President Goodluck Jonathan swept the polls, he also adhered to all the rules we just discussed: he created value, he connected with the people, and he projected an image. His ‘I had no shoes’ line resonated with Nigerians and that got him an overwhelming support even in the North.
But once in power, he disconnected with his ‘I had no shoe’ roots. Children were kidnapped from a government secondary school and his government was busy denying the authencity of the report until the parents of the children became the government’s main opposition- making him look weak, incompetent and all that. The Bring Back Our Girls movement single-handedly discredited the government of GEJ to the international community.
Then Buhari then came into the scene telling Nigerians about the reality of their existence and discussing their problems. Where GEJ said the pump price of fuel needs to be increased to save billions of dollars for other capital projects, GMB said it is possible to half the price of fuel and still execute capital projects. Where GEJ’s publicity team lied shamelessly to Nigerians about gaining victory over Boko Haram-while letting the group become stronger, GMB promised to crush then if he was given an opportunity.
Am I trying to make any look better than the other? By no means. I have no interest in politics but I am interested in the success of the Nigerian youth and the lesson we can learn from the defeat of GEJ and the success of GMB is this: Stay in touch with the reality of your environment even in success.
Success can be really deceptive. It will make you feel that you have arrived. Winning on all front would definitely boost your ego but don’t let it cloud your sight. Don’t delegate task as sensitive as knowing what your people- customers, wives, lovers and even children-want.
Stay in touch with reality. Then and only then will you gain and withhold your influence and relevance. light manner irrespective of