Teaching qualifications

Becoming globally relevant (2), By Ayo Akerele

Many of us haven’t killed lions in private, but we want to kill goliaths in public. Christianity is not a platform for mediocrity and laziness. Make up your own mind to be the best in your chosen career or field of appeal, and invest every fiber of your being to prepare yourself well. Grace does not uplift the lazy. Take a very honest and impartial inventory of your skills and qualifications. Can you compete globally in your field?

Cutting-edge professionals always stand out

Many years ago Tony Elumelu, the current president of United Bank for Africa (UBA), came to London for a conference. I contacted his office and he asked me to meet him at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Apparently he had seen my CV and wanted to hire me as an expat in Nigeria. It was not UBA at the time, but Standard Trust Bank (STB). Well, I left my base in Aberdeen to meet him at the Dorchester in London. When I arrived at the Dorchester, he asked me to come directly to his hotel room. He was with two other men in the same room, and we exchanged jokes. Then we went straight to the company. In the end, he made me an offer on my terms.

Continuous improvement makes you highly competitive

Now a few years ago I was still in Nigeria and applied to work with STB in Lagos, Nigeria. I got to the interview stage, but without success. Now what had changed? Capacity. I had pushed myself harder and further. I had worked with the world’s largest diamond mining company, De Beers; I had obtained an international MBA; and I had obtained another international degree in systems engineering. I had urged myself by the grace of God to do other things. So, these are the game changers. My capacity had increased. Rather than begging to be employed locally in Nigeria, the president was now recruiting me as an expatriate himself. But, one thing led to another, and I never went back to Nigeria. Thank God I didn’t, because if I had, I wouldn’t be in the ministry today.

What’s your unique selling point?

Here is the lesson of this story. Many of us are still not ready for strategic appointments. You think you are ready, but you are not. I looked at Dr. Okonjo Iweala’s resume and cringed my teeth. Do you think she just got the post of Director General of the World Trade Organization by praying and fasting only? Of course, God’s favor was with her. But she holds a PhD from Harvard, was a senior executive at the World Bank, and was, among other things, Nigeria’s finance minister. The CV was solid. Many of us want Dr. Iweala’s fame, but don’t want to hear his story. Sorry. No stories, no glories. She has come a long way with decades of hard work across the world. What’s that thing that sets you apart from the crowd?

Are you a mediocre or a professional?

Some of us cannot even write a formal letter without mistakes. I recounted how a group of people I employed in Nigeria helped shut down an international research project we were hired to do, despite all efforts to do the right thing. These were masters graduates, who were actually on their doctoral programs at the time. They plagiarized content, and submitted it to an international audience, contrary to previous warnings.

To my African Christian brothers and sisters, many of us think that God is simply opening doors and throwing unprepared people into strategic positions. This is unfortunately due to some of the teachings we have received. I want you to show me a pilot who only got this pilot job at Air France without going to school, but out of favor. You had better wake up and take your education and exposure more seriously.

Unfortunately, the contract was terminated, and subsequently I also terminated their own contracts. Interestingly, a few of them begged me privately to help them find other jobs. After ruining a major international research contract? This is what mediocrity does to people.

You must be strategically prepared for the next level

To my African Christian brothers and sisters, many of us think that God is simply opening doors and throwing unprepared people into strategic positions. This is unfortunately due to some of the teachings we have received. I want you to show me a pilot who only got this pilot job at Air France without going to school, but out of favor. You had better wake up and take your education and exposure more seriously.

Don’t just be the best, beat the best!

When the Lord called me to the ministry, I decided that I would be the best for the Lord. I bought books to such an extent that my wife started complaining that I was spending all the funds needed to run the house on books. UPS, DHL and others were regular guests in our house, and even to this day. I have read and studied the Bible to such an extent that when preparing messages I rarely check the Bible for references. Most of the paperwork needed for this topic is in my head. I myself am surprised, thanks to the decision to stand out. I would write two to three page messages and provide all the scriptures for the message without even checking whether they were good or bad. I would be so sure that my scriptures were right and during the ministry everything would be right.

Prior preparation avoids poor performance

I had studied the Bible so much that when I teach about any subject, all the relevant scriptures are stuck in my head. This is what preparation does. And to this day, I still do the exact same thing. This year alone, I have already bought a dozen books by different authors. Why? I am not playing with my ministry. So that the day the world leaders call me to come and talk to them for 15 minutes, I wouldn’t scratch my ears, trying to figure out what to say.

Some of us don’t have the capacity to handle global dates. We pray hard, but we don’t have that ability yet. At the moment, we only have local capacities, and local capacities cannot solve global adversities. Tune in. Perhaps you only need an MBA to advance to this next level. Maybe you just need a major professional certification to go global. Dark. You can do it!

Life is not ruled by miracles but by principles

TEXEM

Some global venues require a doctorate from an Ivy League university. Some strategic appointments require certain unique IT certifications. Some global nominations require you to be a citizen of certain countries. Some strategic appointments require an MBA from Ivy League schools. But, doesn’t God work miracles? Why not? He is a God who works miracles. But life is not governed by miracles but by principles.

Prayers cannot make up for mediocrity

Miracles are the options when principles fail. So you don’t fold your arms and stay mediocre when you’ve got all the brains and the resources to study hard, and then you want to get an international date with Dell by some miracle – and you’re competing with Yale graduates and from Stanford. You had better sharpen and perfect your professional ax, and never think that you can use prayers to make up for mediocrity.

Christianity is not a platform for mediocrity and laziness

Many of us haven’t killed lions in private, but we want to kill goliaths in public. Christianity is not a platform for mediocrity and laziness. Make up your own mind to be the best in your chosen career or field of appeal, and invest every fiber of your being to prepare yourself well. Grace does not uplift the lazy. Take a very honest and impartial inventory of your skills and qualifications. Can you compete globally in your field? Some of us don’t have the capacity to handle global dates. We pray hard, but we don’t have that ability yet. At the moment, we only have local capacities, and local capacities cannot solve global adversities. Tune in. Perhaps you only need an MBA to advance to this next level. Maybe you just need a major professional certification to go global. Dark. You can do it!

Ayo Akerele, leadership and systems development strategist and minister of speech, writes from Canada and can be contacted via [email protected]

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