The cold hard truth
This is a blog post by Udom Ndinanake...It had been another long and tiring day.
The football season is over, so there's nothing much on the sports menu. I was in no mode for any bad news of wars, bomb blast, earthquakes or economic recession so I made sure I avoided the news stations.
Religious stations have always been a no-no for me any day any time, and the music channels don't air my preferred genre of music - country music. I had probably gone through all the stations three to four times when I got stuck on this particular one for no good reason at all.
It was a press conference and before him where multiple microphones. Now I don't know the things he had said earlier, for it looked like he had been briefing his audience for a while before I stopped by, but the few final words he uttered when I dropped in would change my life and keep me awake for the entire night. "We didn't do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost", as he said those words he and other members of his management team wept bitterly.
He was Nokia's CEO announcing Nokia's acquisition by Microsoft. He was more or less reading the obituary of a vibrant company that died in his hands. F.M Young was right after all by saying "It isn't the incompetent who destroy an organization. The incompetent never get in a position to destroy it. It is those who achieved something and want to rest upon their achievements who are forever clogging things up."
The message hit me like a rock. Mr. CEO was telling the incriminating cold hard truth, probably with the intention of exonerating himself. What he succeeded in doing was entangling himself in the web of culpability. Not doing wrong does not necessarily mean doing right.
There's a divide in between, that divide has caused many a men, companies and nations alike far more than they imagined or bargained for. He did nothing wrong while others were doing things right. He stuck with the formula that made Nokia successful, while competitors embraced change and swam with the tide of innovation.
From being market leaders, they became market followers, lagging behind those they once led. Soon they started fighting a lost battle for survival. You know it is hard when you are so used to the top to find yourself in the bottom just struggling to get by. Ask Chelsea FC.
Like Mr. CEO, country musician Steve Wariner also learnt that the greatest crime can be the things we didn't do. In one of his songs he lamented "I didn't cheat, I didn't lie. So her leaving took me by surprise. Just a note on the table saying we're though. At first I went crazy, so it took me some time, but I finally read between the lines. It's not what I did, It's what I didn't do."
The Ashanti people of Ghana have a saying "by the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed". By the time Nokia arrived the river bank, their competitors' ships had since set sail and where no longer in sight. They had no idea what direction others had gone, thus after some rigmarole with no sense of direction, like Titanic, their doom was inevitable and it soon became a question of when, and not if, for their fate had long been sealed.
They paid the price for ignoring Thomas Edison who said "there's a way to do it better-find it". So much for Nokia, her CEO, and other members of the management team that led the company aground. It is so easy to condemn them, let’s take a minute to weigh ourselves on the scale.
My life is my firm, my business, my company, my estate and I'm the CEO, the one man Board of Director, the Managing Director and in short everything. What will become of me is up to me, the decisions I make and the actions I take.
I need to make a few changes, take more calculated risks, do more than a few things differently, drift a little more from my comfort zone and I'm starting right way, before the bus of life leaves me behind ruing the things I failed to do. So show some understanding if you observe some changes in my life, for like Eminem, tonight I'm cleaning up my closet.
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