By John Beecroft
I’ not a fan of the BBNaija show – I would rather watch anime and movies instead. But for the sake of family bonding, I usually watch the annoying show with my babe for an hour or two daily. Typically, I just stare at the TV and say a few words, but yesterday (Friday 12th) was different.
‘Big Brother’ had given a task to the housemates to contribute 2,500 Bet9ja coins, the currency of the Big Brother House, among themselves – you can watch it here. Problem was that the housemates had amassed varying amount of coins over the two weeks they had spent in the house, with some having as low as 20 and others as much as 500. As can be imagined, the coins had become extremely valuable as they represented the line between staying in the house and eviction for some of the housemates.
I came home while the housemates were having a meeting discussing how to gather the required coins. While there are many ways the coins could have been gathered, the housemates had chosen a pragmatic approach: Every one was to give up 65% of their coins. (Total amount of coins in the house was about 3,800 and 65% of that amounted to about 2,500 coins.)
And so the debate started with some complaining and others encouraging. Perhaps as expected, the guys had no issues with contributing the required coins, but it was quite annoying to watch the ladies argue and complain. KimOprah and Tacha in particular gave a new definition to the word ‘selfish’. To ‘Jeff the banker’, fell the hard task of convincing everyone to give up their hard-earned coins and he went about it by mollifying the ladies.
Now let me ask a question: What was Jeff’s main goal? If your answer is ‘to collect 65% of everyone’s coins’, then you are a follower! But we will come back to that later.
While I was quiet but extremely curious about how things were going to end, my heavily invested babe was busy with the 2 Rs – ranting and raging – because of the way things were going and how the ladies were behaving. She got particularly angry at Jeff for being too gentle with the ladies. Finally, she asked me “What do you think?” Here’s what I told her: Jeff is a leader.
Of course, she flipped at that!
In life, everyone chooses to either be a leader or a follower. The choice is shown in the things they individually choose to focus on. Followers see a small picture, hence choose to focus on the mundane issues e.g. how many coins did Tacha drop? Leaders on the other hand see the big picture and focus on the goal: We need to gather 2,500 Bet9ja coins. While how the coins are gathered is very important, leaders realise that it is not nearly as important as the goal.
This tenet of leadership, I learnt many years ago as a young man. Whenever I got angry at work or was getting lost in details, my coach would ask me “But what is your goal?” Of course, that’s much easier said than done, but it does not change the truth of it. Losing sight of that goal is what makes many of us lose our tempers and our heads with it. And the moment you lose your head and the sight of the goal, the real task – that of leading – is lost. Yes, you might win some coins here and there, but you will remain a follower.
Some of the ladies especially could not accept Tacha refusing to give up 60% of her coins and were ready to make everything go bonkers. The guys on the other hand were busy making up for the deficits. At that point, the split in the house became painfully obvious: The Leaders and The Followers. Unfortunately, the leaders were almost all guys, while the followers were almost all females. And this is one of the tragedies of our society and the world at large.
Yes, we want women in positions of power/service, but more important than having women in power is having goal-focused people in service. Yet, if BBNaija is a microcosm of Nigeria, which I believe it is, then it shows why lots of females are not ready for those roles. Many all too easily allow their emotions becloud their judgement; they cannot focus on the goal. Mind you, the goal is not about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ just as being right does not make you a leader. ‘Ella the presenter’ had given more than 60% of her coins and was ready to scatter everything when Tacha refused to contribute hers. Yes, she was very right to be upset, but in getting stuck on that minor detail of Tacha’s 60%, she had lost sight of the goal – the instruction to gather 2,500 coins.
But though this may be more prevalent with ladies, it’s not about them alone. As I tried explaining to my babe why Jeff was a leader and the righteously angry babes were followers, I realised that I was also losing focus of the goal. My goal in having that conversation with her was in helping her understand leadership. But as we argued, without realising, my focus shifted to proving that I was right. Still the same discussion and the same points, but the mood had changed because I – the leader of the Bee clan – had lost sight of the goal.
So really, this write-up is not just for our female-folk, it’s for everyone who chooses to be a leader. Remember, keep your very valid emotions in check and focus on the goal. There’s nothing more important than the goal. And as you go along, remember that you’re not alone on this journey into leadership; we’re all in it together.