In the ancestral Igbo tradition (Nigeria), empires have been saved by one word “ndo” which means “sorry”. “Ndo n’ala uwa azi” [Sorry cures pains] is a popular saying when elders gather to settle disputes between people. For most communities, when the ikoro (king of drums) sings and elders gather over severe problems, against another community, men first look for how to resolve crises peacefully.
They send emissaries. And when those emissaries cannot get the job done, they look for “nwaada” (son to ‘their’ daughter) linked to that community. Nwaadas are highly respected in the mother’s birthplace as Igbos believe in Nneka (the mother is supreme) because if a man’s kingdom falls, his main option is to move to the mother’s place. So, strategically, your mother’s place is safe haven where no evil can come.
When a young boy arrives at his mother’s birthplace, he automatically assumes rights over most. If you check, as elders break kola nuts and drink palm wine, they first ask “do we have nwaada here?” If there happens to be nwaada, they will acknowledge him, and once after taking the palm wine, they will give him, over the sons of the soil. The idea is this: no matter what brought you to your mother’s birthplace, you are welcome! We will feed you before we eat. You are protected from any harm.
(If you read Things Falls Apart, this game was well played. Nneka was Okonkwo’s daughter in exile.)
So, with that high respect, elders plot to send nwaadas to help resolve issues between communities. Because if the enemy communities see their nwaadas, as emissaries to them, their hearts usually melt. Men that do this greatly attend the titles of ‘Udo” [custodian of peace]. They know how to say “Ndo” so that empires and kingdoms can thrive.
In business, symbolically Ndo has the potency as “Well Done” or “Great Job”. Tell your subordinates Well Done, when they do great things, and see how motivated they become. It energizes the spirit and activates the mind to believe. Just a word can make a difference.Your business kingdom can go far if you know how to appreciate and commend people.
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