He hosted a grand banquet for royals. They drank, and then asked for the gold and silver goblets which his father had brought from Jerusalem. Then fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall. The king became pale as he could not understand. He called his enchanters, astrologers, and diviners – the wise men of Babylon – and commanded, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” None helped.
Then the queen came to the rescue, and told King Belshazzar that in his kingdom, there was a young man: “In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners”.
Daniel is that man; when Belshazzar took over from his father, he was demoted. Daniel was brilliant and when Nebuchadnezzar ruled over his empires, he assembled the most knowledgeable people in all the kingdoms he controlled. He went for the best including appointing brilliant “slaves” to become heads of important positions in his government: he made Daniel the leader of his strategy team – “chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners”. Then Nebuchadnezzar messed up, and his son took over, and fired those people, bringing the yoyos to live in splendour.
But interestingly, those who remembered the old moments would always ask him to go back to the men who built the old empires. Here, the queen told him to call back the man under whom Babylon became greater because of his wisdom. Unfortunately, that message was not a good one but the lesson is there.
Daniel interpreted “mene, mene, tekel, parsin” but today men and women are called to interpret new product strategy, new market entry strategy, etc. The question is this: how can you become good that men and women will recommend you in your absence?
And hopefully, when you arrive, you will justify that confidence. I have been in Board meetings when Chairmen will ask: who truly understands this, and can we bring him here? Names will begin to fly. Elevate yourself to be remembered during such moments. Happy Sunday.
Extended comment: Good People, seek for that referral. Daniel got his in the palace. Yours could be in the Board, football field, or anywhere. The key is being good at something that others will recommend you. Someone recommended me for a Board position in a public company last week, and yesterday, a governor extended an invitation to visit. For that one, time is tight to travel now to Nigeria, but I was truly happy that His Excellency was aware that there is someone like me. Possibly, someone sent something about me to him. Elevate and get the referrals from the “palace”.
Comment (from below): Three key characters to pick out here, and I will prefer to extrapolate to political space, rather than corporate, the former perfectly delivers the insights, using Nigeria as case in point.
For the characters:
First is the king, who realised that there’s a mystery that needed to be unravelled, and was willing to do whatever it took to get it done: admission and willingness to deliver.
Second is the advisers and assistants, who were equally eager to help the king solve the mystery, and when they realised that their own mastery and intelligence weren’t enough, they didn’t double down and insist that the answer must come from them, so they were disposed to bringing whoever that could get the job done.
Third is the expert, in this case Daniel. He delivered because he was called up and then allowed to work, and the mystery disappeared.
Nigeria’s present problem isn’t with the third character, because they are constant here, but the first and second characters? Herein lies the challenge. A leader who admits his own limitations and advisers who will recommend the best hands and finest minds? This is where I want to us to focus and reflect as a people.
To learn more, read this verse.---
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