One of my distant mentors, John Maxwell wrote a book on thinking years ago. I was one of those impacted by that book. The book, “Thinking for a Change” made me realise how hard thinking is. Thinking makes a lot of difference in the lives of both successful and unsuccessful people.
Before then, my knowledge on thinking was from Norman Vincent Pearl’s Power of positive thinking (one of the greatest book I read from my dad’s library), Proverbs’ “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”, and another dimension of thinking that my younger brother, Tope usually brings into our discourse years ago. He is an ardent follower of Bishop David Oyedepo. Bishop Oyedepo has a deep, spiritual and revolutionary grasp on thinking. You should listen to some of his sermons on thinking.
Back to John, John did not only write a book on thinking, he taught several people including world’s corporate and political leaders about it. Focused thinking, Creative thinking and Bottom-line thinking were few of the types of thinking he talked and taught about.
As a Nigerian who loves our country, I sometimes have some ‘deep thoughts moment’ about our beloved country and I am sure most of us do too. In one of my deep thoughts moment, I concluded that thinking was a major part of Nigeria’s leadership problem.
One of these ‘deep thoughts moment’ came after I watched and listened to Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola speak at the 7th annual Bola Tinubu colloquium. In delivering his speech, he complained about his low monthly allocation. According to him his inability to pay salaries was the greatest indictment on President Jonathan. President Jonathan may have been partially responsible for the shortfall in revenue no doubt, it is however appalling to hear the governor say this. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is a very active, smart and pro-people governor; as a matter of fact he is one of my favourite in our party. This is not a party problem, it is a thinking problem and this thinking problem is the Nigerian leadership problem.
It is paramount for states to understand that going cap in hand to Abuja for monthly allocation is not sustainable. The governor and his advisers should start thinking hard, and this applies to other states in this quagmire.
The deployment of lean governance alone can save a state like Osun about N300 million monthly. This is a conservative figure; it is based on my analysis with limited information
The deployment of the lean governance model will have a greater impact on the overall governance and bottom-line results by:
- Improving governance process capabilities in delivering services.
- Reducing non-value-added activities and waste in governance processes.
- Fostering cross-functional and team-based approaches to problem solving.
- Empowering employees at all levels to participate in improving the business of governance.
- Establishing a common philosophy and language across the state.
This is just one example. Thinking is hard work and only a few engage in it. The Governor and his team should start thinking for a change, they should, as John Maxwell puts it, start seeing the wisdom of big picture thinking, discovering the joy of creative thinking and releasing the power of strategic thinking.