A few days ago, I was invited by the head of an organization to join him train a team of civil servants from the capital of Nigeria at Canary Wharf, London. Except I am inundated with very urgent appointments, I don’t like missing the opportunity to input leadership knowledge into people at the forefront of delivering change, so I accepted the invite. For two days, I delivered courses on Change Leadership, Personal Productivity, and Decision Making for Women Leaders. All through the programme, I kept emphasizing the undying need for a changed mentality if the civil service and Nigeria must compete with the developed world. It all went well, and I think everyone was happy.
As I discussed my perceived outcome of the programme with my wife, four keywords slipped from my heart to my mouth and from my mouth to my wife. In a stepwise order, the last to slip out was QUALITY. I believe so much in quality – I believe that whatever you do or give, you must absolutely do or give with your whole heart and your whole head. If it isn’t in your heart and in your head, you can’t be completely committed to it, and where there’s no commitment, there isn’t an excellent result. No one would judge you by the endless hours you put into a task if it does not produce the required or expected outcome. Those who took fourth positions downwards in Olympic Games aren’t really remembered or recognized because their results have no medals. Until there’s a medal to celebrate your position, the outcome wouldn’t be the results expected.
Quality results aren’t ordinarily achieved without going through some steps or stages, and these steps, I have explained below.
I would conclude that concept is from conception, and if we literally take that into consideration, we can use a pregnant woman as illustration. Pregnancy begins from the merging of two unseen and insignificantly looking semen, but in that semen is everything that makes a human. And in that human is a bundle of boundless intelligence, creativity and all technological advancements the world has. It is unimaginable to come to terms with the fact that the man that designed and built the airplane started as a mere concept.
Concept is an idea, a plan within your unseen crevices, an intent, or abstraction. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building on earth with the height of 828m – the tower didn’t appear by the help of abracadabra magician – it first began as a concept in the mind of someone. Without conception, you can’t deliver anything, and if you pretend to put to bed when you aren’t pregnant, you will only end up in deception – you either conceive or you deceive. The best brooded ideas will give you the best offspring – if you want your vision not to be found wanting on the scale of quality, you must come up with pragmatic concepts, not a continuous trial and error ideologies.
The very thought in your heart while you lie in bed that suggests a certain approach to solving a problem is a concept. The plethora of suggestions that flood your mind as you walk through that street, telling you that planting a certain type of shop in the location would alleviate the pains of residents going far away to buy certain products is a concept. Concepts are ideas that sometimes come casually into our thought systems, or maybe, sometimes, appear in form of pictures on the screen of our inner thoughts. As simple as they are, they are the foundations of quality outcomes – without them, all the advancements in the world would be absent. Man was a concept in the heart of his maker, and he has also been delegated to conceive in order to make the world and his world more beautiful – you’re devoid of beauty if you don’t know how to intentionally come up with potential quality ideas.
Without content, ideas are illusion. You can dream as much as you like, motivate yourself as much as you like, challenge yourself as much as you like, if you have no content, you have no life. Content are the building blocks of quality, without them, great ideas end up ugly. Education is quality but without the content called information, it will be useless. The longest bridge on earth, Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China, that is 165 kilometers (102.4 miles) long is a beauty to behold, but what a rubbish idea it would have been if the materials to build it weren’t available. You can’t reach quality without sourcing for the content to make it real. People will judge your intelligence to source if you can’t determine where to get the content required for your great idea.
You must convert your ideas to finished products – this is where many people fail – this is where the real job begins. Your mentality is tested at the point of process. Your ability to start and finish will be examined at the point of process. Your endurance, patience and focus will be evaluated when the processing of all the raw materials you’ve gathered begin. To process, you need loads of positive characters. At the point of process, you either stick to your concept or adjust it, because, this is the stage of practicality and reality. If you fail to appreciate the environment you are, and adapt, you will be stuck. To complete your processing, you need to be flexible.
Besides character, processing takes time, and if you skip process, you skip success. There aren’t double promotions in process, you must go through all the classes and stages for you to achieve the quality result you expect.
This is where you want to be – a place for committed and hardworking people – a place of real celebration, but also at this stage, you must understand that quality isn’t a one off thing. To continue delivering high standards, you must consciously continue to revolve the three steps in your mind until they become your impulse. Excellence is achievable if you discipline yourself to stick to the fundamentals of attaining quality results or outcome.