Only the performer is good enough. And this is how to join the league of performers


“You’re a performer; you’re the man. Cheers.” That was the part of the phone conversation I heard, and it really got me thinking. And that part of the conversation made meaning to me because we were all in the middle of a situation; those words were a thank you to the guy that fixed it – the performer.

Now, here’s what happened. We were in a motorcade headed to lay the remains of a certain 95-year-old to rest in his ancestral home. His age already says it was the case of a celebration of life, and his son was hell-bent on giving his late father who’d had enormous influence on him a befitting burial. One way to give this celebration a touch of pomp and pageantry was to get those who do it best involved. His choice was APAMS, an elite funeral services outfit. The long and short of it all is that the exotic ambulance in which the remains rode broke down in the middle of nowhere; far from home and far from town. And no attempt to locally arrest the situation worked; the exotic car needed an exotic fixing. However, it was clear to Uncle John that the plan to give his late father a befitting burial wasn’t going to change one bit, and all he needed was a performer to step into the situation. And this performer showed up! In no time, another exotic ambulance zoomed into the scene of the situation with the speed of light. This was the point where that call was made, and since I was standing next to him, I heard him loud and clear: “You’re a performer; you’re the man. Cheers.”

The performer was the manager of the funeral services outfit, I suppose. And he had immediately swung into action as soon as he received the very first call that his ambulance had broken down in the middle of nowhere, leaving his client stranded as it were. To say the least, he did rescue the situation.

Without much ado, let’s quickly look at what it takes to join the performers’ league.

Performers are situation-oriented

The first trait of a non-performer is obsession with protocol, due process and maintenance of status quo. Non-performers can be so annoying, and you find them everywhere. In a hospital, you find them asking a dying patient to wait for their turn or pay for this or that before being attended to. In this case, they are more concerned about upholding hospital protocols than fixing the dying situation. The performer would break protocol, defy orders, ignore rules, and even go the extra mile to fixing a situation. I can already imagine the orders given to the driver of the rescue ambulance by this performer-manager: “You’re permitted to kill yourself getting to Isuikwato; fly on land and ensure you get there in no time.” This imagination is induced by the speed I saw him drive on; bullet-speed is the word.

Performers don’t do the blame-game and they abstain from excuses

The second trait of a non-performer is the trading of blames and giving of excuses. Non-performers are darn good at those. On the contrary, those in the league of performers know that excuses absolutely change nothing and that casting blames on others is no part of the canonization process; no one becomes a saint trading blames. Performers take responsibility for every single thing that goes wrong, and then leave no stone unturned in the bid to fixing them. It was pretty easy to start lashing it out on the driver of the broken ambulance since the situation would have been avoided if he had done one or two things differently. But the performer-manager knew that wouldn’t help the situation one bit. And I’m sure he didn’t stuff his client’s ears with a thousand and one excuses; that obviously wouldn’t get his father’s remains home. Instead, he did the only thing that always works: take action!

Performers privilege value over cost

APAMS is so big that doing a refund of the money plus compensation wouldn’t have been a problem. But the performer-manager knew that the point in question was way beyond cash; a refund plus compensation wouldn’t have made his client richer. He knew that value was the point in question; he knew that he was an instrument at the service of a befitting burial for a dear father, such that he couldn’t afford not to deliver. And deliver he did.


You wish to join the league of performers? Confront situations, steer clear blame-gaming and excuse making, privilege value over cost. That’s how it works.

Are you ready?


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