< How to live for the future now >

Barack Obama didn’t become “44” in the way you’d imagine. I mean, 44th POTUS. Interestingly, he was handpicked from a street corner by Kerry and sold to the American voters. By ‘street’ I don’t mean he was roaming the streets in the way we know; it’s the fact that Kerry experienced Obama’s magic at a small fundraising by a street corner and immediately saw the next US president in him. To make it come true, he simply arranged to have him be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic Convention, where next to everyone was left in no doubt that ‘change has come to America.’ Of course, by the very next convention, 2008, he was there again to announce his candidacy for president. Without mincing words, Obama showed up to that big stage, 2004 Democratic Convention, wearing the badge of his ‘next level clearance’ – and everyone was in no doubt. And we all know that it ended in praise.

Down here, in Nigeria, a certain man ran for president more than once to no avail and decided to settle for governor. And, for a whopping 8 years as governor, succeeded in proving to all and sundry that it’d have been a big mistake to have obliged his request for our votes in 2003 – and 2007 – for the highest office in the land. Now, he would almost certainly never be president. Why? Because he failed to secure a ‘next level clearance.’

Lemme share something quite personal with you. I woke up yesterday, Sunday, feeling plenty, plenty things – as expected. And so I decided to turn my gaze to God, to have him say something to me. As if the heavens conspired in my favour, I found the perfect words with which to call his attention, Psalm 27:8-9, “Of you my heart has said, ‘seek his face.’ It is your face, O Lord, that I seek. Do not hide your face from me.” And in a remarkable turn of event, and I knew it was Him, he led me straight to a friend’s bookshelf, got me to pick a particular book, and got me to reading the book from the back, and then I found it! By the way, the book is Wallace D. Wattles’s “The Science of Getting Rich.” Kindly read it, whatever it may take you.

Here’s what I found, and I do care to share with you: YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL UNTIL YOU SECURE CLEARANCE FOR IT. What that? Here’s Wallace’s exact words, “Every person who does one thing perfect is instantly presented with an opportunity to begin doing the next larger thing.” And if you’re complaining about your environment, he says to you, “Your only way of reaching a better environment is by making constructive use of your present environment. Only the most complete use of your present environment will place you in a more desirable one.”

The point is: Who you are, what you have, and where you are, already hold the magic to whoever you wish to become, whatever you want to have, and wherever you desire to go. But you must first prove faithfulness in little things (how effective you are at the current level), which is what will give you clearance for the next level. Funnily, you won’t be needing to figure out how to actually get to the next level; you will just wake up one day to find yourself there. This principle delivers like magic.

This revelation meant something to me, at a personal level. I hope I didn’t bore you.

Your No. 1 fan,


< One thing every leader should learn from President Trump >

It’s an interesting time to be alive; at a time when a drama king occupies the most powerful house on the planet, the White House, and has under his command the finest army and weaponry anywhere on the face of the earth. It is of little doubt that Trump’s presidency is the most interesting thing that’s been happening on earth since its inception on January 20, 2017. Next to every morning, the world wakes up to something startling from him, usually on his Twitter handle. And not even the Great Ones are exempt; his ‘Great Again’ mantra means that he’s particularly impatient with Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi, who both appear to be giving America a run for world’s No.1.

For me, it’s being a long time knowing Trump, through his books. From “Surviving the Top,” through “The Art of the Deal,” to “Great Again,” the man remains consistent. He is that gutsy author, one whose books could pass for crack cocaine; you don’t get to remain the same after sniffing in his ideas, all of them characteristically contrarian; he drives you nuts with highness. That’s on a lighter note, though. I wouldn’t know what you think about Trump, or how exactly you feel about him; this piece is simply about one thing I feel every leader should learn from him.

Every day is someone’s birthday, and February 5, 2019 happened to be Judah Samet’s 81st – a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh who had survived Hitler’s Holocaust decades earlier, and in 2018 a horrific shooting that killed 11 members of his community. That day was also State of the Union, the most important day in the life of a sitting US president. On that day, the POTUS would stand before a joint session of Congress, all of America, and indeed the rest of the world, to announce the strength of the American union, one that’s been a long time coming. Of course, such an announcement could only come after a long argument establishing its grounds. Trust me, there’s no better day to know how truly proud American can be; the POTUS gets to look the rest of the world in the eyes and boldly and proudly allude that God entrusted custody of the planet to them.

On that one of four most hallowed days of Trump’s presidency, he was not so busy being president that he forgot Judah. I kept looking into Judah’s eyes through the rest of the speech and could feel him reciting the ‘nunc dimittis’ – “I can now die.” Trump spoke of him before the world as would rarely be spoken of a human being alive. And when Congress learnt that it was Judah’s birthday, Trump let them sing to the finish the usually sensational happy birthday song, immediately after which Trump added – on a lighter note, “They wouldn’t do that for me, Judah.” And it wasn’t only Judah, as Trump also gave a number of his special guests the gift of spotlight, including: Elvin Hernandez, Buzz Aldrin, Timothy Matson, Ashley Evans, Joshua Kaufman, etc. From my end, I could feel every one of them feeling like it were the very best day of their lives, the happiest, and the most meaningful.

What should leaders learn from Trump? It is this: Be stupendously generous with the gift of spotlight; place people in the middle of the show, tell among the audience the good they’ve done, and genuinely shower them with praises in the loudest way possible. At those points, don’t compete for the spotlight with them; you already have it. Publicly give them credit for the role(s) they played, and let them be in no iota of doubt as to how much difference they made. If you do this always, and sincerely, then you’d rarely encounter loyalty issues.

I think so.

Your No.1 fan,