This is Leadership : Mirage


“Your here is there and your there is never here yet.”

In your haste you’ll create waste. You need to get closer to things to tell their true colours and form. For this, I agree. At least that is what most of us learnt. The content, though, very important, always comes in later when you get hold of the main issue. The devil is in the detail. They always say. But you always need to be sharp-eyed and wide awake. This means critically observing and assessing matters to arrive at sound decisions.

When confronted in dicey issues just use the ‘both sides of the coin’ approach. Listen here, listen there and make your point. Sometimes you rush to get there only to find out that there is nothing there to smile or even grudge about. So you sing the first and second canto of the famous wolf story. Wolf, wolf, wolf! But there’sreally no wolf.

Every leader will go through the mirage at some point, towards leadership development. Standing on a long road you’ll see a heap of gold ahead and so you’ll be motivated to walk on. You get there and you realize that you had to move further because there is nothing there yet. You’ll see another heap ahead, you’ll obviously get sunk in the adventure. So you’ll soldier on.

That is the beautiful swindle the world comes with. So near yet so far. You need to get there but you have to go through it. You can’t avoid the finger pointing, the bickering, the badmouthing, the back-biting and the disappointments if you aim to climb a little bit up or higher the corporate ladder, depending on your capacity and or motivation levels.

Indiscernibly, I have faced life meaningfully without fear and tremble. Looking back I have noticed that I only came out of it because I opted for what was right. Just right. Sometimes doing the right thing at the right time and also for the right purpose is difficult. I learnt the D-word. I learnt not to stop pushing even when the pushing stops.

Running around won’t give you solutions. Throwing hands in the air would only increase your worry. Cowering would even dent your confidence. Chasing shadows won’t bring you wisdom. Growing wings will only make you fly. Where will you land? Knowledge is good. So this is it. Set off a path to knowing more. But the good news is that, those who sought for knowledge got something along with them.

On the one long road, you’ll learn a lot. There will be ups and downs. Current trend calls it the highs and the lows. With only three kilometers to the finish line, exhaustion may set in. The feet will redden and knees will be hurting. Some will feel like going back. But the soul has to surge forward and keep asking, why you would want to quit a ten kilometer journey while you have covered seven kilometers, already. You didn’t come this far for nothing?

Leaders often times, ask this question over and over and over again. So you have to muster courage, motivate yourself and push to stay focused in your strides to get there. When you are stable, gain momentum and swing to the positive side of things.

Sometimes you unconsciously become complacent thinking all is well. But you know that success dwells not in comfort zones. From nowhere thunder can strike again. So you may panic. Learn to learn, on your way to the top. Learn more than necessary. Such that your innermost self takes control of outside events.

I personally don’t feel right when things seem too bad. And I feel very sad when everything seems too good. This is because I have learnt never to believe the hype. The concept of mirage taught me to always differentiate the hyper real from the real hyper. What’s the point in getting there to find nothing there? Pointless. The whole idea is to keep on going if you cannot keep going on.

Keep walking. You’ll get there. Run if you want to get there faster. But don’t worry much if you are not there yet. After all, where you want to be is the starting point for someone else. This is what makes the mirage not conjectural for discourse but practically true for living especially at the workplace. There is no easy route to success. Fact.

The world belongs to those who are getting their hands dirty and to those who are happy to see their sweat dripping. Hit the market and chase after the customers. Mirage. Businesses won’t come to you. Go to them. Keep moving, keep on networking, get the deals and too much is just not enough. Be challenged.

On the mirage road, stand strong, undefeatable, and unwavering. Yet bend to learn. Win some, and compromise sometimes. Make good friends. Giving up should be far from you. Picking up the pieces and striving to meet set goals should remain your guiding rod. The joy is to create your own happiness and also develop the next generation.

Your junior colleagues may be tempted to throw hands in despair along the long mirage road. But you have to coach. Don’t give up on your team even if they give up on themselves. Handhold them and carry them through it. Know when to apply the rod and when to use the staff. Dalai Lama said ‘Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.’

The things you do for others remain a legacy and not what you do for yourself. Even within the mirage concept, be like the headlight. You don’t necessarily make the paths of people short, when in darkness. But you make them walk safely home.

Understanding the concept of mirage, I sometimes lean towards Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s quote- ‘I neither know where to begin nor where to end, because I feel that the story of my life has not been one of achievements. Furthermore, I have not been anxious to tell people of what may have been accomplished by me.’

Just move on and let your deeds tell the story and not your lips. Strive to get somewhere. You may get there and may not find yourself there. Anytime I join a new team I commend exited staff no matter how good or even bad the company’s financial performance might be. I praise exited staff than existing staff.

But I get excited for those who are yet to join because they are better than the two. This is the point. No matter how good or bad things may be, a foundation has been laid. No matter how good or bad a situation is, it will surely change. It will have to go through phases. So I believe I am the change.

Mirage tells you that the present is very crucial. The past is history but can be changed now. Yet the future is daunting but a journey. Build your faith, start walking and paint a compelling picture. Never think you are there yet. You are so far from your target. Just start moving on again. Because your here is there; and your there is never here yet.

You need to celebrate the difficulties you encounter. They are the ones that promote you. Like the famous David story in the Holy Scriptures. He would probably have remained David, if not a shepherd boy, and not a King if he never encountered Goliath. Look at it this way. Your enemies push you higher than your friends. You are challenged to run faster when chased than to be in a comfort zone. In the mirage realm, things do not happen to you. They happen for you. The only fear is to get there and there’s nothing there really. Mirage.

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