Otunba Olusola Adekanola (FCA, FNIT), harps on raising the bar for greatness and excellence


 

Ayo Ola

 

Renowned intellectual, Otunba Olusola Adekanola (FCA, FNIT), has harped on the importance of raising the bar for greatness and excellence, which stated that Kwara State Polytechnic is noted for.

These were contained in his speech as a guest speaker, at the 50th anniversary of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital and its Alumni Association.

The anniversary featured a novelty football match, a road show, a movie premier by the Mass Communication Department of the institution, a 50th anniversary day celebration, a foundation laying of the Alumni secretariat/village, fundraising and awards.

Below is Otunba Adekanola’s lecture.

I feel truly humbled and delighted to present this paper titled: THE POST RETIREMENT LIFESTYLE AND INVESTMENT OPTIONS; BEING THE SUPPLEMENT FOR ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS TO RAISE THE BAR FOR GREATNESS AND EXCELLENCE; before you, the iconic alumni association members and your friends sitting in this hall.

I will like to approach my lecture paper by streaming the subject into parts and asking the following questions:

How has the journey been since fifty years ago?

Why Raising the Bar for Greatness and Excellence is Germane?

What is the Post Retirement Lifestyle for our Alumni Association Members?

What are Investment Options for our Alumni Association Members?

 

HOW HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN SINCE FIFTY YEARS AGO?

Kwara State Polytechnic is a Nigeria Tertiary institution that was established in 1973 by the then Military Governor of Kwara State in the person of then Col. David Bamigboye, after the decision of establishing a Polytechnic in Kwara State was announced in 1971.

Fifty (50) years is a lot in the life of any institution, and most institutions do not even survive the first decade of existence. We must therefore commend the vision that led to the creation of the Kwara State Polytechnic, and give kudos to the successive managements of the school for not only ensuring the longevity of the institution but also for ensuring that it remains a topmost institution of technical education in our part of the world. I hail the longevity of the institution, because the endurance of the alumni body that we are celebrating today derives from that of the underlying institution. I am not one to question the wisdom of Yoruba adages, but what we celebrate here today has put paid to the saying that “20 children cannot play together for 20 years”. This illustrious body has been together for 50 years, but maybe the members have not exactly been playing together. In any case, we celebrate the excellence and longevity of the school and its alumni body, even as we wish both institutions every success in the next 50 years.

 

Why Raising the Bar for Greatness and Excellence is Germane?

I cannot but dwell on the subject matter of this day: “Raising the bar for greatness and excellence”, a topic I find appealing given that greatness and excellence are two things that Kwara State Polytechnic is noted for. Hence permit me to answer the above question from personal, institutional and societal angles.

To avoid any ambiguity, let me state clearly what the terms “greatness” and “excellence” mean to me. Greatness has been equated with eminence and distinction. It could also be said to mean standing out or achieving a special status. Lewis Howes, the author of the bestseller book, “The School of Greatness”, defines greatness as “discovering what your greatest gifts are, your talents, what you were born to do, maximizing those gifts, and impacting the maximum amount of people in the world with those gifts.” Greatness as a term is never used to describe regular things or people, but those that positively stand out. We can surmise from this definition that greatness and excellence are one and the same since the only way to be great is through excellent actions, processes and results. Hence, greatness and excellence are positive attributes that we all should have or at least aspire to have.

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Individual Greatness is about overcoming odds to achieve personal success. At home and abroad, we have people that we consider to have broken barriers to achieve greatness in every field of endeavour. And when we talk of our own Alumni, we also have people like our inimitable Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church, Ayo Animashaun of Hip TV, Lola Akande a seasoned Journalist, Mayowa Oluyeba a film producer, Faithia Williams a film actress of repute, Saheed Balogun a film actor of repute, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim a Senator who represented Kwara South Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly, my humble self and many of us in this gathering today.

My point however is that human beings have achieved greatness in every area of human endeavours, implying that greatness is not something that is unattainable. People of all nations have achieved greatness in several fields. Greatness is therefore not some illusory aspiration outside the reach of normal people, but something that is attainable and is achieved everyday by several people. Which brings us to the question: what does it take to be great? First, some clarifications: you do not need a title or be appointed into a position to be great. This is in fact the thrust of the late Steve Covey making a distinction between primary greatness, driven by such values as integrity, responsibility and meaningful contribution, and secondary greatness, which is focused on such goals as money, popularity and the self-absorbed, pleasure-ridden life that some people consider “success”. It follows that greatness is not a function of what title or how much wealth you have acquired, but is a function of the impacts you have made on the lives around you.

The best way to internalize the lessons of greatness is to teach them to others. Teaching does four things for you: you learn better when you teach; teaching increases the chances that you would practice what you preach; it helps relationships; and ultimately makes you a more progressive person.

I have dwelt on Covey’s teaching on greatness because it defines greatness not in the ephemeral terms that we celebrate in this part of the world, and also it lists ingredients of greatness that are incontrovertible and that we can all relate with. It is by no means the only exposition on the subject. We can probably generate a list of over a hundred “principles” of success, but such lists ultimately get confusing and contradictory. Many of these “principles”, like writing down your goals, doing self-affirmations, having a winning mindset, developing positive attitudes and so on could be very helpful. But they suffer from the ubiquitous “more is better” mentality, and send on a pursuit of “greatness”, without even the slightest clarification of what precisely “greatness” means. Steve Covey’s approach distinguishes between primary greatness and secondary greatness and emphasizes to us why our focus should be on primary greatness. I commend this approach to anyone that wants to build enduring greatness, because the pursuit of “more” has never really helped our nation and our world.

The foregoing relates to individual greatness. An association or a nation populated by genuinely great people will inevitably be a great association or nation. But it is also possible for a country of great people to go adrift, if the people therein do not pursue the goal of national greatness, since greatness simply does not fall from the sky, but is a result of deliberate efforts. I will spend the next few minutes talking about national greatness, believing that whatever it takes to build a great nation can be simply cascaded to the organizational level.

We should note that the idea of national greatness is not a new one. Neither is it something that is peculiar to our part of the world. Anyone familiar with American politics would be familiar with the expression “Make America Great Again”, which was the political mantra of the former American President Trump. To be clear, I am no fan of Trumps, but we can deduce some points from the “MAGA” mantra. First, at the national level, greatness is something to be desired. Secondly, national greatness does not happen automatically, but is something to be worked towards. Thirdly, a person or country that has once been great can lose his/its greatness. Unfortunately, time and space would not allow the latitude of excessive deliberation on this point. So, in the little time that I have left, I will highlight what I believe to be requirements of national greatness, and then wrap up with my parting thoughts.

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So, Greatness is desirable, whether at the individual, organizational or national level. We have shared what it takes to be great. But greatness also has its benefits. Adding value to others and the overall society is something to cherish, in addition to financial and social rewards that greatness brings. Compared to the alternative, excellence and greatness is something we must all aspire to have.

WHAT IS THE POST-RETIREMENT LIFESTYLE FOR OUR ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERS?

Will Rogers once said ‘’ Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.’’ As many retirees discover, leaving one life to begin another is difficult. The truth is, even though most professionals look forward to retirement, the loss of a job can be unexpectedly traumatic.

A May 2013 study by the UK’s Institute of Economic Affairs reported that 40% of retirees suffer from clinical depression while 6 out of 10 reported a decline in health how much more in Nigeria going by the deteriorated health sector?

According to psychologists, jobs provide mental health benefits including:

The feeling of contribution and being appreciated

The satisfaction of solving problems and learning new things

Relationships with fellow workers

Daily routines eliminate mental decisions about ‘’what to do next’’

Hence, the key to a positive retirement is to ensure these benefits don’t get lost, but are simply experienced in a different way.

Retirement allows you to recognize your accomplishments, understand and forgive your perceived failures and set a new course for the rest of your life.

Writing a personal memoir, whether a chronological history or a series of lessons learned, can be comforting, therapeutic, and a declaration of identity- a statement telling the world you matter

 

Members of our associations that are retired or near retirement should adhere to the following:

Stop playing the blame game: Go for it now, victims don’t stop blaming the economy, govt, stock market, the broker, their type of business or jobs, their employer, their employees, their manager, their Agent, their spouse, their parents, and God except themselves.

Don’t justify mediocrity: Believe in success.

Stop complaining: Stop alleviating the stress of failure.

Do a “debrief”: At the end of the day, write down one thing that went well and one thing that didn’t, it will keep you accountable.

Go to the library, a bookstore, or the internet and read a biography of someone who is or was extremely rich and successful.l Use their story for inspiration, for learning specific success strategies, and most importantly for copying their mindset.

Join a high-end society, such as for tennis, health, business, and golf. Mingle with rich people in a rich environment.

Identify a situation or a person who is a downer in your life, and remove yourself from that situation or association. If it is family, choose to be around them less.

Stop watching television or internet programmes that are not edifying and stay away from bad news.

Act in spite of fear: The biggest mistake most people make is waiting for the feeling of fear to subside or disappear before they are willing to act. These people usually wait forever.

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Be unstoppable: You have to train yourself to not be stopped by anything.

Hence, if you are willing to do only what is easy, life will be hard, and vice-versa.

WHAT ARE INVESTMENT OPTIONS FOR OUR ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERS?

Your character, your attitudes, and your beliefs are a critical part of what determines the level of your success. The key to success is to rouse your own energy, when you do, people will naturally be attracted to you. The vast majority of people simply do not have the internal capacity to create and hold on to large amounts of money and the increased challenges that go with more money and success. This is the primary reason they don’t have much money like most lottery winners eventually return to their original financial state (the amount they can comfortably handle). On the other hand, the opposite occurs for self-made millionaires. When self-mades lose their money they usually have it back within a relatively short time because they never lost the most important ingredient to their success; their millionaire mind.

Consequently, the fastest and easiest way to create wealth is to learn exactly how rich people, who are masters of money, play the game.

The goal is to simply model their inner and outer strategies.

Contrary to the rich, when poor people hear about other people’s success, they often judge them, criticize them, mock them, and try to pull them down to their own level. Hence, the investment of money in securities is unique among business operations in that it is almost always based on some degree of advice received from others. A great number of investors are amateurs that feel that in choosing their securities, they can profit by professional guidance. Yet there are peculiarities inherent in the very concept of investment advice. If the reason people invest is to make money, then in seeking advice they are asking others to tell them how to make money. That idea has some elements of naivety.

Businessmen seek professional advice obtained from investing money in securities, and then the role of the adviser can be more readily established. He will use his superior training and experience to protect his clients against mistakes and to make sure that they obtain the results to which their money is entitled. If the investor is to rely chiefly on the advice of others in handling his funds, then either he must limit himself and his advisers strictly to standard, conservative and even unimaginative forms of investment or he must have an unusually intimate and favourable knowledge of the person who is going to direct his fund into other channels.

Advice on investments may be obtained from a variety of sources:

1. A relative or friend, presumably knowledgeable in securities.

2. A local (commercial) banker.

3. A brokerage firm or investment banking house.

4. Financial Service or periodical and

5. An Investment Consultant.

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Post Retirement Lifestyle and Investment Options will be the Supplement for Alumni Associations to raise the Bar for Greatness and Excellence if Alumni members can embrace the above discourse and take necessary action.

The average person has roughly 20yrs of life remaining after retirement time enough to write a masterpiece, run a marathon or mentor hundreds of youths. There is even time to do nothing, discover the beauty of grandkids, or rekindle the romance of a long relationship. For those of us that are retired, while we continue to enjoy this new milestone of life, I will implore us to take action now.”


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