•Says We Must All Embrace The NEW NORMAL
When Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, the Founder and Senior Pastor of KICC Global speaks, many people listen, with rapt attention. This is because he is usually loaded. He is so knowledgeable about a lot of issues, so whenever he speaks, he talks with a lot of authority.
That was what happened a few days ago, when he was our Guest on the CityPeopleTV Live Chat with the publisher of CityPeople, SEYE KEHINDE. He revealed the 10cs everyone needs to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Read on, its very educative and revealing.
How do you think we can all cope with the challenges facing us today, and what is your view about Covid-19?
Well, anytime a challenge comes like this, we have to realise that it poses both Opportunity and Challenge, and we must learn to look at it with an eye of Opportunity first before we look at it with the eye of challenges.
We must also learn to position ourselves whenever challenges like this come.
I have come up with a list of what we should do, the 10cs. The first C is the C of Stay Calm. In order words; if you throw yourself into panic, you don’t solve any issue. And the true measure of Quality leadership is the ability to stay calm in times of crisis. When the plane was about to go through turbulence, the pilot will not come on the radio and start announcing; if he does that, half of the people in that plane will be going to toilet, but the captain will come up and speak calmly.
First of all, in a season like this, we need to learn the power of calmness, emotional self-control because your response can help or make matters worse. Some people in panic can even destroy things in the future, whereas if you can learn to be calm, it is in your calmness that you will begin to find the right answers, self-control learning to keep your temper. Keeping your emotions, managing what you are going through.
Then number 2C is, after the Calmness be ready for the Change. You have got to realise that our world has changed, but not everybody knows how to handle change. A man called Howard Endrecks analysed five kinds of attitude to change. He said, No 1. There are those when there is a need for change, they are early innovators and they are only 2%.
You won’t believe that during this pandemic because some people adapted to change, they are really making progress in the middle of the crisis. No 2, are early adapters. These are people that, know Covid-19 is here. They have to adjust so they changed. These are just 13%.
The 3rd category are slow majority who just follow the crowd. If they say we should use face masks, we have no choice, what can we do” they are the slow majority. That group is about 34%.
Then, there is the reluctant majority who get on board much later, those ones also are 34%. Then we have an antagonistic group who will never like to change. They find a conspiracy behind everything. Those ones are like 16%, and they always like the old and unfortunately if you in Nigeria and you are watching me and you are listening, you think Covid-19 is a joke, it’s not a joke, but in the middle of the crisis you can learn to move forward with your life, you can learn to make changes, you can learn to be a better person, you can do the things that help you. One of the things a person must know if you want to manage change is to have an early warning system that helps you. Audit your own life. Challenge your assumption; in the sense that, , some people think because of this Covid-19 I am going to lose my job, I am going to lose my business, I am going to lose my money, that is an assumption.
It might even be that, during this period that gifting you had will become even more manifest. Then, build an emergency control system into whatever you are doing, and manage it systematically. For example, if you wanted to do this interview before, you would have been waiting for me to be in Nigeria and usually, I will drag you to Ikeja Golf Club where I am a member and where I go to play Golf. But look at what Technology has done. Somebody thought ahead that one-day Technology will help us. Do you know that the person who invented Zoom, which helps people to hold meetings without being on the same spot during this Covid-19 made an additional 3.5 billion dollars in income, for just creating simple software that allows people to host meetings?
Did you know that during this period, Netflix made 5.5 billion dollars in the first 3 months of Covid-19 because they added 15.5 million customers? So, while somebody is screaming and crying that, “God what kind of disease is this, Covid-19 has come to destroy the world” somebody is strategising.
So, what do you do when I say Change: re-think your strategy, re-think your structure, re-think your value chain as a company, re-think your partnerships, think of who you are going to network with now, re-think your sustainable approaches. There are some approaches that were not sustainable before and don’t go through regular routine management, in fact, re-think your staffing. Do you know that Covid-19 made some companies know that they have been keeping some staff members they never needed? They realised they could operate, they could be making a profit while people are seated at their home, so, that is why you will find out that when the lockdown is over, the reality is some people are likely to lose their jobs. Because the company just suddenly discovered that they never needed them; they were just excess luggage
So, back to the 10Cs. Let me recap No 1 is you must be calm. Then no 2 is that you must start to prepare yourself for change. Then No 3 is you must be confident. What do I mean by that? The Coronavirus pandemic is here. It is taking lives, it’s a destructive thing, but you need to be confident enough to do things that have never been done before. For example, City People may need to drive some people to its website and say, “you want the fuller story of what we interviewed Pastor Mathew about come to our website, and as people came you also said to people who are buying airtime to buy and put their adverts on what you are doing, that way City People has gone beyond the tabloid. It has become something we can engage with as a virtual soft-sell company magazine. We need the confidence to make decisions. We need the confidence to take steps, and when you are doing this, people who are with you, who are regular; who don’t like the change like I mentioned earlier would resist, because, one of the challenges of Nigerians is that because they have been trained in one way system do not know how to adjust and realise the new normal.
No 4, is Communication. In this New Normal, we will need to realise that we need to own and communicate with people. Many people in Nigeria, particularly my generation, are so stuck on the old newspaper, okay but now with a telephone but things have changed. 65 million Nigerians are under 25. They don’t open newspaper, they don’t even watch TV per se. They are forever on Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, Facebook, though Facebook has become commonplace.
So that generation has moved to Snapchat, they have moved to Instagram and Tiktok. We need to be able to create communication system that reaches them. So in the new normal, good leadership should be able to think that, but unfortunately, I just feel worried when I see the way some of our old people do things.
The next C is Collaboration. Collaboration in the sense that for City People to make greater impact, it may need to collaborate with others. Collaborate with its employees, engage many minds, reduce the rumour mill. When there is collaboration then we find out that what you know I don’t know, what I know you don’t know, but when you brought all together it works for you, that is the power of collaboration.
The next C is, in the new normal you must recognise the power of Community. We are not operating in isolation any more. The world has become a global village. Look at us now, you just went online and in a microsecond we are connected and it’s going to be faster. So, create community, be present at this present time. Let the world know about what you are doing.
We have become part of the massive global village. I was so impressed to see that one of Nigeria’s newspaper quickly reported what the Prime Minister of Britain has just said, amazing! And it’s because the world has become a small village, it is now a community so we need to take advantage of that community mindset, create a solution team in everything we are doing. Create a community, create a system.
The next C is Courage. We have to be courageous. We need the courage to push forward, to experience great things in the middle of the pandemic. Courage to initiate new vision, new dreams.
You need the courage to go against the flow when people say is not possible to make it happen. You need the courage to look at the atmosphere and say that, “okay with what is happening in Nigeria, what do we need? For example, the courage to start agriculture. I am a member of the 21 members of the committee on palliative for Osun State.
We found that when we wanted to put palliative together for the indigent of Osun somebody suggested that “all these rice, pasta, noodles, our old mamas don’t eat this, they need Garri”
Can you believe that just 2 companies in Osun got the contract from us to supply 35 million naira of Garri, and somebody is in Lagos putting on his suit and looking for a job, meanwhile the father has 500 acres of land where he could have planted Cassava? So we need our people to become courageous to do the unusual. It is almost an oxymoron, a contradiction to realise that all the food eating now in the South is grown in the North.
The moment you reach Abuja, you start to drive up North all you see is Savannah and yet they are the one growing rice, tomatoes, pepper.
Let our young men be courageous to start a farm. Can you believe that the stalk of a banana tree is only 1500 naira and within a short time the same stalk would grow like 2 and you can sell it 10,000 naira. Can you believe a palm tree which you buy from the Nigeria Institute for Oil Farm research only costs 150 naira. I have a farm in my village in Ode-Omu, Osun State. I have 2500 palm trees standing. It has been there for 5 years and now we are producing oil.
It was 150 naira when I bought it. I am sure at the moment it cannot be more than 250. Then you hire the staff to take care of it. Many people need to realise that with 2 to 5 million naira you can start a viable palm tree farm.
With that same amount, you can start an awesome plantain farm. Be courageous. This is the new normal. When I went to preach in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, I noticed something. 3/4 of the church came with Pick-Up trucks. I was marvelled to see all of them driving Pick-Up and I asked why and they said every weekend they are in their farm. People who walk for the government have a 200-acre farm somewhere, growing cucumbers and all sort, they are bringing them to town, so they don’t depend on salary. Can you believe that International Food and Agric Organisation global said 6% of farmable land remaining on earth is in Africa?
The next C is to be Creative. You have to be Creative in the way of thinking, creative in the way of living. Right now, one or two football clubs in the United Kingdom are about to engage a fashion company in Asia that is going to be producing Jersey out of Bamboo, not cotton. They will grind bamboo and turn it to cloth innovation. And we have many bamboos waiting in Nigeria.
In the month of May, United Kingdom published the wealthiest in the world and wealthiest people in the United Kingdom, the largest domination is creative people. Agreed sometimes our government does not create enabling environment, forget about that. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
Our youngmen should stop this bad habit of every weekend in Lekki painting the town red. You see youngmen each time they have money instead of maximising and increasing the value, we are not creative. If you look right now the creative world has taken over. This pandemic has meant that people who are creative made money while those who are not creative lost money. In the first one month of the pandemic Amazon made 13 billion dollars. They were the only ones who could deliver things. We need our young men in oneness to stop looking at government. Please forgive me. And I think I have the right to say this: anybody in the government who is in their 60s has failed. I am 68 years and I am part of this category. Many of those in my generation has become like valueless, a generation that is past and gone.
So, we need young men and women who will be Creative, who will be innovative. And to be creative the number 1 thing is to think outside the box. You dream differently. You do things different from how others do. You stretch the boundaries. Isaiah 54 v 2&3 (msg) talks about how to think outside the box, be creative and expand your mind. Think big. The world cannot do without Africans but they keep rubbing it on our face, as if we are the scum of the world And that is not true. Europe cannot survive without Africa. Most of the irons in the world is taken from Africa. 40% of the rubber used for Tyres comes from Liberia alone and Liberia is so poor that you don’t make 100 dollars a month, before Firestone bought 1 million acres at 6 cents per acre and planted rubber plantation there. We need creative young men who will think differently. Why is our road jammed, it is because all what our young men do is to get a degree and start looking for job in Lekki, looking for job in Ikoyi. So, we jam the road in the morning, jam the road in the evening when coming back. And it won’t stop. Let them create the 4th Mainland road, it won’t stop.
The only way to stop it is when young men and women begin to create their own businesses. Look at during the pandemic, people were working from home. Didn’t work go on? Imagine when people have their own businesses. It will mean that you don’t have to leave home 4 am, come back 11 pm, you see your baby for 1hr, you can only see your children on Saturday, Sunday you are in church, Monday again you are back to work. We need to be creative. Embrace the change. Stay away from yesterday, process tomorrow.
The next C is Compassion. We need people who will develop the art of Compassion. After God has giving you the strength and grace in this new normal, reach out to people. There are needy people, pick them up. Help people. Feed the hungry. Touch their lives.
That last C which is the 10th one is the C or Cash during a New normal. Don’t spend every money you have. Make sure you have money for emergencies and also make sure you have money for investment for those who are reading this, Nigeria stock exchange would have fallen by now terribly, this is the time to go and by their shares because once it get to the ground where else will it go? It has to go up. So, this is the time for the last C of Cash. It’s not new car season. It’s not a new cloth season. During the pandemic, I kept wearing the same thing (laughs). The pandemic made our clothes useless, made our shoes useless. Take your money during this time and invest, not just for yourself but for generations to come.