A case for perspective and the acceptance of a genuine narrative.

Onyinye Anyakee Written by Onyinye Anyakee · 1 min read >

Life in itself is full of uncertainties and the best laid plans can sometimes blow up in our faces. We may not also meet up with deadlines and objectives we set for ourselves, or those set for us by others. Furthermore, the aphorism that excuse giving is an indication of a lack of capacity seems to be the dominant narrative in the corporate world as well as other organized sectors. Take sales as a case study, targets are given, and perhaps due to an out of stock situation on some key SKUs, or maybe an economic downturn, targets set were not meet. In the foregoing, contemporary managers may resort to the popular sales maxim that “the number is the number”. Here, these messianic managers never find perspective or give their report a chance to put forward a narrative for not meeting their numbers.

While the tendency is there for personnel to look for slack and avoid pushing themselves to the limit, taking the easy way out of situations, a definitive test of a manager’s managerial ability is the possession of a third eye. A third eye denotes an ability to separate facts from fiction; The ability to spot when the reason given for not delivering on KPIs is as a result of a lack of effort or despite the reports best efforts. Instances abound were a new joiner inherits a basket case of work, and to clear the mess on ground seems to be taking longer than usual due to the depth of this rot. And sooner rather than later, the moment for a confirmation review has birthed. 

Here, the direct report puts forward what should ordinarily be a strong narrative, but still due to the probation reviewers desire to look good himself, or an inability to comprehend the extent of the rot inherited ab initio, such a direct report’s appointment may be terminated despite the strong narrative put forward for the situation on ground by the report. Other factors may also be responsible for the seeming lack of acceptance of the narrative chief of which is the personal flaw of vindictiveness.

The saving power of a strong narrative also applies to politics. The ongoing debate of whether or not fuel subsidies should be removed is a case in point. If the government had put forward a strong narrative or argument as to why subsidy should be yanked off, the citizenry may get the right perspective. If the handlers of the nation had explained that the 40 billion dollars spent annually on subsidizing petrol now outstrips totally spend on education and health combined, maybe it would have gotten the buy in of the citizenry.  However, that isn’t the whole story as there also exists a trust deficit between the leaders and the led but this is a discussion for another day.

The integrity question in putting forward a strong narrative also applies not just to the handlers or the leaders but also to the led.  If more often than not, the led have a tendency to cut corners and to call black white, their narratives will often be perceived as untrue and will therefore be discarded.



OMB in General
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