General, Tips

The Deal

Osasu Oviawe Written by Osasu Oviawe · 1 min read >

In my early days of what is called a career, I had a life-changing conversation with a very unusual boss. I say unusual because he was one of those people you had to consciously remind yourself, “This is my boss.” An old soul, he always conversed with questions. It seemed the only way he knew how to engage was by asking questions.

On a particular unmarked day, we had an exchange that stuck. Let me share as best as I remember it without the beauty that the past typically splashes on fond memories.

Let us call him Waad.

Waad: What do you think is the most important production variable to manage?

Osasu: Um…, (Thinking really hard on a smart thing to say, because with this dude, you have to bring your smartest self) Time.

Waad: Time? Why Time?

Osasu: Well, all key performance indicators (KPIs) are dependent on utilization of available time. Time lost can never be recovered. Every other variable can be compensated for.

Waad: What about people?

Osasu: What happened to them?

Waad: I am asking about the variable called people. Why are they not the most important?

Osasu: People are markers of time, and the times. Performance can be achieved with any set and mix of people, you just need to get them plugged in and help them understand the importance of time, and the times.

Waad: Can we run out of time?

Osasu: Yes.

Waad: Can we run out of people?

Osasu: No.

Waad: Which will you prefer: All the time in the world, but no people; or, all the people in the world, but no time?

Osasu: All the time in the world, but no people. Less people, less trouble. No people, no trouble.

Waad: Time must have been good to you. Can I know one thing that time has done for you?

Osasu: Everything.

Waad: Care to share one?

Osasu: For one, I am here. If I had no time, I would not be here.

Waad: Fair enough. Can I know one thing that people have done for you?

Osasu: Well, the question should be about what people have done to me.

Waad: (He laughs) Okay, I will get to that. But first, share one thing people have done for you?

Osasu: Love, I guess. Love, with no strings attached. The type only grandparents understand.

Waad: (Laughs again) Okay! Now, what have people done to you?

Osasu: They have taught me life-changing lessons.

Waad: Is it possible that the only time that matters or the times that matter, are defined by people?

Osasu: Yes, it is possible, but it is also possible to have time that matters and times that matter, independent of people.

Waad: Let us try something together; something old, yet exciting. Let us forget time, let us focus on people. Let us focus on who is in front, behind, by and within us. Let us connect all our goals to what is best for each of them. And then, let us review the results when we are prompted to, by people. Hopefully, we will both still be here (Smiles). Deal?

Osasu: Deal.

That deal made a difference.

#MEMBA11 #Zazparelli

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