Taking a critical look into our situation in Nigeria, the Public and Private sectors have come a long way in efforts to uplift her people in terms of basic services rendered to them. As a culture of the responsibility of Government to its people, business owners to their customers, these services are statutory obligations. Hence, its dissemination is liable to accountability. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to account on paper, but the real accountability should be a deliberate attempt to receive feedback from those (People) who the services are rendered to.
Some weeks back, I was on a bus trip to a destination I rather not mention, Lagos traffic showed up and it was bound to be longer than I thought, all radio stations related about the traffic at the time and it dawned on us that we will be in there for a while. However, I sat close to a middle-aged man who began to speak furiously about lastma officials not available at their duty post that evening; I listened painstakingly as he narrated how things would have been better if a government official was to pass through the road at that hour. Then, he began his story facing in my direction, “I was little when General Gowon was military ruler here in Dodan Barracks Lagos, my dad told me that, one day General Gowon decided to walk into the General Hospital, Ikeja, unidentifiable, dressed like a weary old man. He stood on the queue for long hours unattended to, he watched as the Nurses and Doctors sat in corners, chatting, gisting and eating while yelling at patients to remain accordingly on the queue. Soon, he sat because he was tired, then took out his phone and the called the health coordinator of his administration and his military aids/escorts to meet him up at the hospital, on hearing the noise of siren, Nurses and Doctors began to comport themselves in anticipation, he continued, they were surprised to see an old man pull out his dress to khaki underneath, hence, it was General Gowon. At that moment, some of them knew their jobs were gone”. He continued talking as we progressed slowly in traffic as I shook my head anytime he made a major point.
However, if at all the story was untrue, I still picked a few lessons from it, and one major lesson was, trying to achieve set goals by putting yourself in the midst of the process to test its durability. Unfortunately, according to the story, these nurses and doctors had failed the test of character and diligence. I pondered, today, the majority of business owners, CEOs, Political Office holders all fail in this regard as they mostly rely on aides for feedback rather than to be hands-on at times. Validating praise-singing can be a dangerous approach to understanding why consumers, customers, clients, and followers behave the way they do.
In my submission, it is not utterly wrong to trust people or place people in positions to deliver on an assignment, what might be counter-productive is handing out all the feedback mechanisms to them as well. Although it is not an opportunity for you to be overly critical in assessment as mentorship gives room for imperfections, training, and corrective measures. To be hands-on could give a window to look out for how things could be done better.