After you

Your actions today open or shut the door to those who will come after you.

My father always used to say, “Live your life, but remember that your surname is borne by more than you. The rest of us will either carry the cross of your actions, or be elevated by your superior choices.”

I am usually shocked when I see people make choices with no consideration for ripple effects, especially as it is almost impossible to break a ripple.

When someone trusts you enough to lend you money, pay up according to schedule. It is not just good for you, but for others that might even need that help more than you.

When someone treats you without upfront payment, settle the bill. Too many lives are lost because treatment was withheld until an upfront payment is made.

When someone recommends you, show up and stand out. Too many people will need a recommendation after you, and your performance reinforces the credibility of the recommender.

Even if you do not care for the other, care for those coming after.

– Osasu Oviawe

Bell curve

The bell curve is a normal distribution curve describing most human conditions.

It gets more accurate as sample size increases.

It also plays out in the distribution of performance within teams.

What I find interesting is that all animals built in the shape of a bell move really slowly – snails, camels …

Some animals also take the form of a bell, by raising their backs, to make themselves look bigger before a fight – cats.

Bells are generally built for noise. Noise that triggers action.

The bell curve is not a representative normal distribution of high performing teams, because high performing teams usually have a small sample size.

High performing teams are distributed more like a paint roller brush.

Paint roller brushes are built for ease. Ease that facilitates beauty.

– Osasu Oviawe

Safe spaces

Lying is the “entry level drug” to every other limitation humans set on themselves.

My mum always used to say, “A person who lies is capable of every other vice.” As a child, I quickly learnt that it was always better to say the truth, no matter how damning.

However, as I grew in the real world, I noticed that lies take on new names depending on the space I get my bread or meat. It can take on names such as moderation, balance, tact, sensitivity, protect, time, political correctness, communicating up, communicating down, read the room, storytelling, surveys and many more interesting coded synonyms.

The world seems designed to break or bury anyone who tells the truth. The only way to avoid being broken or buried is to stay silent. But silence in the face of lies is participation. There’s no escape.

In spite of this, we are not helpless. We cannot resign to being liars. We are more than that. There is always a way.

You can choose to only be in spaces where the truth is valued. They exist.

If you cannot find such spaces, you can create such spaces, and protect them with exceptional desirable results. Results attract disciples, and systems that create desirable results are usually replicated. It takes hard work, but it is doable work.

I am currently working on creating such spaces. Spaces that will help to redesign the world into a place safe enough for the lone voice not to be silenced. Join me.

– Osasu Oviawe

Who are you starting with?

No one is born alone, even though it may sometimes seem otherwise. At least one person is there at your birth – your mother, and for most people, she is not the only one.

No idea is born alone, even though it may sometimes seem otherwise. At least one person supports its birth – through execution, and for most people, the support team is more than one.

No child survives after birth if they are left alone. There is a lot more nurture required at the start, than nature will ever let you know.

No idea survives after birth if they are left alone. There is a lot more work required at the start than anyone will ever let you know.

No one and nothing starts alone. When anyone or anything tries to start alone, it turns out to be a false start, requiring a restart.

No one and nothing grows alone. Alone is a surefire way to die. One way to tell areas you lack understanding, is to search for areas where you think someone or something grows without help from others.

– Osasu Oviawe

New

Every new experience introduces you to another version of self.

Whether it is a new person, place, thought, project, or book, every new experience comes with a healthy dose of curiosity, uncertainty, wonder, trepidation and some courage.

Embrace the new as a pathway to fully explore the multiverse within you.

– Osasu Oviawe

Help is around the corner

People are more willing to help than you can imagine.

But people do not like being hustled.

When you ask people for help on a journey you are already on, they go out of their way to help.

When you ask people for help on a journey you have not started, they hesitate.

Help is not in short supply. Starts are in short supply.

– Osasu Oviawe

Keep going

Those who change the world are ignored before the change is effected.

Being ignored turns out to be a blessing, because they are not distracted by applause before the work is complete.

Stop being frustrated when the work you are doing is not yet recognised. If you believe in it, stick to it. Applause is always better at the end.

Smile, now get back to work.

– Osasu Oviawe

Tail events

“In the unlikely event of a landing on water…”, and so the all too familiar advise from the flight attendant goes before take-off.

On the safest means of transport, an unlikely event is still treated with priority, because the impact of its occurrence is usually fatal.

The airline industry understands tail events better than any industry, and actively works at reducing the likelihood.

In finance, tail events are treated literally as unlikely, so minimal attention is paid to them. It seems smart in the short term, but sooner than later, the tail wags.

Global supply chain is currently grappling with a wagging tail, primarily caused by “smart” finance (just-in-time).

The less likely an event will happen, the greater the impact when it happens – positively or negatively.

In your planning, make space for the unlikely.

– Osasu Oviawe

Write now

Whenever I read the WhatsApp status updates of friends, I keep wondering why they do not chronicle their thoughts and feelings in something a little more lasting.

Maybe they want their words to be as fleeting as the 24 hrs timeline of a WhatsApp status update.

Maybe they do not realise how easy blogging is.

Or maybe people choose the platform that works best for their writing, and I should let them be.

I am not one to give up. So I engage.

I remind them that twitter is a microblogging site, and that a blog post can be as short as a tweet or as long as a book. It can be daily, weekly, monthly or without a schedule. There are really no rules. It all depends on who you are writing for – yourself or an audience.

The world needs more, not less, lasting chronicling of the thoughts, feelings and actions of individuals and groups.

Start blogging. Start now. Write now.

– Osasu Oviawe

Support systems

Who you marry is by some order, the most critical decision you will make.

Making the decision right does not make marriage easier, but it makes you stick with it, without losing yourself.

Marriage, like most meaningful things in life, is hard. Best to do hard things with people that support you.

Marriages that work have a mutual support system each partner trusts and connects with. The support system can be a friend, a parent, a therapist, a priest, a sponsor or sometimes a child.

The conventional advice is that marriage is between two people, and the two should go through it isolated. It is the safe advice, especially as there are many poor support systems, but it is also poor advice. Support systems are important.

Just as it is important for two partners getting married to find eachother, it is just as important to find a mutually trustworthy support system.

The lucky ones find such a system, the unlucky ones never find such a system.

Finding a trustworthy support system in any hard venture is a life hack.

– Osasu Oviawe