It is inspiring to know that big, multinational NGOs like Rotary Club know the importance and place of entrepreneurship and leadership, especially in Nigeria. I have, over the years, come to believe that the two pillars of nation building are those two (Entrepreneurship and Leadership). If we can get enterprise right; if we can create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to thrive, Nigeria will make significant progress. Also, leadership – effective leadership – will move any nation forward. Where I am privileged to reside there is this hullabaloo about industrialization. The idea is to get the Government to build industries for its citizenry to be gainfully employed. If that is the model been pushed forth then people must realize that Governments all over the world are poor managers of business. PHCN and NNPC are typical examples. NITEL collapsed until the Government allowed top telecommunication brands to come into Nigeria. That way more jobs have been created in that sector than would have been created if the Nigerian Government kept running NITEL. I also believe until the Nigerian Government allows private organizations to run NNPC and PHCN, we will keep struggling. What Government should focus on is on creating the enabling environment for enterprises to thrive.
So it was a delight to be among one of the speakers who would share thoughts in these areas: Leadership And Entrepreneurship. I spoke on IDEATION: The process of creating Something out of Nothing. Really that is what entrepreneurs do, whether they are inventors or innovators. They create something out of nothing. Ideation is the process of converting virtual to actual; it is the process of moving things from your mind and placing it in your hand or people hands. It is making thoughts things. Very few people, unfortunately, are willing to go through that process, that thought process. Few people are unwilling to go through the three processes of IDEATION: Conceptualization, Articulation and Actualization.
I personally think that is what entrepreneurship is all about. It is about developing a concept i.e a winning idea, product or service, articulating that idea, product or service on paper such that it is good enough to be pitched before investors and customers, and executing and actualization the concept.
Leadership is about that too. Do you know that the term ENTREPRENEUR is French in origin? And its original meaning is ‘pushing forth an idea’.
Leadership is also about ideation. Leadership is about projecting ideas and communicating them in such a way that people follow through on those ideas.
As I stood on that platform to share my thoughts, I was glad to see young persons sponsored by Rotary club take down notes. There was some level of determination in the way their hands moved to script the ideas they were writing. And when they raised their heads to look at me, you could see that determination, that light in their eyes.
I really think there is hope for Nigeria. Thank you Rotary Club Nigeria for what you have been doing and what you are now doing for future entrepreneurs and leaders.