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Leadership, Mindset, Nation-building

Study: The First Step in Nation-building

In my book, ‘Nation-building: How to Build and Sustain a Developed Nigeria’ I stated “… No one has ever reached the pinnacle of human endeavour without adequate study as a form of preparation. So, for us to take our nation to the pinnacle of her potential, our study of what nation-building is, why it is needed and how to implement it is mandatory and must come first”.

Study is the very first step in the development of an individual. In its common use, study would refer to the stages through academic education but we would all admit that our study started before we commenced nursery or kindergarten.  As babies, we studied voices to identify the voices of our parents, we studied faces to note those who family, we studied how to eat, walk, talk, get attention, make a request  and most of these studies we undertook before we could communicate in words.

So, study is more than academic training but it is the foundation in which all other stages of development (practice, teach and inspire) are built upon. In our effort to build a developed Nigeria, it is essential that we all begin at the starting point which is the study of nation-building.

Before we go any further, it must be made clear that nation-building is a task given to every citizen of a country and it is not just a task for our government officials.

There are 4 steps involved in the study of how we can build a develop Nigeria.  There are Responsibility, Review, Identification and Planning.

Responsibility: It is fundamental that our study starts with responsibility. This is because the level of our commitment to study is determined by the level of responsibility we carry for our nation.

Responsibility says the problem is not ‘them’ but I and as such, the solution must come from me. With this sort of mindset, we become solution focused rather than problem focused and the result is the willingness to become the change we need in our nation.

No one can solve a problem they haven’t taken ownership for and responsibility enables us take ownership for the problem facing our nation.

Review: With the acceptance of responsibility, that is saying I am the change Nigeria needs, we then progress on to examine critically and deliberately on why we need to build our nation and why it must to be us.

Accepting responsibility provides the willingness but the review provides the assessment of our motives and purpose which will result in the resetting of our values. We cannot become the change in our nation if we have not personally witnessed transformation and interestingly, this transformation is an on-going process.

The review phase in study is the soul searching within to produce a person not only willing & committed but also a person with an awareness of why we need to change which then leads to change through values acquisition.

The review is mainly about the why question and this question is so critical. According to William Barclays, “There are two days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why”.

Identification: With responsibility for Nigeria accepted and a thoroughly review done, leading to a mindset that has both been changed & motivated for action, we can invest time to identify what contribution we can make to nation-building.

All sectors of our nation are in a state of emergency (including Faith or religion) and to most of Nigerians it looks like a hopeless situation. But the identification phase enables us recognise that we can initiate & sustain change using our specific God-given gift, skills, experience and resources in areas that most burdens us.

We ask questions like what am I good at? What do I love doing? What needs can I serve? What is life asking of me? What gives my life meaning and purpose? What do I feel I should be doing?

It is a natural sequence to follow up our acceptance of responsibility and a review of why, with an identification of what we can and are willing to do.

Planning: Once we’ve accepted responsibility, reviewed why, identified our specific action, it leads to us drawing up a plan of action to implement what we have identified.

Planning is the phase that takes our thoughts & desires and put them into a plan of action with timelines. All it requires is a window of uninterrupted time for focused thoughts and the jotting down of such with timelines for implementation.

An efficient & effective action plan reflects a thorough study phase and also, it ensures we can have an effective Practice. After the Study of nation-building, we naturally progress on to Practice, Teach and Inspire.

So, a sufficient investment of time into the study phase will enable us practice, teach and inspire nation-building in ways that will impact our nation in more ways than one.


I intend to follow up this article with a look at the role of Practice in nation-building but before that, I will like to write on why I wrote the nation-building book to show why I believe strongly that this book forms part of the essential material for the study of how we can build Nigeria into a developed nation. Equally important is my attempt that to show how the study of nation-building led to the writing and publishing of the book.

If you not yet bought and more importantly, read the book, I would strongly recommend you get your copy today and you can learn more about the study phase in how to implement nation-building.

The question we must then ask ourselves is have I studied how I can build a developed Nigeria? If no, you can start today and together we can build a Nigeria that will make our children and our God proud.



5 thoughts on “Study: The First Step in Nation-building

  1. Entitlement mind set this mindset causes us to reject responsibility for the development of our nation, stop seeking growth, become proud and pompous, lose the heart of service and worse off, distorts our view of God (feeling like He owes us? That may explain why our prayers are mainly (‘bless me Lord’ and not ‘use me Lord’). The outcome is most of our of intelligentsia’s, oligarchy’s in private and public sectors’s and the commoner’s top down and bottom up both home in Nig and in the diaspora are about the most arrogant set of citizens with little thought for what is happening in the nation, as long as the bubble they live in is not interrupted.

    The other manifestation of the entitlement mindset is the seniority factor. When we speak & act in Nigeria we play the age or education card and this means, we look down at people younger than us or less qualified. As a result, we hinder the expression of people keen to innovate because their act of thinking outside the box challenges our knowledge gained but not practiced. Yet, the most innovative group of people in any society are the youths (18-35 year olds).

    That said, the more homogeneous a group of people are in their thinking, the narrower the range of ideas that the group will openly consider. The more open minded, creative, and courageous a group is, the wider the pool of ideas they’ll be capable of exploring.
    Some teams of people look to focus groups, consultancies, and research methods to bring in outside ideas, but this rarely improves the quality of thinking in the group itself. Those outside ideas, however bold or original, are at the mercy of the diversity of thought within the group itself. If the group, as a collective, is only capable of approving B level work, it doesn’t matter how many A level ideas you bring to it. Focus groups or other outside sources of information can not give a team, or its leaders, a soul. A bland homogeneous team of people has no real opinions, because it consists of people with same backgrounds, outlooks, and experiences who will only feel comfortable discussing the safe ideas that fit into those constraints.

    I will end on this note: ”Thinking is the hardest work there is, which the probable reason why so few engage in it – Henry Ford.

    Posted by Henry Nene Willimas | March 1, 2012, 10:58 am
  2. perfectly correct

    Posted by adebusoye festus | April 6, 2012, 1:41 pm
  3. I realy commend you on this lovely topic”nation building” and your hert and workable brain and statistics idealogy. Pls. I will like to have a copy .Thanks

    Posted by Yusuf Olalekan | May 28, 2012, 7:52 pm
  4. I realy commend you on this lovely topic”nation building” and your hert and workable brain and statistics idealogy. Pls. I will like to have a copy .Thanks yusuf olalekan.

    Posted by Yusuf Olalekan | May 28, 2012, 7:55 pm

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