Last week, we shared the story of Femi, who through certain workplace behaviours and delivery practices, made his name BIG and known around the company. We discussed how you too can become omnipresent at work due to your works. Over the weekend, I met a friend of mine — whom I have known since our secondary and college times. He told me that the story of Femi resonated a lot with him because he has a very similar experience to Femi’s story. And I know he is right because I have tracked his career path since he graduated some eight years ago or so. For purposes of this article, we will call this friend Khama.
Since his graduation in engineering at the Polytechnic, Khama has worked in a highly specialised sector of engineering. He identified that the field was very important and yet there were very few experts. He went in there and decided he would stay in that field. Despite the fact that initially, his career was not hugely rewarding, Khama stayed in there because he saw a very bright future for himself once he developed the full potential of his talent and skills in the trade.
Along the way, Khama met some short-term attractions to move out of his chosen field but his sense of purpose and focus told him to stick in there. So, he stayed in his chosen field. He attended many professional development courses and mastered several systems and processes in his area. He spent a lot of time studying, analysing and understanding everything that he was involved in so that by five years, he was already a reasonable subject matter expert — quite fast indeed.
A couple of years ago, there was a big problem with a very expensive and specialised state of the art piece of engineering systems in a country within the southern Africa Region. The expensive system developed a fault while it was still new and under deployment. Replacement cost was astronomical and the owners talked to people in that specialised industry to put together a team of best specialists in that field of practice from anywhere in Africa or beyond. Khama’s name came up and the owners bought an air ticket for him to travel to the country where this system was and together with a couple other experts, Khama helped resolve the problem on this complex piece of machinery.
This achievement pushed the brand and name of Khama even further afield. He was becoming more and more respected and well known in Africa and beyond in his field of practice. Over the last two years, Khama has travelled to many countries providing support and consultancy services in the type of machinery that he knows to great depth and breadth. Recently, some investors from Europe approached Khama so that they can pair up with him to set up business with offices in Malawi and serve few other neighbouring countries. Khama’s patience for eight years, and his personal investment to master what few in Malawi know is beginning to pay back — in big ways and much better than if he had been moved to short-term attractions.
That Khama’s name is known by many in the field he practices is beginning to bring more opportunities for Khama now – just like Femi benefitted a lot from the fact that his name was known all over the big company. If you want to become great like Femi or Khama, you too need to build a big corporate stature for yourself, on the premises of great performance, solid delivery and advanced mastery of your field. Good luck as you build your corporate stature to match or even exceed that built by Femi and Khama. This way, you too will rise and shine!