Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
LIFE is characterised by new beginnings. One day starts at the tail of another. One season begins as one comes to an end. Nature always renews itself.
Beginnings signal the closure of the past, the opening of the future, and the promise of renewal. Beginnings, as with every New Year, comes with certain rituals. They invite us to review the outgoing period and plan for the incoming one.
This is why at the end of each year or financial cycle, corporations prepare annual reports and appraisals and draw up annual budgets and plans for the New Year. Likewise, individuals take personal stock of achievements, failures or challenges they faced in the year that ended, and embrace the hope that comes with starting afresh in a New Year — all of which is rooted in our desire to do and be better. This is particularly crucial for leaders.
Effective Leaders should always take stock of their performance with each changing cycle and eagerly embrace each new chapter, as an opportunity for continuous improvement. As a matter of fact, it is said that the day you stop improving, you start dying. Life does not tolerate a vacuum.
It was this quest for improvement, at the dawn of a new year, that marked the beginning of China’s transition from a struggling, closed country to the superpower it is today. In the New Year of 1979, China’s new leader, Deng Xiaoping, after a period of stocktaking and reflection, began a series of legal and economic reforms that would transform China for years to come. The same can be said for most thriving countries across the world, where drastic turns of development were heralded by deep reflection, a quest for improvements and new beginnings.
It is in this spirit I welcome you to a glorious New Year; one that coincides with Nigeria’s transition from one democratic tenure to another. The question is: could this be a divinely orchestrated new beginning for Nigeria?
The word ‘change’ has become the buzzword across the nation, one bandied in the corporate sector, the political terrain, and everywhere else. We see the incumbent enumerating what it has achieved and articulating its plans for an improved future. At the same time, we see the opposition highlighting a programme of change that will counter the status quo.
Both sides acknowledge that the socio-economic and political situation in the country has to improve. This quest for improvement has been central to Nigeria’s evolution as a nation. Unfortunately, Nigeria has not seen much improvement in the last 30 years or more. Some leaders have tried, but Nigerians expect and deserve more. In this New Year, we need a period of collective reflection to assess on how far we have come and then commit to charting a new course. Moments like this are the fibres from which history is made. We have yet another unique opportunity with the forthcoming to make a fresh start, an opportunity to get it right. Are we going to let it slip?
Nigeria Has a Great Future
Pastor Taiwo can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org