Barbeque Eagles

 Saturday 08th October 2011 wasn’t a good day to be a Nigerian football fan at all. The blast of the final whistle a little after 4pm that evening, was like a knife plunged into our hearts, we had failed to qualify for the nations’ cup at the expense of a Guinean team we could have beaten. It was more painful that we had surrendered a lead in injury time, final score 2:2 and the bottom line: 1) No AFCON (African Cup of Nations) 2012 for Nigeria 2) The Super Eagles are not as good as we all think they are. We have always lived in a fool’s paradise as a nation especially when it comes to football which many Nigerians are passionate about, we feel The Super Eagles are one of the best, the truth is they are not, at least we haven’t won anything recently. The signs of our weakness as a team have always been there, but always ignored.
Just like The Super Eagles, don’t we all live in a fool’s paradise: in this huge assumption that we are great dads, mums, employees, students, boyfriends and girlfriends? You never meet a man that says: “I’m such a terrible dad.” Or a businessman that admits: “I’m not a good businessman, it is obvious.” Never! Instead the reverse is the case, we all judge ourselves to be experts of whatever it is that we do. I mean nobody likes to think of himself or herself as average or a failure, but the failure to really assess ourselves and see how good or terrible we are in whatever we do is the reason why we never improve.
So I challenge you to do an evaluation of your performance in whatever it is you do. This is easy especially when there are standard metrics e.g. a ranking, or a grade. So if you are a student, take a look at your grades, if you are a sportsman or woman, what’s your ranking on the team?
In a setting when there is no standard ranking or metric, ask for feedback from others. As a leader, sit with your team and ask: “what do you guys think of my leadership?” also look over projects you worked on as a team and measure your success. Wives should sit with husbands and evaluate their marriages: what’s working? What’s not working? If you are an employee, sit with your boss and ask them what they think of your performance. Friends should sit together and criticize one another objectively, in a constructive manner with all honesty.
To be honest, we would hear some things that may hurt us and some truth that would shock us out of our skin, but that’s the point: The need to obtain feedback from others to improve ourselves. We may also hear some commendation, enjoy it, give yourself a pat on the back but don’t become complacent. There is always room for improvement.


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