STORY: What Would You Do Differently Knowing What You Know Now?
While in Grad school doing a two year Master of Science in Leadership program (MSL), we had a little classroom discussion on KWIKN.
Someone might say:
"Iyke what in the world is KWIKN?"
Well, not to worry, KWIKN is just an acronym that stands for:
"Knowing What I Know Now"
It is used in leadership parlance to jump-start you to think about your decisions after you might have started seeing some of the outcomes. It helps you to acknowledge the idea that you might have taken some suboptimal decisions in life based on what you knew then, it helps you to open up your thinking gaze to a broader scope, it helps you to admit the limited scope of your humanity when compared to the infinite insight of the Spirit of God in you.
It can be applied either on a personal or organizational note. For example, on a personal note, I asked a man in the classroom who was thinking of divorcing his second wife that if he knew what he now knows, would he have divorced his first wife...and he screamed a big NO! Somebody asked an Obama staunch supporter if he would have voted for President Obama if he knew what he now knows...And he said:
"With what I now know about the gains in the US economy, yes! But with what I now know about his position on the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) issue, no!"
That answer brought home the point about our individual abilities to separate issues as they occur in life. It also fuels the need for us to pause once in a while to check our thoughts, words and actions to see if we need a recourse before we go too far. Thinking along this line reminds me of the conversation I had with a friend who stopped talking to me some months ago for the singular reason that I dared to point out seven reasons why a particular political candidate should not be voted for during the last Presidential elections in Nigeria.
Surprised at seeing his number, I picked up the phone to find out what the issue was. And the first sentence he made was: "Iyke, I am so sorry for joining those who called you names the last time during the campaigns...ehmm...I am sorry...Knowing What I Know Now about the lop-sided nature of the appointments of President Buhari of Nigeria, how he even approved a new female INEC chairman that is said to be related to his course in some ways, and his several pro-North appointments, I would never have voted for him."
Well, I encouraged him by reminding him that since the appointments have already been made, we should check if the appointees are competent for the job...and if they are, I guess we will get used to them after some time.
That word 'competence' seemed to tear the vein of anger in him as he gushed out these words:
"Did I hear you say, competence? What do you mean by competence sir, in this regard? If he can find one competent person in the North...what stops him from finding ten competent people in the South? Was this so-called brouhaha of competence not initiated by the doctrine of quota system in the Nigerian school admission system? Why can't they also allow the issue of Federal character to be applied in some of these appointments?"
Well, seeing that my friend was not persuaded by my homilies, I tried another one. I said, "It's okay...let's wait for the Ministerial list to come out."
Then he added this:
"That will not be a problem at all...because he is constitutionally mandated to pick at least one person from each state...If not I can categorically guarantee you that he would have lumped a whole bunch of 'these so-called competent northerners on we 'incompetent southerners' "
And being a teacher of faith and advancement strategies, I reminded him not to ever see himself as being incompetent...either jocularly or seriously...because life and death are in the power of the tongue and with our tongues we create our own realities....to which he agreed!
Well, back to the issue before us today,...What would you have done differently last year...if you had known what you know now? Would you have avoided speaking those sharp words at you spouse? Would you have prayed more in the Spirit before that interview? Would you have asked more questions before investing in that business? Would you have waited more on the timing of the Lord before jumping into that marriage? Would you have decided to invest in your personal developments before now? Would you have formed the habit of exercising more regualarly before now? Or would you have simply repeated the same thing again and again?
The floor is now open....Let's hear you out!
Dr. Iyke Nwambie (Pastor and Leadership consultant writes from Miami, Florida)