It was in 2007 that the late Rev. Tony Mensah said at my church's youth anniversary celebrations that he in his priestly duties one thought he shuddered at was the idea of being like the ‘Tema signpost’. I didn't really grasp its meaning then. It was not until recently that I fully understood what he meant by that.
If you were to visit my blog, these words will be among the first to be seen: "Motivate…Inspire…Challenge….My aim". I seek to do either of these with every post I share. Do I faithfully do this? I believe I do, but you, of course, will be best judge.
I have shared posts that among others, have asked you not to be afraid to dream because it costs nothing. Ones that asked you to 'throw caution to the wind', and take a risk that you ordinarily wouldn't take. I have asked you to take a dive into the deep blue ocean in search of your key (purpose in life), but the secret in that is to possess the skills of multiple Olympic gold winner, Michael Phelps. I have asked you to do that which puts smiles on your face as you retire to bed, or will make you wear one when you are laid in state for last respects to be paid.
I, the ‘messenger’, was recently saddled with the responsibility of making a decision about my life goals. People very close to me will tell you it was a nerve-wracking task for me. It seemed to me that moving forward could be perilous, but standing still wasn’t an option opened to me. I seriously considered opening it. However, I woke up one morning, and the signpost theory by the late Pastor begged for consideration in my mind. And when I allowed it, it flooded it with questions, among which were "what is the point of asking people to take risks if you are unwilling to take one yourself?"…"how different would you be from the Preacher that says 'do as I say, but not as I do'?" I sat up and the result of that process was to report late for work.
The thing about the Tema signpost (and any other signpost) is this – it directs people to Tema, but possibly haven't been to Tema itself. See, a leader isn't one who asks people to do things he isn't prepared to do – that’s a boss! A leader is one who faithfully walks the talk, and whistles whiles on the journey, and damns the consequences. He takes the risks and either succeeds or fails, but learns very valuable life or business lessons if he applies himself, in the case of the latter.
So who are you? Do you tell people who seek your opinion to do things you wouldn't do when faced with the same challenge? Do you hesitate to take the same risks you tell people to take in life?
In an earlier post, I called the majority of us mere talkers, who seize every opportunity to make our voices heard, but fail to make our presence felt when it is required. It turns out to be our bane, either as individuals or a country.
My name is Paa Kwesi Bentum 'Biskit' Williams, and I dove, as I eloquently tell you every other week. Do say a prayer for me.