The 2015 Presidential Election has come and go, the winning side is celebration their victory while the side that lost are nursing their wounds and consoling themselves.
The election left me with a few thoughts and I have decided to write down a few of the business lessons I have been able to highlight in the way things were handled by specific people and sides involved in the election right from Campaign till the election day itself.
On President Jonathan’s Side
- Customer is king: The issue of the Nigerian people, the fact that one customer lost can lead to the loss of a thousand customers; a customer who is not satisfied will not tell you he will tell others. The Nigerian people were not treated like customers they were treated as if their choice will not make any difference in determining who will eventually preside over Nigeria for the next 4 years.
- Your team is important, if you miss-hire, it will run you out of business, if you refuse to fire them. President Jonathan surrounded himself with liars, who would not feed him with the real situation on ground; the likes of Doyin okupe and Reuben Abati were the architect of his loss at the elections.
- Your IQ is as important as a leader as your EI, deficiency in any of the two will affect your overall performance: No matter how Intelligent you are, People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, The President showed no care, no remorse with the suffering of the citizens on whom he presides, people were being killed in their hundreds almost every day, yet the president does not look or act like he is moved at all.
- You Must accept responsibility for whatever happens under your supervision, finger pointing is for children not for leaders: The President is always quick to point accusing fingers at the opposition for every single thing that happens during his tenure right from the October 1st Bomb Blast in Abuja, He would not accept responsibility for anything that is wrong in his administration. There is no way anybody can hold a leadership position and be successful without accepting responsibility for the eventualities of his office.
- Leadership is not about the office you occupy it is about your attitude towards the expectations attached to that office. People who exalt the title of an office above the responsibilities of that office often see the privileges and largesse of the office as normal but the load that comes with the office as negligible, Until you are able to carry the burden that comes with an office you are not entitled to the benefits that comes with the office, if you enjoy the benefits by any chance without bearing the burden it will be stripped from you eventually.
- Your Team must have a unified language, your Ads message must be uniform: There was no unified message from the camp of the President, some were saying Transformation, some saying continuity, if you are conversant with the social media, his handlers were using over 15 hashtags at the same time to sell their candidate; There is no way a company will have a divided campaign (Advert) and record success with such campaign.
- When you refuse to treat your customer as king, you are transferring the responsibility of serving them to another person who is willing to treat them as such: Have you noticed that the same people who rejoiced when president Jonathan emerged as the president elect in 2011 are the first to Jubilate when Gen Buhari was declared winner in 2015? that is what customers are, they always gravitate from the company that refuse to treat them as King to the one they presume will treat them right, and do not forget the customer is always a moving target.
On APC’s Side.
- Identify your major competitor’s strength as well as the weaknesses and use it to your own advantage: APC identified what the PDP was using to fight with APC ; Religion and Ethnicity, declaring Prof Osinbajo as the running mate of General Buhari was the killer pass that finished the Islamization propaganda that the PDP was using against General Buhari.
- Your Ads (campaign) must have a unified message #CHANGE was constant for APC, both online, Offline and On Air messages were the same, even my 5 year old son understood the #Change Message.
- Identify your market, Over 80% of Nigerians are under the age of 55 and the easiest and cheapest place to meet with them is on social media.
- Identify the trend within your market and align your Ads (campaign) with it. What tool do they use the most? Where can you meet them at the lowest possible cost? In this case Social media was the PLACE for APC.
- Hire the right man for every job; don’t just assume everybody should be able to handle everything. Adebola Williams (@DebolaLagos) the co-founder of FUTURE AWARDS and RED media is the Digital Marketing Strategist for the APC Presidential Campaign.
- There is no glory is running a small business that cannot outlive you, Mergers and Acquisitions makes a corporation larger and stronger: Until CAN, CNC and APP came together to form a mega party they couldn’t win the presidential election despite the fact that they had at one time or the other fielded credible candidates individually.
- When you are fighting for a market share, you do not attack the already established lion; go for client’s sympathy instead, by letting them know what you can do for them better: The PDP was all out attacking APC while APC focused on telling the electorate what can be done better.
- Keep your trade secret up close to your breast; don’t reveal your winning cards until the last minute. That 27 minute documentary released 2 days to the election killed it.
On General Buhari’s Side
- You must be known for something; in his case it was about his honesty and being disciplined that has been found to be without stain both by associates and opposition.
- If you try something the first time and it doesn’t work, don’t quit. Change your strategy. The dream should not be changed but strategy should always be reviewed and amended when needed, He tried the same thing 3 times and failed, but succeeded at the fourth try.
- No single tree can make a forest, you cannot fulfill destiny in isolation, formidable alliance is important for destiny fulfillment: He accepted to work with APP and ACN though he did not agree with the ideologies of some of the members of these political parties, he accepted to work with them because of their strength and what they can bring to the table in order to see his dream come to reality.
On the side of the Nigerian People
- Every man has an endurance threshold; you will only react when you exhaust your threshold: Nigerians reacted with their votes when they could not endure the excesses of the current administration.
- Until you stand up to change your situation, your experiences are not likely going to change: If the Nigerian people were to just keep complaining and refused to go out en masse and vote out the current administration we would still be saying the same old story.
- There is nothing in this life that you cannot achieve if you believe and take actions towards achieving it: People believed they could have a say on who presides over the country through their votes, though votes had not counted that much at the elections held in the past, but Nigerians believed their votes will count this time around. It did count eventually.
- When you are defending your personal conviction, respect the position of others, you cannot force your opinion on others unless they are Zombies: A lot of friends fought online and offline, brothers, sisters, Father and Son, Mother and daughter just because they were not seeing things the same way, I even heard of a couple that stabbed themselves because they were supporting different candidates at the election.
There are still other lessons to be learned from the elections, some we are aware of them, some we will not understand until later, but what is important the most is the fact that every business must understand the basic facts pointed out in this article.
Your Startup Coach
Certified e-Campaign and Social Media Expert