I grew up in a suburban area in Southern Nigeria. In our neighbourhood, there was a handful of kids who came together to form a ‘tribe.’ There was competition in the ‘tribe.’ It wasn’t the ‘tribe’ of Judah, yet everyone wanted to be the Lion of the tribe and the King to rule over it. From tussles at school, to traditional wrestling bouts, to swimming competitions – each person wanted to show how smart and strong he was.
We kept the routine of going to fetch water in the evenings. One evening, in a proud move to make a statement, I dropped the jerrycan I normally used to fetch water and went with a bigger one. Everyone advised me against it, but I gave no heed. I wanted to show my peers that I could take on a big challenge. Well, thing didn’t turn out right. The jerrycan was heavier than I could carry. The lads jeered at me. I had to pour out some of the water. It was ridiculous. I attempted to do something for which I had no capacity at the time.
It’s a Capacity Thing.
Let’s take the house for an example. There’s the apartment type of house. There’s the Single-family detached house. There’s the bungalow. There’s the duplex. There’s the mansion. It’s about capacity. Let’s take the car for another example. There’s the Passenger Service Vehicle. There’s the Light Commercial Vehicle. There’s the Heavy Goods Vehicle. Now, take the aircraft for a third example. A chopper isn’t the same as Airbus. And let’s take the human being for the last example. A 6-year-old cannot have the strength of a 12-year-old. That’s why I couldn’t carry that full jerrycan of water. And that’s why professional weightlifting has got categories. Athletes compete in a division determined by their body mass. Even with the body mass categorization, the barbell is progressively loaded from the lightest weight to heaviest weight. Obviously, weightlifting is about capacity.
If you have 1,000 square metres of land, you cannot build Manila, the most densely populated international City in the world, on it. Your organization’s helipad doesn’t have capacity to land the world’s biggest plane – Antonov 225. My village stream sure doesn’t have space for the world’s biggest yacht – Azzam. It’s all about capacity.
How far we can go, how much we can achieve, and how successful we can be – are tied to how much capacity we presently have; and how capacity we are willing to grow.
Who would have thought, when in 1973 “student” Samuel Chand was serving Beulah Heights Bible College as janitor, cook and dishwasher, that he would return in 1989 as “President” of the same college! Under his leadership it became the country’s largest predominantly African-American Bible College.
Talk about capacity.
He Grew It.
“We all have built in limits—but we all can also expand those limits by commitment to continuous growth. Growth is a choice. Make that choice today. I often say to people, ‘If you don’t grow, you gotta go,’ “ he re-iterates.
Dr. Chand is acclaimed as a global thought leader in the area of Leadership, and is voted the 13th most influential Leadership guru in the world.
Recently, I was privileged to hear Dr Chand speak at a conference. He said that to succeed, people need to grow their capacity.
With my add-on, here are 6 areas Dr Chand admonishes people to grow their capacity:
(1) Grow Your Leadership Capacity.
“An inflated balloon will never go higher than the ceiling. The leader is the ceiling. The led is the balloon.
87% quit their jobs because of the ceiling,” he asserts.
Once people you lead outgrow you, they will move away from you.
Once you cease to inspire them and make positive impact, you will lose them.
(2) Grow Your Pain Capacity.
“You will only grow to the threshold of your pain. The more pain you can handle, the more you will grow. Growth = Change. Change = Loss. Loss = Pain.
All growth is about pain.
Never throw away a crisis. Learn from it, and capitalize on it. Leadership is bru-tiful. Leadership is beautiful and brutal. Leadership is bleeder-ship. If you’re not bleeding, then you’re not leading,” he says. You will only experience blessing if you have been troubled.
(3) Grow Your Exposure Capacity.
What you read can cause you to grow. Read ferociously in your field and outside your field. What you see can cause you to grow. What you watch can cause you to grow. Where you travel to can cause you to grow. Don’t be a local champion. Travel. See what other people do. Go to places that will inspire you to learn. Associate with people that will challenge you to think. Expose yourself to a wider array of thinking. Expose yourself to new ideas, new people, and new things. The more exposure you gain, the more you’ll grow.
(4) Grow Your Character Capacity.
“If your walk doesn’t match your talk, then your talk is empty. People cannot hear the message if they don’t trust the messenger. The messenger is the message.” If you take care of your private life, your public life will take care of itself. Charisma will get you into a room, but character will keep you in the room. Your closest influences determine your character.
(5) Grow Your Failure Capacity.
“Failure is not final. It is written with pencil. It can be erased. Innovation is serial failure.”
Failure should not be the end of adventure. Failure bestows on you clarity, wisdom, and perspective.
To succeed, you must embrace failure.
Success is failure turned inside out.
Failure is an opportunity to more intelligently begin again.
(6) Grow Your Risk Capacity.
“Everything in life is a risk. When you are 100% sure, you’re too late.
People who gain the more, risk the more. If you’re risk averse, you’ll not go far,” he says.
If the things you’re attempting to accomplish doesn’t make you afraid, then they are way too small.
Grow your capacity to attempt BIG things.
Let’s get back to my story of the plastic water can.
The problem was not the size of the water can. The problem was that I didn’t have capacity to carry it.
So, the problem is not the size of the harvest. The problem is the size of the harvester.
You are limited in life by your capacity.
What other areas do you need to grow your capacity?
What are your personal growth plans?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this article.
Please post your comments below.