Actually, Poseidon was not a poser o, please.
He was moody and bad-tempered, with that freaking three-pronged trident that caused major wahala whenever people pulled up on to his turf on their Titanic cruises or 100-foot yachts with the helipad and nightclub. But dude was definitely not a poser. They didn’t call him “earth-shaker” just because.
I just liked the way his name flowed real nice at the end of my sub-title there.
So, my work has given me plenty of openings to use variations of this mantra that I came upon early in my post-corporate adventures:
Leaders lead, Posers pose.
Makers make, Posers pose.
Creators create, Posers pose.
Doers do, Posers pose.
Posing. For Nigerians, the word “posing” is synonymous with the habit of showing off your superiority in something, be it your wealth, your physical specimen-city (you like what I did there, didn’t you?), your academic or sports prowess, your awesome collection of Gucci bags…you get the idea. The catch, though, is that posing also is akin to “alternative facts parade”, as in the young lady posing in front of the Maybach that in reality is not hers.
This is not just a Naija thing.
Since high pixel camera functionality became ubiquitous on cell phones, and the InstaTweetTokBookedIn era descended on us, posing has spread widely and wildly across the world, infecting the world with nefarious viruses such as HumbleBrag-12, FitnessCraze-37, PreEngagmentPhoto-199, BabyAnnouncement-00, TravelBug-43, NewGigAnnouncement-411, MeAndMyBoo-69, and many more. On the pro circuit, I see so many LinkedIn profiles, social media handles, or conference speaker bios where people refer to themselves as strategic visionaries. High caliber operators. Extraordinary leader of leaders. CEO of that huge one person corporation. Serial entrepreneurs.
Ha. You mean serial poser? Alternative facts generator?
Ok, ok…that’s a bit harsh. Look, I am not here to rain on people’s parades. That’s not my place TBH. However, those who know me know I develop this permanent arch to my right eyebrow prefacing my spidey sense tingling when things start to look and sound suspect. The thing for me is that every time I see such lofty self-assigned plaudits, my Naija spidey sense lights up like mail-in ballots two days after the US elections. I am thinking…for real? Are we posing here? Do we need certified observers to verify these results?
Bottom line, you say what you say but when push comes to shove, can you deliver?
Yes o…I ask myself that question all the time. I check myself on a regular. This is really not some impostor syndrome stuff, I know what I am capable of. But, Chidi…right now, my friend: are you posing, or are you doing the work?
Seth Godin says, “The irony is that the people we’re most likely to want to trust and engage with are the ones who don’t pose. They’re consistent, committed and clear, but they’re not faking it. Posing is unnecessary.”
That is the crux of it. Makers make. Leaders lead. Creators create. Doers do. These folks are heads down; gangsters focused on making things happen, away from (or in spite of) the spotlight, especially as we humans tend to act differently when we know we are about to be on display.
Some selfie stick fodder for you to chew on.
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