It is also entrepreneurship training of the highest order!
When I was a young boy growing up as an exile in Zambia, we only had one government-owned TV channel on our black and white TV. Probably the most important program was the news which was broadcast once a day at 7 pm. There were no recording machines, because they had not yet been invented.
All adults would literally stop everything they were doing and wait for the news, which was also broadcast on radio. There were no car radios, unless you were very rich, which we were not!
Sometimes my mother would get home late from her shop, so she would give me a simple task — to watch the news on her behalf and to brief her. So I would sit with my little notebook and make notes, then wait to brief her, either when she came home or in the morning. I was barely 10 years old!
Woe to me if I did not brief that African woman about “what is going on in the country and the world”!! Those of you who have heard an #AfricanLionessMom scold a child know what I am talking about… (hehehe).
Little did I know that this had nothing to do with her, but it was for me. She wanted me to develop a strong habit to desire to be informed.
The wisest man that ever lived once said: “Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (King Solomon)
I was “trained” by my #LionessMom to develop a keen interest in national and global current affairs. Even today, I consider it a total disgrace to spend an entire day in which I do not find out what is going on in the world!
I also find it very difficult to work with people who are happy to be blissfully uninformed about what’s going on, locally, nationally and globally. Such people are actually dangerous to a business.
If someone is working around me, I just occasionally throw in a question like, “What is the big business story today?” Or “What is the latest on North Korea?” Or “Are you following Nigeria?” If I see them not showing any real interest, I will remember, and it might just be very, very costly for that person one day. I don’t promote ignorance, no sir!
If you have aspirations to one day run a pan-African or even global business, you cannot afford to be uninformed or generally uninterested in serious business and current affairs news. Serious entrepreneurs and executives know that you cannot operate effectively if you’re not informed about what’s going on.
A lot of my best ideas came whilst I was either reading or listening to the news!
__Train your children to develop a habit to be informed.
The world of TV news has changed dramatically since I was a child. We now have news channels that broadcast news 24 hours a day.
If I were growing up today, I’m sure my #LionessMom would still have found a way to instill the habit of watching news to be informed.
When we were developing Kwesé TV, I told the team that the largest number of channels should be those covering news! Today Kwesé TV has the most global, continental, national and local news channels in Africa… currently more than 20!
Some of the most successful business leaders have told me that the only reason they moved to Kwesé was because of its coverage of news. Sport and entertainment are quite secondary to them. How about you?
As a parent, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to tell children that TV is there simply for entertainment, or that they should not watch things like news “because it’s for adults”!
Remember my #LionessMom?
She would have said to you: “You cannot lead if you are not informed, and the desire to be informed is a habit taught to children by responsible parents.” (And of course, grandparents, aunties, uncles and siblings all must play their part, too!)
To be continued. . .