Many things have been written, spoken…towards engendering a creative generation; At Southern Brands, we strongly believe that the need for a creative generation especially in Nigeria as a developing society and Africa – a developing continent with abundant human and material potentials, can never be over emphasised. Against this back-drop, we shall in our own little but passionate way, continue to lend our voices in support to the noble cause: A Creative Generation.
In this piece: on a strong psychological pedestal, I want to borrow a leaf from the concept of ‘Need for Achievement (NAch)’. My interest in this concept is informed by its emphasis on the individual as a development actor within the broad spectrum of the development analysis. This concept was popularised by an American Psychologist, David McClelland. According to Wikipedia, it refers to an individual’s desire for significant accomplishment, mastering of skills, control, or high standard. The term was first used by Henry Murray. According to Henry Murray, it is associated with a range of actions. These include: “Intense, prolonged, and repeated efforts to accomplish something; to work with singleness of purpose towards a high and distant goal; to have the determination to win”.
In line with this concept, or perhaps a paradigm, there are two kinds of individuals-personalities: The individual that has a high need for achievement and the one that has a low need for achievement. High need for achievement is psychologically – mentally the engine room of creativity, success… in career, business – entrepreneurship, leadership and life in general. Citizens of developing or under-developed societies as the case may be, in the view of McClelland, lack high need for achievement; as a result, the bane of low pace of development in these societies. As a corollary, it is not out of place for one to attribute the numerous entrepreneurial success stories and break-through in creative innovations in developed societies that have advanced the course of humanity, to have been driven by high need for achievement.
Perhaps, I should pulse and explain what I mean by….psychological pedestal. When I say psychological in the context of this piece, I simply mean the mind; our mindset, mental articulation, motivational drives… A strong mental disposition – attitude towards a goal, vision…! Pedestal, a base… like a pedestrian bridge which enables one to easily cross over to a place that would have been somewhat difficult for one to cross over. Here, I mean a strong pedestal – one that withstands pressure… not one that collapses when pressure is on it!
With this little picture I have painted, it is evident that among other things, for one to cross over to his dream – that great vision…, come out successfully in any challenge – goal one is up against, one must operate on a strong psychological pedestal! It is not enough for us to keep blaming our society for our great dreams that did not see the light of the day, promising business visions that did not come to fruition…! Could we not have pushed on in spite of daunting societal constraints…? Most times, it is even our family, friends and associates that discourage us. Questions like, “do you think you can achieve this in a country like Nigeria where there are no this or that?”…keep coming up! Have we ever asked ourselves why a particular thing we want to achieve seems so difficult…The simple answer is that, the end products, services… of such great visions are not going to be cheap crap! Rather, things that will bring us to limelight! So, we must develop the right mental dispositions – high need for achievement; operate on a strong psychological pedestal, which will enable us to take our society out of the wood!
A piece like this one will be incomplete if I do not make reference to some inspiring success stories that lend credence and flesh to the need for a creative generation. The inspiring story of Thomas Edison suffices here. We all know the story of that great man; the greatest inventor of his time, if not all times! He had over 1,000 patents to his name! It was recorded that he made 1000 attempts at inventing a light bulb! Among all his inspiring quotes, I think this one in no small measure lends credence to the thrust of this piece:
“I have not failed. I have just found 1000 ways that won’t work”.
That was need for achievement in action…; operating on strong psychological pedestal…!
Here in Nigeria, the manufacturing-brand ‘Innoson’ stands out; Innoson is the first indigenous automobile brand in Nigeria. I have been wondering what… friends and associates of the man- industrialist behind the automobile brand might have told him when he shared his dream with them! Some might have discouraged him; maybe told him to wake up from his day dreaming of manufacturing cars in Nigeria…! But today, he has a car manufacturing plant at Nnewi, Anambra State among other industrial concerns elsewhere. Now, even Federal Government celebrates him…; During the Federal Ministry of Information led Good Governance Tour in south-east states, I watched on NTA as information minister, Labaran Maku kept making reference to Innoson to drive home certain points… If one could get to have a one-on-one chart with the industrialist, we will be marvelled at challenges he has been facing…! But he keeps pushing – keeping to his dream! That is the point – operating on a strong psychological pedestal!
Talking about success stories in literary works – creative writing, that of Buchi Emecheta among others inspire me. She is a prolific novelist from Delta State, Nigeria. As one of her numerous fans, I read a story of how she never gave up despite several rejections of her manuscripts by publishers. Those of us that read Nigerian novels might know titles like: The Joy of Motherhood, the famous Second Class Citizen and other interesting works by the novelist. In her days or maybe I should say those days, the journey of publishing a novel… on the stables of a good publisher was not an easy one at all, not now that self publishing is fast gaining or has gained acceptance. She went from one publisher to another… they kept saying her manuscripts were not up to their standards. She did not give up on her dream of becoming a successful writer-novelist.
As young people in Nigeria, a less developed society where it seems like nothing works especially at the political level; we most imbibe the paradigm of Need for Achievement and operate on a strong psychological pedestal! That is the only way we can beat societal odds towards reaching our personal targets – goals and live out our great dreams! There are great Nigerians that have beaten the odds – came out successfully in their chosen careers and businesses! Let us join them and be counted! “There Is A Drop Of Greatness In Every Man.”
By OgadiRich Iroka @OgadiRich