“Oh girl, is liberal studies fun? Yes, it is: I am learning a lot and it is as well drilling.” This is the kind of introspective conversation I have with myself. Let me tell you, I soliloquize a lot, this is the way I believe I am learning and that I am ready for growth.
Before the commencement of this studies, when I relate to some of my friends the course I intend to study for my master’s degree they are often like: “You want to be a feminist.” Taking Liberal Studies with a concentration in Gender and Diversity Studies would obviously be termed a feminist direction. Even when I discuss with some friends presently in school, they would still tell me: “Fisayo, you are a feminist.” Feminism or not, what liberal studies have taught me so far is: “living for humanity.” The word “humanity” is a big term and I will define it in one word as “people”.
Would you like to be known for helping people? Would you love your business to be people oriented? Would you like to live for people? I tell you “people” is everything and it has to be the center of your existence. The moment your life speaks “people” the greater the difference you will make in life.
The secret of transformational leaders is “people.” Their life, their businesses, and their existence speak humanity. Simon Sinek (2019) in his book “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” notes that Sam Walton the founder of Walmart in 1962 believed in people and this incited his want to start a business that brought consumer goods to people in rural communities at affordable rates. In business, Walton was most concerned about his employees, customers, and the community he serves. Individuals or business owners who are people-oriented do not serve their own want, they do not serve self-lust, self-gain, profits neither do they use manipulation to win the game rather their pursuit is in how their lives, their actions, and their services can serve the need of people of the world. They are concerned about solving people-oriented problems. Today, Walmart ranks no. 1 place for the 14th time in the annual fortune 500 ranking. CNBC notes that Sam Walton envisioned: “A retail business that would serve rural areas and ‘help customers, cut costs, and share profits.’”
People-oriented individuals are visionary, they do not just live, for now, they live for tomorrow. They know that their actions today will speak volume of their tomorrow. They are inspirational, they pursue the growth of their siblings, friends, people around them, and the community in which they are rooted. They are like trees planted by the rivers of waters that can never be shaking.
Creativity and innovative thinking are the embodiments of people-oriented individuals, they look for solutions, and they never hesitate to learn from others. Steve Jobs was a creative and an innovative thinker whose actions laid the landmark that made Apple today.
People-oriented individuals are philanthropic in nature, Bill Gates is one, with Gates Foundation, he is helping to solve poverty and ensure men, women, and children live healthily. Steve Jobs is another philanthropic man, although it is on record that he lived a private life, however, Tim Cook in 2013 notes that he gave $50 million to Stanford hospitals. These sets of individuals are not conservative with their ideas rather they seek to mentor and inspire people to be better. For example, Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg.
To achieve great success, we have to be people oriented: before, you take any decision would you first consider what will become of your colleagues and how it affects your customers? Seeking the common good is an attribute of a humane person, you often ask yourself, “to what end would this serve?” My self-gain or for the world in general? Bill gates never started Microsoft with a profit-making mindset, rather he told himself that he wanted computers to be in every household, not just American household but the world household. Today, Microsoft might not rank no. 1 on the fortune list but there is a purpose been served, there is a need been met, and there is the common good that is been achieved.
If humanity is your focus, you will always say NO to self, but YES to us. Remember, the most successful people and the most successful business on the planet today are serving the common good, that is, engaging and investing in people and people-oriented ventures and roles.