An essay doesn’t begin with a statement, but with a question. In a real essay, you don’t take a position and defend it. You notice a door that’s ajar, and you open it and walk in to see what’s inside.
The Age of the Essay, Paul Graham
2019 started with the same mantra as 2018 — Taking advantage of overlooked opportunities. I had a number of opportunities I was gunning for, fellowships, conferences…all lined up but it didn’t take long for me to realise that if I really wanted to do something well I had to choose where to focus my energy. So I reduced my list choosing to focus only on opportunities I was really excited about like the Drucker Challenge.
This year’s Druckerchallenge theme was The Value of the Renaissance Manager: How great organisations and their people combine both arts and science. A more preferred topic when compared to last year’s AI themed challenge topic.
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I liked the topic because it was something I could easily relate to. As soon as I saw the email announcing the topic of the essay, I shared it with a few persons who had indicated their interest, I read the explanation of the theme many times over trying to understand what it was about and how best I could approach. Also, I spoke to a past winner Temitayo on what she thought about the topic and how she’d approach it.
Armed with what I knew I started writing, which as usual was a bit of a drag because I knew how it was going to end but then how to get there was the issue. Looking back, I think the fact that I felt I should have the whole essay figured out rather than figure it along the way made it more of a drag.
I called on Bolu Akindele once again to help follow up so I don’t slack, as usual, he did his ‘job’ well. Actually, this time more persons who knew I was trying again followed on my progress.
The flip side of attempting a competition which I came tops before was that there was a bit of internal pressure to write something better than last year. After struggling to define what better meant, I had to tell myself that all I had to do was write an essay that I really loved, if I wrote something that I loved and was better than what I had written before, it was good enough.
Also, starting a weekly commentary on important issues in business and politics — which required a different writing style — earlier in the year gave me more confidence that I had improved as a person and could write something better.
I never felt that what I wrote was good enough but after last year’s Drucker Forum, all I had to do was try again.
And then a week earlier than I expected
Thanks to Bolu, Kesi, Bola and Oluchi for reading final drafts of my essay.
Here’s my essay
The Global Drucker Forum
The Drucker Forum started for me with an optional MasterClass on Wednesday, I was glad I attended. True to its name it was a relaxed setting of with fantastic speakers such as Philip Kotler, Amy Webb, Amy Edmondson and a couple of other fantastic speakers who spoke on a number of issues such as Marketing, Gender Equality, Problem Solving, Connecting the dots, Psychological safety and others great topics. I really enjoyed this part, for me if the whole Global Drucker Forum had ended here, it would have been worth my while.
As always the conference is a collection of the topmost managers and leaders in the world, consisting of a lot of enlightening talks from many smart people that are open to having great conversations.
This year’s conference theme was The Power of Ecosystems: Managing a networked world. It was different in a number of ways: Opening the conference with live musical performance, a recap on day 2 and the use of Sli.do for opinion polls. It was definitely an improvement when compared with the previous year.
— Global Drucker Forum (@GDruckerForum) November 21, 2019
I loved Pixar’s Ed Catmull session so much that I finally have to read his book Creativity Inc.
I thought that the session of health care was very eye-opening since I’m not in that space.
I had a great time and met awe-inspiring people.
I’m grateful to God for being part of the Challenge winners of 2018 and 2019.
I’m grateful for all the people I met and all the new things I learnt.
It’s going to be a great year ahead as I look forward to putting to practice what I’ve learnt.
I hope to keep in touch with the new persons I’ve met.
I expect to live differently based on the new things I’ve learnt
I hope to share the knowledge I’ve gained with others.
I hope to try out other opportunities and keep getting better at writing.
I’m can’t write again because I’ve used up all my slots. I’m open to help out [not write your essay for you] anyone who is interested in trying out for the competition next year.
A big thank you to the Druker Society for putting this all up👏🏾