The Conversion President Jonathan Needs

Sorry, Boko Haram, but President Goodluck Jonathan does not need to convert to Islam to do you or anyone else any good. What Jonathan needs is a conversion to an effective leader.

Instead of making videos threatening hell and brimstone, Boko Haram would have done better by simply sending the president a copy of Stephen Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
I was working at a job that was paying me a little over the minimum wage when an opportunity came for someone in my department to attend a new training. It was Stephen R. Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People training. I had read the book more than once. Its principles sounded good but they were not things I could apply to my life without guidance. I was still battling with how to be effective. So I signed up for the eight-session all-day training.
Based on a 1989 Steven R. Covey’s book of the same title, the training presented an approach to attain our goals in harmony with the world around us. The first three habits are geared toward becoming a master of yourself. They aim at moving you from dependent position to that of independent.
Habit One talks about being proactive. This entails taking initiatives through choices that are inline with your life’s goals, anticipating things yet to occur and preparing to deal with the consequences of your choices.
Habit Two teaches you to begin with the end in mind as you identify what roles are crucial in your life. The end you desire should be your guiding light. The end does not justify the means. Instead it helps you in choosing the means.
Habit Three asks that you put first things first and make sure they satisfy the most important roles of your life. What is the most important role of your life? Is it being a parent? A professional? A gadfly? A Transformational leader?
The next three habits discuss how to work with others in an interdependence way.
Habit Four proposes adopting a win-win outlook in all your dealings because in the long-run it benefits everyone. The win-lose alternative suck up energy needed to soar.
Habit Five goes on to advice an empathic disposition in relationships. It asks that you seek to understand others before you want them to understand you.
Habit Six advices that the strength of people should be brought together to create a synergy which will produce results that will be better than what you as a person can do alone.
Habit Seven is about constantly improving and renewing yourself and the drive to continue to advance your goals. Covey calls it sharpening the saw.
The habits are wonderful in their exploration of the self. They put together some concerns we all have in a way that we can see the patterns of what works and what doesn’t work.
But what really changed my life were three principles Stephen Covey created. The first two are related- Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence. The Circle of Concern is the aggregate of things we are concerned about. The Circle of Influence is the range of things we have influence over. I am concerned about the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, accepting a civil service position of Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa state, fourteen years after she took a leave of absence to campaign for her husband who was running for the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state. I am concerned that she was paid for many years while she was out of work. I am concerned about how she would do the job she was sworn in to do while perambulating around the world as First Lady. My concern is beyond Patience. I am concerned about the precedence she is setting for future First Ladies.
But can I influence this matter? The job of the commentator, especially a political commentator in a dysfunctional country like Nigeria, is simply playing around the Circle of Concern and not Circle of Influence. I scream and then hope that posterity will remember. I may sound angry in my writings but people who know me can attest that I am a jolly good fellow. In my private life I can separate my Circle of Concern from my Circle of Influence.
You may be concerned about the world ending today but can you influence it? You may be concerned about your relation getting married but can you influence it? The Circle of Concern is wider than the Circle of Influence. They do mash at some points. Covey says that we must not confuse the Circle of Concern with the Circle of Influence. He says that for us to be effective, we have to channel our resources to our Circle of Influence and stop wasting them on our Circle of Concern.
For so long, that has been my bane. I spend more time on things I cannot change. These are things that concern me but I have no way of influencing their outcomes. By doing so, I neglect and deny resources to those things that I can influence.
The other principle that Covey teaches is the Abundance Mentality.
Most of us were brought up in environments where things were scarce. It creates what is called the Scarcity Mindset. This is the mindset that tells us that resources are not enough to go round so we have to hoard things. It tells us that the success of another means that we are out of luck. It is the source of all the destructive competitions in our society.
Abundant Mentality says that there are enough resources for everyone and someone’s success does not foreclose ours. For example, the success of the railway does not foreclose the success of transportation companies. So there is no need for transport operators to sabotage and frustrate efforts to build effective railways. Effective railways will reduce the need to transport heavy loads on the road. By doing so, it extends the life of the roads. And roads in good condition extend the lives of vehicles that ply them, which is a good thing for transporters. The same applies to electricity supply. The success of constant electric power supply does not foreclose the success of importers of generators. If there is an efficient electricity supply, there won’t be the need for all these air polluting generators. But there would be an explosion of demands for various gadgets needed at home and offices like irons, microwaves, A/C, refrigerators, fans, TV, blenders, sewing machines, coffee makers, exercise machines, toasters, etc. Those former importers of generators will have more things to import.
The same applies in every field of human endeavor. In writing, despite what ethnic jingoists on the sideline espouse, the success of Wole Soyinka did not foreclose the success of Chinua Achebe and vice versa. And so it is that the success of Pius Adesamni will not foreclose the success of Okey Ndibe. So there is no need for either Okey of Pius to approach their crafts from the standpoint of Scarcity Mindset. Nobody’s success forecloses your success. Your success does not foreclose anyone’s success. Those who have Abundant Mentality are able to share ideas with others and genuinely celebrate the success of others. In a relationship where there is Abundant Mentality, responsibilities, profits, and credits are easily shared. A philosopher said that, "When you help another person get to the top of a mountain, you will arrive there also." But to reach the Abundance Mentality, one has to be a master of (the) self.
Covey’s principles can be applied at the work place, in our families, to our business dealings and to how a president runs a country. It is adaptable to all forms of relationships.
President Goodluck Jonathan has confessed that Boko Haram group disrupted his agenda for the nation. What really happened to him was that he did not imbibe the principles in the Seven Habits. He was not proactive when he had all the goodwill. Otherwise he would have anticipated things to come and won’t be lost in Aso Rock quenching one fire after another. He does not operate with the end in mind. The end is not how much money he walks away with but how much permanent good history will attribute to him when he leaves the stage. He does not put first thing first. He is engrossed in PDP’s win-lose mindset. He does not seek to understand others before he wants others to understand him. He is not doing enough to create synergy. And finally, he is not renewing and improving himself. He still carries around the same lame smile that appears at the most inappropriate time.
In today’s world, to be effective is not a choice. It is either you are effective or you are carried away by the tide of activities around you.
So Boko Haram, decommission your bombs. Keep your baptismal water. Get President Jonathan the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And hope that he can still sit up and read.
If the president finishes this book, the very next day, he will declare his assets in public. He will slash the salaries of public officials in his government and those that he has no power to cut, he will publish them in the newspaper for Nigerians to behold and choose how best to put pressure on these officials to reduce their salaries and allowances. He will also sack the minister of petroleum and the minister of aviation and all incompetent and corrupt public officials. He will triple the jail houses in Nigeria and unleash an aggressive anti-corruption force after past and present public officials. He will invite credible members of the opposition party to join his government. He will declare an end to “business as usual” in Nigeria. Then he will set the stage for a genuine National Conference.
I know. I know what you are thinking. Malaria parasites have gotten hold of my senses again. In which case I say, please correct me if I am right.

37 comment(s)
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Excellent piece!Hopethe

Excellent piece!Hopethe president gets to read something like this.Meanwhile I need the seven habit of hihly effective people for my own self!


Good piece Rudolf. Very good piece....keep it up bro. I am pleased.


Is it me?or does any one else truly believe that @pastor commander is a complete lunatic?But the most amazing thing is that u will have people believing this moron religiously.God help us!Scratch that all man for himself and household God is no longer interested in the contraption called Nigeria!



thumbs up

I must confess, this is the best piece i'v read on sahara reporters.
More power to your elbow Rudolf.


The importance of cooperation between Nigeria and USA for Global peace and prosperity is the reason Christ made me to be a man of two great nations, Nigeria and USA. it's a testimony Christ made with US Dollars and Nigeria Naira to bear the witness of Christ and creations of the earth. 1st the water of darkness went up from the earth to formed the firmament which is called heaven as I was born in Nigeria and from the heaven come back the stars as angels of the earth. Today if you take 7 Billion US Dollars as hard currency to Nigeria which is the Earth of Water and clouds. It will give you One Trillion and five hundred Billion Naira.( 1,500,000,000,000) It's how the earth us formed with stars the falling angels from heaven. The Buck of Stars of 7 Billion when they fall into water and black clouds of the earth and it will spread and became 1,500,000,000,000 star angels of the earth. The earth was first made with falling male stars.


Nigeria Flag is the greatest healing power of Nigeria. It has the true testimony of Christ as the unifying power that unified the power of the North and South of Universe. Green, White and Green. North Universe is the Firmaments of the head, it have the controlling power of the head.The 1st Green. Christ the White in the Middle, and another Green the South of Universe of Black Star and His twelve Wives the twelve moons as the Mother of the 12 Planets under the Black Star called Sun. The freedom of the universe is based on " THREE DAYS AND THREE RESURRECTIONS OF CHRIST" which is the deads of the three universes. North, Middle and South with their resurrection into Super Nova Lights.


I have my respect for CAN President and his Leadership, Churches and Muslims. Now is time to define the Power in Christ Kingdom. Every one to His or Her calling. In today's world there is confusion in Christ Kingdom, people are misled with many doctrines. We have Pastors made for daily rituals in the Churches. We have those called to be teachers to teach the youths like in Sunday school. We have Johavah Witnesses called to bear witness for Last Salvation but they are not Christ.I remember one of my teacher in Living Faith Bible School Pasot Prof. Afolabi he is among those called to speak good english and teach people.We have those called for healing. We have Spiritual Army of many Ranks but our problem today every body is a healer, army, Commander, Bishop, Pope, Dr and Evangelist. Sir can you give Christ Commanders a chance to free Nigerians from mess of Boko Haram? CAN PRESIDENT PLS.


I am disappointed how CAN president and Christians wrote Hilary Clinton American Secretary of State for help. I am a Nigerians born American I love America and ready to stand for Her in all things any time any place. America have her own problem of home grown terrorist which we are working to end them. I support Nigeria having good relationship with USA business wise, and support for global peace. The issue of Boko Haram is home grown terorrist group in Nigeria. They have human face but American home grown terrorist have no human face, you dont know who is who. Every year US Embassy in Nigeria issue thousands of Visa to Nigeria Ministers who are God's Power Preachers going to USA, how come they can not proved themselves to solve the problem of Boko Haram in Nigeria? Is Christ we are preaching a fake? He is not.


Rudolf, either this is a coincidence or you are damn so right. I have seen 27 comments so far and there is not a single one of them that attacks you or your write up. I have NEVER witnessed this on SR before. This is history! Something good is happening. Carry on with the good work. God bless you.


Brilliant indeed.

God bless u Rudolf...

I have read some of your articles, all i can say is God bless u with more wisdom and knowlegde.. I just hope this piece will get to GEJ, am not expecting a miracle from him though, but at least to prepare a good ground for credible election come 2015. My plea to all Nigerians lets forget tribalism, ethnicity, bigotry,because 2015 is make or mar for this country, we just must get it right this time, lets vote for a credible leader irrespective of his ethnic background, he could, Arinze, Umar, Muyiwa, Jeremiah, performance and integrity should be the factor. We can make Nigeria great again.. God bless Nigeria.

Quality sells itself.

Good article, Rudolf. You have obviously cooled down since the David Mark article. Good. Quality sells itself. Nigeria has not had quality political leadership at most levels of governance. That is the result we are seeing today. I hear Power (Electricity) is improving. Hope it can be maintained. Until we do away with the vestiges of the brash, careless leadership of Babangida, Obasanjo, Abacha and the military in general, we have a long way to go.

Only the insane would still believe in Dumbo Jo

Anyone who believes anything meaningful can still be done by Dumbo must have his/her head examined. While he was acting President, the excuse was that he needed to be a full President before he could act and some fools beleived that crap !Now he's a President, the exucse is that it is Boko Haram that prevented him from fulfilling his election promises to the people in Bayelsa, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Warri and others. A useless and hopeless would always find an excuse. Come September if he succeeds in bribing the lawmakers in not impeaching him, he would be sent packing in 2015 to go and be a councillor in Bayelsa. Afterall the illiterate wife still descend low as being a perm. sec. ANIMALS !

As usual Rudolf, you did not

As usual Rudolf, you did not disappoint. Your articles are usually insightful and intelligent. The David Mark article was ofcourse the exception. I do understand your position, however its okay to be angry at the myriad of injustices but make sure you don't sin.

On the issue of our first lady, I think you are correct to be concerned. I think she is trying to create a resume that has the requisite work experience incase she may want to be an ambassador in the future. I am just saying......

Since you enjoyed reading Stephen Covey, maybe you will also enjoy Daniel Goleman's Social and Emotional Intelligence books or have you already read them?
Finally, what happened to Dr.Damages last week? Episode 51 or 52?



Jonathan's conversion

Let's not think we can get anything good from Jonathan lest we get annoyingly disappointed. Do you not see that he has engaged a more ferocious person as his spokesman to help fight off every well-meaning person as Ruben Abati is considered too gentle? Let's hope that we make it to 2015, then it would be up to us to decide our fate. Anything is possible; we shouldn't lose faith yet. There are leaders here that are proving that we do have some persons we can count on for quality leadership, like Fashola, Adams Oshiomhole, etc.

Good piece

@ Rudolf Okonkwo : Stop watering stone. No one in Dumbo's inner sanctum can understand your piece, they're all inferior to your kind of thinking. A clown who has disappointed even his village people will not listen to wise counsel, forget him. The main problem is he's a coward and a fool without a mind of his own, so, clever thugs like Clark and Anenih quickly moved in to massage his ego with the: "na our turn to schop" bullsh*t. China recently hosted 17 African leaders in an economic summit without Nigeria, Mrs. Clinton is touring African nations to say farewell, no Nigeria. Responsible world leaders are avoiding Naija bcos of Dr. Dumbo. So, stuff your advise. The man is brain dead according to a Ghanain Professor. God's plan for Naija does not include Dumbo, he's Obasanjo's curse and we must break the jinx! He needs to convert to aboki's Islam, maybe, there is salvation for him a mosque, Pastor Adeboye's 'blessings' na fake.

A medal for you

I hope he read this.

Rudolph, by your writings,

Rudolph, by your writings, you are not only operating in the circle of concern but also in the circle of influence. Keep it up. Your write-ups are the undisputed frontline 'influencers' in SR, only if you keep them outside religion which appear not to be your turf.

Rudolph, you're a genius!

He still carries around the same lame smile that appears at the most inappropriate time.-Rudolph Okonkwo

This Rudolph sef, true, true you no well! Chai, LWKMD o!


This very write-up, Mr Rudolf Okonkwo ranks among the best I have read from your stables. Keep it up and permit me to print a copy for keeps.

good write up,keep up the

good write up,keep up the good work....i know that its in our time of leadership that Nigeria will change.

damn right

Come 2015, any presidential candidate that can not differentiate between building a dam and giving a damn should not come near.

I don't give a damn!

President Jonathan does not give a damn about what you have written, Rudolf!


Good advice,but I wonder if the people whom it is meant for can decode the message.
Keep the good work bro.

thank u gr8 thinker, but?operation buhari must rule us must stop

if gej gives u appointment to becum special adviser will u accept in d interest of ur mother land? if u are an investor with porfolio of 10b dollars to cum and invest in nigeria ,while boarding at d airport ,u hear a breaking news dat boko haram struck! what will u do? will u return back to ur country or will u go ahead? how can a nation grow geometrically witout foreign investor? tell me, if u r gej what miracle will u do as a human? as 4, gej ,his confidence is in GOD. he will finis h what he started. everybody are good couches outside the pitch ,but give one person jessey to play, u will see a wonderful hand of applause . na kwa e check. o di mma?

"If the president finishes

"If the president finishes this book, the very next day, he will declare his assets in public. He will slash the salaries of public officials in his government and those that he has no power to cut, he will publish them in the newspaper for Nigerians to behold and choose how best to put pressure on these officials to reduce their salaries and allowances. He will also sack the minister of petroleum and the minister of aviation and all incompetent and corrupt public officials. He will triple the jail houses in Nigeria and unleash an aggressive anti-corruption force after past and present public officials"
And he will see the real IMPEACHMENT in action.
On a serious note, Rudolf the nigerian class rooms need you. Smart! smart!! Cheers!!!

Not intelligent enough to reason at this level

Rudolph i am always amazed at your intelligence, sad enough this piece might never get to the intended,even when it does, he does have enough will to apply them and worse of all, it might be too much intelligent reasoning for the class of politicians we have in PDP. I suggest we start now to direct our efforts and resources towards 2015. Lets look within the system and see who we can start projecting come 2015. No party in Nigeria or individual is perfect, but we have seen the record of Gov of Lagos state Babatunde Fashola, i believe if we see beyond our ethnic and religious differences, this disciplined young man come 2015 might be our best hope all over Nigeria. Now i am not a yoruba man before people start their ethnic ramblings, infact i am from the south east. We cannot continue to complain without doing something, it is high time we take our destiny into our own hands. GOD bless you.

Patience pls pass me that

Patience pls pass me that kine kine bottle. What nonsense this okoro boy dey write about. Rudolf you are 100% spot on thank you

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