I have spent the last two weeks in full public service to my country. We held the biggest event in East Africa’s golfing calendar, the Magical Kenya Open at the lush Karen Country Club. Despite the challenges of hosting a global event amidst a global pandemic, I’m proud to have been part of it. We staged two events back-to-back the second one being the Kenya Savannah Classic. This is a first globally for the entire European Tour. Tuko juu tu sana.
It’s been a steep learning curve but a welcome challenge. Both competitions fitted my hashtag – #onlyBIGthingsgoingforward – perfectly. My role in organizing the tournament is voluntary. I often joke that we are paid with mandazi and parking. But on deeper thought, the lessons learned and experience gained are fair compensation. This has increased my social capital and that if well utilized can be spent over a lifetime.
Last Sunday was the end of Magical Kenya open and as is the tradition our president, Uhuru Kenyatta attended the closing and prize-giving ceremony. As I drove home that evening my mind was tired. It was a week of interacting with many folks at various levels and giving of myself as the host’s representative. We extroverts are said to best charge our batteries by drawing energy from other people. But too much of it can also drain us. That’s how I felt.
I woke up at 1.22 am the following morning to order my private world. As I sat there in silence I questioned if I had made the best use of the interactions I had encountered in the week. Are there opportunities I missed to push my agenda? Did I promote or shortchange myself as I did my work at Karen? all these questions were running through my mind. Socializing is a science kweli. Even those of us who appear to be good at it often have moments of self-doubt. That was the internal conversation that I needed to settle in my head before we started our second event this week.
The external conversation was purely on image. How I appeared to others. Due to COVID-19 protocols, we had specific locations where our dignitaries would sit and watch the tournament from. Two cabinet secretaries and some corporate top honchos attended the event. I always get amazed at how corporate guys interact. Maybe it’s because I have been in biashara all my life so I’m ignorant of job intricacies. Even at a social event, you are still in work mode. You represent the brand and cannot in any way make it look bad. Yellow pages used to say, “let your fingers do the walking”. At Karen, it looked like it’s your title and business card that did the talking.
Most of these guys are at the top of their game (at least that’s how they appeared) and exuded the confidence and success that come with it. I must admit I felt a bit envious. Like when will I get to that point where everything is sorted? I did feel the pressure for some time and almost made the mistake to try and be someone else to fit in. I was surprised by the feelings of inadequacy because I thought I’m beyond that point and very comfortable in my skin. But then again, we are all human and our vulnerabilities never go away for good. I was kind to myself and rebooted quickly to being just Lucas. But a Lucas who’s open to learning.
Before I went back to bed from that meeting with self and Sir God a lingering thought refused to leave my mind. Why did I admire these people so much? what was it about them that caught my attention? They had a vibe I wanted. I fell asleep processing that thought. It hit me later in the morning as I drove back to Karen club.
Are there times you feel like you have worked so hard for something and are at the tail end of it? you have a lot to show in terms of preparation and only the manifestation of your effort is remaining. It’s a case of so far yet so near. I have felt that way on several occasions. I push for something I want and do all that’s required and only the ten percent is remaining to connect and we are home and dry.
Those people at Karen seemed to have worked on their ninety percent pretty well and the remaining ten percent had fallen into place. So, what I was seeing was a case of 100%. All their ducks were in a row. At least that’s how it appeared. But is there anything like the perfect 100% life? I don’t believe so because we are all fighting private battles at one time or another that no one is aware of. So, let’s be kind all-around irrespective of how people appear. That reminder helped me settle back into my authentic self and enjoy the whiskey with chocolates on offer.
Another lightbulb that came on was how the ten percent is almost always out of our hands. We are required to prepare well and wait for the opportunity. Deals close in the most unlikely of manners. We might be staring at the front door waiting for our miracle to knock just for it to come in through the small window in the bathroom.
I’m sure if I was to ask these folks how they got where they are, there will be a time when a lucky break came their way either through being at the right place at the right time or someone with the right key opened a door for them. Whatever the case preparation for the gap was mandatory. Waiting and wondering how and when the ten percent gap will close is the hard part for me. It’s a moving target. We have to continue preparing and looking out for it too.
I decided to just continue being me, enjoying the banter and introduction to new folks. Something will give sooner or later. Folks, our podium finish may delay but won’t be denied. Keep doing you. The curtains on your desired stage will open most likely by surprise when you are ready to unleash your gift to the world.