Last week Saturday was all about Creativity Conference and the official launching of Creative Dons, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) chapter. As soon as I saw the flier for the conference on WhatsApp, I made up my mind that I was definitely going to attend, for three reasons:

1) I’m passionate about everything creativity, ideas and innovation; and this is a conference about creativity!

2) The host of Creativity Conference and founder of Creative Dons, Mr. Fashina Oyinlola, is an elder brother from another parents 😉. He was my unit’s leader at Grace Covenant Campus Fellowship, EKSU about two years ago and he’s been a significant encouragement towards the progress of Icubed Initiative.

Creativity Conference
Conference Flier

3) It’s an opportunity to visit FUTA again, years after my first visit. I said again not because I actually believe I’ve ever visited the place. Yes, I was there some five years ago to take the Post UTME exam but I don’t believe I’ve actually been to a place until I’ve been able to spend reasonable time exploring a significant amount of the landscape and all. So, to me, I’ve never really been there and I was enthusiastic about an opportunity to be there.

UPDATE: Well, it turned out that that wasn’t going to be an opportunity to actually be there. Eventually, I was only able to experience the Students Union Building, in which the conference was held, before leaving with the facilitators (whom I came with) for Ado-Ekiti.

Oh yeah! I must mention that I was opportune to be in the same car with three of the facilitators, to, and all the four facilitators, from the conference. And this means many lessons learnt from the many discussions that ensued between these great minds, even before and after the main conference.

First, here are the two most important lessons I learnt from these discussions:

i. Leaders are not afraid of backfires. They’d rather cook up sumptuous meals with the backfires.

Normal people refrain from taking steps because of fear of assumed repercussions. Leaders in the other hand are not afraid to take steps, even when they know the steps might backfire. They take the step anyway with the mindset that even when the step backfires 🔥, they’ll take time to cook up something sumptuous with the ‘fire’ 🔥.

ii. Do more of what you are wired for.

We are all not the same.

You are made or wired for a particular task, you have uniques abilities than every other person around you. When it’s time for you to lead or create, search within, listen to your heart and watch out for pointers to your calling. Know where you belong and stay there. Leverage on and be the best in what you know and love to do. (A similar lesson comes up in 2.2 below).

Now that I’m done with lessons gleaned pre and post conference, I’ll summarize quickly six lessons from the conference proper.

The below is an aggregate from all the speakers and the lessons are arranged in no particular order. I’ve adopted the numbering system used only for clarity and reference purpose.

1.0. Four Things to Avoid for Steady Personal Growth

Dr. Godwin Agbude’s session was characterized by a charismatic flow. He spoke to the audience like a prophet would speak to his congregation. I later realized a reason for this: he’s a pastor. He worked for several years at Covenant University and this has earned him series of direct encounters with Bishop David Oyedepo.

Dr. Godwin Agbude
Dr. Godwin Agbude

Dr. Godwin started off his presentation highlighting these four things to avoid while embarking on a conscious journey towards steady personal growth.

1.1. Avoid Mental Honeymoon
Don’t let your brain go on recession, avoid over relaxing the brain. Always be on knowledge adventures. Your brain is capable, utilize it as much as possible.

1.2. Avoid the Dogma of Infallibility
You should take care not to fall on the side of hyper-confidence. The fact is, like every other humans, you are not perfect–although you might be very good. You can make mistakes. You are not infallible. And so you should always lookout for your vulnerabilities and try as much as possible to improve on them.

1.3. Avoid the Danger of Under Estimation of Self
If there’s are few things you should always remember, the fact that you are not too young to be whatever you want to become should be one of them. You are not inferior, you are not under-privileged. And in everything you do, you should be self-confident–be able to stand for your choices and defend your decisions.

1.4. Avoid Mono-Intellectualism
Simply put, EXPLORE. Don’t limit your knowledge to a particular field. Explore. Try as much as possible to have as much knowledge of different fields as possible.

2.0. Four Steps to Birthing the Leader in You

Dr. Godwin then ventured into his presentation proper. A succinct overview, a systematic four-step guide to birthing the leader in you.

2.1. Conscious Self-knowledge
You have to sit down first and study yourself. Who are you and what are you good at?

2.2. Continuous Capacity Building
Having discovered yourself, set up strategies to build up on your discoveries. Seek knowledge and digest informations that will help you become better at who you are and what you do.

2.3. Set a Clear Vision
Now that you’ve horned your skill in the perfect vocation for you, you’ll want to put up tasks to solve with those skills. Call it a goal, or a vision, or a mandate. You can also say it’s your calling. Non matter what you call it, all that matters is that you set out to it and, as much as possible, remain blind to all distractions until you’ve achieved that vision.

2.4. Continuous Character Development.
While on the journey to achieving your goals and reaching your vision, one more thing that will boost you is your character. While capacity building (lesson 2.2 above) is about equipping yourself with skills and knowledge to enable you to do what you want to do, character development is about developing yourself in everything from adopting the right mindsets to managing human relations. In short, it’s developing your personality. As John Maxwell puts it in The 360° Leader, “When you equip people, you teach them how to do a job. When you develop them, you are helping them to improve as individuals.” So, you have to develop your personality to suite the path to success.

3.0. Two Things that Hinders Success in Individuals

Mr. Femi Adisa, a script writer and film producer, is the patron of Creative Dons. When he was called up shortly for a speech, he gave an inspiring one in which he stressed two things that hinders success in individuals: an unsuitable character and an over perception of money.

3.1. An Unsuitable Character
Like we’ve established in lesson 2.4 above, character is a major key to birthing the leader in you. However, it seems that’s not all there is to say about characters. Just like a suitable character will aid the birthing of the leader in you, an unsuitable characters will hinder the success of anything you do, including the success of becoming the leader your want and ought to be.

3.2. Over-Perception of Money
Money is a very important factor in the success of many of human’s endeavours in life. However, many of the highly successful people we know today wouldn’t have been as successful if they over percieved money like many potential leaders and creators now do these days.

To over percieve money is to believe you need to have all the money you need before you start taking the steps to create; it’s to believe that money is the major hinderance to your success.

Many success stories are testimonies to the fact that value precedes money and not the other way round. Simply put, when you have the value to present, money will follow from places unexpected.

So start developing the values you can present first and watch as money flows in to your support.

4.0. Scarcity is Man-made

During his presentation, Dr. Agbude made a statement that really got my attention. “Surplus is natural, scarcity is artificial,” he said.

The Universe is everything. One of the repercussions of this is that the Universe has everything, which indirectly means that inhabitants of the Universe have everything they need to survive and thrive. It’s now a matter of choice to utilize these resources judiciously.

However, in a land naturally endowed with surplus, scarcity still thrives. This scarcity is man-made. Usually due to the fact that a group of learned individuals or elites who are opportuned to get prior knowledge of these resources decided to shield others from it.

Scarcity will thus continue in a world of surplus, until humans stop creating it through lies and ignorance.

5.0. Branding is About the Promise

Mr. Yomi Joshua is a brand consultant and founder of Brandsera, a brand consultations company. He’s also the conveyor of Shift, a business and leadership conference. He spoke with us on building a unique brand, and he especially spoke on branding being basically about the promise and not the product.

Mr. Yomi Joshua
Mr. Yomi Joshua

Either as a person or as a company, branding is a very important aspect of development. However, many people have a wrong perception of what branding really is these days, thinking it’s all about logos and colours. Branding is not all about logos and colours, it’s basically about the people’s perception of the product or the person.

As a product, it’s about the promise that the product gives its users and about the ability of the product to stay true to the promise over a long period of time. And as a person, it’s about the value that people can get from the person and the ability of that person to keep delivering that value over a long period of time.

Thus, there’s also a time factor in brand building. With time, people’s memory is intertwined with the fixed promise the product has been able to give and the values the person has been able to offer.

6.0. The Importance of Owning your Idea

Barr. Femi Olojede
Barr. Femi Oloje

Barrister Femi Olojede, on a final note gave the perspective of law to the whole process of creativity. He made the audience understand what it really means to own the idea, aka the Intellectual Property.
As a creator and a person of idea, you’ll have to protect your ideas and creations judiciously. And the first step to this is registering it with the appropriate body. You haven’t properly owned your idea–and anyone can steal it from you and make it theirs–until you’ve properly registered.

7.0 Your Turn

Which of these lessons resonated most with you? Or were you at the conference? What lessons did you learn besides the ones I’ve stated here?

Lesson 7.1 and onward is for you. Use the Facebook comment section below to drop your comments.

7.1 What lessons did you learn?

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