Sunday, 18 November 2018


By Anayo Nwosu
If you are a banker, I encourage you to read and internalize this piece. It is in your own enlightened self-interest to so do.

Just one visit to my bank’s customer’s poultry farm opened my eyes to a naked truth that has been very difficult for many to see. My observations at that poultry farm taught me a life rejigging lesson.

While taking me round his poultry farm, my customer showed me his broilers and other species of his birds. He kept emphasizing on how well fed, healthy and well maintained his poultry was. I could hear the voice of my former MD telling us how well were paid in emoluments.

He said that he loved the old layers more because they laid enough eggs and that their sales generated the cash flows he so much needed to service his bank loan. Other fowls were grown and sold at maturity. And my mind went to all those staff the bankers classify as performers.

He revealed that he segregated the hens or old layers into three categories:
i) Those that just started laying eggs;
ii) The ones at the peak of efficient egg laying and;
iii) Those that were either tired or could no longer lay eggs as they used to.

The third category (i.e tired old layers) was earmarked for sales or are killed, processed and supplied to restaurants and other buyers. My customer also told me that each bird in his farm would one day be sold off or be eaten by him.

Is the fate of the old layers any different from the career of many bankers? Every banker, if he or she does not resign or retire voluntarily, would be shown the way out one way or the other. Even bank owners are sacked by regulators. Bankers' case is even worse than old layers as many a times, the marketing staff are mandated to lay more eggs in a month than they could.

The target givers also known as Management, desirous of posting impressive results, do not care if you are a cock or a hen. You must bring a laid egg. You can steal the egg or produce one through surrogacy. It's all for you to figure it out yourselves. Is it not wise to study what happened to others and read the signs of times to get prepared in order to mitigate the effects when we are eventually sacked?

Dear bankers, be smart and perceptive, watch out for the following sack-preceding signs:
1. When you have a score of below 40% in your last two appraisals. It is a sound HR practice to ease out 20% of the worst performers regarded as laggards.

2. When as a branch manager or head of marketing or strategic business unit (SBU), you have been posting losses for up to 4 months. It will be a miracle if you remain at your post after the 6th month.

3. If by an act of omission or commission you superintended a unit responsible for a bank's loss of income arising from reversals, wrong postings or avoidable expenses, your sack is in the offing. Those who booked bad loans are tagged in this category.

4. If your immediate boss feels threatened by your potentials especially when you had acted when he or she was on leave and had impressed the management by your performance or carriage, your days are numbered. Your boss would plan for your exit because you are deemed as his/her perfect replacement. Many insecure bosses would always run you down before management until you are sacked. If you escape with a transfer to another location, you are lucky.

5. If during a bank-wide performance review meeting known as MPR, more than one influential member of the executive committee pick you for shredding. Count your days if they say you are rude, unprofessional and uncooperative. You have been discussed and you most likely will make the next sack list.

6. If you feel, and are convinced that your boss wants to see how you look when you pull off your apparels, and you are not ready to play ball. The lust would soon turn to irritation and an unwarranted annoyance. Your sack would be quickened if your performance scores are low.

7. If, as a guy, you are dating or perceived to be interested in a lady your boss has been scheming to have. If you are not sacked summarily, you may be transferred to a remote location considered by UN as dangerous.

8. If you are deemed too old and dispensable, just know that the time to quit is near. This is after you have worked in virtually all the departments of the bank and are parked in one not-too demanding function. Sometimes, you see yourself answering to inaudible calls only to hear, "I was not talking to you" from your supervisor.

9. If the bank's leadership believes that you are not to be trusted with sensitive information. Have they narrowed down a major leak or gossip to your side? Your rival colleague might have sold the news to management to do you in. You may still be there because you manage a systemically important key account. But, kiss promotion "good bye"!

10. When you have lost seniority to two sets your juniors without any reason known to you, that you have not been sacked is that management has been looking for a plausible reason to carry out your sentence or strategizing on how to ease you out without hitches.

11. When you have been fingered to be living above your means proven by your fleet of cars or house of residence or your deposits in other banks easily ascertained through NIBSS by BVN. If you cannot justify your good life by evidence of inheritance or family comfort, it is believed that you are either practising a "bank within a bank" or are engaged in a forbidden profitable activity like sale of FX.

12. If you have records of three returned cheques in a quarter or reported to have been engaged in a fraudulent act, a big axe has been laid at the base of your career stem. Praying that the disciplinary committee pardons you, is akin to hoping that God would pardon Lucifer.

13. When the Oga who has been promoting, protecting and keeping you has left the bank and no other senior person of influence is ready to mine your gold on account of your perceived loss of glister or appeal or not to offend the Oga who is "now out but not down", then you know that your time is up. You must go with the Oga.

All through my banking career, I have seen very bright stars dim; rapidly promoted staff stagnated and hounded out of the bank; and yesteryears laggards become the new kids on the block.

It's like a yoyo.You may never know your fate whenever there is a slight change of leadership at the top or middle management. I know of one self-confident operations department head who was de-feathered by a redeployment to a market-facing function. All the swagger and arrogance melted into priestly humility. He was asked to go within six months due to non-performance.

Banking has taught me that monkeys are deemed magnificent when the trees are near to each other in the forest but understandably become very ordinary in the desert.

Once the performance facilitating dynamics of your current posting change, your rating and relevance change. Because every fowl in my friend's poultry farm would one day be sold or eaten just as your banking career would one day end, why not do things differently?

I advise that you work so hard to make great friends with many of your colleagues (both junior and senior) and the customers. They would be your desperately needed safety net when you find yourself like a fish out of water. An intelligent peep into the after-career lives of wicked bosses or those who willingly allowed themselves to be used to truncate the careers of fellow colleagues for transient gains, would be a correctional slap you may need to think straight.

Now you know this, what is your exit strategy or Plan B? You must save and invest most of what you are being paid currently, including profit bonus. It's a financial winter when asked to go without any notice.

Whenever a banker is sacked, surprisingly, the foretelling signs have been there but he or she didn't see them. Your services may be deemed not-required earlier than you think. The painful part is that when we are sacked, we are not allowed to enter our former office the next day without escort and would forever lose access to all those paraphernalia of Oganess, including all those smiling beautiful faces ever ready to please the Oga. All those privileges go with the sack or separation.

Curiously, some bosses think that they will remain Oga forever. I don’t. I’ve been delivered. I have always told my junior colleagues that whosoever wins the rat race or the leader of a rat race is still a rat in the eyes the cat who is the Management or bank owners. That explains my humility at work. It’s not natural but condition-imposed.

Only a banker who knows that he could be sacked or go without notice easily transit to life after banking. Many ex-bankers still tag along as consultants of all sorts till they realize that the cheese have moved.

Fellow Nigerians, are you aware that our crude oil will soon become useless? Yes, it will, in no distant time, become valueless owing to the fact that the countries that rely on it as their only source of energy are developing more affordable alternative sources of energy. When this finally happens, what will we do? How are we currently preparing for this imminent economic doom? Which other sector will continue to stabilize our economy? Nigerians, the only solution is developing the agricultural sector. In fact, this is the only solution. Very soon, the major source of revenue will become agriculture and agro-exports. How are you positioning yourself to play big in agro-export business? Why don’t you get a practical manual that explains the stages of export trade from processing and packaging of commodities to receipt of payment by the foreign buyers? Yes, arm yourself with the contemporary trends in export trade. This manual explains export operations, export management, export documentations and methods of payment in export trade? Yes, it is a contemporary step-by-step guide to export trade. It tells all the contemporary dynamics in export trade. To get it, click on the link below:

No comments:

Post a Comment