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I have seen and heard a lot of speeches about how Nigerians are too tolerant and leave things to chance instead of making things happen. First, on that matter, I would like to say that Nigerians are not the only people who tolerate things or leave things to chance. Everywhere in the world, there are four dominant personality types of people. We have the initiators, blockers, supporters and the observers and all over the world, you will find that there are more blockers, supporters and observers in the society than there are initiators. In my view, it is wrong to belittle the role of these other personality types in a society just because they are not initiators. Yes, initiators might run the world but the other three personality types keep the world in order and check. Without that balance, they will have no world to run. The clamour for more initiators in the world today has caused a lot of blockers, supporters and observers to leave their posts to become initiators and  in my view it is the reason why we have so much conflict of interests on so many grounds. It is why a lot of confusing turbulent things are happening in the world today and less and less people are available to quell the fire initiators start.
To have initiators in a society is always very exciting because initiators make things happen. Now the interesting part is that with an initiator, anything can happen. The end result is not the primary goal of an initiator as much as starting something is. It means if an initiator gets it in his head that the next thing is to have a gathering of believers that would worship a ram he’ll name RamRam and he must fight the world for the freedom of the Ram until every man in the world worships the Ram, the initiator will make it happen without thinking of the insanity of his quest. If you were as observant as I was at during our country’s elections, you would have noticed some political initiators who were all about supporting sides and did not think about the long term implications of their decision on the country. The good thing about initiators is that they will make things happen but the downside is that because they are all about the moment and do not think of the long term implications of what they do, they, most of the times, make the wrong decisions.
This is where you and I come in. The wonder of the Blocker-man, the wonder of the Supporter-man and the wonder of the Observer-man. Any of these other three personality types can create/initiate if they decide to but the initiator only wants to initiate which is not a necessarily bad thing so long as every other personality type is functional and brings initiators the balance they desperately need. The blocker does not exactly block all ideas but he is the one the initiator is always wary of because he will question the idea, point out the loopholes of the idea and give him the reason why he thinks going on with the idea is a waste of time. The Supporter-man is the bridge between the blocker and the initiator who sacrifices taking sides for harmony and peace. When he picks a side, he does it in a way the other person doesn’t feel bad about being left out. The Observer-man makes valuable comments on the matter at hand that get the whole team to rethink their position and make better choices.
Now You see the Big Picture.
Here’s the advice I’ve been dying to give since the beginning of this rant:
Function as your natural self. Don’t mind all those loud mouthed initiators in real life and on social media who make you that if you are not like them, there is something wrong with you.
Function beyond your natural self. If you are not a natural initiator, you can function beyond your natural self by starting/initiating something. Your other personality type will serve you well as you work on starting something. Your natural personality type helps you make better decisions when initiating something.
And to the initiator, to make better decisions, you’ll need to get off your high horse and learn a thing or two from those who you think are against you or have got nothing on you.

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This article was first published on 30th December 2015

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