Anayo Agu establishes a link between Barrister Peter Mbah’s Tomorrow is Here slogan and a popular tool of business employed by visionary leaders.
Future pacing is a popular tool of business and social transformation. Every great leader uses it. It’s of divine origin. Barrister Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s mantra, “Tomorrow is here” is an elegant, political mobilization concept. It’s a clarion call for us, the electorate, to trust in the power of future pull. To envision Enugu State of our dream, and to feel the feeling of this dream as if it’s already fulfilled.
In today’s tech lingo, Barrister Mbah’s Tomorrow is Here, may be called a mind hack. It is simple, but it’s as provocative as it’s inspirational. In a world of growing complexity, the best weapon is simplicity. Now the real challenge is making “Tomorrow is here” a present fact. To that end, I’ll hold my breath until Barrister Mbah’s manifesto is unveiled. I enjoin you to do the same.
What’s my motive in writing this review, you may be wondering? My motive is public enlightenment. As a stakeholder, a self-education champion, and a business adviser, I take interest in issues and concerns which may have a significant impact on our shared heritage and prosperity. Therefore, I’m here to throw some light on the essence of “Future Pacing” as a leadership strategy, and as an indispensable tool in the toolbox of every successful leader I’ve ever come across or read about both in the public and the private sectors.
Having declared my intention, let me quickly add that my primary focus will be potential public office holders, those who desire to govern us from 2023. It’s my candid opinion that such people need to understand the necessity and the imperative of beginning a critical venture such as an electoral campaign with a definiteness of purpose, and with an end in mind. A fuzzy future creates uncertainty. It scares the hell out of us, the electorate. As we say in personal and business development, mind work is 95% of the game of life in business. You must “BE” before you can “DO”, and you cannot outperform your level of consciousness or self-image, who you really are.
A visioning concept
What’s future pacing, anyway?
In politics as in business, future pacing may be defined as rallying, motivating and inspiring people to imagine a condition in their lives that is possible in the future. A vision of the metaphorical Promised Land. In other words, future pacing literally means “stepping into the future.” In executive coaching, it may be called “visioneering or mind movie, the art or process of making a vision or a dream a reality; transforming a concept into a valuable commodity.
Everyone is endowed with the innate ability to imagine the future. And to make it a present fact, to act as if it’s already done. It’s called walking by faith, not by sight. Regrettably most of us are experts at walking by fear using the same concept and principles. For instance, when we imagine what could possibly happen if Nigeria disintegrates or if herdsmen invade our cities, we are unconsciously indulging in future pacing. The ability to deliberately and consciously use our higher faculties such as our imagination and will to project into the future is one of the natural endowments that differentiate us from other creatures. Our imagination empowers us to dream dreams, to see visions, and yes, even to imagine that tomorrow is already here.
It turns out that as a leadership tool, future pacing is as old as the Old Testament. For instance, Isaiah 46:9-10 reads, “Remember….I am God, and there is none like Me. I declare the end from the beginning, and in ancient times what is still to come…” In a similar vein, Jesus Christ advised us to believe whenever we pray that our prayers are already answered. To see it as a fait accompli.
Tomorrow is here
In light of the above truths, therefore, one wonders why all the hullabaloo about Barrister Mbah’s “Tomorrow is here.” It seems to me that all the noise around it and all the unwarranted attacks against it are misplaced. In fact, they might have been promoted and largely driven by ignorance, misplaced aggression, or sheer determination by some political opponents to undermine the slogan. After all, in politics, the end seems to justify the means.
Given his background in law and in business, Barrister Mbah must have made future pacing a habit. Come to think of it, lawyers play case and trial scenarios as a matter of routines as they prepare for court sessions. I know for sure that it’s a common practice in the learned profession. As a very successful business owner, it’s unthinkable to imagine that Barrister Mbah would have been excelling in business as an oil and gas merchant without this inevitable tool of business and market development. In such an enclave industry where competition is brutish, projecting into the distant future, is both a survival tactic and a strategic game plan. Without future pacing, you are wiped out, eaten as lunch by your competitors. Unlike in politics where the average time horizon is four years, in business, future projections can go as far as 50 years.
Politicians are prone to hyperboles. Perhaps, that is why sometimes campaign of calumny elicit ovations from the general public. In the case of Tomorrow is here, I recognize that some of the criticisms might have been motivated by a measure of genuine desire to query Barrister Mbah’s intentions and to interrogate his competence and sincerity of purpose. Nevertheless, you must agree with me that there’s a general tendency in our political space for some unscrupulous elements to hastily dismiss or rubbish a novel idea just because they are unable to figure out or graph the trajectory of its realization. This unhealthy attitude and practice, I suspect, is often compounded by the riotous behaviors of an army of political mercenary who are ever willing to inflict maximum damage to the opponents of their paymasters.
The Future Pacing Strategy
Future pacing or projecting into the future is a common strategy every great leader, every transformational entrepreneur, and every change maker employs. Beside its ancient roots, there are a million reasons why great leaders begin important ventures with the end in mind. According to Dr. Price Pritchett, a corporate strategist and global leadership consultant, “The future shapes us. It caries major influence over our becoming.”
By nature, we are teleological. We seek goals to accomplish, and aiming points to hit. As Christians, we walk by faith. And as the scripture eloquently admonishes, we perish when we have no vision to aspire to and become. Furthermore, both science and theology substantially agree that life is a self fulfilling prophecy. Late Buckminster Fuller, one of American’s greatest minds, said that “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” That in a nutshell captures the significance of Barrister’s slogan, Tomorrow is here.
As we patiently wait for the manifestoes and the flag off of political campaigns for the 2023 elections, it’s imperative we enjoin all parties to encourage their candidates and teams to focus on the existential issues and concerns that are threatening the continuing survival of our country and states. Let those seeking various political offices, for once, engage us on matters of the economy, rapidly rising unemployment, wealth creation, promotion of commercial agriculture, SME development, redemption of our collapsed educational systems, dearth of healthcare infrastructure, and how to deal with the pervasive insecurity in the South East especially banditry, kidnappings and terrorism in our ancestral farms and forests. Those burning topics should be the yardsticks of measuring suitability for various offices available for elections in Enugu State in 2023.
We must rise above cheap blackmails and pedestrian habits of throwing tantrums, muds and dirt at opponents in the hope of distracting the electorate and stealing underserved electoral victories. Those are obsolete “demarketing” strategies incompetent candidates who lack coherent and sellable programs deploy to confuse and confound the electorate. Smear campaign has not helped us, and it won’t do us any good in the coming elections. Luckily the leading political parties in Enugu State- PDP, Labor, APC, and APGA have credible candidates who have outstanding public and private sector experiences. Let’s challenge them to earn our votes and franchise. Let the most accepted candidate take the stage at Okpora Square on May 29, 2023.
The vision must be clear
Great leaders see the future first. Whether it was Owelle Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King or Lee Kuan Yew, they all started with a clear vision of the future they desired for their people. As Dr. Joe Dispenza likes to put it, “They all had an idea, couldn’t see it, couldn’t smell it, couldn’t taste it, couldn’t feel it, but it was alive in their mind. It was so alive in their mind that they began to live as if that reality was actually happening now.” That’s what future pacing is all about. The intention, I believe, of Barrister Peter Ndubisi Mbah’s slogan, Tomorrow is here. I enjoin other gubernatorial candidates to come forth with their own slogans, and enrich our political terrain and aspirations with some transformational concepts, hope, and new energies. According to Ozan Varol, “Our expectations morph reality and become self-fulfilling prophecies. What you strive for becomes your ceiling.” On this note, I rest my review of “Tomorrow is here” and future pacing as a tool of leadership.