When the idea of BOAF was mooted, the intention was and remains to challenge our collective minds about the power, influence and persuasion that is inherent in organized people.
As individuals we are all ordinary but as a collective we can produce extraordinary outcomes.
I have no doubt that no one believes that power is a bad or toxic word. Africa has its own pop stars, icons, legends and heroes but as a collective the African brand is not taken seriously not because its inferior but because we have lacked in our ability to organize ourselves.
BOAF belongs to people who believe in the idea that Africa’s better days are yet to come but we have work to do in the present.
The concept of power often evokes negative or political impressions. The power could be market power. Recognizing that as a collective we can exert our influence on the market. BOAF is an attempt to recognize and manage power for good.
Experience has taught us that hard work is not all you need for career or business success.
Power is elusive if people choose to work in silos. China and India, for example, now have the power while we are trying to understand its true nature and application.
Some would say there is no need to play the power game. BOAF is ultimately about asserting the inert power that resides in all of us which when harnessed and managed can reduce the transaction costs while providing a window for meaningful conversations and transformation of ideas into concrete projects and programs. .
Sources of Power
Each one of us has the power no matter where one stands on the corporate ladder. It’s a matter of recognizing and capitalizing on it.
Formal or Position Power
This is based on your title – manager, supervisor, senior vice-president, etc. With it comes the ability and responsibility to reward (provide someone with a raise or plum assignment) and punish (discipline someone or limit access to resources). However, there’s another.
Informal or Personal Power
We all have personal power that is based on the self. Through BOAF we plan to develop personal power to expert power based on valued knowledge and skills acquired from the network that we all play a part in putting together. The more you put into AHS and BOAF the more you will get out of these instruments of power building. It is the associate power based upon who you know and who knows you that we intend to focus on.
What can BOAF do for you?
Information is power and through BOAF you will Know What’s Going On.
Those that have skills will have a platform for displaying their market power and what they can bring to the employment table. We need to know each other and the starting point is for us to invest in knowledge of the skills that we have in our chosen club. If the skills are packaged into a form of a bank, it is not difficult to imagine what value this can create for employers in Africa who have difficulty in identifying skills.
You can develop your distinctive brand as a professional or leader in your chosen field hence the need for you to identify your preferred brand cluster.
You can enhance your Reputation – BOAF is aimed at creating a platform that celebrates success and it is expected that you will blow your own horn and allow others to do it for you. Far too often Africans are afraid to show case their own achievements and this will not help the African cause when it is accepted that the general impression is that Africa lacks the institutional and individual capacity to advance its cause.
By belong to a committee in the chosen area of interest, you will be able to build your own power relationships.
BOAF and True Power
Real power rarely comes from a title or position rather it comes from the value you produce for others.
BOAF provides you with a chance to make a positive impact on the key people who the drivers and builders of Africa. Some will be in your career world while others will not but the key is to use your associate power to position your brand in this bank that we are in the process of building.
BOAF will allow you to build your personal power to achieve your personal and business goals.
Grow Your Power, Boost Your Influence by belonging to a family that has a positive attitude and approach to Africa’s progress.
You can use the social networks to build your Social Power and enhance Influence Tactics.
Influencing and Persuading
If you have great ideas but can’t seem to get people to listen, BOAF is your home.
About 90% of success in life comes from being known for something.
Some have asked what they need to do to get started on the BOAF idea. The first is to speak up – put your ideas into words that get people to listen and see more in your potential.
BOAF provides an opportunity to team up. As many of you may be aware, as you move into leadership, technical or business skills are not enough to guarantee success. What is needed is to build good relationships inside and outside your workplace. BOAF allows you to play with others who may not be your competitors.
As Africans we need the power of persistence. Some may feel that they do not need to others to advance their personal or business goals. The experience of life has taught us otherwise.
CONCLUSION If you have had excellent big ideas which couldn’t get off the ground because they lacked proper uplift and effort, this is your chance to build an institution that will warehouse personal brands as well as giving us an opportunity to work together to share insights into how the capital, knowledge and execution gaps that exist in Africa and among people of African heritage can be bridged.
It does not take much to belong. All you have to do is to register and be part of the change you want to see. You can register as a member of AHS on www.africa-heritage.com and include your face and story on the book of African faces on www.myafriface.com.
Don’t forget that the home of BOAF is www.bankingonafrica.com and remember that you can fill the blank pages by adding your story to the African narrative.
We all have remarkable stories to tell. Some of the stories start from poverty to affluence while others tell of a reverse story. This is your chance to build brick by brick the story of hope and inspiration.