Does your cerebral horsepower really matter?

Posted on February 6, 2018

As published in Businessday: http://www.businessdayonline.com/cerebral-horsepower-really-matter/

We are a well-read people. Nigerians desire and thirst for every degree and certification there is which in itself is laudable. There is a sense of wanting more, achieving more, desiring more, going a level higher cerebrally that seems to be somehow encoded in our DNA somewhere. The puzzling question to ask ourselves is “to what end”?
It’s important that our individual and collective cerebral horsepower starts to truly count for more.
So it’s great we are an intellectual people and our individual horsepower capacity across various industries can move mountains and power mind blowing windmills. Nothing underrates the ability of an engine to do more when all it uses is only a meagre percentage of its capacity.
Have you allowed the cerebral engines to be revved effectively and are we leveraging the cerebral horsepower we have as leaders and individuals?
In simple terms, horsepower is the capacity of an engine – a unit of power used for measuring how powerful an engine is.
Horsepower is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “effective power” where effective is defined as “successful in producing a desired or intended result”. So in simple terms, power must produce result!
When we consider cars and their horsepower we understand that the capacity of the engine drives the ability of the car to do “more” – from the revving sounds it makes its ability to get to insane mileage in seconds. These have not only been selling points for car manufacturers but confers bragging rights on car owners.
The engine of the machine earns its right, first and foremost by its engine capacity or horsepower. Mathematically, torque (the force that tends to cause rotation) multiplied by revolutions per minute (rpm) equals horsepower.
Using an animal analogy, the bark or a dog certainly enables us understand how big or potentially dangerous it can be – the sound of an adult rottweiler cannot be compared to the sound of a Chihuahua but each earning the right to bark in accordance with its internal horsepower.
So what are you doing with the cerebral horsepower you have?
Those certifications and certificates, trainings and workshops? How are we going to use them? What level of torque are you applying to generate sufficient horsepower that you’re capable of?
Our focus should not be in the activities only but in the actions that translate to results. We have to see our cerebral horsepower as a means to an end where the end is a “result”, “something accomplished” “action”, “work completed” not a check box process from a bandwagon movement.
What type of institution would you build as an entrepreneur or intraprenuer with all the cerebral horsepower you’ve acquired? It’s not enough to have attained an Ivy League degree or home-grown certification but in applying depth and rigour in your work which is similar to revving your cerebral engines!
Cerebral horsepower has got to matter so let’s focus on getting results not just talk or torque. Leader, decide today.

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Ngozi Adebiyi is the Lead Consultant at OutsideIn HR. Our focus is practical interventions that address the challenges of businesses today. We specialise in HR Business Partnering, Engagement & Retention with the goal of “Revolutionising HR in Nigeria”. Ngozi@outsideinHRng.com

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