If you are a big fan of Sports and business and you follow major sports events and teams, you would understand that for sportspeople/teams or businesses to play in the major leagues their need world-class talents.
Countries and continents can be seen as sports teams or businesses in the world of global economics.
A continent as big as Africa in landmass and population, it’s lacking in the special ingredients to make it a powerhouse; world-class talents.
Africa needs world-class talents in all areas of life and business; world-class leaders, workers, educators, entrepreneurs, administrators, journalists, doctors, engineers, sportsmen, and women, etc.
Africa has enormous talents, but not enough of world-class talents.
The good news is that we have the opportunity to do something about this in the next few decades.
Some of us are defensive about this. But this doesn’t help Africa in any good way.
The best thing is for us (people and government) to realize and acknowledge this simple fact and work towards the change that we need.
Do You Want to Be a World-class Talent?
Whenever I ask this question, the majority of people will indicate that they want to be world-class.
And if I ask more questions, it becomes clear that most of these people do not a clear idea of what being world-class mean.
This is the first thing we need to be clear about; the characteristics of a world-class talent must clear to everyone who aspires to become one.
Your path becomes clearer when you can imagine your destination.
Across Africa, there are myriads of opportunities to acquire and display the world-class talent and your name will be forever known in Africa history.
To help you decide to world-class, I will highlight several characteristics of world-class talents.
To be world-class, you don’t need to have an IQ of 130, or to be Miss. or Mr. Universe.
If you have innate talents, it fantastic!
It gets you started.
But innate is not enough. In fact, the world is full of people with natural talents that are wasting.
The real characteristics you need to become a world-class talent are Patience, Self-discipline, Commitment, Courage, Determination, Curiosity and Willingness to learn.
If you have these or are willing to acquire them, then you can become a world-class talent in a short space of time.
There are very interesting and peculiar characteristics of world-class talents
World-Class Talents Believe in Themselves
World-class talents are very determined individuals who believe in themselves. They do not allow naysayers to tell them what they can do or not do.
World-class talents refuse to be ordinary; they refuse to conform to the lowly standard that the majority of people adhere to.
World-class talents hold themselves to a higher standard of excellence and they work continuously to maintain these standards.
They continue to conquer their fears and they are not afraid to make mistakes or fail.
While the majority of people in the world are afraid to attempt new things out of fear of failure, world-class talents embrace failure as a necessary aspect of progress.
They understand that failure is temporary and expected on the path to greatness.
When they fail or fall, they always stand up to try again.
A couple of the tools that world-class talent uses to maintain their belief in themselves and continue progressing even when the path is very difficult are;
They surround themselves with like-minded individuals going in similar directions.
Many world-class talents may be considered arrogant by regular talents.
Maybe they are.
But we should give them more leeway if they honor their world-class talent and raise up our communities.
World-Class Talents Aspire to Play in The Major Leagues
If fish in a pond grows to dominate every other fish in its pond, it doesn’t make it the biggest fish in the world.
So also, being dominant only in one’s community does not make one world-class.
To be world-class, you must play in the major leagues of your domain.
You need to play with and against the big girls and boys.
This is the reason world-class talents in football want to play in Europe and for teams in the Champions League.
And the world-class talents in basketball play in the NBA.
No one can be considered as a world-class talent in Tennis or Golf without qualifying and play in the “Majors” of these sports.
These are sports examples; you can find a different one is your domain. It all works the same way.
Having said these, I believe the world is ready to create more major leagues around the world. Not only in Europe or America.
And Africa is ripe to become a major hub for these major leagues in sports or business because of the number of young talents.
Mastery of The Fundamentals of Their Crafts is Essential
Everything on this plant and maybe the universe is built on concrete foundations.
These are the fundamental elements without which everything else crumbles.
World-class talents are masters of these fundamentals of their craft.
That’s one major reason they are not overly perplexed when things don’t go as planned.
They understand that once they bring things back to these fundamentals, they would eventually find a way forward.
True world-class talents do not look for short cuts to achieve their dreams and goal. They go very deep to master the fundamental of their craft.
They love the process and know that their journey will break new knowledge and excitement.
If you aspire to be a world-class talent, then you need to love the process and stop looking for short cuts.
Start by learning the fundamentals of your craft.
Unshakeable Life Purpose
As a teenager, I was a fan of Hip-Pop. It was introduced to me by a very good friend of mine in secondary school.
We loved Hip-Pop not only because it is incredible music, but mainly because of the similarity of the struggles of the artists and ourselves.
Today in January 2020, I watched the series “Hip-Pop Evolution” on Netflix.
Listening to the artists who I and millions of other young African of my generation loved and admired, I could clearly see something very different between them and us.
Many of them have UNSHAKEABLE life Purpose which many of us didn’t have.
And where many of them have made an enormous impact in the world, we are still struggling with the same issues after near thirty years.
We didn’t have any defined goals.
We were happy to listen to their rhymes, sing along and dance.
They were changing their communities for the better.
The argument many Africans of my generation will use for our failure to impact Africa will be that those rappers lived in America.
It doesn’t excuse our failures.
I believe today that I and many of my generation has more opportunities to impact Africa in a positive way.
But we didn’t.
So, if you want to be world-class you must have a life purpose to pull you beyond your immediate circumstances.
World-Class Talents Are Very Focused
For the past three years, I’ve been working and communicating with several talented young people across Africa.
Many of whom have ideas they think are game-changing.
But many of those ideas are abandoned without being fully explored after a while.
Why does this happen?
One of the main culprits is a lack of FOCUS!
Many of these young people want to do many different things at the same time.
They start multiple activities/businesses at the same time and soon abandon them because they couldn’t get ignition.
No fire can be started without the FOCUS of energy!
99% of world-class talents are known for one and only one thing for this reason.
World-class talents who are known for more than one thing, they usually start the other things after momentum has been established in the first.
So, if you really want to be a world-class talent, FOCUS your energies in one thing at a time.
No One Succeeds Without Building Excellent Relationships
No one can be world-class and make an impact alone.
We all need the help of other people. Especially if you want to achieve something uncommon.
Our love, family, social, career and business relationships are vital to everyone’s life.
The relationship that you build and maintain will define the level of success or failure that you will achieve in your life.
Because we are humans, we make a lot of mistakes in our individual journeys in our lives.
It’s in the relationship struggle of world-class talent that regular people see world-class talent are humans.
A good example is Tiger Woods’ love relationship breakdown and his struggle with his profession afterward.
However, world-class talents are a lot better at moving on and rebuilding better relationships from their failures.
World-Class Talents Have High Work Ethics
Reading to this stage in this blog article, you must have noticed the amount of the different things that world-class talents do on a consistent basis.
This is why their lives are interesting, happy and fulfilled.
There is little idol time for them, everything is scheduled; both work or play.
Because they consider all as important part of their lives.
They quickly fill any idol time with other important things; new skills, knowledge or relationship building.
World-class talents understand the consequences of having idol time. They lead to more idol time.
That will be the beginning of the decline.
These legends – “The Mamba”; Kobe Bryant, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo have incredible work ethics.
These guys are at the top of their chosen professions.
They are truly world-class talents.
Innovative is Not As Scary As You Might Think
Twenty years ago, whenever I heard “innovation” I envisioned something out of this world. And I thought that I could not be innovative because of my erroneous imagination.
Unfortunately, I believe that a lot of young people across the world may also see innovation in the same light that I saw it way back.
Well, let me put everyone’s mind at ease; innovation is not out of this world. It’s a lot simpler than anyone thinks.
In fact, you innovate every time you focus on a task and make minor changes systematically, and over time those changes accumulate to become a big positive change.
This is all there is about innovation.
Systematic and consistent!
World-class talents understand these and use them repeatedly to make changes that regular talents see as impossible.
Patience is the key!
Continuously Educate is The Hallmark of Excellence
Which people do you consider as educated?
The answer to this question may be as varied as the number of people asked.
According to a world-renowned author and coach whose books and insights have shaped millions of people’s lives;
“An educated man (woman) is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialized knowledge. An educated man (woman) is one who has so developed the faculties of his/her mind that he/she may acquire anything he/she wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.”
– Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
This is a very powerful and important insight because this view of education has the power to shift the mindset for hundreds of millions of people.
Knowing how to read a book in English, French or Spanish does not make one educated.
It simply makes them literate in those languages.
One must be able to use their knowledge to impact their own lives and the lives of other people around them to be considered as truly educated.
This is EXACTLY the kinds of things that world-class talents do on a frequent basis.
The ability to execute this is more than merely gathering knowledge in school.
Education is continuous and never-ending.
It includes leadership, mentoring, negotiation, strategy and planning to mention a few.
Not alone do world-class talents study and are aware of the latest innovations in their craft, they also study the legends and their legacies to clearly understand and gain perspective of their own contributions.
That’s how world-class talents evolve to become leaders in their chosen domains.
World-Class Talents Take 100% Personal Responsibility for Their Lives and Take Massive Action to Achieve Their Goals
One big reason I admire world-class talent is that they take 100% personal responsibility for their lives.
They fully understand that there is no better person to engineer and execute their vision, so they take massive action to achieve their dreams and goals.
Most of them despise the blame culture of the majority of people.
World-class talents hold themselves accountable for the success or failure of their goals.
LEGENDARY Status Awaits You!
As I was thinking about the examples, I want to use in this blog article, to illustrate my thoughts, I receive a notification on my phone about the untimely demise of a world-class talent of enormous following and reputation.
So, very sad!
In the midst of my sadness, I thought about Kobe’s life.
He lived a great life even though it was too short.
I wasn’t a big fan of Kobe’s; he and his team were rivals with the team I support. But I 100% respected Kobe for his tenacity and his world-class talents.
Kobe’s story and legacy will continue through the human story for thousands of years to come.
This is one benefit of being world-class.
And Africa has an enormous capacity for you and many more to become legendary in her economic and social evolution.
Take advantage of this!
To yours and Africa’s progress…