Kunle, Kevin, & Kunat
Let's fictitiously say that you're a district manager over a chain of restaurants that's quite thriving. You have three area managers named Kunle, Kevin, & Kunat. Each of them has oversight of three restaurants. Let's further assume that you've been offered a promotion to the be the regional manager of this same chain of restaurants, and you now have to pick your successor. In most cases, you ought already to have a succession plan in place. Nonetheless, you're given three months for the transition, as your predecessor in the regional role is retiring by that deadline.
Kunle delivers well. He meets all metrics assigned to him and periodically exceeds them. He has the respect of his team, and also understands the business on a bigger scale. Kevin happens to be the nephew of the company's executive vice president; he does an okay job but isn't the first manager you'll think of as your successor. Your predecessor passively mentioned that the "company believes in supporting family members when it can" while speaking of Kevin. Kunat is the newest and hungriest of them all. In nine short months in the role, his team has already recognized him as the perfect "servant leader." He has broken the record for the fastest growing area for a new manager. Tough decision, it seems, so you decide to put them to test.
You bring them all in and give them each an additional restaurant to manage. These new locations, for all of them, are already thriving on their own. It should be effortless to keep it afloat (at the minimum) for three months. They have no idea that they are being groomed for your role. Three months go by, and you review their portfolio. You observe that Kunle's restaurant continues to thrive and even shows projections exceeding expectations by 5% by the end of the year. Kevin's stayed the same, no change. And, Kunat's is actually now the number one restaurant in all of your district. Kunat's restaurant is also on track to be the number one restaurant in the company 12 months from now (if following this current trend). Who should you promote?
This story could be likened to The Parable of the Talents Jesus shared in Matthew 25: 14-30. In this parable, three servants were given talents to look over until the traveling master returned. The first servant was given five talents, he traded with it and brought forth another five. The second servant was given two talents; he traded with it and brought forth another two. And the last servant was given one talent; he did nothing with it, failing to generate simple interest in the banking system afforded that period.
Here's the rub; God has given us all talents, similar to Kunle, Kevin & Kunat. We all have personal resources, skills, and abilities that, when used, could create more, multiply and be a blessing to others. When we act like Kunle and simply coast, we're doing okay, but not maximizing our potential. When we act like Kevin and fail to use the resources before us, we're actually hurting the system and taking from it rather than being a blessing. And when we act like Kunat, we're maximizing the resources, gifts, and talents given to us.
So what should you do?
First, identify what gifts God has given you. What can you generally do better than others?
Find a platform that would best embrace your talent; don't limit yourself to your immediate surroundings; the internet has globalized marketing.
Next, get in there and do work, it's not going to be perfect the first few times you execute, but keep it up.
Seek honest feedback from those you trust and fine-tune your art.
Lastly, rinse and repeat, and be sure to give all glory to God for life's gift (ps- life is synonymous with creativity here).
Don't be Kunle, or Kevin, work at being Kunat!