I grew up in the city of Warri, when it could still be described as a city before all the fighting and bombings. The youths there have a saying, “Instead make dem another person chop pass me, make nobody chop” which roughly translates to: “Either the deal goes my way or there’s no deal.” This sort of mind set is not very helpful when doing business; it probably explains why Warri is today a shadow of its past glory.
For the last 5 years, as the principal negotiator for Abuja Shelter, I’ve been negotiating and putting together real estate deals on behalf of land-owners and developers. After countless negotiations, meetings and round tables, and learning a thing or two, I’ve come to this truth there’s no room for being angry in business or even in leadership. Not really. Yes some actions and utterances can really get you can get baffled, annoyed, offended, peeved or downright pissed but you must guard against being angry.
Anger is blind rage. A bull charging at a red flag with not much thought or regard for little else.
Now you can “act angry” but not really get angry so much that you walk from the deal that’s still on the table. You have to be reasonable. Anger doesn’t give much room for reason. Now it bears to note that “acting” angry or pretending to be really furious can tip the scales in your favour. It’s an emotional blackmail, a negotiating tactic which when played out by a strategist can yield a desired end result.
But anger must be measured. In the right dose and you can still mend bridges after the act. However sometimes we go off the hook, or at least I let myself get off the hook and go ballistic.
Thinking back now on all those scenarios when I went nuclear, I can’t think of a truly sustainable outcome that yielded a positive outcome when that happened. Or can you think of a time when your unleashed anger transformed lives or restored relationships? How’s that working for you?
Anger must be and controlled and transformed into a desirable outcome. Get mad at the system, act “angry” with the wastage and commit to running for President or giving away a million chickens like Bill Gates. But don’t get angry and blow up the deal. You’re not a terrorist or militant and it doesn’t go well nor end well.
It bears repeating, that there’s no room for being angry in business or in leadership. In the words of the Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather, “Never get angry. Never make a threat. Reason with people.” This applies even when they are being unreasonable as they often are, but put yourself in their shoes and think their thoughts and feel their emotions. Learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.
This post is really a note to self.