MUSYOKA: New Year resolutions from a chief executive

Ideas & Debate


I can’t believe the end of 2018 is nigh. It’s been a good year, at least far better than 2017 which I daresay we achieved budget by the grace of nothing but terrorising staff. On my fiftieth birthday this year I promised myself that I would be more intentional about my goals so here are my 2019 resolutions.

I will engage youthful customers. My marketing team keeps harping at me about how I am completely out of touch with that segment of our customer base. Of course I’m out of touch, those ingrates don’t have the spending power that our older customers have. Can you believe that marketing made me attend some allegedly popular Sauti something concert so that I could watch how the youth engage with products? I hated it. Loud, brash, packed like dengu in a bowl and no one seemed to have a concept of personal space. I think I prefer to observe these fellows on their social media turf. It’s more hygienic anyway.

I will learn more about social media. My 17 and 16-year- old daughters cannot get their noses out of their phones. They burst out into laughter when I said that my Facebook account was proof that I knew social media. After threatening to cut off the Wi-Fi subscription for the house if she didn’t introduce me to what was considered cool social media, the older one showed me what I figure must be her ‘safest’ friend on Instagram. The pictures people put on their feeds or is it stories are cringeworthy. She showed me one of the feeds from the boys in her class. I need to have a long conversation with the principal of her school.

How in heaven’s name can underage boys proudly post pictures of themselves smoking and drinking on a public forum? And these are the boys in class with my girls? I need to talk to my wife about home schooling. Maybe she should retire early since she’s always complaining about her job and teach our children from home. I asked daughter number two to show me her Snapchat account so I could join and learn. All I got back was a “You’ve got to be kidding me DAD, that’s gross”.

Maybe I need to rethink resolution 2. Wife would never quit her job.

I will have monthly meetings with my direct reports. Look, I hate team meetings. All that people do in those sessions is whine about why they are not delivering on their targets. I prefer to meet my direct reports one on one so that I can really give them an unfiltered piece of my mind while in the privacy of my office. But my board chairman is getting concerned that my team seems to be disjointed and pulling in different directions based on his razor sharp observations. I think I’ll have people dial into an online conference number so we don’t all have to be in a room together at the same time and they don’t feed off of each other’s negative vibes.

Scratch resolution 4. Who does the chairman think he is? I know how to get the best from my people and having team meetings is not the panacea. Divide and rule is how I’ve run this joint and it’s worked quite well for me since I became king of this castle.

I need to work on my retirement plan. I need to start and finish building a house in Vipingo Ridge at the coast. I have no intention of building a house in the village, how will my peers ever get to see it unless they come there? Which we know that they will never come to that rural backwater. Vipingo has class, it has pedigree, it brings vacationers who always “ohhh and ahhh” when they see the homes there. That means that I need at least two more good bonuses. That means I need to cut off the fat found in the costs of running this place so that I can drive up the profit for the next two years. Let me look at those headcount numbers once again ….

That’s it. No one said that they have to be ten resolutions. These will serve me just fine for now. It’s time to run this place like a boss!

By Kenyan Digest

The Kenyan Digest Team