Below is a memo a branch manager of a bank wrote to his team, which I was part of, after an encounter. At the time, we persistently came to work late. That was way back in 2003! It is surprising that this discipline of timekeeping is a real career trapper. In Uganda, when it rains, many programs change. People fail to move.

Something called an umbrella does not exist. On my first job, it rained. I came slightly late, just checked in 10 minutes past the official reporting time of 8:00 am. Then branch manager at Nile Bank looked at me keenly: I said: “it was raining.” He replied: where do you think I passed.

I stammered: you have a car, Sir.

He looked me in the eyes like for one minute. You would think the eyes would pierce through my body. He then breathed in deeply, slowly and lowered chest. He moved closer and tapped on my shoulder, saying:

“You have just worked here for two months. You must find the reasons why you should win. Not the reasons why you should fail. I have been here for six years now. I bought the car two years ago, on a loan. Before owning a car, I woke up early and came to work. And as a manager, I am the one who performs end of day Banking system transactions closure. Most of the days I leave for home at 10 pm. I am not saying you should work late. I am telling you to embrace your job so that you make life light for your colleagues.”

It was profound.

In that bank, I went on to win an employee of the month spot award which Mr Richard Byarugaba, then the banks Chief Operations Officer (COO), now the NSSF MD, signed and handed over. The short talk transformed my career.

Back to the memo.

I hope you all had a terrific week. Welcome to the second week of March 2003. This week will never come back again.

Attain an edge over the competition and peers by waking up early this year. Go to bed late, wake up early. That way, you create extra time you need to stay a step ahead of the competition.

You start working smart when you stop getting worried whether you hit the targets, am I adding value? What do I write in my timesheet, etc…

It feels great to return today to work and find the office open by 6:00 am. That action shows passion and commitment. Well done members putting in the extra time to get the job done. All folks working on the weekend to have clients smile, you make this bank win.

Mustapha, Mr Strategy Copyright © 2019 Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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