NOT BY MERIT
I first heard the word when I was speaking in a gathering of people. It rang a bell in my mind and I decided to explore it further. I checked the meaning in the Oxford Dictionary and present it to you.
MERITOCRACY: A country or social system where people get power or money on the basis of their ability.
I wish I could say I live in such a country and see such a system in operation. I will admit that many institutions and organisations try to enthrone meritocracy. But sometimes some ‘higher powers’ intrude and they have to succumb. So they watch helplessly as people are employed NOT BY MERIT but by WHO THEY KNOW. So people impose their girlfriends and boyfriends (if you know what i mean) on some organisations.
Someone told me how she was employed in company and noticed something strange. There was a certain lady who did what she liked. She came to the office late and closed whenever she wanted. She had seen her boss reprimanding someone for coming late to work and this lady made a triumphant entry. He pretended not to se her and walked back to his office. When she made enquiries, she was told that the lady’s father gave the company their biggest contract so nobody can talk to her.
‘Hmmm! Na wah oh!’ That’s all I can say.
A lady had to resign from her job when the owner of the company imposed her ‘beloved son’ on the organisation. The boy was arrogant, selfish and incompetent in the true sense of the word. But everybody had to bear with him because he is MADAM’S SON. But the lady who resigned could not ‘stomach’ such a flagrant abuse of meritocracy.
I am not averse to the idea of children working in their parents’ companies. I only advocate that things be done right. A child who has just graduated should start from the bottom to climb the ladder. The Jews do that. Maybe that is one of the secrets of their booming business empires. They let their children learn about the business but they ensure that they start from the PROPER POSITIONS.
Joseph Agyepong at the Excellence In Leadership Conference also frowned against this practice. He cautioned people about filling their companies and business ventures with family members who can become a thorn in the flesh. ‘You can sack your brother or sister or any other family member who goes against the ethics of the organisation. If you cannot do it, set up structures for checks and balances. Let any erring member of your family face a disciplinary panel and respect the decision they take.’
It is time for us to run a system that operates by merit. The era of ‘looking at faces’ should come to an end. If that person you want to help is fit for a junior staff position, do not place him or her in the executive cadre. You may be setting off a chain of events you cannot control.
Let people stay at their levels.
MERITOCRACY must come to stay.