The saying that “the world has become a global village” frequently resonates in speeches and articles by people in attempting to draw the attention of the human race to the fact that no comer of the earth and indeed the world is too far or remotely removed from the other parts. This of course is due primarily to the tremendous growth recorded in the area of information technology, particularly within the past two decades. Information is now readily available to people and events occurring in one part of the world is seen and heard in other parts almost immediately. More technologies, more scientiﬁc inventions with supersonic speed processes are now available to human race. This. no doubt, has redeﬁned the nature of business transactions.
We cannot therefore gainsay the truth that the rate of change in our contemporary world is so rapid that before a sneeze bout, a thousand applications have been added to the app world. The rate of change is so rapid and it is attributable to new technology, added knowledge, demographic mapping, and the ‘shrinking’ of our planet concomitant to the growth in the area of information technology and other scientiﬁc discoveries.
We live in an age where everything seems to have advanced; voyages that used to take months many years back now take a few hours, tasks that used to be accomplished at snail- speed rates are now done at the blink of an eyelid, literally. Technology has. magniﬁcently redeﬁned life. Things our ancestors tagged impossible we now take for granted. Indeed, life has advanced beyond imagination. With these changes, it will obviously be foolhardy for anyone on this side of the globe to think at the work mode will remain the same over the ages. Work mode is now measured by universal standards because the borers which hitherto separated one nation or country from another is greatly fading away, all thanks to advancement in technology.
As stakeholders in the construction and civil engineering industry, there is a great need for us to awaken to the reality of the fact that the society expects from us the same level of modern structural and architectural standards with every modern aesthetic beauty found in the construction and civil engineering works in other parts of the globe. Very often when one moves around town or travels within the country one ﬁnds already executed or ongoing construction and civil engineering projects which fall below international standards and which cannot stand the test of time. One is always worried at the abysmal level at which some of these projects are executed.
For instance, I currently live in one of the cities in the Niger Delta Region and I found it very unbelievable that in that city there are not fewer than four overhead bridges (i.e., ﬂyovers) constructed within the past ﬁfteen years, with narrow single lanes, such that oftentimes when vehicle breaks down on the bridge other vehicles behind would either wait until the broken-down vehicle is towed or otherwise repaired and removed and this comes with attendant trafﬁc gridlock. This is just one example out of so many similar construction errors which have turned out to become serious nuisance in our society.
We must realize that whether our society grows to become the world’s best or not in terms of infrastructure depends to a very large extent, on the ingenuity of all of us in the industry. All hands must be on deck to push our infrastructural development agenda forward. Gone are the days when policy makers, government ofﬁcials and contractors failed to see beyond their immediate needs. The world has become a global village and as such all stakeholders must be able to project into the future use of any given construction and civil engineering project.
Such projects must be executed in such a way and manner as to conform to internationally recognized standards. The principle of sustainable development must be uppermost in our minds. The principle enjoins the present generation to use and deploy available resources today in such a way that it will not hamper the right of the future generation to use and enjoy same for their own beneﬁt. To enjoy same for their own benefit. To this end therefore, we must ensure that our environment and infrastructure are positioned not for ourselves but also for the future generation after us. To be able to achieve theses, we all have to as a matter of necessity, immerse ourselves in skills improvement. There must be serious efforts made towards transfer of technology and technical-know-how. The challenge however is that in this part of the globe we often do things without strict adherence to laid down standards. We must have strong and mature leaders who not only put policies in place but must also ensure that the policies are carried out and standards are maintained.
As senior staff in our various work places, we must do well to lead by example so that even the junior ones can be positively inﬂuenced. We must be masters in our different disciplines and endeavors, masters of our emotions as we relate wit people and dynamically respond to knotty issues. We must undoubtedly show ourselves and actually be great team players; not just by controlling but being able to collaborate and align with colleagues with a View to actualizing the set target through meaningful, purposeful leadership and positively contribute to our various organizations.
Our times call for leaders with aptitude. Leadership is not necessarily a connotation of positional guidance, dishing orders or stamping policies and rules for others to follow. but it is a call to personal responsibility to genuinely seek to improve our understanding of changing times and seek ways to modify and suitably adapt resourcefully. Leadership is at the core of what we do in our lives every day. We are born leaders.
Every walking moment gives us the opportunity to lead our lives productively or destructively. Every decision we take is a decision to lead our lives, families. churches, projects and programs in certain directions. In each of us lie the leadership potentials waiting to be harnessed and tapped for greatness. The work situation in these times requires such individuals who show an excellent touch of decisive leadership in any number of situations. Aspire to be such an individual and see yourself soar to enviable heights. The choice is yours.
Note: This article was originally published in The Nigerian Construction Digest Vol 1 No.4 2016. All images /pictures are from www.google.com