3 Profound Career Lessons From The Life & Times of Nderitu Gachagua (RIP)

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The late Nderitu Gachagua
The late Nderitu Gachagua
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Born 64 years ago, Nderitu Gachagua, the abrasive contractor and billionaire who became Nyeri’s first governor – and whose term in office was marked by an abortive impeachment, fistfights between his supporters and opponents and ill-health – succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

In the spirit of humanity, I take this opportunity to pray for God’s comfort to the family during this tough moment.

From the time of his active life as the defender of coffee farmers and the sector, to the time he became Nyeri’s governor and finally when the sad news of his demise was made public, certain aspects of his life have been brought to the fore. My HR filled mind could not resist the temptation to dissect certain spheres of the deceased’s life to the benefit of the careers and family lives of all living souls.

Impact humanity with your talent
Listening to the Deputy President eulogize the late governor, it is not lost that the man was loved by Nyeri residents because of his steadfast advocacy for the coffee farmers rights. Having a streamlined sector in Kenya’s coffee belt meant the farmers would profit from their hard earned labor. This is one of the reasons he was elected.

As an employee or an entrepreneur it is imperative to have a bigger than money agenda. Something that lives beyond your household and impacts the community at large. This should be the fire that burns your passion every morning as you wake up to toil at your place of work or enterprise.

Look back at your local community and ask yourself what you can do to positively change one soul’s destiny. You may just need to be the voice of the local youth group. You may offer your time to train some women on life skills. You could offer your technical skills pro bone to the local community development programs or you could choose to pay school fees for a destitute child.

Never underestimate the power of a good and authentic human act toward another.
Is there someone somewhere in Kenya or beyond thanking God for your big heart? Let your career and talent benefit humanity beyond your household.

We are so replaceable at our workplace but not in the family
This was profound to me. Just a few hours after his death, Nyeri had another governor and boy!! life was going on. Business as usual. The only place where they could not get someone to take the deceased place was his family.

The wife had no acting husband in waiting. The children will never get another man to call a father, not even the ever loving uncles. That gap will remain forever.

So the big question and learning point is where did the late governor spend his most quality time?

As we pursue our careers and businesses, forget not what is ordained as IMPORTANT, SACRED AND IRREPLACEABLE. Do not commit all your time to the office at the expense of your family. You could lose your job by any means known on earth death being the worst case scenario.

Upon your demise, there is someone who will go on an overdrive to find the next talent to replace you as soon as possible to ensure business operations don’t halt. If in business, your partners could even contemplate to take over your equity without involving your next of keen.

Working or doing business every day with a consciousness that you are a replaceable talent creates a super awareness in our hearts that make us start looking for the things and places that matter where we know we cannot be replaced at all.

Never should you ever embrace your job as though you are the saviour of your organization. Never think that you are the jig the company has been missing since inception. Work hard, work smart but learn to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.

When you are gone, someone else will be thanking God for the wonderful breakthrough in their life as far as the job is concerned.

Create a consistency of valuing your family where you are Irreplaceable both in life and death.

Know when to say “it is enough”
Throughout his five year reign, the governor spent close to four years out of his office and country. He became a common figure in the London hospital where he was being treated.

A few times when he came to the limelight, it was clear the gentleman was not well. The last time he was seen in public was in November 2016 during President Kenyatta’s tour of the county. He (governor) then flew out of the country hours later to continue with his treatment.

Let’s take our minds back to offices where we work. Do you have this colleague whom you sometime have to chase to go home and nurse their ailment before resuming duty? Do you have a colleague whom you know very well is not feeling well (either sick or just stressed out) and while you advise them to proceed on leave or seek medication, they retort that they cannot since the business is at a critical point and they must finish certain reports before they can think of any leave?

They would prefer to die slowly as they work tirelessly on the jobs they “love so dearly”. I hope that colleague is not you.

My wisdom tells me that the gubernatorial responsibility is a tough one that needs the strength of all human faculties. If one could be sickly for more than a year and doctors have diagnosed the situation as dire, then their mental and physical ability to operate the said office is affected. Not forgetting the impeachment attempts.

Well, whether out of love and commitment to “Nyerians” only the late governor and God know. However my biggest lesson is, your personal well-being comes first, everything else will be aligned after.

In your career journey, have the confidence to let go what needs to be released at the right time. Anything that would jeopardize your well-being or catalyze an already dire situation should be let go. Do not hold on to a role at the expense of your life and health.

At the slightest feeling of sickness, take charge and seek medication. If asked by the doctor to take bed rest for a month, please comply. Avoid the temptation of appearing in the office late in the evenings to find out how things are moving.

Learn to rest and learn to let go

 

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