“What can you do? How many times have you been asked that question? But you never gave it any serious thought going by your usual answer: “Well, I am good with figures, and the computer especially, Word Perfect and Excel. Good answer, but how result oriented is it?

If you were in a job interview offering this answer, you are off target. You have not told a good short story of what you can do. Those assessing your suitability for the project or job may simply stare at you, or shake their heads mildly, no nodding. And this is clearly a non verbal indication that they are not satisfied with your answer.

They asked that question to determine the application and benefits of your training, strength, experience, talent and skills. But you were not affirmative in your answer. They wanted to know, what you can do, how you can do it, and the results you can achieve. Instead of stressing what you can do and the results you can achieve, you were dwelling on who you are.

Consumers, regulatory bodies, and various publics are asking: “What can you do? How can you solve our problems? They are asking because they want solutions to challenges and obstacles, some of them, threatening. And you are still telling them, we are a blue chip company quoted on the stock exchange, our balance sheet is solid, and we are doing an initial public offer of 50 million shares @ 50 cents each at the stock market. Your corporate story is that proceeds from this offer will be used to upgrade our information technology and expand branch network.

Good thinking, but can it yield a good product. This is the refrain you hear from banks in Nigeria shopping for funds from the capital market. It is as if they are all singing from the same hymn sheet. But the congregation of customers and other publics are becoming restless. The corporate songs they are hearing may be melodious, but their pains and problems still persist. They want less stories of who I am, and more of, what can you do? That is the challenge in the marketplace now.

Go to churches that command large congregations, what do you see? Thousands of followers and faithfuls seeking solutions to their problems. The pull for them is the move of God in those churches, the miracles and demonstration of God’s power there.

Today, an increasing number of citizens are becoming overwhelmed by mounting socio-economic problems. They care less now with what you know, what you have, or what is inside you? What matters to them now is what you can do with what you have or know?

There lies the challenge for many professionals, and that is; how to translate their abilities, skills, and resources into applications, benefits and solutions for their clients and customers. The real challenge for many of us is to step ahead of our potentials into applications. Physics experts call it from potential to kinetic energy.

Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com

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