As you go on in life, you will notice that it seems some people have a magnet to know those that matter. Or they know those that know what is going on … ALWAYS. Looking at it at the surface level, it might seem like a natural gift or the person was born that way. No! They were not. They learned to manage “access.” They learned how to manage relationships. It is an art that was learned.
Some access is obtained via family ties. Some via the place of work. Some via the school you went to or the club you belong. One way or the other, you will have access to people that MUST be managed.
Managing access is one of the most difficult things that young people contend with. There is no textbook for it. No known format is established though you are expected to know what to do and how to manage it. I remember when I was job hunting as a fresh graduate. A senior friend of mine had the contact to a very influential person who could have at least opened the doors for me to be interviewed in several firms. The senior friend refused to give me the person’s number. I begged him as if my life depended on it. He did not budge. I felt bad about the whole thing. I was perplexed because this senior friend of mine could literally do anything for me. I was upset that he did not help and could not understand his reasoning as at then.
Now I know why.
If he had given me access to that person, I would have been a nuisance to the person. I would have called at odd hours to remind the person of this and that. I would have paid unsolicited visits. I would have hung around with the hope that I might be noticed. I would have done what desperate people do because as at that point I wanted a job so badly.
I told this story to buttress the point that you must learn to manage access. My senior friend managed the access he had. He shielded that person from me. Assuming I was given that access then and I’d behaved badly, what do you think that person would have thought of my senior friend? It would have put him in a bad light because it would have been assumed that he could not judge character and the situation at hand. It would have resulted in ruined social capital for him.
Your older brother’s friend is the MD/CEO of XYZ and you have his number. Please don’t give the number to half-of-the-world. You might be trying to prove a point that “you know people” or try to name drop. It is okay for the moment, but it causes long-term harm.
For the fact that you have the President’s number does not mean that everything that excites you on WhatsApp should be forwarded to him. Your birthday pictures are none of his business. You can share them with friends and family and not him/her.
Because your boss smiles with you and practices open-door-policy does not mean that you can call at any time. For the fact someone says you can call at any time is a signal for you to manage that relationship. If someone says, “if you need anything, you can call”, make sure that when you call, the issue that led to that call is important. People do take note. No be everything dem de talk.
If you do not learn to manage the access given to you, the following symptoms will occur:
- You will find it hard to reach the people you want to.
- Your calls will not be picked.
- Your matter will always be treated lightly.
- Finally, you will not be taken seriously.
You will have to learn to protect the access that you have. You will need to be discreet on how you treat and handle it. Now you know why some people seem to be very connected — it is because the few access they once had, they managed it well. Since they did that, then people found them trustworthy, wise and discerning. What follows that is … more access.
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. — Luke 16:10