Do you have a father and a boss? Do you have a father or a human capital manager? Whose management style do you prefer? Whether you are a father or a boss, you are a manager of human capital. And how you go about your business really counts. This presentation by Chris Nkwocha, one of our corporate speakers, compares a father as a manager and a boss as a manager. He also highlights how you can succeed as a human capital manager. Read.


When I was a child, my siblings and I played all manners of games in the field: from Hide and Seek to the Teacher in the Class. The one playing the teacher will always hold a cane, the mark of authority. Sometimes, we played Parents and Children. In this case, the one playing the role of the mother was usually the cook. The father’s role was often exaggerated as the Lord of an empire who sits on his throne reading newspapers or listening to a news station, and intermittently giving orders like the Pharaohs of Egypt. It was really fun playing such games that reveal the true personality of parents.

When Parents and Children was played by children of different families in the neighbourhood, we got to see the character of our friends’ father especially. In most cases, fathers were portrayed as authoritarians or even dictators. Ironically though, they were strong critics of the likes of Hitler of Germany and Idiamin of Uganda. The best part of the game was playing the nursing mother. The nursing mother was expected to be gentle and kind, loving and caring. She was to pet the child who was always crying, feed it, do the napkin and perform all the motherly roles.
But fathers were everything but loving and caring. The only way they cared was by providing materially for the family. They were brutes who mercilessly flogged their children and sometimes brutalise their wives. An offence visited with abusive speech was an act of kindness. They ran a mini sovereignty where they demanded everything, from respect to worship. Imagine a wife who welcome her husband with fear and trembling! Or women who serve their husbands food and knelt down until he finished eating the meal. Children were glorified slaves who were yes members of the family. Parents decided everything for their children, including the courses to read in high school. They felt no qualms embarrassing their children at the slightest provocation, anywhere, any time. You may have realized that majority of graduates bred by such totalitarian parents are career wrecks because they were pressured to reading courses they had no interest in. Some who read law on the insistence of their parents, end up becoming fashion designers. Are you such a parent? Do we have such parents existing anywhere today?

Such parents still exist today. Many of them, however, are near their grave. They are now saint grand fathers who pamper their grandchildren. They seem to have repented in old age. But they have moved their dictatorship and their sovereignty to the business empire where they have workers as their subjects. But for some courses in human capital management that they sometimes undergo, just to boost their curriculum vitae, they are worse than slave drivers.

They mete out cruel treatment on staff members who tremble at them because they are treated like their family members. They bully and intimidate lowly ones they consider as nothing but the dregs of humanity. Such bosses scream and embarrass their staff at the slightest provocation. And some of them are church leaders who are expected to be imitators of Christ. What they remember of Christ and practice daily is his flogging money changers in the temple. They refuse to see his love and humility, qualities that drew the lowly to him.

If you must succeed as manager of human capital, you must strive to cultivate love, humility. Why? Love is patient and kind. A patient manager is patient with his team members. Though he appreciates more those who exceed his expectation, he doesn’t look down on or talk down those who are not able to do so. He understands that each person has their limitation. Can you see areas you need to be patient with your team members? Getting to know their strengths and weaknesses might help. You may also want to know them beyond the office setting. Some, especially women, have a lot to contend with at the home front. Most working class women are both homemakers and breadwinners, two difficult-to-combine tasks. This can weigh some women down and reduce their productivity. But a boss who is patient and understanding factors these when dealing with suchlike ones and offers soothing encouragements.

If you must succeed as manager of human capital, you must strive to cultivate love and humility .

Don’t forget humility. A humble manager does not think of themselves as the Lord of an empire. They do not run a dictatorship. They listen. They are friendly and treat team members the same way they want to be treated. They understand that equity and fairness is the bedrock of any relationship that must endure. With humility many human capital managers have recorded a huge success. What they remember and practice in imitation of Christ is his washing the feet of his disciples and his dying on their behalf.

With humility many human capital managers have recorded a huge success

May you reject with great vehemence the totalitarian style of management and pull down any such structures in place anywhere. Be determined to build a lasting culture of love and humility for they are a bond that hold relationships.