Raising Great Women, An excerpt from The Code


Courtesy of ConnectNigeria.com

The ride to the waterfront was quiet. A friend of Hypatia’s had dropped her off at Topaz Hotel & Suites earlier, so Kay was now giving her a ride back home. Hypatia seemed very content to watch the many palm trees that flanked the road in that part of town go by, leaving Kay to ruminate on her thoughts.

Just as she had done the day after her meeting with Mildred, Kay now replayed her discussion with the Chairwoman in her mind, trying to properly digest everything she’d heard.

What made this young woman a claimant to such stratospheric success? Was it as simple as what she called the Principle of Praise?

As Kay pulled into Hypatia’s driveway to drop her off, it came rushing back to her what she’d heard at church the previous Sunday—something about God doing more for us when we praised Him for what He’d already done. She figured if praise had that kind of effect on the Almighty, it certainly would on little mortals like her girls.

On her drive back to work, Kay thought about Ifeanyi Mbanaso, the hotel business mogul, and wondered how in the world she would satisfactorily apply the Principle of Praise. She was still grappling with these thoughts when she hit the button on the lift that took her to the fifth floor at Ephraim.

That afternoon, Becky sat glued to her monitor, peering at the freshly released list of approved credit facilities. She looked up at Kay with elation.

“Congratulations Kay, your Sierra Firma Gas credit memo scaled through the dragon’s den.”

“Thank you Becky,” Kay responded with a smile.

“So where did you go for lunch? I noticed you were out for a while yesterday and today.” Becky said.

“Oh! I had lunch with Hypatia yesterday and today.” Kay said a little carelessly.
Becky couldn’t believe her ears. “You can’t be serious Kay. You mean you really went after the Chaperon?”

“I did.” Kay retorted gleefully and continued to her desk, leaving Becky’s mouth agape and her eyes trailing after her audacious colleague as she walked on to her desk.

It was usual for Rowena to congratulate members of her department personally, when they achieved a feat of some kind, rather than just send a commendation email. It was at such times that she left her hallowed corner office—and   everyone on the floor noticed it when she did.  She walked up to Kay’s desk for the third time this year and extended her hand to department’s superstar, who swiftly got on her feet to take Rowena’s hand in hers.

“You really have a way of making being a career woman look easy… I guess I have told you that before, right?” Rowena said.

“More or less ma’am,” Kay said jokingly. “Thank you very much.”

“So how did Karen’s music lessons go yesterday?”

Kay blushed. Rowena had overheard her conversation about letting Karen attend music lessons. “Very well ma, thank you! In fact, she had attempted to play her dad’s abandoned piano before she went to bed last night.” Just then, Kay stuttered into a new realization. “But…I didn’t let her… I sent her to bed when I could have let her play and then praised her.”

Rowena smiled. “I’m glad you went to see the Old Lady. Tell me something?”

“Sure. What ma’am?”

Rowena looked around the office. “How did it feel when you met Hypatia?”

Kay followed her gaze then looked back at her boss. “Tell you the truth? I feel she is too good to be true!”

Rowena laughed, then leaned forward and said:

“Truth often feels that way when you first encounter it. But when you rise to it, your life changes forever.”

And with that she headed back to her office, picked her handbag from her desk and headed for home.

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