Segun Cadmus: Culture Rule 3, Know The Story Behind The Story

Segun Cadmus: Culture Rule 3, Know The Story Behind The Story

Dear Mentee,

Culture Rule 2: If they don’t qualify, pay little any attention to them, must be making sense by now. I expect you to take and apply it, one step at a time. Read it here, if you missed it

The story behind the next culture rule is quite strange, but as i have expressed in all my letters, i have had good, bad and strange experiences during my life time.

Culture Rule 3: Know the story, behind the story

I got this rule from the life of my supervisor; he headed the purchases department of the supermarket i worked in over 60 years ago.

He was a very hard worker, and practically excelled at everything he did, except one; the way he behaved around people was questionable.

Almost every staff member i knew had something bad to say about him, how he talked and behaved. In fact, we all said he wasn’t a people person.

However, it never disturbed the performance of his duties. He would be the first to resume work, and the last to leave. Thus, management loved him; the fact that he wasn’t a people person didn’t bother our boss.

It seemed odd to me, how can a person be so hard working, but didn’t get along with people. Experience had taught me that it is very hard to live in this world, if you can’t get along with people. Who knows, maybe he needs help.

Anyway, I needed extra cash for that weekend so i asked my supervisor for a double shit, thus, i was to resume at 6.30am and close at 10pm.

It was tough, but I managed to pull it off.  Although I don’t recall the exact time we bumped into each other, all I know was, I needed to get some packages from the store and when I got there, i saw my supervisor trying to fix the door of the store.

I greeted him and asked if he needed any help. He said all was well and i left it at that. When i entered the store ( which was quite large by the way )to get what i wanted, i  heard a loud noise and then a scream coming from the store entrance, where my supervisor was.

I ran to the entrance and i noticed the door was closed and my supervisor was lying on the floor, holding his thumb quite tightly. When i asked what had happened, he said he unknowingly slammed the door on his thumb. In an attempt to remove it, he mistakenly broke the handle of the door.

In other words, my supervisor was injured, and we were both trapped in the store.

My child, it felt like being trapped with the devil in hell. The thoughts that raced through my mind were terrible, how on earth could this happen to me. We both shouted and banged on the door, hoping someone would come to the store upon hearing all the noise.

After 30 minutes of shouting and waiting, it was obvious we were going to be there for a while. I went over to the chocolate cookies section, took two packets and headed back to the store entrance. I handed my supervisor a packet as he looked up at me with the strangest expression you can imagine.

I said it would be better for us to make ourselves as comfortable as possible in here, until someone notices our absence and begin to look out for us.

Suddenly, my supervisor began to laugh, he laughed so loud and hard, that i too started laughing. I didn’t get what was hilarious, but i guess it must have been his way of making the most of the situation. I think we laughed for almost 30 minutes

I can’t explain how i got the boldness to ask my boss if he knew what people were saying about him and how i felt they were getting the wrong impression. I knew he had some good in him somewhere

His mood suddenly changed. He told me that he didn’t want to act that way, but he came from a family where the belief was; if you smile and play with people, they won’t respect you. So, he tried to live by that rule all his life

I was shocked and had to explain to him how incorrect that belief was, it didn’t work here at the supermarket. The way people are managed is never the same. Methods must change for everyone is different

While we talked, we suddenly heard someone passing by the store, so we banged on the door again, this time, we were heard. Within moments, a carpenter was brought there and the store door was opened.

That experience made me realise, there is always a story behind the story of people and events. Although my supervisor didn’t change overnight, but now i understood where he was coming from, and he had seen the consequences of his methods.

Everything has an origin, everything is connected to something else and everything can either have a positive or negative outcome.

We need to see people, things and events that way, thus, we need to SEE THE BIG PICTURE

So, i got the next letter ; ‘S’ SEE THE BIG PICTURE

Dear Child, it simply means nothing just happens; there is always a story behind every story. If we take the time to find out what the story is, we will understand people and situations better, and not jump to unnecessary conclusions.

Also, whatever you do, there is a consequence, it is either positive or negative. Take the time to think about the consequence your decision could bring, before you finally go ahead and do it.

In my next letter, i would tell you how i got the next letter for the Culture Matrix

Remember, your culture is everything



Yewande Jinadu

Yewande Jinadu is the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria( and also a Strategic HR Business Partner of a leading tech firm. She's a certified HR Professional with a mix of Generalist and Specialist Experience who supports the business to achieve it's goals through the people. Her strengths are in Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Employee Engagement, Organization Development and Employer Branding. Her social initiative, CareerLife Foundation solving UN SDG Goal 8 is aimed at reducing unemployment by helping graduates and professionals become Employable and accelerate their career growth. With various awards won both locally and globally, her vision is to help millions of youths achieve measurable success in their career. Yewande holds the Senior Professional of Human Resources International (SPHRi) Certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), USA. She is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (ACIPM) and has a Practitioners License to practice HR in Nigeria. She's the Convener of the Employability Fitness Program, an initiative aimed at helping young graduates overcome interview Phobia and the barriers in Recruitment process through mentoring. She is a public speaker and has been featured on various media platforms including: BellaNaija, SheLeadsAfrica, GuardianWoman, Women of Rubies etc Some of her recognitions include: Top 50 Career Influencers in Africa by The Workbooth Magazine and also a the top 10 Platinum members of Career Influencers. Top 150 Global HR Influencer by Social Micole. Top 100 Career Women in Nigeria by 9to5Chick Top 30 Leading Women in HR by Worden HCD You can reach out to her by sending a mail to: and follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @careerlifeng

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