I’ve been an ardent preacher of relationships.
However, this particular sense is so subtle you can miss it without knowing.
Most disappointments we get in life is bordered around this particular dimension of relationships.
That’s why I need to loud it the more.
If figures don’t bore you, then read with me.
The ANZUS Treaty
Every nation has a foreign policy that governs its relationship with other nations.
In 1951, the US, New Zealand (NZ) and Australia signed a treaty bordered around security and military. It was called the ANZUS treaty.
As part of the tenets of the treaty, all member nations should share military intelligence, partake in regular military drills and respond to calls when any of the nations are in need.
However, a sour incident happened between the US and NZ decades later. Due to the surging fear of nuclear weapons and its destructive capabilities, NZ passed an anti-nuclear law in 1984.
They prohibited the entrance of anything nuclear into their waters, airspace, and land. The law made NZ borders a Nuclear-Free-Zone. It was quite dramatic because NZ’s biggest ally, the US, is a notable nuclear world power. So in a bid to uphold this law and show forth their sovereignty as a nation, NZ did something unexpected.
In 1985, the NZ military denied a US ship from entering NZ waters because the ship was believed to be running on nuclear energy. No one expected NZ to stand so firm against the US, especially because of the ANZUS treaty binding them.
For NZ, you’ve got to honor our domestic laws by visiting us with a non-nuclear powered ship. Or, you don’t come in at all. So the ban stood. The US ship was denied passage and forced to turn back.
Washington was far from happy. They were disappointed. They had expected a compromise from their ally, NZ. They knew the US cannot be separated from nuclear powers.
It’s like trying to remove egg yolk from the egg without breaking the shell. I don’t see the possibility. Yet they stood their ground and refused the USS Buchanan ship passage.
In his response to the incident, the then US President, Ronald Reagan said: New Zealand as a nation is now “a friend and not an ally.”
This statement supported a paradigm shift in the US foreign policy towards NZ. The US stopped them from benefiting from the ANZUS treaty. They suspended military drills and sharing of military intelligence with them, pending when they’ll revoke the ban against nuclear engines.
The Uncommon Sense
Two quick questions:
- Who are your friends?
- Who are your allies?
Can you spot the difference?
No sir, they are not the same.
A person can be your friend without being your ally.
One of the problems you are having in your path to success is that you are getting into more ‘friendships’ and no ‘alliances’. Even the friends you claim to be making, you are finding them wrongly.
How can you meet a girl in the mall, smile with her for 10 minutes, exchange numbers… And voila, you’ve changed her status to ‘friend’?
Who does that? What if she was strategically planted there just to befriend you and get valuable 411 on you? You think it happens only in movies, right? It’s alright.
Before you make anyone your friend, you should strive to ascertain the person’s MOTIVE. Else you’ll make more frenemies than you bargained for.
Even with the right motive, friends can back out when the going gets tough. After all, some of them exist to give you advice and nothing else.
But allies stick to the end. It’s like collaboration. They are in the ish with you. They have something to lose as much as you do. Thus, their goal is to see you succeed.
I just remembered that Toby Nwazor said one of his goals this year is to build collaborations. See eh, it’s the way forward. This is the time to be sure about those you’re working with and whether they’ll be willing to go with you all the way to the end.
Forming alliances is seeking proof of commitment. You are as strong as your alliances, not just friends. Japan and South Korea are smiling with minimal threats from North Korea because of their alliance with the US.
Israel can flaunt UN resolutions because Trump is tapping them from behind.
The question is who is backing you?
How trustworthy, powerful and loyal are the people you shook hands with?
No, don’t relax because you have 5,000 friends on Facebook. How many of them will stand for you as allies if your scandal hits the internet?
If you can’t stand by me, why are you here in the first place? It is this understanding that made the US push NZ out of the ANZUS treaty.
Thinking for the US, “if NZ can’t allow us to pass through their waters because our engines are nuclear powered, it means they will abandon us in the war front for a similar reason.”
Please, I ask again. How many of the people in your life can stand, defend and speak for you publicly even when they know you’re WRONG? If you don’t have such persons. Then you’ve no allies.
Allies will put their heads out for you because your loss is theirs. This is the same reason why lots of tech companies outside Nigeria have co-founders.
It’s all about alliances. They need people to bear the pressures, profit, and loss with. Allies will shield you publicly and scold you in the private.
You’ve got to be strategic about your relationships now
First, you need to ascertain the motives of those around you.
1. Why are they coming close to you in the first place?
When you’ve ascertained this, ask another question.
2. Are they the kind of people you can partner with on a vision without being stabbed at the back?
There is really no more time to accommodate people with negative energy.
Just like the US did, if these allies eventually back out of a deal for their best interests, change their relationship status to friends or even old friends sef.
The more alliances you form with the right people, the better your chances of winning.