Standing keeps you alert, ready to go. Sitting puts you at rest. When a Nigerian engages another person in a heated argument, and he wants to dismiss you, he blurts out; “My friend, go and sit down,” even if you were sitting while arguing. What is he telling you: Keep quiet and become inactive.

Teachers and lecturers do most of their job standing. An artist, painter or sculptor can stand for hours even though there is a sit nearby. Sameway for an architect who is designing a building. What about factory workers or field salesmen and women? You don’t find them sitting in factory halls or the streets. But you can argue there are some jobs you really cannot do standing up. What about drivers and pilots? No doubt, these ones sit on their jobs.

What about journalists? On their beats hunting for stories, of course they stand and move about. Out there on their beats, they are known as reporters. Back in the newsroom, they sit and write stories. That is when they become journalists. You see how physical posturing alters professional branding.

It is same story for the “learned” members of the legal profession. In court, they are advocates. In their chambers consulting their clients, they are lawyers. What about cattle rearers? They are always on the move. No offices. Nursing mothers will tell you that it is much easier to placate a crying baby, standing than sitting.

As challenges mount in the marketplace, corporate managers and professionals have discovered that if you sit too much, your business will sink. It is only a matter of time. You have to stand and, move about, co-ordinate and control. This strategy is what Americans call, “management by walking around.”

We can learn this from Jesus of Nazareth. As an itinerant preacher, he trekked long distances on land doing His job. On sea, He used boats. At one time, Jesus was crossing over to the other side on the sea with His disciples. He sat in the boat sleeping. Then a storm arose threatening to perish all of them. Jesus stood up and commanded the storm to cease. It did.

The Lord taught a lesson there to stand up and take control rather than sit. Next time He was on the sea, He walked on water while His disciples rowed in the boat. If you sit, relaxed, the storms of business can sweep your business away. But I you stand; you can see the storm coming and strategize on how to deal with it. And standing in this context is more figurative  than physical.

And so the critical question dear professional is: Are you standing or sitting on your job, physical or figurative. Standing on your job at this stage is more of business sense. How have you positioned yourself, your business, your products and services in the marketplace? Are your products sitting, immobile in this era of direct marketing, or are they mobile. The mounting challenges in the marketplace are all standing threatening the sustainability of your business, and your business is sitting. If you are still “sitting,” then, that is a sad story.

No one challenges you sitting down. If so, the challenger is not serious. A serious challenger sits upright. These standing challenges in the market demand that you stand up so that you can surmount them, and use them as stepping stones to greater heights. Remember I said “steeping stones” and not “sitting stones.” To stand as a professional, you should constantly be developing yourself. As it is in the private sector, so it should be in government and the public sector.

If you stand, you are visible, you command attention, you are mobile, and you get business. You are alert, creative and ready for action. Please stand up. As a baby, you laid down most of the time before you learnt how to walk. As a child and student, you sat down while your teachers and lecturers stood up and taught you.

Now that you are a working professional, why are you still sitting? Remove those chairs in your office; get up, go and conquer. I wish you well.

Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as, and He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at

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