HAVE YOU CHANGED
Change is the difference between where you are and where you have come from. The difference between where you are and where you want to go is imagination.
JUST START AGAIN
I don't know if you have ever felt the frustration of trying to correct something that began on the wrong foot. Deep down you know that the beginning was poor, but you secretly keep hoping that things will work out, and that someone else will correct the problem. You spend a great deal of energy working on repairs, fire fighting and unclogging systems blocks. You pay penalties for inefficiency and have to do something over several times before it comes out the way you want. But even then, you know it is not the best. This can go on for years and decades and in some countries for centuries. Deep down you know what you should do. You should start again. You should start again and lay a new foundation for the future you want to build. It does not matter how long this has been going on, nothing will change until you start again. I know because I have had to start again in one department after fifteen years. Don't let yours get this bad.
TIME IN AFRICA
Many people find it hard to understand time keeping in Africa. And I do agree that Africans are blessed with more time than the west could ever hope for. However, I have observed two things that may ease the burden of some, and quicken the success of others. If the event is focused and of great enough value, there will be no issue with managing time. But if the event is not focused and punitive, keeping time will remain a serious challenge.
FROM NIGHT TO LIGHT
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep. That deep is the deep inside us. We know it is there. We so much want to yank it out, draw it out and lure it out. We want to turn the night into light. That is how it is with our potential. It is damp, dark and formless. Until it emerges in our gifting, talent, interest and abilities that propel us into the light. Only then does our night turn to light. But someone has to say it; Let there be light!
FRUIT & TREES
We planted some fruit trees more than five years ago. We have not eaten from the pear tree, but I have eaten from the apricot, the golden apple, the guava and loquat tree. My children have no idea of the effort that went into planting, watering and so on. They just love the fruit. All the fruit taste different and come in different seasons so we find ourselves rotating from tree to tree every other month. And I forgot, we also have plum trees, oranges and papaya. I am still waiting for the pears to give us something but I often wonder about how I am doing with bearing fruit. Is someone waiting for me like I am waiting for the pear tree or are they enjoying the fruit from me. Planting trees is hard work, but the real value of a tree is its fruit so my children tell me.
THAT ONE DAY
Some days are cold and dark. Some days are dank and dry. Some days are drawn out and most days don't make sense. Then there comes that one day. That one day when the dawn rays cut through the clouds and for a moment you doubt what you see. You don't believe the joy you want to feel and you think that today is just another dream. But the sun is determined to come out, shine for you, and ray your faith, hope and joy. And for once, the day turns out to be all you want it to be. You don't have to grope around. It is light and the night has taken flight. It is the day you live for and the day that many die for. It is the end of the trial, the end of the war and the end of the fight. It is the day we long for. The end of the struggle, the study and the sweat. On that one day, we will be freed, redeemed, believed. On that one day.
BELIEFS AND VALUES
You believe what you think. You do what you value. What you believe influences your thoughts. Your values dictate your actions. Beliefs help you argue, values help you behave. Beliefs are outside you. Values come from inside you. The two are very close together but what you believe, you probably learned, and what you value, you most likely earned.
THE MEASURE OF INTEGRITY
All true religion is good, upright and disciplined. It seeks after God. Religion does not define you; your lifestyle that tells me who you are. Religion and values are not the same. Religion is what you believe. Values are what you live. Your words fool no one if your life speaks differently. If the two are one, you have a chance at integrity.
LEAD FOR JUST ONE DAY
Leadership is more than giving instructions; it is doing what you instruct. Leadership is more than giving directions; it is guiding along the way. Leadership is the art of bringing everyone else to where you are. Leadership is not what you give; it is what you take. If you are not changing them, you are entertaining them. It is not easy but it is worth every bit of effort when you touch one life and make it better even just for one day.
TO A WAYWARD CHILD AND A WICKED FRIEND
When you grow up to be big and strong and face the truth of all you had to say today. And when you can do it all on your own and need nobody to show you the way
When you have a home and car of your own. And recall how you forced your way with rights not your own. Or when you finally stop to think of how freely you spent money that was really on loan
When you remember that, you had more time for foes and less for friends. And sense that, you may have caused just a little pain
Then, when you find out who funded your great escapades And even if I am dead and gone when it dawns on you that I am not the enemy, it will be good for you to know that I forgave you long, long, long ago.
PROFIT IS WHAT YOU TAKE FROM OTHERS
An organization that creates value will outlive any business that focuses on profit. Organizations that focus on value create wealth. Those that focus on profit shift wealth. Wealth is what you make for others. Profit is what you take from them.
THE PURPOSE OF BUSINESS
The purpose of business is not profit but to create wealth. The purpose of business is not to beat competition, but to create value. The purpose of any organization is to edify both you and me. Any business that does not do this robs both you and me. The only reason you can boast in business is that you have made this world a better place by creating value for all. Do not celebrate huge profits you take from your customers without creating value. Neither should customers consume value without creating wealth for the business; for nature, as surely as there is gravity, will right the balance. You cannot reap and keep what you have not sown. Celebrate the value you have created for all and you will have no fear of natures wrath. Robbing the poor and giving to the rich is no virtue. Nor is giving to the poor and robbing the rich anything but theft. By creating value that benefits all, you create wealth for us all. Get rid of the myth that wealth is limited and that you must compete for it or that to get rich you must beat someone else, or that in this world you must be either rich or poor. Wealth is created value. Create value and make us all rich.
Today I worked with a group of people I believe will become excellent trainers. I worked with people who I believe will have the power to transform the world around them. I worked with people who will take the words to the nations. Most of all I worked on me. I trained somebody to do what I could never do in one lifetime. I trained somebody else. I trained someone else. That is how I intend to reach the world. It did not start and neither will it end with me. All I did was share a part of me.
WHEN TO QUIT
Most people struggle with "when to quit" until retirement. And then never quit. And then just sort of die on the job. So when my friend Anthony said he was throwing in the towel, I congratulated him and asked him about his plans. Apart from letting him know that he was one of the bravest men I know, I asked him what his family made of his decision. When he told me that his family was in agreement, I knew for a fact, that he was on to something. I then asked him if he was ready to go. He said he had been planning the move for several years and it was time to go. He had saved up enough money to keep his family alive for a year. I then asked him what he wanted to do. He said he would do what he had always wanted to do "write and speak". When I asked him why he was quitting such a well paying job, he said, "I got what I came for, time is up, I need to go". Most of us never get to quit because we don't have a plan, a purpose or a project for life. We don't even know why we have a job. When you have an answer for these four questions, it will be time to quit!