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Saturday, March 30, 2013

I was promoted to Managing Daddy

From Daddy to Manager

Today I got a new job. My daughter announced to me that I was her manager. Previously, I had only been daddy.  I teach her music. I must have done something right. I think I will take the job. It is very rare that one gets promoted from below. It is usually your boss who decides when you get promoted.  I wonder how many staff would promote their managers. That is something to think about. For now let me enjoy my promotion from daddy to manager or maybe Managing Daddy. That sounds nice.

Allan Bukusi

This is my World Book, 1000th post

1000th blogpost

I have spent many hours writing to people I have never met and sharing thoughts without regret. It has been a long journey yet some things that weigh heavily on my heart are still untold. I wish I could write many books and leave them for my children to find. But on these pages is my book to the world for a thousand eyes to behold. I tell my children a story every night to help them see that the future is bright and that they must always do right. I don't think one can tell enough stories, but this is my book to the world.  In sharing thoughts, ideas and experience we help make the world a better place. Everyone has a story they can tell.  So even if it does not always make sense, or is never completed, this is my book to the world.

Allan Bukusi

 

Was it a dream or was it your purpose?

Only purpose lasts

I started life in search of a dream. But as time went by the dream faded away. In the place of the dream, came a vision. A vision of glory. In my heart, I knew it had to be. But that too faded in time. In place of the vision came a mission. I wondered how it would be. But now, with my hands, I made a start. This time the mission would not let me go. Until, at last, it revealed the purpose in me. Dreams fade, visions are for glory, and the mission makes the man. However, in life, it is only purpose that lasts.

Allan Bukusi

Why dont you have it?

If you can perceive it, you can believe it. If you can believe it, then you can receive it. If you can receive it, why don't you have it?

Allan Bukusi

More Money, Less Rich

 

The story of

Mr. Name I.S. Withheld

 

When I was a young teacher earning 2330$ a month, I bought a piece of land worth 17,000$, owned a bicycle that cost me 950$, fed myself, sent 500$ to my parents every month and eventually built a house whose market value was over 40,000$ over a period of two years. In two years of earning a total of 55,920$ in salary, my net worth was more than my total earnings over that period of time. I was a simple teacher.

 

As a corporate executive my fortunes changed dramatically with a rise in income to 14,000$. Over the next two years, I bought a car that gave me no end of problems. Moved into an up market house and furnished it with all things good. And went into steadily rising debt. I was a fast rising executive with a budding career. And why not?...

 

But this picture disturbed me. Try as I might I could not get out the vicious cycle of growing financial crisis even though my income increased to the dizzy heights of 60,000$ per month. Despite earning more I was actually reaping less…?

 

When I eventually lost my job at a high point in my career to take on more satisfying work earning much less money, I realized how much I had wasted on things that were not adding value to my life. I kep thinking,"If only I had continued with the prudence I had when a teacher and merged that with the money I earned as a corporate executive I could have done more with less".

 

Does this story sound familiar?

 

Allan Bukusi

Managing Time, Moments of Truth & Deadlines

 

To excel in managing time, treat time like a precious resource. Use it carefully like limited funds in a bank account. Use it wisely by spending time like money to buy things you need. Just like you don't like to waste money, don't waste your time, you may not have enough left when you really need it. Nobody is born a natural time manager. Time is only available to you while you are alive. It is your job to make the most of it every single day.

I always face moments of truth when major events like an examinations or work deadlines approach. In these moments of truth, I have to ask myself if I have used my time wisely as the time for these major events come closer.  Sometimes the threat of the deadlines forces me to take urgent action. When this happens, I find myself rushing over the work. I then regret why I never used my time well when I had the time to do the job properly. In these moments of truth I realize that I wasted some ideal time in the past that should have been used to do this job that has now become urgent.

By the way I wonder why deadlines are called deadlines. I imagine it is because people are found dead on the line. I prefer to call them "date lines" or "time lines". That way, they are more friendly and do not smell of murder and death like "deadlines". By adjusting the words you use to communicate your time schedules will help those you speak to develop a healthy and positive attitude to the discipline of managing time.

Allan Bukusi

Do you know that Flat Broke Feeling

 
I have been "flat broke" a number of times in my life and I know you have too. The feeling is a mixture of helplessness, self-pity and self-blame. Yet it is also a feeling of hoping against hope. You check every pocket, envelope and account where you must have kept some money and come up with the reality that you have nothing in your hand. It is a bad feeling a sad feeling. You want to wake up, but the dream says, no way. The funny thing with being flat broke is that it does not depend on whether you are rich or poor. The flat broke feeling is exactly the same. Both are like a drowning man reaching for anything to give them relief. Once you survive the incident, you vow that it will never happen again. Somehow, it does when you are least prepared.
Allan Bukusi
 

Leaders need Timeout

Leaders give up all to give their all. It is a strenuous call that few men or women can bear. It is a heavy mantle that demands all from the leader. However, few people (followers) know this and often fail to recognize that leaders are human too. Timeout is important for the leader as much as it is for staff. Take a break, go to the mountains and pray for strength. For many leaders leading is a lifelong journey. If you are a leader, you need strength for today, but also strength for all the people. Take time out.

Allan Bukusi

How to mend a broken heart

The broken heart

It is hard to tell the broken heart apart.

It walks the street, cold and hard.

It hurts and bleeds, but does not cry.

People say it must be soft, to regain what it lost.

But the heart weeps for what it could not keep.

And pines for gain in the rain.

The broken heart has to build its seals again.

And believe that faith, hope and love can live again.

But tell me if this can be done with a human hand?

Allan Bukusi

 

Back from the Grave

Sandy's grave was dug the moment its nerves in the back failed after a routine operation. The poor dog could barely drag itself around on its fore legs. One can only imagine the pain. The offer was made to put the dog to sleep and save it from a life of misery. But its keeper delayed in the hope that it would get well. The grave waited open and ready. The bedsores came and sandy went through awful pan, but hung on to life by its front legs and a bark. "Why delay?", they said. "Why put the dog through so much pain?". Then soon Sandy stood again. The grave is still there. Waiting. But maybe Sandy won't be coming so soon. To keep the grave at bay, someone must have faith.

 Allan Bukusi

 

The death of the king and a poor man

The death of a king and the death of a poor man are not the same. The Kings death is announced. The poor man's death is pronounced. The death of a good man also differs from that of a wicked man. Whereas people comfort those whom the good man leaves behind, they come to confirm that the wicked man is dead. Death joins the dead and separates the living. But to both is grief.

Allan Bukusi

The battle between Leadership & Technology

The future of leadership is so fraught with technology that the role of character, competence and courage is gradually being reduced to the back burner. It may be that soon we will not look for outstanding leadership qualities in leaders, but that all they will need is to be is unique in one way or another. The core elements of leadership are already being handled by technology. The qualities required of leaders in, and by the end of the 21st century, will be very different from the past.   

Allan Bukusi

Friday, March 29, 2013

The best place to grow up

 

Some people grow up on a farm. Others in a village. Some grow up in town, in a shop or on the street. Whether you grow up in a slum or a palace, the only thing that seems to matter is, that you grow up.

Allan Bukusi

God is a planner

 

It struck me today that someone must have had the sense to look ahead and organize for my existence on earth. It is not hard to think of God as planner, especially when nature is so organized. However, that God says, "I know the plans I have for you"  is a remarkable statement if ever there was one. This suggests that we may not be control of things as much as we would like to be.  How would we act if we knew we are not in control of our lives? I think things would change. If we were in control, there would be no need to plan. But if we are not in control then we must plan carefully.

Allan Bukusi

Easter 2013

 

Though it come as a surprise, all men die.

If there is hope beyond the grave, not all men will rise.

The matter is not if; the matter is hope.

If a man has hope, the matter is settled.

It is no matter if it be true of false.

The matter is, do you have hope beyond the grave.

Allan Bukusi

 

Think of others

 

Think of others. Not for you, but for them.

Think of others, when they are waiting for you. What else could they do.

Think of others, when you take the job. What good will it do.

Think of others, when you teach the children. What will their future be.

Think of others, when you think about you.

Think of others, when others come to you. It may be they see hope in you.

Think of others, in all you do, because that is all there is to you .

Allan Bukusi

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What you should do when you come to the end of the road.

Joe lived with his grandfather on the mountain village of Kotu. His parents died when he was but a child. His grandfather, a widower, took him in to bring back some life into his home.

Joe grew up in the village square with all the other children. And used to watch people coming and going along the road. Some never came back. Joe heard many stories about the road from the other children. His grandfather was too old to travel and could not tell him the stories the other parents told them about the road. All he would say was, "when you get to the end of the road, follow the trail of those who have gone before".

Joe grew up like every other boy and went to school. In school, they were told many stories of the road and the great beyond. But his grandfather knew no better. All he could say is, "when you get to the end of the road, follow the trail of those who have gone before".

Joe's school days ended and he took up his role in the village and while working in a shop he gathered courage to ask the shopkeeper if he know what was at the end of the road. The shopkeeper said, "I don't know for sure but I do know that one day we all come to the end of the road.

The sad day came when Joe's grandfather died. Joe was heartbroken and sat around for days in a daze. One day Joe got up and started walking. He walked to the village and told the shopkeeper he was not coming back. He walked through the village and up the street. He walked up the mountain path. And walked on through the forest. He walked on until he came to the end of the trees. Suddenly the road fell away covered with a misty haze. Had he taken one more step he would have fallen over the cliff. Joe stood still. His heart racing within.

Joe took a step back and looked to his left. The trail led off to a pile of rubble. He started towards it, but came racing back when he recognized the grave. The road to the right led off to firm tracks, but when Joe looked up, he saw vultures hovering overhead. Joe stood still. Thinking, thinking, thinking. What had his grandfather said? What had he learned in school. What had the shopkeeper said? Then ever so slightly, the haze lifted and he saw the feint trail down the side… When you reach the end of your road, follow the trail of those who have gone before.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Think about your goals over easter

Here is something you will enjoying watching over Easter...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A2BtXtf2Oo

Sports & Leadership

The competitive nature of all Sports builds character and demands that one develops skill and competence. However, contact sports require an above average character and courage. Karate, boxing and rugby require that you not only face your opponent, but that when your opponent strikes you, you must not react in anger. These sports require that you control yourself and develop the capacity to remain calm and focused under extreme provocation. If you want to develop self-control, you may need to engage in some form of contact sport.

Allan Bukusi

Monday, March 25, 2013

It is hard to pray on a full stomach

The question is, "to fast or not to fast?" In my own experience, strange as it may seem, I find it hard to pray on a full stomach. Before a meal, I have a sense of duty to thank God for the food. After the meal I am somewhat disinclined to pray. Gandhi fasted to plead his case with men. Jesus fasted for strength for the journey. Many religions uphold fasting as a means of piety and finding favor with God. I don't know about you but I find that prayer is most effective and most urgent when you don't have than when you do.

Allan Bukusi

Leadership & Integrity, a delicate matter indeed

The guiding principles of leadership and integrity include –

a)      Selection on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability, or election in a free and fair elections

b)      Objectivity and impartiality in decision-making and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favoritism, other improper motives of corrupt practices.

c)       Selfless service based solely on the public interest demonstrated by –

i.         Honesty in the execution of public duties; and

ii.       The declaration of any personal interest that may conflict with public duties;

d)      Accountability to the public for decisions and actions; and

e)      Discipline and commitment in service to the people.

Chapter 6 – Leadership and integrity Section 73 (2), constitution of Kenya 2010

Integrity is a crucial element of leadership at the personal level and within an organization. The inclusion of a chapter six in the Kenya constitution shows how important the matter of leadership and integrity is to nation building. However, careful evaluation of the guiding principles of leadership and integrity also reveal how delicate the matter of leadership and integrity is to define. It is bound to the person the position and performance while only bordered by corruption and public interest. Leaders need great wisdom to interpret and abide by the law and secure the best interest of and for the people.

Allan Bukusi

Sunday, March 24, 2013

In business all you need is faith

A little over two years ago, we started a school. We started with an office block and four children. Today we have 39 students with a full house capacity of 50 students. It has been a remarkable journey and from the outside looking in, anyone can say that we have done well. These kinds of success stories encourage many.

However, there is the other side of success stories that hardly ever gets told. It is the challenges you face of being short on cash, staff and stationery. It is the sleepless nights wondering what the people are going to eat tomorrow. In a business, it is about making decisions about other people's future and being the driver, the toilet cleaner and the repairman when you cannot afford one. It is hoping against hope that things will change. It is about faith that God in his mercy will bridge the cash flow and come through for you again and again. Business is about faith. Just a little because in the circumstances you cannot afford much. Business is about many things. but without faith, there can be no business.

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, March 23, 2013

There is really a time for everything

It is hard to believe that there is time for everything when you haven't finished your work. It is easier to believe when you do have some thing to show for the time past.

Allan Bukusi

Friday, March 22, 2013

How To Take Action

 

A-AIM

C-CAPACITY

T-TASK

I-IMPACT

O-OPPORTUNITY

N-NETWORK

Taking action on leadership, management or personal matters is the only way to progress and create a better state of affairs. The question that we may genuinely not have an answer to is how to go about it? This six-step framework is a guide.

The A.C.T.I.O.N. acronym is the subject of Taking Action by Allan Bukusi

First, you have to be clear as to what you want to achieve and be comfortable that it is worth the effort that will be required to achieve it. Even if you don't see how you are going to muster that effort you must be prepared to put yourself "online" to achieving the goal. In order to pass the exam, you must first register for it and study as best you can.

Second, you need to examine the capacity you have to pursue the goal and build up any additional capacity you may need. If the qualifications to get to be CEO require a college education, you may need to get that degree as a prerequisite to pursuing your goal.

Third, examine the task. Break it down. Create a ladder to it. Schedule the needed activity.  Get a good feel of how long and how many hours it will take to accomplish the task.

Fourth, remember that everything not only has a cost but an impact as well.  These two words may well mean the same thing. By examining the cost, you can set aside resources to pursue the goal. By examining the impact, you can prepare the people who will be affected by it and let them know what to expect and how things will change. Everything affects everything else. Other people will be more willing to cooperate with you and even help you get to your goals when they know what you are about and how it affects them.

Fifth, examine your options, opportunity and opposition. Supposing you did not do what you need to do today. What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? Is the opposition justified, do they have a point? Can you learn from them? Are there better options to the course of action you have chosen?

Sixth, there is nothing like a comforting word in a storm. A network of counselors (not necessarily supporters) will give you wisdom external to your perspective and circumstances. In the thick of the action, the world needs a little brightening for you to go on. So go on then and take the ACTION you need.

Allan Bukusi

 

Village advice with global impact

…Now my son, I see that you have successfully finished school and have obtained yourself a job. You have graduated from childhood and I must charge you to quickly do three things; first build yourself a house. Second, marry a wife – a good woman. Third, buy a cow and let me look after it for you…

Excerpt from The Riddle (How To Prosper In Employment), by Allan Bukusi, 2005

This bit of wit will bring a smile to your face. But on reflection, you will realize that this is ever fresh career advice grounded in today's most practical financial wisdom. A house will take care of your basic needs. A spouse will double your income and half your expenses with the added benefit of joy and companionship. A cow, you may want to call this a cash cow or investment, will take care of your future income. How about that for global wisdom?

Allan Bukusi

The job creation industry

The Job Creation industry

…At the African Union  Extraordinary summit on employment and poverty alleviation in Africa (Ouagadougou, September 2004), the participating heads of state and government adopted a declaration, a plan of action and a follow up mechanism that placed employment and decent work at the center of Africa's development…

African Employment Trends, April 2007

Report Published by the International Labour Organization (ILO)

 

Africa, like all other continents, faces a the challenge of creating employment for citizens. Many governments facilitate this through creating attractive portfolios in a bid to lure investors to bring in capital and set up shop in the country. This a short-term measure with a fixed short term pay off. However, it is important to develop a permanent solution to this challenge. The answer lies in "job creation". What creates jobs? If governments can develop a facility or industry that creates jobs they will have a permanent solution to employment.  The" job creation" industry does in fact exist.  That industry is called "enterprise". The more enterprises are facilitated, the more jobs they will be able to spin off. The beauty of investment in startups is that in the long run they becomes self-sustaining. The next question is how to create an enterprise culture rather than a sense of "entitlement to employment". The key is to promote startup businesses, grow them and secure them for the future. Investment and development of startups takes time but they are the surest investment for long-term job creation.

 

Allan Bukusi

  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dealing with failure

I recently had a chance to talk to a young man who had failed his exams. The lad was devastated. His world had collapsed around him. He felt he could not face his friends and withdrew into a self-imposed house arrest. I thought to speak to him but wondered what I would say… in such situations and at such times you try to pull something out from the heart because that where it hurts most and where the healing starts…

 I, like you, have failed miserably in the past. And wished that I was more successful, more careful, more diligent, more... But life is not about failure, it is about failing many times over… and coming back again and again. It is good to mourn, cry and weep. But you eventually must come back, get out of the house and go on. Godfrey Okongo subtitles his book (Dealing with your failures) "your stepping stones to growth & success".  There is a lesson there for all of us. Don't let failure keep you down.

Here is the rub. If you have the guts to face failure you will be called courageous, if you try again you will be called persistent and determined. And when you win it will be "against all odds" and you will make another person like me believe that I can make it too. Many good things can come out of failure like character, but the first to come out of it must be you.

Allan Bukusi

 

New Small Business Philosophy

Small in size, big in reach and impact

Small beginning with growth aspirations

Small resources leveraged by technology and intellectual capital

Expandable small business process

Excerpt from Bigger, Better more Beautiful Business by Allan Bukusi, 2007

The challenge of small business is not that it is small; but that many believe, the business must think small and remain small. "Small" may be one of the equalities that define an aspect of a business. However, there is no reason that it should define the whole business. The only thing that may well describe a small business is its beginning. Everything after that should concentrate on realizing its full potential. That, can hardly be described as small.

Allan Bukusi   

Get an Education

I went to school to get an education

All I got was an average reputation

I made up my mind to change my situation

And found, that success, takes much dedication

I gave to school my fullest attention,

I never thought I had the determination

Today as I think of my destination

My heart is full of great expectation

Someday I'll say with much appreciation

I am so glad I got an education

Some choose the right; others take left

Many arrive with one but not the other

Take both, Take both, take both I say

Because, however long or short the journey

It takes both character and qualification

To get a true education

 

Poem from Big 7, by Allan Bukusi, 2006

It has been said that education is what you leave school with. But if the knowledge you are exposed to in school does not translate into skills and character in life, then all you have done is to look at a picture.

Allan Bukusi

What is teamness?

 

There is really is no teamness around here… What we need is teamness!

…We need a little background to understand the unfolding circumstances leading to this frustration of this very able lady… The organization of just under 100 members of staff had recently undergone reorganization into business teams… formed to create efficient workflows throughout the business. Indeed structural teams had been achieved in terms of layout and staffing. Everything about forming teams had essentially been achieved… "the managers view of teams as groups organized in team structure, but not behaving as teams"… The team must be as much a team in nature as it is in form…the managers gut feel was that these teams could achieve far more. She believed the teams were operating far below their potential simply because of lack of teamness or tem essense.

Excerpts from Effective Teams  By Allan Bukusi, 2003

The concept of teamness is not a typographic error. It is an intangible feature of a team's performance and ability to succeed. Because corporate teams are mainly assembled for their technical skill and prowess this aspect of teamwork is often downplayed at the beginning, but inevitably shows up in the field when pressure and problems build up.   At this point, some people get fired and others get fired up. The smart leader will think about (re)kindling teamness to see the team through to success.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

There is nothing like religion to shape character and no thing like danger to develop courage.

There is nothing like religion to shape character and no thing like danger to develop courage.

Allan Bukusi

Professionals are better at the basics than amateurs.

Professionals are better at the basics than amateurs.

Allan Bukusi

The Executive Creed

My Job

As leader is to cast the vision and look to the wellbeing of the people,

As a CEO is to read the way forward and get the best people to do the job,

As MD is to delegate responsibility to the people and get the job done,

As manager is to set goals with the people and accomplish corporate objectives,

As supervisor is to monitor performance and ensure everyone is on track.

Allan Bukusi

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Leadership is not a protest.

Leadership is not a protest. That makes it grotesque. Leadership is progress. That makes it work.

Allan Bukusi

Democracy is a great equalizer;

Democracy is a great equalizer. The vote of a righteous man is the same as that of an evil one. The vote of the loyal is equal to that of the rebel.

Allan Bukusi

Monday, March 18, 2013

The change of guard

I know I have watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace. I just can't remember how it took place. But all of a sudden, there were new guards in place. The magic of the changing of the guard is not that there is a change, but that there are guards to take their place. The majesty of the changing of the guard is that the old guards have done their duty. That is how life is. We do not pass on, we pass on the baton. William, the former CEO, has passed on.

Allan Bukusi

How to be a friend

Morris died yesterday at 7.00 AM, in his sleep. There was nothing special about Morris. He was not rich and he was not poor.  A soft-spoken quiet man. So he lived, so he died. He wasn't ever going to be a hero. All he did was be there when he needed. A long time ago, on my first job, I fell ill for two weeks. Morris came to see me. He told me nothing new. He just came to see that I was there. This man had no unique qualities. You could have passed him like a shadow in a crowd. But there is one thing that can be said about this man that is really quite profound, that with few men on earth abound. When all is said and done, he knew how to be a friend.

 Allan Bukusi

Integrity is not a genetic or imputed quality it can be developed. Indeed, it must be.

Integrity is not a genetic or imputed quality it can be developed. Indeed, it must be.

Allan Bukusi

 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Character is the sum total of your values ethics and morals.

Character is the sum total of your values, ethics and morals.

Allan Bukusi

Lazy people say, “There is no need to re-invent the wheel”.

Lazy people say, "There is no need to re-invent the wheel". But the wheel has changed with use. You must re-invent the wheel every time you use it.

Allan Bukusi

Passion and purpose are united twice in life; in survival and in success.

Passion and purpose are united twice in life; in survival and in success.

Allan Bukusi

Integrity is both a personal quality and an institutional competence.

Integrity is both a personal quality and an institutional competence.

Allan Bukusi

 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Change is a paradigm shift. Transformation is shifting paradigms.

Change is a paradigm shift. Transformation is shifting paradigms.

Allan Bukusi

 

Why transformational leadership is the future

Transformational leadership is the future because people, worldviews, situations and paradigms keep changing. Your customer's values keep changing. What your customer's value keeps changing, you keep changing and so does what you can do. In fact, the total environment keeps changing. You need to keep changing to keep up with the transformation that is taking place all around you.

Allan Bukusi

 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

If your job has not changed in 2 years, your career may be in trouble.

If your job has not changed, been adjusted or improved significantly within two years, you are not growing and neither is your organization. This means your career is stagnant and the organization sliding out of date.

Allan Bukusi

 

The rich man has no more than the poor man.

The rich man has no more than the poor man. To believe that God has given more life to some and less to others is to believe that all men are not equal; that some can give and others cannot, and that some are not able to rise above a station in life.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM A GENERAL ELECTION

LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM A GENERAL ELECTION

In the old days in Europe, an aggrieved gentleman would challenge his opponent to a duel. In the Wild West, the draw would settle the score. In other places contests were settled by lot or coin toss. The logic of this is impossible to rationalize. In effect, the issue in question is taken out of context and is then settled by an irrelevant and irrational process. The wonder is that both parties are bound by an outcome that leaves one wounded or dead and the other rejoicing. However, the issue remains on the table. A general election is no less a duel. By agreeing to a duel, one is bound by the outcome as a matter of honor, not as matter of right, wrong or even justice. A general election is a duel.

The first leadership lesson is do not subject your well thought out ideas to a vote. A "vote" is a trick question with only a half chance of success. However, if you agree to a vote for the right reasons, you can be tricked by the wrong reasons. A vote is not a trial of sense it is a trial of strength. Elections are a democratic process to which an idea is subjected to "like" or "don't like". If your idea is right, it can be cunningly made to look unlikable or irrelevant. If the idea is wrong, but well packaged it could pass the test. General elections are not about current facts; they are about the future and dreams.  

The next challenge about general elections is that voters change every 5 years. The composite mass that will review your ideals will assess them using new lenses every five years. During a general election, you must latch onto the significant issue of the time. The significant nth variable, that determines success, changes with time and may have nothing to do with the central, true or false ideas of the time. Elections are about numbers all you have to do is work out how to get enough of them.

Allan Bukusi

 

Information is the currency of leadership. Decision-making is the exchange rate.

Information is the currency of leadership. Decision-making is the exchange rate.

Allan Bukusi

Monday, March 11, 2013

Every game is a battle of wits.

Every game is a battle of wits. Half the war is to get your opponent to believe you are invincible. The other half is to prove it.

Allan Bukusi

AT LAST - AN ECONOMIC SOLUTION TO NEGATIVE ETHNICITY IN KENYA

 

The new constitution has miraculously provided a framework in which negative ethnicity can be permanently resolved through economic incentives. Counties that guarantee cultural diversity will see the sure and complete death of negative ethnicity as Kenya takes the next important step on the road to liberal democracy.

Whereas the recently concluded 2013 general election shows that voting patterns were largely along tribal lines, what is not immediately apparent is that they also reflect economic progress. It is obvious that economically advanced counties are more culturally diverse. You do not have to be an economist to guess that Nairobi tops the economic and cultural diversity list. I leave it to you to confirm that counties with a stagnant economic progress record are also the least culturally diverse.

Everyone comes to Nairobi because there are more jobs, more enterprises and more opportunities for wealth creation. Nairobi naturally attracts investors because it provides diversity in human resources, personal and property security with minimal ethnic bias. This cannot be said of towns in "ethnic stronghold" counties. Though these towns may possess vast wealth, they are unable to match Nairobi's growth record.

Strong, advancing and high performing economies all over the world rely on cultural diversity to drive economic performance. It is no secret that America was, and still is, built by immigrant communities. Israel's success is guaranteed by it. Dubai depends on diverse human resources to be a leading business hub. Even the British premier football league is powered by cultural diversity. Countries with stronghold ethnic, religious or political cultures retard economic growth because they cannot accommodate diversity and counter argument.

The strength of the counter argument is not that it is counter; rather it is in the fact that it makes sense. Ethnic diehards see no other sense apart from their own and are therefore unable to innovate, initiate or create anything new. Counter arguments do not have to change ones position, but they do open one's eyes to possibility. Stronghold societies are closed to new ideas. In stronghold environments, everyone thinks the same. If it is fish, everyone is limited to fishing. If it is tea, everyone is limited by growing tea. However, cultural diversity opens eyes to oranges, cows, industry and technology, quite apart from fish and tea.

Governors who want to transform their county have their work cut out for them, but if they maintain an ethnic stronghold, business as usual approach to leadership, they will fail their constituents, lock out development and retard economic progress.  The best strategy to ensure economic growth is to attract, encourage and guarantee cultural diversity that inspires resident creativity. Any county that persists on branding itself as an ethnic, religious or political stronghold will be committing economic suicide. Counties that retain an ethnic, religious or political stronghold image will tend towards poverty and depopulation as people move to counties that provide them with secure opportunities to engage in enterprise, create wealth and pursue personal development.

Allan Bukusi, 10th March 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

DO YOU UNDERSTAND LEADERSHIP STATISTICS?

LEADERSHIP STATISTICS

Whoever heard of the two words "leadership" and "statistics" together in one title or even in one sentence? It does not sound like it is reasonable topic until you realize three things 1) to make effective leadership decisions you need information, 2) to get meaningful information you need data, and 3) to make sense of data you need statistics.  With this understanding of the relationship between leadership and statistics, you can see why certain leaders are able to make "magic" decisions that turn out right every time. They seem to have this ability to divine the future after perusing a set of numbers. I came to this realization when I concluded my research on the importance of values and had to use statistics to draw important conclusions to my findings. Could it be that if leaders understood statistics, they could actually be more rational? I have a chapter in my upcoming book on Leading Corporate Transformation but this is a new field open to study and we may have time to revisit this in future. 

Allan Bukusi

Friday, March 8, 2013

Let National Wisdom Prevail

NATIONAL WISDOM & THE PRISONERS DILEMMA
In 1989, an overenthusiastic environmentalist started the claim that "Alar", a chemical used by an apple company in USA, was harmful to human health. The claim was picked up in the public domain and fuelled by the media. It was hotly debated in congress. The idea became so believable that high profile public figures were willing to put their reputations on the line to protect the public. The Apple Company was closed. Some years later an independent expert medical enquiry looked into the "Alar chemical affair" and found that the there was no harmful effect whatsoever caused by the chemical on human life.
Several centuries BC, Rehoboam took over the kingdom from his father Solomon, the wisest and richest King of the time. He ordered a heavy burden to be placed on the people. The people rebelled with the cry "to tents, O Israel, look after your own house O David". Rehoboam was left to rule over one tribe while the others appointed governors to rule over them. It took many hundreds of years before the nation was united again.
Though these two incidences had democratic outcomes, one wonders whether the wisdom (or folly) of the crowd resulted in the most favorable results in both cases. In the first case, the Apple Company suffered injustice and irreparable damage due to a democratic decision. In the second, the nation was splintered by a democratic choice. In both cases, the nation faced what is known to economists as the "prisoner's dilemma" (or "catch 22"). A situation in which you are dammed if you do, and damned if you don't. Unfortunately, the prisoner in these cases is the public. Could these outcomes have been avoided and the public saved from paying such a heavy price for making such irrational decisions?
Careful evaluation of these two situations shows that there was opportunity to salvage the nation from its destructive intent before the situation became critical.  If the public had taken the counsel of experts, the nation would not have suffered the loss of the apple company providing health benefits to the public. If Rehoboam had taken the counsel of his elders, the nation would not have splintered for a thousand years. It would NOT be wise for Kenya to ignore the counsel of experts and elders when faced with a decision of national significance.
Allan Bukusi
March 8th 2013  

NATIONAL WISDOM & THE PRISONERS DILEMMA

NATIONAL WISDOM & THE PRISONERS DILEMMA

In 1989, an overenthusiastic environmentalist started the claim that "Alar", a chemical used by an apple company in USA, was harmful to human health. The claim was picked up in the public domain and fuelled by the media. It was hotly debated in congress. The idea became so believable that high profile public figures were willing to put their reputations on the line to protect the public. The Apple Company was closed. Some years later an independent expert medical enquiry looked into the "Alar chemical affair" and found that the there was no harmful effect whatsoever caused by the chemical on human life.

Several centuries BC, Rehoboam took over the kingdom from his father Solomon, the wisest and richest King of the time. He ordered a heavy burden to be placed on the people. The people rebelled with the cry "to tents, O Israel, look after your own house O David". Rehoboam was left to rule over one tribe while the others appointed governors to rule over them. It took many hundreds of years before the nation was united again.

Though these two incidences had democratic outcomes, one wonders whether the wisdom (or folly) of the crowd resulted in the most favorable results in both cases. In the first case, the Apple Company suffered injustice and irreparable damage due to a democratic decision. In the second, the nation was splintered by a democratic choice. In both cases, the nation faced what is known to economists as the "prisoner's dilemma" (or "catch 22"). A situation in which you are dammed if you do, and damned if you don't. Unfortunately, the prisoner in these cases is the public. Could these outcomes have been avoided and the public saved from paying such a heavy price for making such irrational decisions?

Careful evaluation of these two situations shows that there was opportunity to salvage the nation from its destructive intent before the situation became critical.  If the public had taken the counsel of experts, the nation would not have suffered the loss of the apple company providing health benefits to the public. If Rehoboam had taken the counsel of his elders, the nation would not have splintered for a thousand years. It would NOT be wise for Kenya to ignore the counsel of experts and elders when faced with a decision of national significance.

Allan Bukusi

March 8th 2013

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Unconventional CEOs

Unconventional CEOs

There are two types of CEOs. Conventional and unconventional CEOs. Conventional CEOs are a "safe pair of hands" that ensure the bottom line is not breached and that profits are marginally increased. They do not rock the boat or tray to change the organization. These CEOs will stay as long as there is a salary. We need such leaders to keep the peace and ensure stability and continued success. These leaders usually have good credentials and long experience (in one place) with a proven track record of creating shareholder value. However...

Characteristically, unconventional CEOs have no previous experience to weigh them down into conventional thinking. They have no problems trying something new and tend to be independent thinkers. They have no respect for lines, whether bottom or top, but concentrate on service improvement. They have a record of starting up and changing things. Unconventional CEOs don't stay too long. They move on when the job is done.

If you employ a conventional CEO – nothing will change. Things will remain the same or you will get more of the same. If you employ an unconventional CEO, things will change. With a good sense of direction, transformation will occur. Unconventional CEOs have very little in common with the conventional CEOs. However, unconventional CEOs have three major qualities a) They have a profession (which they are usually very good at), b) they understand leadership and c) they have a passion and a stomach for change.   

Allan Bukusi

Elections do not cure the need for leaders or leadership.

Elections have not cured our need for leaders or leadership. There is still an urgent need to draft, develop and deploy leadership for national transformation.

Allan Bukusi

 

Monday, March 4, 2013

You must advance ten steps before you can advance your neighbor by one step.

You must advance ten steps before you can advance your neighbor by one step.

Allan Bukusi

Develop a mind able to carry your dreams,

Develop a mind able to carry your dreams, and the greatness you desire.

Allan Bukusi

Leadership is not how loud you speak,

Leadership is not how loud you speak, but how much sense you make.

Allan Bukusi

Teamwork and technology make an excellent pair.

Teamwork and technology make an excellent pair for national development.

Allan Bukusi

Enterprise is doing something for humanity.

Enterprise is doing something for humanity. Employment is doing something for yourself.

Allan Bukusi

Knowledge without understanding is useless.

Knowledge without understanding is useless.

Allan Bukusi

People who succeed don’t know it can’t be done.

People who succeed don't know it can't be done.

Allan Bukusi

There is no better way to teach people not to steal

There is no better way to teach people not to steal; than make them protect other people's property.

Allan Bukusi

Friends