Thursday, December 31, 2015
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Thursday, December 10, 2015
II find it interesting that I have spent an entire lifetime finding out what I now know. To console myself, I must believe that I needed all that time to find it out. It could not have made sense before.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Saturday, December 5, 2015
A charismatic and popular senior pastor arrived in heaven after an engaging global tour that covered some of the most difficult terrain on earth. The well meaning pastor expected a rapturous welcome which he received on arrival, but was more than a little disturbed to find that his throne was some distance away from St Peter.
While graciously accepting his position he enquired of God via spiritual mail as to whether there may have been some mistake in the positioning of thrones. He went on to remind the Lord that at his behest and beckoning thousands indeed millions had come to Christ. He started with the small church nobody wanted to go to and on to the final ecclesiastical cathedral he had built in the citadel that had become a model for mega-churches around the world. He recalled his near death experience as he ministered in the depths of darkest Africa and of course the sacrifices he had made in his family life.
Back came the swift reply from the seating committee; “If you can answer the following questions correctly we shall move you up by one seat, 1) Who brought the people to church, 2) Who kept you from dying 3) Who watched over your family while you were preaching?
Managers are a special group of people who live among us. They are especially useful when it comes to solving problems and resolving issues. Unfortunately, they force us to do things we otherwise would not do and have the tendency to be organizing everything. Fortunately there are not many of them around, just enough to bear with. However, though we detest their domineering nature, we need them because we generally do not have the drive and discipline to get things done. Nevertheless entry into this privileged club is free of charge and is a simple matter of choice. No application form or fees is needed - nothing but initiative.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
God has given each one of us a burden, a share of humanity that each one of us must bear. My load is not lighter than yours and neither is yours better than mine. But that each of us may work for the good of all of us otherwise we would all sit back and become one selfish lot.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The most disturbing thing about the poverty mentality is not that it keeps one from getting ahead, but that it actually forces you to bring others down to your own level. Unfortunately, those afflicted by this condition are unaware of what they are doing. Instead of focusing on their own development, they direct a great deal of energy to frustrate initiative and innovation and thus ensure they remain in the same position.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Thoughts need to be thought, touched and felt. They need to be analyzed, interpreted, meditated upon and prayed through. Thoughts need to be ordered and aligned to inform a meaningful life. Ignore them and all you can do is exist.
Monday, October 12, 2015
At the opening session of a recent conference of top researchers and managers of scientific institutions from 15 nations spread across west, east and southern Africa, participants were asked to, “Share the attributes of a leader they most admired”. The spontaneous list of 17 items generated from the brief reflections of these institutional leaders who had never met before save for a brief interaction at breakfast in the hotel would suggest that the 17 items are the most immediate, common and overt qualities of an admirable leader. However, upon close examination of this seemingly random list of responses we find that three competencies emerge in equal measure as attributes of an admirable leader.
Though the question was used as an introduction to the topic of leadership, the reconstructed lists below to show a profound depth of insight to the personal, relational and situational competencies any (admirable) leader should work hard to develop.
The responses fall equally into three categories and would seem to indicate that leadership has three important perspectives of interpretation, perceptions and worldview. There are those who see leadership as embodied in the person. Others see its value in terms of relational competencies of the leader while still others judge leaders by their effect on situations. While the personal qualities listed above may have been the expected or “correct” answer to the question, the more interesting outcome of this exercise was the participants “forced” inclusion of these added leader competencies as “attributes” of a leader when in fact they may be beyond the leader’s direct control. For example charisma is not a personal attribute it only comes to light in the context of other people. A leader is also expected to be a problem solver of issues beyond his person!
The fact that participants listed these qualities in response to the same question may also suggest that an admirable leader should have and develop all three competencies in equal measure. The three circles should intersect and expand to create the (admirable) leader. From admirable leaders we get a clue of how to become an effective leader. It is remarkable that the respondents were willing to attribute the quality of relationships and achievement of outcomes outside the control of a leader to the person of a leader! In other words an admirable leader’s job is to be a good person, manage relationships of others and ensure successful outcomes of situations and circumstances they may enter or find themselves in.
Leaders need to be good people. People will and want their leaders to be good people. People need to see some good in a person to prequalify them for leadership. This “goodness” must be available to a level of perfection and elevation that the general population aspires to but does not normally achieve. There may be leaders who do not qualify as good (depending on the perception of good), but admirable leaders also score highly on relational and situational competencies.
Leaders need to be effective relationship managers. They need to effectively manage relationships between themselves and the people, but must more importantly be able to manage relationships between people in the organization. They need to broker, manage and effect a sense of justice, equity and right in a team and institution. Leaders should have the ability to step outside themselves (personal biases) to create harmony and a sense of unity among a group of people.
Leaders must show themselves capable of handling situations they may not be “to blame for”. The need to be be willing to be accountable and dependable. They need to demonstrate an outstanding measure of competence in specific areas. Leaders are expected to take ownership of and change circumstances from disadvantage to the progress and benefit for the people they lead. These leaders are celebrated for the capacity they have to change the environment.
The admirable leader’s job then is to effectively control themselves, manage other people’s relationships and ensure adequate resolution of situations in instant and equal measure. That said, this article suggests that initial nomination for leadership positions may be based on the prevalence of these three “admirable” or “visible” leadership competencies. Potential leaders vying for promotion need to develop all three competencies. While people who cannot control themselves, avoid managing relationships among other people and do not excel in what they do cannot expect to be recognized for leadership positions. Those already in leadership positions may want to do a quick check on how they are faring in the public perception of their leadership and make the necessary adjustments to secure and advance their status and position in the organization. Interestingly, while good leader’s master one or two circles of competencies, great leaders excel in all three!
Allan BukusiLEPARD Conference, Kampala 2015
Leadership requires that you give up certain things when you step into office. However, you only discover those things when you are in office. Nevertheless many leaders are not willing nor can they afford to give up these things while in office. This tug of war between service and survival i.e sacrifice is a constant battle that eventually affects the quality of leadership. It may be important that a leader be self actualized BEFORE stepping into office.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
There is a gap between a request and an answer and between a demand and response that is filled with silence. In that space lays the destiny of nations, the making of kings and the establishment of foolish men.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Friday, September 11, 2015
Africa is poor, disorganized and degraded. Poor because we do not know how to use wealth. Disorganized because we do not respect authority and have weak institutions. Degraded because the country has been raped, exploited and abused since the Pharaohs ruled their world. The people have lost self esteem. The call for leadership is to restore the soul of the people with hope, dignity and enterprise. I do not think for a minute that this is an easy job. I wish it could be done in my lifetime. But start today we must, to make a difference, wherever we are, in the circumstances of this great nation. God have mercy on Africa. Revive the heart of leaders and do not refuse to hear the prayers of your people.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
The age of the employee is dead, gone and about to be forgotten. In the past slaves worked for free, today employees work for money while entrepreneurs make money. In the old days slaves simply did what they were told, today employees have carefully worded job descriptions. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, do what needs to be done to get the job done. These are not minor distinctions nor are these descriptions intended to be a play on words. These three make a significant impact on staff effort initiative and output.
The “employee” was created by the industrial age. That age of mass production mechanized jobs and work procedures and made many employees make many of the same thing by each employee doing one thing. Employees essentially did that one thing for life. A person’s career was based on the mastery of a single skill like, “filling a form” or “making a pot”. So long as an employee mastered that skill, his job was unchallenged, career established and income guaranteed. No more was demanded of him. Indeed no more was desired of him. All one had to do was show up at 8 and check out at 5 with a minimum of 20 widgets handed over to the store supervisor. However, the advances in technology and business organization have dismantled this comfort zone. A minimum 20 widgets for a days work is not enough to guarantee anyone a job.
The information age driven by technology has created a whole new set of demands on organizations and those who work in them. While it was sufficient for industrial age employees to be productive, the new age demands performance. The Industrial age employee did not have to be creative. The job did not require it. While the industrial age employee worked hard to protect his job, today’s employee must create wealth in order to be employed. Employees have transformed into entrepreneurs.
The information age no longer affords employees the luxury of doing one thing for life. Today employees are expected to do many different things. Indeed, staff are expected to do many things differently! It is no longer appropriate to call them employees. The character of successful employees is more like entrepreneurs making wealth for the employer (profits) and themselves (rewards). Employees from the industrial age cannot hope to survive in the information age. Staff in the information age must be ready to think, take initiative and do what it takes to make a profit in order to keep their jobs. To think of employees as entrepreneurs sounds like an anomaly if you come from the industrial age. Nevertheless, workers who succeed in the information age must be entrepreneurs or at the very least have an entrepreneurial mindset, because today’s organizations cannot afford to pay employees, they can only succeed if they hire entrepreneurs to work for them.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
- I understand that I am a leader.
- I have the ability and the responsibility to be a leader.
- I have the right and the authority to exercise leadership for my own good, the good of humanity and the glory of God.
This pledge helps leaders appreciate their role in society and the need to be effective in service to humanity and ultimately to God.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Friday, August 28, 2015
A follower is one who lets another take the lead, give direction and set goals. Poor followers do not do what they are asked, rebel and find it hard to submit and need repeated coercion. Good followers are obedient, take instruction and respond positively to authority. The best followers follow through to the next instruction, are actively engaged in the pursuit of goals and take responsibility for the outcome of their actions. The greatest followers become good examples, show others how to follow through, handle responsibility and become leaders.Allan Bukusi
Cynicism always sounds witty, wise and clever, but is always self defeating as it hides behind a lack of will to take responsibility for anything including personal progress. It works desperately hard against those who embrace it and totally absolves them of any blame that may arise out of any situation they face, are in or see as unfit for them. Unfortunately, cynical by nature is easy to sell. It costs nothing. It is free of charge, but very costly to keep.Allan Bukusi
Knowledge has power, but that power is not acquired by mere exposure. There are many who walk up to knowledge, look at it in the face and walk away without it. Knowledge has to be engaged, challenged, tried and tested in order to yield its power. It must be questioned, analyzed, applied and tried in order to bare the fruits of its soul. Knowledge smiles and is showered on many, but only shines in a few like the sun. Those who accept the challenge glow with power. Those who do not accept the challenge never grow. So punch and pummel, strive and struggle and do not come away from any brief contact with knowledge with nothing to show for all that you know.Allan Bukusi
Mastery of language is beautiful to listen to. Mastering another language allows you to communicate to new populations, but the power of language is not in numbers. Language is the collection of wisdom of a people. It is coded history, culture and learning. It opens a door to a new perspective a new world of understanding and realm of interpretation of the world. Learning another language for the sake of speaking another language defeats the purpose of language. Language allows you to advance in thought word and deed. A language that will advance your station will enable you to traverse centuries of learning human existence and civilization.Allan Bukusi
The will to develop, to grow, to learn and to become is not natural. It has to be lit and fanned into a flame. Indeed its absence is replaced with a dullness no emotion can describe. The frustration of dealing with a dead spirit can only be matched by weight of having to live with it. The body grows naturally, but if the will does not mature, the two can be horribly out of touch. Dysfunctional. However, once the will is lit, it becomes a passionate living flame that ignites or burns everyone with its touch.Allan Bukusi
It is quite evident that if you don’t want much out of life you will never get it. But if you want a great deal out of life then you must struggle. All achievement is born out of struggle whether it is coming out of a shell or concluding a sale. Nevertheless there are those who choose not to struggle, but are not happy with what comes to them and those that struggle and do not always achieve what they want. However, on the balance it is better to struggle and fail than fail without a struggle.
Over time I have observed various types of learners. Those who have been sent to learn, those who have no urge to learn, those who are open to learn and those who take away what they learn. In all courses and programs at whatever level of corporate organization or academic development all four usually show up in various ratios. The predominance of the former is a very hard and frustrating work for the teacher and a great waste of effort for everyone. The predominance of the later is a proficient experience for everyone with a productive outcome.
Those who have been sent to learn come without spirit, spark or resolve, since they have no personal conviction nothing the teacher says can be convincing. Those who have no urge to learn show up for the record and add a great dead weight. Without an urge to learn, they leave with no value no matter the urgency of the matter. Those who are open to learning open up streams of knowledge even the teacher does not know. Those open to learning draw on the energy and engage the ingenuity of the teacher. Yet those who take away what they learn grow in significance and change the world from that day on. After many days I may hear from and of the latter but never have I ever come across the former.
The greatest thing you can do for a person is to help them get a sense of purpose, a cause and an object of attention in this life. That purpose becomes the drive and the motive to strive and overcome. It becomes a reason to be and become. A sense of purpose will heal the inward flaw and lay the groundwork for your life and all your life’s success and achievement.Allan Bukusi
To get a person to change you must get him to appreciate what he is. To get a person to develop, you must get him to understand where he is. To get a person to advance you must get him to realize why he is. And to get a person to succeed you must get him to believe who he can be.Allan Bukusi
A person with a degree in Africa and a person with a degree in America do not graduate at the same point in time, history and society. Their contexts do not allow them the same options or destiny. They graduate to meet different needs. It is impractical to attempt to compare the two.Allan Bukusi
The advance of nations is not in quality of education or infrastructure development, but in the development of the people, the breath of language, depth of culture and richness of options they have. It is possible to create a first world nation with a third world mindset.Allan Bukusi
To find ones place in the world is to seamlessly occupy the space between history and eternity by establishing a connection with the past and a foundation for the future. That is your destiny; the space you occupy between history and eternity.Allan Bukusi
There is great danger in judging history for its past form and greater danger of evaluating ones circumstances in the context of their present form. It is even worse to consider the future as a set of discrete elements. The present is a contribution of both history and destiny.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
A life well lived has a price and is work much more than gold; it is told for eternity.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Some time ago we had the privilege of working with a multiracial group from a international institution on a team building program. Our brief was to break down racial barriers and open up communication between the nationalities and ethnic groups and help integrate interdepartmental working relations. In the beginning the group response to our activities was mechanical, lukewarm and far from enthusiastic. We then divided the group into racially balanced teams. The object was to eliminate ethnic tensions and make teams focus on working together to achieve specific objectives. Nevertheless there was still some ethnic huddling even among members of the same team. Ethnic groups command loyalty that judge others as below, above or apart in varying degrees of dignity or disdain.
However, as the games progressed and competition became more intense, with some teams losing and others winning games consistently we noticed that both winning and losing teams began to trade accusations of ethics or the “lacking ethics”. As the competition turned passionate, each team focused on how to win, “with or without ethics” especially if they believed the other teams was not going to play fair. This created strong bonds between team members to the extent that some teams mustered the audacity to accuse referees of wrong and unjust rulings. The question of ethnicity was forgotten or at least suspended for the rest of the day. All that mattered was ethics! This prompted me to ponder the question of ethics a little deeper. A code of ethics does not depend on ethnicity. Creating a code is a matter of honor, identity and pride that exceeds ethnicity. But a code or a constitution is not created at the stroke of a pen. It is born out of struggle, strife, failure and success.
Many of Africa’s challenges, conflict and struggles are thought to be rooted in its ethnicity. Perhaps not. Ethnicity is a global phenomenon and there are high ethnographic concentrations in cosmopolitan locations all around the world that do not dissolve into conflict. Whereas ethnicity may be a clue to the complexity of war and conflict, we are more inclined to believe that ethics is at the root of the ethos and ethers surrounding the challenge of transforming Africa. Nevertheless, we need a communal understanding of the word “ethics” to appreciate and unpack the significance of this finding.
Ethics has been defined as a moral code. But ethics is not as much a code as it is codifying ethics. While ethics refers to a set of rules, regulations, principles and practices to live by, it is more about a people’s response to a set of rules, regulations, principles and practices they are made to live by. If they have not participated in evolving, developing, making and establishing those rules, regulations, principles and practices, their response will be askew if not outright rebellious to the demands of those rules, regulations, principles and practices. Asking one ethnic group to abide by a code prescribed by another group is to invite conflict. On the other hand, agreeing or signing consent to a code of conduct does not mean compliance to the ethics required by the code.
Ethics is about the virtues, values, self-perception and vision of a people. Ethics is the lens through which people define, re-create and interpret the world. Ethics is the individual and collective response of a people to rules, regulations, principles and practices, but also a people’s response to circumstances, situations and opportunity. Ethics is the sum of the values of a people’s collective learning, culture, art, science, history and believed destiny. Ethics is the composite state of mind of a people governing their interaction with each other and outsiders in family, business, sports and politics. It is the sum of the learning and advancement of a society. It is evident in a people’s accumulated writing, history, eating, language, behavior, lifestyle, habitat and collective wisdom where the house of lords, the jury and elders of the community hold sway. Ethics is a code of honor observed by the honorable in society.
Though ethics is often described as moral sense or social norms its foundations are justice and right. However, ethics are developed over time out of struggle and competition to find out what works and what is unprofitable. This corporate learning is stored away in the group conscience as ethics. If a society has no science, art or civil behavior it stagnates in its learning and does not encourage the development of its institutions. Its advance in ethics is limited. A society is advanced when all its individuals and institutions work for the good and welfare of individuals, society and the state.
While other nations have long recorded history that has helped them journey through centuries of ethical development, Africa’s history seems scattered, spattered and dispersed. Its distant history is a record of the destruction of whole civilizations. It needs to be shored up and codified into a respectable whole. Much of Africa’s history (read ethical development) is fragmented, not written, lost unknown and untaught. The plunder, pillage and persecution of Africa’s peoples in the recent past has not helped the development of ethics across the continent.
For a society to advance it must raise its own teachers, writers and chroniclers. It must raise philosophers who format the thinking of a society and advance the state of learning, culture and statecraft. The state must sponsor social institutions that advance ethics. This is the only way to raise a nation from its past. This is where Africa must invest. A society that does not advance its own history is plagued to return to it, remain traditional and intransigent or imitate another and thus fall short on many of the counts of ethical development and practice. The advance must be home-grown in order to speak the people’s language. An advanced society has breadth and depth of language, literature and original thought to strengthen the society to address the challenges within and perils outside its existence. The advancement of a society is in the advance of its justice, righteousness and welfare of its people. In a world where tribal wars are no longer justifiable and ethnicity is no longer a principle of conflict, should we not invest and pay more attention to the development of ethics rather than the inordinate focus on ethnicity?
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
The world has changed dramatically over the last century. Changes in agriculture, industry, medicine and education have made the world more productive, healthier and habitable in many ways. But the world has also changed fundamentally over the last decade. Education has revised the way children are education while information technology has changed the way we define our world. Even war has been redefined from fighting “objects” and people to fighting concepts such as terrorism and “human rights” and “literacy”. The corporate world has challenged the image of the super manager to run organizations and now demands process leaders to ensure corporate success. No single manager knows enough to run the corporation by him or herself. CEOs today must rely on leaders to run the business of the corporation.
The Next Generation CorporateLeaders face a different set of dynamics that their predecessors. In the past there was relative stability in professions, markets and industry structures. In the early part of last century it was possible to plan for 50 years of production for a stable market based on a single invention such as the motor car. Today strategic plans are outdated by a single innovation in a matter of months – and there are hundreds of innovations every day. In the old days markets were closed. Today anybody can do business anywhere. In the old days careers were guaranteed by education, today if you do not go for training you are outdated as soon as you graduate from college. Next generation corporate leaders must handle dynamics, diversity and turn dreams into reality.
Dynamics is not the same as change or change management. Corporations today house dynamic order. People come and go, technology is adopted and revised, products and processes are in a constant state of modification in a bid to keep up with external competition and innovation against the erratic demand of customers. Gone are the days when careers were permanent and pensionable and staff were reliable and guaranteed to stay for 20 years. The nature of the corporate process is “here today gone tomorrow”. The leader must be comfortable with these dynamics.
The very definition and advantages of a stable corporate culture demand a significant degree of uniformity. However, the new world does not guarantee uniformity. Globalization goes against the very core of uniformity. Organizations struggle with generational ethics where old and young work in the same environment. Analog and digital exist side by side. Diversity is more than race or color. Diversity is about integrated systems, accommodating religions beliefs, worldviews and educational backgrounds. It is about mainstreaming gender issues, but also providing opportunity for minorities to develop themselves. The demand is for corporate leaders to understand how to interpret a single product effectively in four different countries with multiple cultures and several different time zones. The next generation leaders will not deal with consistency indeed they must master inconsistency!
The only way that the next generation can advance the cause of their organizations is if they have vision. Vision is the capacity to not only see the future but bring it about today. In the past it was enough to see the future, today leaders are expected to bring the future to the people. Such is the challenge of NEXT GENERATION CORPORATELEADERS – Today!
NGCL TeamClick to view program content and coverage
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Yesterday I learned the principle of leverage. I’d like to think I knew the concept, but I did not understand it because I have not used it much. The principle is very simple. We were taught it many years ago in primary school. But the idea that you could use it to get the most out of life was not in the curriculum. The syllabus said it would help you open a bottle or enjoy a seesaw.
The principle as I said is very simple. Do the least to get the most or use what you have to your greatest advantage. What will give you your greatest return and what action will advance you the furthest. Sometimes we are taught to prioritize, but that is not quite the same thing. Priorities are elementary compared to leverage! Priorities means you put all your energies on the most important things, leverage says to use the least energy to get the most important things so that you can do more things.
By concentrating on some specific and often simple initiatives leverage says your achievements will multiply themselves. With a little focus and determination you can improve yourself from a small position to one of greatness. That is easier said than done. What that little focus and determination requires is a great deal of patience, diligence, courage, unwavering will and dogged resolve to succeed – that is part of leverage. Most of us know it but are not willing to follow through with it. Working hard is a good discipline, but working hard and honest labor without leverage is very noble, but wearisome and can be exasperating because everything depends on your effort. Leverage on the other hand shares and spreads the risk along the lever and takes advantage of available synergy to benefit everyone amplify, magnify and multiply returns everyone can enjoy. Leverage takes work, but leverage is much more important than hard work!
Friday, July 17, 2015
You have heard and are familiar with vision and mission statements. These are good. Visions excite you and missions give you something you can commit to, but none of these things really drives you. A passion statement is the sum of your dreams and desires that inspires you and energizes you to pursue a vision and commit to your mission. In this sense a passion statement of what you are willing to commit yourself to bring about is perhaps the most compelling statement of achievement. It may be “I want to improve myself” or as complex as “ I would like to see this place turned green”. In both statements any incremental progress towards these desires inspires a new surge of energy. In this regard, your passion statement makes you courageous, resurgent and energetic when you make progress, but also bold and positive when you face challenges. Make such a passion statement as to empower any move you make towards your goals as well as harness and inspire new vigor, energy and drive to achieve it.
When working with directors and boards during strategy planning sessions, before into developing or interrogating Vision, Mission and Values statements I take some time to assess the passion in the room. How much emotional energy have the directors committed to the organization success? How much energy are the directors willing to invest in the business? This may sound simplistic, but when you compare the summary statement of the hopes, dreams and desires of everyone in the room and compare it with the vision, mission and values statements it will give you a very good idea if you have the right people in the room, what direction the business is receiving and/or if the organization is on the right track. Simply put the directors will naturally place their energies where their passion is and if that passion is not aligned or does not drive the vision and mission the business, serious questions need to be answered.
A passion statement drives vision and provides the get-up-and-go of the mission. The heart desire for a free South Africa of Nelson Mandela and millions of Africans drove the vision of freedom. The passion of entrepreneurs is what drives a business, vision alone is not enough. Would be successful organizations flounder the CEO has a clear vision but no passion to get the work done. Indeed finding a passionate (rather than visionary) successor after the founding CEO is the greatest challenge of successful enterprises. You don’t just need people who can do; you need people who believe in what you do! A passion statement is as powerful in personal life as it is to a corporation. A life with no passion is merely a passage of time. A life with passion does not have to live a long time.
Monday, July 13, 2015
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
There is no telling what a mind shifted by degree can achieve or where it will end up ten miles from here. Too often we make judgment based on the facts of what we see now rather than what will be. Don’t be fooled by the moment of transition it is only a sign. No sign giving direction is ever found at the destination. Minor shifts in perspective have established nations, scaled mountains and spawned inventions all because one eye saw things differently. A shift in focus and commitment to purpose changes the final result. A change of heart will change your situation. One new idea changes the outcome and one bold move will change your destiny.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
There comes a time when a man must have faith; when there is nothing else to hold on to, when the tears are dry and all opportunity past, when regret no longer pains and joy leaves a dull ache, when the only thing you can give up is hope, when you have tried your best and your best is not enough, when you wish that there would be no tomorrow - but tomorrow does come. When what you used to do with joy is now a burden to imagine, when there is nothing left within you to go on and the body died long before you woke up, when things are bad and then get worse, when feelings are numb and words of comfort slide off your heart like water off a rock. When the spirit departs and all you have left is fate. When the last friend departs like the last bus that would take you home. When you have no more reason to believe that anything is worth the effort, then look up and read the sign that says, “faith” and wait.
What would you do if you found out that your boss had secretly advertised your job and received 6000 applicants? What would you do differently?
I have been working with employees and employers for the past 20 years and I can tell you that I have come across more than a few people who have seen their jobs advertised in the newspapers under some coded classified Ads or cleverly crafted profiles. It is like coming face to face with reality, the future and death. I have seen GMs jobs advertised while they are still in office and I know that some people here might have benefitted from a similar process. - For the boss it is a practical thing to do whenever you suspect that you are not getting all you can possibly get from an employee
The reality is that we don’t give the matter of losing a job much thought until we discover the bosses presumably illicit move to lose confidence in us. A number of years ago I discovered my boss had lost confidence in me and it drove me to look for another job. I was facilitating a two day training workshop at an Up-market hotel. Unfortunately, the VCR we were using got lost. I reported the matter and the firm immediately hired another one to enable me complete the training. However, a few days after the training I was called in to the hotel and sat opposite the hotel guard and my boss who proceeded to question me on what happened to the VCR. The discussion was such as to suggest that I had stolen the VCR. I served notice and quit 3 months later. I was incensed that my boss could even think that was possible. Good riddance would you say? Think for a moment.
The damning revelation of the question we are investigating today is that the heart question is not the boss but really the declaration that you are irrelevant, dispensable, no longer useful and that you have been living a lie in the self belief that you are the epitome of your existence and that you have a right to the position you hold as an employee, husband, wife, businessman or CEO. The damning revelation that the boss can do without you would suggest that you occupy the position as a mere privilege!
The story I am telling is not far fetched. Employees at the port of Mombasa went on strike last week. Their jobs were advertised by their employer. 6,000 applicants turned up! That should send a powerful message to those employees. The question is did they get the message? I doubt it. On my training programs I routinely remind employees at all levels that if, for some reason they had to re-apply for their jobs today, none of them would get it. With some reflection, most employees realize that this is true. However, they all continue to live as if it wasn’t. I make it a point to remind employees that employment is a privilege, to be a husband, a wife, to have a job is a privilege. Indeed to be alive is a privilege.
The fact the your boss can call on 6000 options for your position is a little demeaning and is sure to puncture the largest ego. To be only one in a possible six thousand makes you feel rather small if not irrelevant. Most of us would have to fight to believe that we have a right to all we have worked so hard to achieve.
What would you do if you discovered that there are 6,000 other people who can match your opinion, your ideas and indeed your performance? What would you do if you found that 6,000 people would happily attend your funeral to get a free meal? What if you appreciated that your departure would directly benefit 6,000 people? What would you do if you knew that 6,000 people are waiting in the wings to take everything you think is valuable away from you. What would you do different if you find out that what you think about anything really does not matter to 6,000 people. What would you do if you understood that 6000 people would gladly take away what you take for granted.
In these circumstances, the focus becomes the boss. I quit the job because I could (that may not be a solution), but what if your boss is your wife or God? What if your wife or husband secretly advertised your position and received 6,000 applications. If you found out you would begin to ask very different questions; What have I done to deserve this, why are they doing this to me, how did this come about? That question would trigger some real soul searching. The more important focus is not the boss but “me”! “I thought I was doing okay. I thought I am the best. How did this happen to me? Did I miss something”. That question immediately throws you out of your comfort zone and far away from your umbrella of self deception. You begin to think “what am I doing” and “what should I be doing? Maybe I should be doing something else?” When you discover that you are not the man you thought you were to your boss, husband or God – it is not comforting. You really thought you were the best. You beat the greatest odds to be where you are now. You beat 40 million sperms to get into this world and that makes you indeed the best heaven could offer. However, 6,000 applicants for your job should tell you that the competition is regrouping. “
Several years ago I was doing roaring business running numerous retrenchment, retirement and similar programs for multinationals, government and private organizations. The one thing that was common to all those programs was the shock employees expressed at being sent home “early” (in their opinion) and deep, expressed regret of wasted opportunity. I try not to conduct these “late-date” programs any more and encourage employers to conduct retirement training as part of new employee induction. You get better mileage out of employees that way. A job is pointless if you leave it with regret just as living is pointless if you cannot leave a legacy.
As an employer I can tell you 6,000 option is good mathematics and exceptional economics. There are hundreds of employees, including CEOs and business owners who have overstayed their welcome in their positions. What these self satisfied people don’t usually appreciate is that there are 6,000 perhaps cheaper options to their inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
The issue is not the boss, the advert the 6,000 competitors nor that heaven is investigating its options. The issue is, “what should you be doing?”. Most people never get to know that their job has been advertised, but if you ever find out I’d like to suggest the following;
1. Live with greater purpose than your ego permits.
2. Do your job so well that you will lay a firm foundation for those who come after you.
3. Find something else to do. Learn a new skill – learn to play a violin!
4. Stay relevant -Keep learning in your organization. Find out who the boss is.
5. Take whatever comes to you with grace as a divine privilege and go through with it.
6. Chose your successor. Rebrand and Reinvent yourself… move out!
7. Humble yourself and serve others more. Be less selfish. Someone out there who is better than you.
8. Set fire to your comfort zones. Enjoy the privileges you have, but hold them lightly (not tightly).
9. Plan your family holidays, retirement, your trip to the moon and for when you are not there!
10. If all else fails - Advertise your own job!
The purpose of knowledge is wisdom. To have knowledge without understanding is to misuse knowledge and to have knowledge without wisdom is to abuse it. There is much knowledge we have about many things that we do not understand and therefore lack the wisdom to put it to proper use.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
There are three kinds of people. Those that work with their heads, those that use their hands and those that work with their hearts. To find a person with one is possible, to find one with two is a struggle. To find three is a great blessing. A person with three is a gift.
Friday, June 12, 2015
A Vision without interpretation is nothing but a dream. A vision with an interpretation is a road map. A vision whose time has come is destiny.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
We had a great time empowering staff and parents at Marion Schools last weekend with the Seven Principles of Wealth Creation in Employment. - It does not matter how much money you earn. What matters is what you do with it.
Over the past decade, Allan has made it a point to share the Seven Principles of Wealth Creation in employment with as many employees as will listen. His empowering 90-MINUTE PRESENTATION inspires employees to be faithful workers and enables them to make wealth creating decisions using their hard earned income to prosper in employment. The book; How to prosper in employment, has been reprinted seven times in the last ten years with over 10,000 copies in circulation in two languages. Email email@example.com to schedule this powerful presentation for your staff enrichment, professional forum, conference or employee personal development training program.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
The Vision 2030 Citizen Profile is a five year project run by the Corporate Business Leadership Centre at PAC University in collaboration with the National Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat to develop and disseminate the Ideal Citizen Profile to empower citizens in the social, public and private sectors to engage and participate in the transformation of Kenya.
The Ideal Citizen embodies, enables, espouses and expresses the virtues, values of the national vision. The Ideal Citizen has the will, knowledge, ability and capacity to inherit, realize and maximize the promises and benefits of Vision 2030.
The Corporate Business Leadership Center runs programs to educate, equip and empower citizens on their role and responsibilities to engage in the process of transforming Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens by the year 2030. This flagship project is housed under the social pillar of the National Vision 2030 Superstructure with the following objectives; To
- Sensitize the public on the importance of the national vision and their role in the transformation of the nation.
- Equip the social, public and private sectors with knowledge and skills to participate in the creation of the national vison.
- Influence the development of organization and institutional policy framework to support the success of the national vision.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
When the weight of a nation rests on a single soul crushed in the crucible of decision making. And the burden is so great that even the courageous are afraid, it is not enough to say that the leader is good or bad. But the wise will pray that the lot will fall in the right places because they know that even the leader is not in control.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
What do Sharpsville, Selma Alabama, Auschwitz, Jallianwala Bagh and now Garissa have in common? Apart from being places where blameless people have been killed discriminately, these places have raised the moral conscience of nations to pay attention to the highly valued prize of unity, justice and freedom.
These landmarks remind us that a people cannot be intimidated by injustice or an unjust cause. Indeed, the indomitable resolve of the people is ignited by injustice. These places reminded citizens that no wrong can become right because of might. These places elevate the spirits of ordinary men and women to those of saints who by their deaths water the field of justice so that the living can raise crops of peace.
These places remind us that what makes heroes is not the color of their blood, the nature of their creed, age or gender, but the fact that they will not bow to intimidation of an unjust cause. These places remind us that violence is not a virtue; neither does violence make any among us virtuous. While love calls for tolerance, hate cannot drive a peaceful agenda. Nevertheless, violence reveals the villain against the values of unity, justice and peace. The villain fears unity, justice and peace
However, these places offer us opportunity to water the fields of justice and raise crops of peace. They offer us an opportunity to safeguard our unity and protect our freedom. This is not an option. To succumb to the fear of a few who must use force to command a following is not valor. No force can prevail against the will of a people to enjoy God given freedom. Not even Robben Island. This is not the burden of a few “unlucky” families. It is our sacred duty to guard against robbers of unity, to do justice, to protect every man’s freedom and to raise crops of peace wherever we are.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Entrepreneurs are people who do things nobody else is willing to do in order to have the things everyone else wants.
Entrepreneurs are people who do things nobody else is willing to do in order to have the things everyone else wants.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
To accumulate capital is no small feat. But to accumulate capital is to develop the ability to develop and the capacity to grow and to direct growth. There is much talk about good and evil when it comes to capital, but the good and the evil describes more of the people than the money. Capitalists are able to match desire with action and wealth enables people to be creative and take risks. To be a capitalist is to be able to accumulate, manipulate and handle resources profitably. This is no mean skill but it is a skill all of us must master to excel. While those who don’t have capital struggle, they only struggle until they do. Those who understand capital have a wisdom those who struggle against it will never know.
Life is a very short season. It is the very reason that we can’t make sense of it. It is stolen from us just when we have it. In absolutely no time, all we are left with is memories. Memories to live and memories to give. All of us are just memories. But a life to live and love to give is more than most will ever leave. Goodbye Nana. You are gone and now we grieve, you touched a heart and a soul. Perhaps that is all we live to give – a life that someone else might live.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
If you do not focus on your goals, they become your obstacles.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Most people make plans then look for opportunities. Entrepreneurs look for opportunity then make plans.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Another word for freewill is disobedience. While interviewing a prospective employee, I noticed that the candidate kept refereeing to his former employer as "bad", "poor" and "undemocratic". His previous employer did not give him the chance to do what he wanted. When I asked the candidate what he wanted to do, I immediately knew he would not fit in any organization. He could not take orders from anybody. He wanted to do his "own" thing. In an organization this would be disobedience.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
I had the privilege of interacting with and learning from Old Africa and now I get to be part of a great future. There were many victories and challenges in Old Africa. Old Africa was raw, green and just independent. In Old Africa things changed from white to black, but that was not enough. Old Africa lacked education. People say it was corruption. I grew up in my Africa. My Africa faced “catch up” challenges. By the time I was an adult my Africa was labeled “third world”. We were labeled the most backward a title not much different from colonialism or slavery. I have always hated this label, but relative to the rest of the technology world – what can I say?
However, I have been privileged to see a brave new Africa. A proud Africa. An educated Africa, a technological Africa and a bold new Africa. Africa has never left my heart. I pray that the new generation would realize that we were not born in Africa, we were called to Africa. This gives me hope as I look ahead and see Africa as it should be ... I am proud of this new generation. Africa is one nation, one people with one destiny in one world. “ Africa is not a geographic location. Africa is home. Africa lives in the hearts, history and hope of her people.”
God Bless you
Leader’s help people develop thought processes that help them deal with issues. The leaders job is to develop, format and communicate thought processes that help other people successfully address the challenges they face in life.
|Mandela House - Sowet|
I travelled a week ago to Johannesburg. Of course, I was thrilled to make pilgrimage to the land of Mandela. Oone of the greatest men the world has ever seen. I was surprised by the depth of the economy and the vastness of the country that was apparent even from our limited stay. We interacted with conference participants who came from as far as six hundred miles away. I met people from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. In the Malls, I even met people from Tanzania. My travelling team had been to SA before so I was following along a step behind to make sure I did not miss anything from a first time visit. When we were finally done, I felt proud to be who I am. An African who comes from Africa.
Joburg presented us with a contrast in Africa. One that suggested that Africa is two places at the same time. Africa has its rugged beauty its people and vast land, but Africa is also advanced, asphalt and economics. There is a struggle to bring the two together. Perhaps Mandelas struggle is not over. Perhaps that is not Mandelas struggle, but ours. I think we need to bring these two Africas together. When I came back home and had some time alone I had to decide to which Africa I belong and only then can I bring hope to the Africa I belong. By the way the house you see in the photos is Mandela House. The place the great man lived in SOWETO.