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The burden of leadership III: how do I lead?

The last two posts have been on leadership. We looked at the enormity of leadership in the first one. We concluded it is a tasking position indeed. Howbeit, that should not prevent us from stepping up to the plate. There is a certain level of influence we can’t attain till we answer the call to leadership. So in the last post, we looked at what I call “myth busters”. Everybody is a leader in their own right, will you personally answer the call to it?

Today, we want to turn our thoughts on how we should lead? The “how-tos” are the missing pieces to every puzzle most of the time. After desire, your next best bet is instruction. Please, let us look at these simple steps:

1. Lead by love- the greatest leaders are those who love. My greatest leadership role model is Jesus Christ. He modeled how to walk in love. Anytime I study on him, I see how short I am in terms of my influence. He loved all, embraced all and knew how to relate to all kinds of people. There were leaders in his days but none could compare to him because of how he modeled leadership. Look at one of his leadership philosophies:

“You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”” Mark‬ ‭10:41-45‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Leadership is service and you can’t do it without love. It is giving of yourself, your time, your resources to make everybody around you better. According to Jesus, the best way to lead is to serve. You can’t lead effectively till you touch a heart before they ask for a hand

Read this prosé on love by St. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ and a founding father of the Christian church in the first century:

“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”

‭‭Personally, I want my leadership to be defined by love not only by competence and skill. In my early years of leadership, I thought the best leaders were of competence and skill but in my later years, those two virtues will not just cut it!

2. Lead by attitude- to me, attitude has to do with how one thinks and it eventually shows in his disposition. One who embodied this great quality was Thomas Edison, an inventor of 1,093 things and had more patents than any other person in the world; having been granted one for sixty five consecutive years. It took him ten thousand tries to find the right materials for the incandescent light bulb. Will I try again after fifty attempts? His lab in West Orange, New Jersey got burnt down. It was a fourteen building complex; his invention factory- the home of his ingenuity. He slept there many nights and everything got burned down when he was sixty seven. How will you handle this? I wrote this post last week Sunday and after editing, I lost everything (again!!! This is the second time). I let out a loud scream and just went to bed, and that was over a post! Didn’t want to think about it, woke up the next morning and said to myself, “I will write next week” which is in fact today. Well, Edison rebuilt the factory and said this, “I am sixty seven but not too old to make a fresh start. I’ve been through a lot of things like this. I am long on ideas, but short on time, I expect to live to be only about a hundred”. He kept working for another seventeen years and died at age eighty four. Don’t give up that business because it’s been four years! Young pastor, don’t close down that church because it has been five long years! Student, don’t throw your hands in despair, because of the four attempts in trying to pass that exam! Don’t give up on your marriage! It will work again! Believe in “tomorrow” and “one day”

3. Lead by skill- I personally define skill as polished talent. Talent comes in its raw state. Everyone has it! It is God given. Just as you can’t do anything with gold dug straight from the mines. You can’t do much with talent. Like gold, it has to be refined. When it comes out of its refinery process, it is called skill! In sports, you are discovered because of talent but you succeed because of skill. Operating only on a talent level will produce only mediocre performances! One of the best ways to polish talent is to read and gather relevant, applicable information. Education will fine tune your game to the next level

I trust you were encouraged by today’s post. Answer the call to leadership, embrace it and go for gold

Please I will like to read your comments and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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The burden of leadership II: myth busters


Happy new month! I hope you had a great first month? Yesterday, in this part of our world was the Super Bowl and it was fun watching, although the teams playing were not my favorites. The last time, we touched on the burden of leadership and stressed leading is an arduous task, and sometimes the burden of leadership has led us to believe certain longstanding myths which is almost becoming true. We looked at some of them in our last post

Today, we want to focus on what I call myth busters. Like I alluded the last time, all are called to leadership and there is a certain level of influence that can’t happen until one answers the call to leadership. So we want to look at a few of these keys which will punch holes in to some of our traditional myths concerning leadership. Please follow along

1. Work on yourself– the greatest gift you can give is to yourself and that is investing in yourself. Know who you are, know your make up, know your strengths and weaknesses, know what makes you tick and what doesn’t, know your passions, know your pet peeves… Take time to know yourself and invest in areas that you are weak at, where you feel are your strengths, play those strengths to the max and be of service. It will surprise you that many don’t know themselves at all. Working on yourself gives you the opportunity to fine tune your game, straighten any rough edges for the long haul ahead. I thought of Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, now the player with the most Super Bowl rings at six and widely considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history. He lost last year to the Philadelphia Eagles but came back stronger and won yesterday. A documentary was shown last year on how he preps himself up for a game, his training regimen among others. Success is never accidental but intentional. Please what are you working on? It is easier to answer the call to leadership when prepared

2. Find a mentor– A mentor is a teacher. If you want to be a leader, this is one of the most effective ways. I am where I am presently because of mentors. I can think of two right now who have been a great source of hope and help to me. They unearthed every gifting in me without me knowing I possessed those virtues. Later in this year, I am going to write about these two people who are still active and present in my life. There are two kinds of mentors: direct and indirect. The former are the ones who can sit down with you face to face for a session of coaching and have a personal relationship with. The latter are the ones you follow through remote means such as their books, videos, speaking engagements and the like. Those you have no personal or direct contact with. Both dimensions of mentoring are effective. Anything difficult always has an answer in a mentor. Let me quote King Solomon of old who said, “There is nothing new under the sun…” meaning any venture you need to undertake, someone has gone ahead of you in that field and done that. It will only take humility to learn from such a person.

3. Read– knowledge is key when it comes to leading. It is said the average leader reads between 40-50 books a year. So please acquaint yourself with a book if you want to be a good one. Books in a sense is a company. When you read, you are in fellowship with the author’s thoughts. The law of average stated by Jim Rohn is “you are the average of the five people who you spend the most time with”. Authors are remote friends, if I should put it that way.  There are many good books on the subject of leadership which you can buy to read the information in it, practice what you have learnt and see your influence grow to the next level. It is not surprising that the best leaders are the educated ones; not educated as in formal education but those who read and search for relevant, applicable information. 

These are a few of the myth busters when applied will help us in becoming better servant leaders 

Please, I will like to read your comments and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share

Till we meet again

Peace & Love

Leadership

The burden of leadership

“…I wanted to be the guy who lead us to championships. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that.”

“The responsibility of being the best player in the world and leading a team is something that’s not meant for many people…”

“Sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world…”

“How do I get the best out of this group, the success they had last year [while] helping them realize what it takes to win a championship?”

Before the start of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Boston Celtics were tipped to come out of the Eastern Conference as champions; they had a talented superstar in Kyrie Irving, All Stars in Horford and Hayward, a promising young nucleus of Brown and Tatum. As good as they were on paper, that gelling of the team hasn’t translated into hardwood court success. The spotlight has been on them for sometime because they have been struggling terribly and then their talented superstar, who is also the leader, Kyrie Irving took to the mic and uttered these words. He is stressing what is known as the burden of leadership

Today, we want to focus on the enormity of leadership at hand. Before then, let us define leadership? I have read many books on leadership and everyone comes up with his/her unique take on that, but John Maxwell’s definition rings true and clear to my heart: “Leadership is influence”. It is said that the average person will unintentionally influence 10,000 people in their lifetime- let that sink in; 10,000 people! It means all of us are leaders then, because we all have some capacity to produce an effect on the actions, behaviors, opinions etc of another or others.

The question then is, why do so many people fail to answer to the call of leadership? Because among many of the reasons, it is burdensome. In my junior high school days, my teacher almost submitted my name for the candidacy of those vying for the Head Boy position. I swore that I will not do it, threatened all my friends who nearly put my teacher up to this, then my teacher just withdrew my name. My friends also got worried because I was very brutal in my threats. Then in my senior high school days, that problem came up again: those who want to be Head Boy. This was a different school and this time my threats were not as successful back then. Long story short; I became the Deputy Head Boy. Why did I refuse on almost two occasions? Personally, this was taking me way beyond my comfort zone of blending in and been among the pack by leading which I only saw as stressful

Was I right in regards to the stress of it? Yes, very much so! Then, why write about this today? I personally believe there is a level of impact we can all attain that will not happen easily till we accept the role of leadership in whatever sphere we might be in. Strongly believe in that.

Over the years, we have some myths concerning leadership which is gaining grounds as to why it is not for everybody. Since leadership is influence, it is also safe to say, what it is not: bossing, dominating, ruling with an iron fist or having an entitled mindset. I have seen some of these images associated with leadership and I know you have too, but best believe, it is no where near leadership as Earth is no where near Mars! Please let us consider a few of the myths

Myth 1: “I can’t do it!”

Probably the most common excuse because I have said these words a lot myself. I remember leaving the church I started and pastored to emigrate to start another church where I currently pastor. Had to have a talk with the most loyal adjunct of our church and told her, she was the one to take over. She almost collapsed and told me, “I can’t do it!”. Well, I looked at her quietly and said she has proven to me with this response that she will make a great leader. She has done very well so far and made all of us proud. Honestly, I would have been worried if she thought it was a cake walk and “easy peasy”. The reality is it is not! Howbeit, don’t let that excuse cripple and paralyze you to the point of not responding to the call. If you are capable of influencing, then you truly qualify. Perhaps, it is time you reconsider turning down that supervisory role for the 18th time

Myth 2: it is only the gifted that are called

That is far from the truth. I must admit some of the worst leaders I have personally seen were talented and gifted. Gifted doesn’t necessarily translate into leadership. In soccer, the leaders of the teams are called captains. I love soccer and an avid fan. In my honest opinion, I have never seen a soccer captain like Akwasi Appiah yet. I will compare him to the Maradonas, the Beckenbauers, the Baresis, the Maldinis and the Guardiolas of the world, to mention a few, in terms of leadership. He lead by example, attitude and a sense of duty. Wasn’t the most talented footballer but a great defender in his own right. A time came, he was stripped off the captain’s armband to the most talented footballer in the group and that was the beginning of many troubles: internal wrangling and one turmoil after the other in Ghana’s National Soccer Team, the Black Stars. That wave of footballers have all retired but it still baffles me to this day that they never qualified for the FIFA World Cup or even won the AFCON (African Cup of Nations). To me, they were the most talented assembly of stars. The following teams after them have done better and made the country proud. My point is talent is not equal to leadership

Myth 3: a few are called

There is room for everyone at the top regardless of race or sex. You may not have a title or position but you can be a functional leader by how you carry yourself. It always starts with you! You can become indispensable to your team by your actions. Be one that adds value- that is a leader.

It is burdensome because you cannot live like everybody else but truly worth it when you are touching people’s lives. I am grateful to God to be a leader in my own sphere

I wrote this topic because one of the readers in our community suggested it. If you have a topic that you feel I should write on, let me know

Please I will like to read your comments and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

Leadership

An honorable life


“Aspire to lead a calm and peaceful life as you mind your own business and earn your living, just as we’ve taught you. By doing this you will live an honorable life, influencing others and commanding respect of even the unbelievers. Then you’ll be in need of nothing and not dependent upon others.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:11-12‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Glad to come your way again with my first blog post for this year. Hope you enjoyed the new year celebrations? I hope we have all started on a good and positive note so far. My yearly promise to my community here is to provide great and quality content worthy of your time.

Today let us focus on living a life of honor. What is honor? On the top of my head, I think of respect. Please give me a one word definition of honor when you comment. Will like to know your thoughts. Couldn’t help noticing this Bible passage the last time I came across it and that will be the base point of our discourse.

From this Bible verse, an honorable life:

  • Influences others
  • Has earned respect
  • Is not in lack
  • Is independent

If there is anything worth investing this year, it should be your life! It’s good to invest money, look for a new career, buy a new house or car, and other ventures outlined, but investing in your life should far exceed any plan or plans you have at this moment. Join me as we look at how to live an honorable life

1. Lead a calm and peaceable life

If you don’t have the virtue of peace, you can’t live at peace with anybody and will find it hard to forgive when crossed. What you have is what you give. Living at peace means you can be okay with yourself or have times of solitude without the constant barrage of noise all around. The greatest pollution we have today is noise pollution. With time, I do realize the strongest man is the peaceful one, not the other who lashes out at every given opportunity. It takes inner peace to control and restrain yourself to act when pushed against the wall- that is real strength. Even though you could “square up” pretty well if it need be, you choose the route of peace. I think of people who embodied peace like Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi, yet they were the most powerful and most influential figures who have walked this earth. How do you gain peace? By praying

“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I leave you with this biblical quote to think and ponder on. Many things we see as sources of peace only provide a temporary relief but not real peace. You can install many classical music apps on your phone, listen to Jazz, Blues and R&B… It won’t cut it at all times. Nothing wrong with music by the way. Prayer provides peace that defies human reasoning and logic. The peace prayer provides guards your heart and mind. When these two places are not whole, you will flip and lose it.

“And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NCV‬‬

2. Mind your own business

This simply means we shouldn’t be nosy. A nosy person is a gossip! There is this old English proverb that says, “Curiosity kills the cat”. Well, I think it is killing more humans than cats. Minding your business speaks of contentment and being free from unnecessary competition that breeds jealousy. A content person is not a complacent person, thought I should add that! Gossip is as sweet as sugar, but it has health hazards as sugar. A busybody normally invites people’s drama into his or her life which shouldn’t  have been there in the first place. Life is complex and I don’t think any more unwanted and uninvited drama of other folks will make it easier living. Being at peace with yourself will cure an itchy ear, a blabber mouth and meddling. A peaceful person won’t bite the bait of gossip or give in to that “juicy” information which doesn’t even concern him or her in the first place. May I also add that minding your business is different from being aloof

“Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you want junk like that in your belly?” Proverbs‬ ‭26:22‬ ‭MSG‬‬

3. Earn your living

You earn your living by working. Please let us believe in the dignity of labor. Nuff said!

I pray for every reader today that may our lives count! May we be among those who made living on earth a better experience for others.

Please, I will like to read your comments and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Starting Over

It’s a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again.

If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.

Then your courage should appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear,
Try, try again.

Once or twice, though you should fail,
Try, try again.

If you would at last prevail,
Try, try again.

If we strive, ’tis no disgrace,
Though we do not win the race;
What should you do in that case?
Try, try again.

If you find your task is hard,
Try, try again.

Time will bring you your reward,
Try, try again.

All that other folk can do,
Why, with patience, should not you?
Only keep this rule in view,
Try, try again
.

This poem, try, try again written by William Edward Hickson encapsulates what I want to write in today’s blog post. As we stand on the brink of a new year at my end here. Well, China and Hong Kong have started celebrating with fireworks marking the New Year as I write. Samoa and Kiribati (officially the first country to enter the New Year) are way ahead

Don’t know how your year panned out to be? Don’t know whether you achieved all your yearly goals? Every December 31st presents two classes of people: the fulfilled and the unfulfilled, the happy and sad ones, the filled and the hungered ones, the hopeful and the hopeless, the joyful and the mournful ones

What really matters is you are here! Be grateful and thank God for the chance to live again! Start the new year tackling those same projects which perhaps might have been a source of pain. Pain is not an indication to give up all the time, sometimes, it means you have to go back to the drawing board, look at it from another angle, draw pragmatic and realistic steps, pray and then start it all over again

I pray for you today that you will enter the new year with a great deal of fortitude and hope to pick up the pieces that remain. It pays never to give up

Happy new year & enjoy the celebrations

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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This Christmas

Hello, as we all know, tomorrow is Christmas Day! Whether you are a celebrant or not, a believer in it or not, the day arrives with festivities, food, friends, family and fun as it has been characterized to be. For some, it is also a time of rest; others, a time to make more money on that particular day. Christmas is known as the day Jesus was born to the Virgin, Mary which ushered his entrance into the world

Tomorrow, as we celebrate, let us focus on love. Christmas is a time of love and loving one another. Let us learn to forgive one another and not hold on to grudges. Practice releasing all grudges and saying, “I forgive you” before the year is over. Do not carry forward every hurt, betrayal and pain you suffered at the hands of cruel people over into the next year. Please drop it- it makes your baggage heavy and the rest of your journey from now on a tough one. Travel light from now on. Free yourself off emotional clutter! Let us choose love

As we celebrate, let us focus on hope. Christ’s birth into the world heralded hope for mankind- he was promised to be the end of all sin for mankind and save people from their sins. It was hope to the people of his day that there was a remedy to sin which I truly believe. Be hopeful; let go of all pessimism- a negative outlook in life and a negative attitude. Start to see the good in the bad. Practice seeing the bottle half full than half empty. I have come to realize with time that life is what you will make of it- it depends on your viewpoint. Be a can do person! As we focus on the fun aspect of this celebration, focus on changing your attitude to a positive one. Hopeful people are grateful! Cross over in to the next year with an attitude of gratitude! Christmas promotes a fantasy of miracles; it is even seen in the movies that are shown during this season but in reality, there is such a thing as a miracle that is far removed from a fantasy. Hopeful people experience a miracle. Change your outlook and attitude and see what it takes to experience one. Miracles do exist! They only happen exclusively to a kind of people- them that are hopeful!

Finally, in this season choose to embrace the gift of Christmas- Jesus Christ. Choose to know him personally. He is as real as the person sitting next to you. Choose to believe in God and serve Him. Man was not created for things but for a higher purpose of serving a God for a much greater purpose. I don’t know your religious inclination or how you perceive life as you are reading, but to me life is bigger than what we see and there is more to it than chasing the next buck. Make a quality decision to know God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about Jesus, I volunteer to help and answer all questions. Jesus is real and he is the reason for this season. Have a greater perspective of this spiritual side of life by worshiping God. Go to church this season and learn about Him and find out about the true meaning and purpose of this celebration

Have a merry Christmas and till we meet again…

Peace & Love

NB: Today’s blogpost is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother whose undeniable legacy was her heart of gold, hospitality, love and her faith. Rest In Peace, Maame

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When an expert says “No!”


Hello, I haven’t blogged in a while. Been taking these intermittent breaks because before this year, I gave myself a target of writing 30 blog posts, which I must admit, I am close to that goal hence “my no-show” of late. Are you looking forward to Christmas with excitement? What do you have planned?  Anyway…

One of our favorite TV programs to watch when I do have the time is Shark Tank. The last time I viewed was three weeks ago and that is the inspiration behind today’s post. The program is basically coming to meet a group of millionaires or business minds to pitch your business idea to them for money to invest in and in some cases, a percentage of your business for their expertise and connects, so there are these entrepreneurs- some aspiring and others, seasoned, who walk through the doors in the view of our living rooms (averages 5 million viewers) being scrutinized rigorously before one or more of the “sharks” invest. Like every good show, there is the element of suspense that makes it nerving to watch at times. Some succeed, others are turned away because they don’t have a good business plan or the business will not be viable according to those experts

I thought about this when my wife and I were rooting for this particular guy who got turned away. I immediately asked her, “what will you do when an expert says no?”. It was an interesting dialogue that day. There comes a point in our lives that nobody will believe in our dreams, ideas or business ventures we are planning to execute. We will be subjected to the scrutiny of an expert in a field we plan entering; his opinion will be less than unsavory and a big fat “NO”. What do you do when all odds are stacked against you, do you freeze like a cold turkey and abandon it?

What do you do?

Man has an innate desire to succeed and excel in life and most times, we wish our family, friends and even our mentors who could be the experts will join in on the bandwagon as we push forward to break boundaries. It is idealistic, but you and I know that in this world, it is not always realistic. Let us learn as we apply these pointers:

Am I passionate?– most successful entrepreneurs who have “made it” give this common advice. If you gather ten successful people from all walks- entertainment, fashion, politics, sports, business… and ask them to share their secrets to success. I bet you, this point will be the common denominator among the ten views. Do what you love. If you are passionate about it, then you love it. Don’t ask, “where can I make the biggest revenue?” but “what am I passionate about?” At least, that is a start to something. Some years back, I watched a Kevin Hart interview and he narrated how nobody believed in him. Prior to making it big time as a box office movie star and one of the bankable comedians of his era, he said he had 17 years of rejection and a whole bunch of “NOs”. The story that stuck out for me was when he auditioned for Saturday Night Live, the comedy sketch program responsible for launching out the careers of Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, just to mention a few. In the middle of his audition, he was stopped by Lorne Michaels who told him he wasn’t funny, had the wrong height and was not going to make it as a comedian; he should look for another job. He said he left the place in tears and drove back to Philadelphia from New York. Well, the rest is history… If a “Lorne Michaels”, an expert, tells you, you are a long shot away, will you fold up? Lorne is an expert and an authority in the world of comedy. Let us choose the things we are passionate about. Passion kept Hart in the face of rejection. Had he not made it in the 18th year? Would he have given up? Personally, I doubt it!

Do I have the requisite knowledge and skills?- almost everything in this world is scientific i.e. systematized knowledge, where you can learn something and break it down to a technique or a science. Almost all endeavors have become technical. Thank God for the internet- because this is where it becomes an invaluable tool and resource for knowledge and education. In this present century, not having a degree or attaining formal education is not a limitation. There are books available and a wealth of information on the internet for anyone who wants it. Any venture you undertake requires knowledge and skill. The expert maybe right at times because you don’t have the skill set and based on your answers too, your shallowness was evident. It is said, 80% of graduates after school never pick up a book again to read or upgrade. Constant learning gives you a leading edge in your venture

Keep working– don’t rest on your laurels. Keep working and grinding. Work on your dream, that business and in due time, you will reap a harvest of your expectation. Sometimes, I wish the cameras could follow all those rejected on Shark Tank. I want to believe, some are doing well irrespective of the pushback. A passionate, knowledgable and skillful person who is hardworking has no limits. No need to prove people wrong because they didn’t believe in you, rather focus on being your best you – break every ceiling; visual or imaginary and rise to where you belong- the top

Don’t take “NO” for an answer from no one if it is possible and in sight. Personally, the most important “NO” is from God but if he hasn’t said it and there is a way around it, I am going all in! Best believe- it is possible!

Will like to read your take on this one and please share this article if you were encouraged

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love