An Ugly Problem At The Gate Beautiful: Lessons in Problem Solving

“A man … born lame was being carried to the temple door. Each day he was placed beside this door, known as the Beautiful Gate. He sat there and begged from the people who were going in” – Acts 3:2

I am a corporate troubleshooter. I make a living by solving organisational problems. I am trained to identify, analyze and solve problems. Without knowing what the real problem is, you can never get the solution right. 

Reading the story of this lame man in Acts, I could tell that the man didn’t know what his real problem was. It is ironic that a man with an ‘ugly’ situation was always stationed by the Beautiful Gate. He begged for money when he should have sought healing. His problem was not hunger but being crippled. It took trouble shooter like Peter and John to solve this lingering problem. 

A few insights:

1. You only solve a problem you know

2. A problem is not solved by osmosis – this man was by a Beautiful Gate yet he remained in an ‘ugly’ situation

3. For every problem there is a “Peter and John”. You need to identify your Peter and John

4. You don’t cure a headache with a bandage. Each problem has a specific solution 

Be a problem solver!

Lessons From The Sweet & Chilli Corner

A few months ago I planted strawberries and chilies next to each other. I called it the ‘Sweet ‘n Chili’ corner. Today I observed that the strawberries are fruiting and doing well. The chilies are struggling and dying.I began to reflect about the metaphor of life – the good and the bad run together; weeds and flowers grow together. Ultimately the good always prevails.

A few lessons:

1. The sweet will outshine the bitter

2. Bitterness will kill your fruitfulness

3. Life is a mixture of the good and the bad. The bad eventually becomes the manure in which the good will thrive.

Today focus on the good and the bad will disappear. Bad stuff doesn’t last long.

Enjoy this little poem I just wrote:

Let the sweet give your dreams some feet

Dont let the bad tie you to a bed

The sweet must give your heart a lift

The bad must never get to your head


Lessons From Boring Chelsea: Art of Winning

I just watched the Chelsea-Manchester United soccer match. Manchester was the better side and they had the lion’s share of possession at over 70%. Yet they lost. Life is pretty much like that. The most educated, talented or articulate do not always enjoy the greatest success. A few insights:

1. If you are BORING and SCORING it’s okay.

 People say Chelsea plays boring football yet Chelsea always scores and is on top of the league for the greater part of the soccer season

2. What you POSSESS does not always lead to SUCCESS. 

Manchester had all the possession but they did not succeed. Chelsea converted their only shot on target into a goal. Life is about taking your chances. 

Parting shot – David was not a Rambo when he faced Goliath. He only had a slingshot. How boring…but boy he could score. Goliath possessed weapons of mass destruction and was a decorated war general but he lost! 

Biggest lesson is that always do what matters. Balloons and frills, bells and whistles don’t always win. Keep it simple but effective!




Weekend Lessons From The Greenhouse

My cucumber in the greenhouse is now fruiting. I planted on the 14th of January. Each day I have to water, weed, aerate or fertilize. Life pretty much the same – you have to water to stay cool, weed distractions, aerate to stay fresh and fertilize to grow

A few more insights:

1. Every place has a specific grace. A greenhouse enables fruit to produce faster, bigger and cheaper

2. What you order you can control. The order in a greenhouse means you can control growth

‘Give Me This Mountain’| A Lesson In Getting What You Deserve

“…I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent us on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then! So I’m asking that you give me this mountain ” Joshua 14: 10-12
At 85 Caleb didn’t ask for a valley, he asked for a mountain. At the time when many would rather be pressured, he was pressing in! A few insights:
1. Act your WAGE…not your AGE
2. Don’t count your days, make your days count
3. Define your life by the STRENGTH of your dreams not the LENGTH of your days
4. Never sell yourself cheap because you feel short. Think of what you can give, than what you can get. Your value add!
Go out today and get your mountain!

A Leader Is A Reader : Insights On How To Grow Your Career

Years ago a very successful entrepreneur shared with me that “a leader is a reader”. I took his counsel literally and each year I set learning goals.

As I write I am currently doing my PhD thesis, an online leadership course with University of Pennsylvania; a 12 month “Majoring in Men” course and an Entrepreneurship Course facilitated by my Pastor. That sounds like a lot right? But so do the demands of the things we need to accomplish in this world. Earlier this week as I chaired a weekly meeting with my team I challenged them to read and learn.

Why is this so important?

1. When you learn more you can earn more
2. You can’t receive responsibility beyond your ability
3. Learning is the carrier of your career
4. Opportunities gravitate towards those with capacity to solve problems

Don’t Create A Monument of The Past : Insights On Moving On

“So Moses, the disciple of the Lord, died …. and the Lord buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but no one knows the exact place” – Deuteronomy 34:5-6

It is instructive that God buried Moses out of sight. The children of Israel up to now do not know where the grave of Moses is. It’s pretty clear God wanted the Israelites to move on and possess the land and not be sentimental about Moses the deliverer.

A few insights as I read this scripture:

1. Emotions take you to the past. Motion takes you to the future
2. You were created for movement, not monuments
3. Aim for attainment not sentiment. Sentiment affects your mood but brings no good
4. Not everyone who starts with you must finish with you
5. Move on…you are not a robot. Your feelings don’t always get it