Dr eh eh umm I mean Comrade Pallo Jordan’ : A Lesson in Being

In my last article I wrote about the importance of focusing on “being” than “doing” As a social scientist I have a keen interest in intellectuals and philosophers especially from an Afrocentric perspective. One such intellectual is South African politician Pallo Jordan. For over 40 years he masqueraded as a “Doctor” only to be exposed two weeks ago as having neither earned nor honoured with one.

It’s tragic for a man who is credited with being one of the architects of the first post apartheid government manifesto. I am at thesis stage for PhD myself and I can attest that Pallo Jordan is intellectual as they come. He never needed the title because he already had the mantle! Alas he probably has now lost the mantle chasing the title. It’s sad!

Thank God while he has lost integrity he has gained honour by apologising and resigning from all public offices he held.

What are the lessons?

1. Embrace WHO you are and the world will celebrate WHAT you do
2. If you have a mantle you don’t need a title. Pallo Jordan is an intellectual title or no title
3. Don’t lose your mantle in order to get a title
4. Who you are is more important than what you do

You can never substitute your being (substance) with what you do (subject).

Focus on BE-ing not DO-ing

I marvel when I see people jostle to get this or that position. Positions don’t make you…you make positions. People can take away all you do what remains is who you are. You are a human being not a human doing. Who you become is more important than what you achieve. It’s not what you are CALLED that matters, it’s what you ANSWER to.

The story of Joseph who was sold as a slave by his brothers is insightful. Joseph had a special coat of many colours. Metaphorically it meant that he was multi talented. The brothers took away the coat. Little did they know that the coat was only the evidence of the gift and not the gift itself. Joseph went on to prosper regardless and became Prime Minister of Egypt.

There are some lessons right there:

1. If you are gifted you can never be shifted…you will be lifted
2. Never let your work define your worth, define your work by your worth
3. A coat (TITLE) goes out of fashion, but who you are (MANTLE) lasts forever. If you have the mantle you don’t need the title.

People can take away all you do (your coat) but you can never be FINISHED because you are COMPLETE! Make a difference where you are. You have it in you to make a difference whether you are in a pit or prison.

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Build Your Digital Assets

“Sir, thank you for the opportunity we had to learn we are going back to finish our studies” These were the words two young students on internship told me as they finished their internship in our organization. “Well done, one more thing as you go back – go and build your digital assets. A degree alone is enough. Don’t ever forget this final lesson”, I replied. I then explained to them that the world has changed – it’s the digital age and they will need a new skill set.

Only this week Twitter shares were soaring on the back of good business. Telecom powerhouse Econet Wireless this week launched a mobile money linked MasterCard which redefines the concept of traditional banking as we have known it. This is disruptive – it’s the digital age.

The Germany Soccer team won the World Cup on the back of serious Big Data informatics and analytics powered by SAP Match Insights. It’s the digital age.

To earn your wage in the digital age you need to repackage your skills. Here is how you do it:

1. Learn simple writing skills
2. Open a blog on many free blogging websites sites such as WordPress, Tumblr. I have been blogging since 2007…. published two books harvesting from this blog
3. Build your digital footprint by joining Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+
4. Build influence on social media – tweet/post to express not to impress. Engage to transform not just inform.
5. Be sincere – be yourself – people engage when you share from your heart not your head. As a (wo)man tweets so is s/he.

Now take a simple test – if you “Google” your name what search results show? It’s time to build your digital real estate and digital asset portfolio.

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Success Is An Inside Job

A lot has been said about how success is about who you know. This almost sounds true but up to some point. Success is about knowing yourself. When you have a revelation of you, there will be an elevation of you. Many people go through life trying to look for success outside themselves when it’s all inside. You cannot be winning in your life if you are losing in your mind. In my book Seeds of Greatness I wrote:

You were created in the image of God for purposes of manifesting His glory. Each creation must manifest a specific glory. The glory of a tree is to produce fruit… The glory of a dog is to produce puppies and barking. The glory of a human being is to manifest the perfections, graces, excellencies and perfections of God. Your greatness is hidden in your purpose.

This is the reason why success must always start with you. You were uniquely wired to deliver a specific assignment in this world. Only when you connect with the great within do you start too become successful. You will be successful in this world to the extent that you fully utilize your gifts, personality, experience, abilities and skill in making a difference in the lives of others

Success starts with you and ends with others.

 

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When There is No Way, Faith Makes A Way

Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred–year–old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God,” Romans 4:19-20

To receive from God, you need to gave faith like a child. Many times we make educated calculations, informed analysis and intellectual deductions and completely miss the simplicity of receiving from God. Make no mistake – faith is not stupid or foolish. Nay, it is wise – it only operates in a different paradigm…

INSIGHT:

1. Faith does not ignore the facts – it prioritises the truth in the face of facts
2. Faith does not worry about the PROCESS …it focuses on the PRODUCT. Abraham had no ‘fire’ and Mama Sarah’s baby factory had been decommissioned!
3. Faith does not look at WHAT IS, it looks at WHAT COULD BE
4. Faith does not ask silly questions, it provides wise answers

2014 HALFWAY MARK: LESSONS FROM THE HALFWAY HOUSE

One of my favourite spots when travelling to the Eastern Highlands is the Halfway House. It is halfway through the journey and is a place where we would normally stop for a number of reasons. I enjoy the macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, biltong and some dried fruit from the farm store at this place. I stop to rest a bit, take a comfort break, stretch our legs or body break, grab a bite, check tyre pressure, top up goodies for our folks among other things. At the Halfway House those travelling by bus will also stop for the same reasons, while some motorists will stop to change tyres, refuel or ask the petrol attendants for directions. This is the experience at the Halfway House and there are some lessons I would like to unpack.

This day marks the last day of June, and end of the 2014 first half. How time flies! At the beginning of the year, you set goals you wanted to achieve by the end of the year. You are at the ‘Halfway House’ of your journey, and let’s have a conversation around this place.

Time for A Break

Just as a drive on a long journey takes toll on your body, the pursuit of your goals also puts pressure on you physically. You might be getting grumpy, tension headaches, muscle aches and general body stress. It’s a sign that you need to park yourself at the ‘halfway house’ and get a body break. A body break allows your body to regain energy while clearing your mind of clutter and giving you an opportunity to focus. Take the day, afternoon or week off. Go on a weekend breakaway to just get your body and mind back into gear. It doesn’t have to cost you money…go to the local city park, go to the village or spend the day at home just resting for a change. From time to time the body needs a comfort break to release mounting tension and negative energy build up. As the negative energy is displaced it is replaced by positive energy which starts to fill up your tank…

Top Up Your Tank

The motorists and buses would normally refuel at the Halfway House. This refill would make them last the whole journey. They would also top up tyre pressure, oil and radiator water to cool down the engines. As the year progresses, your energy and passion tank might be half full by now. This is a time for refilling to make you last the whole journey. The wheels of your goals might be low on pressure and turning slowly, putting pressure on your energy tank. It’s time to add some more pressure to help with a better bounce. Purpose is the fuel that fires the vehicle of your dreams. Goals are the pressure that helps you stay focused on your purpose. Passion is the oil that helps the wheels of purpose to turn. Discipline is the water that helps prevent you from burn out. Once you have enough fuel, oil and pressure in you, you will be ready to finish, and finish strong!

Are You Going in The Right Direction

Along the journey, there was no better place to ask for directions than at the Highway House. I remember I would see a lot of motorists asking the petrol attendants for directions or the remaining distance. It’s so easy to continue one’s journey without asking for directions, but the chances and cost of ending up in the wrong place are very high. Just a quick check of your bearings or directions is a small price to pay than to go through the whole year chasing the wrong goals. Are your goals still in line with your purpose? How much more effort do you need to put in order to achieve your goals. You need to have the reassurance that you are on the right track and that your goal is within reach.

Change Your Goals

If you are on a journey, you cannot change your vehicle, but you certainly can change your tyres. Your vehicle is like your purpose. Your purpose is what and how you are wired. The tyres are the goals on the vehicle of purpose. If the goals are worn out, it means the vehicle of purpose won’t move. Tyres without treads will soon cause a car to crash or slide on slippery roads. If your goals are lacking traction because they are not SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) then your purpose is headed for the skids. The only thing to do is to change the goals and put goals which fit in with the purpose.

I would like to encourage you to strengthen the feeble knees, prop up the drooping hands and square up the sagging shoulders. Take some time to reflect while you are at the ‘halfway house’ of your goals. Confirm your directions, fill up your tank, top up and make the rest of the journey fired up and ready to last the distance.

 

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

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