LESSONS FROM THE DENTIST CHAIR | A DEAD TOOTH CAN STILL CHEW

As I sat down in the dentist chair for the 5th time with the same tooth I started to reflect on some life lessons. I rewound to a few months ago when I visited my dentist with this same sore tooth. She took a look and an X-ray too. The diagnosis was that the tooth was bad and the prognosis was that I was on a slippery slope to lose it sooner than later. There were three choices: a filling; an extraction or a root canal.

I am a corporate troubleshooter and I started to ask some questions to understand what we were  dealing with and what each intervention would mean. The ‘filling solution’ would only provide temporary relief and at some point I would lose the tooth to decay – infact this wasn’t an option anymore. The ‘extraction solution’ was a sure way to deal with the problem, but would leave one big problem – a gap and hey chewing bones and my favourite…chibage (corn) could prove tricky because this is a premolar (it’s a transitional tooth between the canines and molars – which helps with tearing and grinding). Hell no! The ‘root canal solution’ would deal with the root of the problem, but was costly, risky (you sign an indemnity form) and cumbersome. I chose this last option because I will still keep my tooth!

Here are some few lessons that came to my mind as the amazing dental team worked on my tooth:

1. Identify The Problem – you can’t fix a problem you don’t know. What is revealed is healed. The dentist took an X-ray and concluded that there was a problem with the tooth; and the specific location of the problem. Certain problems require going deeper – only an X-ray will do.

2. Deal With Root of The Problem – after identifying the problem, the preferred solution was to go and clean up the ‘canals’. In layman terms it means killing the nerves and cleaning up all the bad stuff. This step alone took 2 visits, and I recall my proud dentist remarking that she had fixed all the 4 canals. What is exposed is closed. In life if you don’t deal with all the roots of a problem, you will always suffer from it!

3. Protect Your Vulnerabilities – a few days after my root canal procedure, I was having muesli for breakfast, and I felt something break – it was my tooth tissue. I called my dentist in panic and was told that my tooth was essentially dead and brittle and if not “protected” it would basically crumble. To avoid this I would need to have a crown fitted on top. This would protect my tooth. Aha! Life is pretty much the same – never expose your vulnerabilities – protect your points of weakness.

4. Your Flaws Must Not Floor You – I no longer have a perfect set of teeth because one tooth is basically now dead and protected by a crown. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. This means the tooth will be able to perform normal function like eating ‘chibage’. This is the biggest lesson – if a dead tooth can still function. If a broken tree can still produce fruit. If a broken crayon can still colour the same. So can you. Unless I told you I have a dead tooth, you would never know. Many of us walk broken too in ways many people may or may not know. God uses a lot of broken people to leak His grace to others. The unction to function oils us so we perform in spite of our brokenness. God’s grace is the crown that covers our brokenness like a dental crown covers a broken tooth!

Disclaimer: Any reference to medical and dentistry terms is based on my basic understanding. For any issues about your teeth, please get help from a professional dentist. 

Advertisements

How I Became A C.E.O | Lessons in Creating Opportunity

“Talent is Universal …Opportunity is not”

So yesterday I was telling my children about some of my childhood stories. We laughed so hard my eldest fell of the chair with laughter. A few things struck me in my story and I picked up some patterns, pregnant with life lessons.

Let’s rewind to 1990 – I had just finished my junior certificate (Form 2). I arrived in Harare for the first time – yes first time to visit my brother who was already working. After a few days in Harare I got my first “job” working for my uncle – Bamnini Bevan who had a carpentry shop in Magaba in Mbare. Every morning I would wake up early and go to “work” – I was only 14. After working so hard he never paid me as agreed! Bless his soul. I was never bitter – we even laughed about it.

Fast forward to 1992 I completed my O levels. Even before the results were out I went to Gweru for the the first time – this time I went to stay with an Uncle – Sekuru Munhanda. He owned a small college which was a Pitman exams Centre so I started studying Accounts & Finance during the gap period! When O level results came out I suspended the studies because I had to go and do A level studies.

While at University, I invested about $500 of my payout in a recruitment business. Two smooth talking gentlemen – Phillip and Patrick talked me into it. I was naive I lost everything and was almost beaten up following up on my “lost investment”.

Years later the year is 2008, I am now working in South Africa – I am just a few months in a foreign country and I got myself a side gig as a columnist in Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) magazine. In no time I was already getting qouted in the respected IT Web’s i-Week(www.itweb.co.za) and national broadcaster SABC as an expert in my field.

When I was recently studying (2 week block release) in Kenya in 2013 I offered to go and teach Strategy at a local university for FREE- it was an exciting lecture. In 2014 I also helped a technology company in Kenya set up their Strategic Programme Management Office (SPMO) and I did some cool consulting stuff for them in my spare time for FREE. In short this is how I became a Creator of Empowering Opportunities (C.E.O) of my life.

Let me share some insights:

1. Don’t wait for opportunities – create them. Talent is universal – opportunity is not.

2. It’s okay to start small – my first job I was a carpenter crafting wood…now I am a strategy expert I shape organisations

3. When you go to a new place don’t think of checking out the fun places only – invest in networks, connect with opportunities. First time In Harare I picked a job. In Gweru I picked a new skill. In South Africa I build my personal brand. In Kenya by offering my skills for free I put a down payment for opportunities I may need to go and close one day!

4. You don’t always win or earn – sometimes you learn. I lost $500 in a bad investment

5. It’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you end up – I started working in Magaba-shed and now I am in the C-suite

6. Don’t be driven by the PROCESS (what, how, when)…be led by your PURPOSE (the WHY)

7. A skill is a seed. Don’t waste it invest it.

8. If you only link the value of your skill to a salary you will never grow your influence beyond job titles and job grades

Lastly because of an attitude of being a Creator of Empowering Opportunities (C.E.O) most times I don’t have to apply for jobs…I am given work. You can too!

GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN | LESSONS IN KNOWING YOUR VALUE 

“Now therefore give me this mountain…for thou heardest…that the cities were great and fenced:if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out…” Joshua 14:12

Significance is seldom small. Influence is infrequently narrow. Greatness is hardly inconspicuous. David did not play wrestling with Goliath – it was blood sport. Jesus did not tap dance with the devil – he disarmed him and publicly annihilated him. This evening as I read about Caleb, I can’t help but feel like saying “Give me this mountain” Caleb did not ask for a valley. He wanted a whole mountain. Let’s be clear this was not a game of marbles but a mountain mover league challenge.  

A few insights:

1. Don’t act your AGE, act your WAGE. Caleb did not behave like a 75 year old man…he knew his true value – there was more life ahead of him, than behind him. 

2. Easy roads lead nowhere. Caleb asked for a mountain. Don’t settle for less when you can have more

3. The best opportunities are protected. Caleb went for the “great and fenced” cities. 

Don’t play small. Dream big. Aim for the stars. Like cream, dream and rise to the top. Go ahead …say “give me this mountain”

REINVENT YOURSELF | THE ART OF DISRUPTION

I cut off a tree in my garden about two years ago. The stump remained. 2 months ago I planted a desert rose in a hole in the stump. The plant is now an interesting feature in my garden. The stump has gained a new lease of life too – it has been repurposed! Here is something you shouldn’t miss too – next to the desert rose I placed a leaf – the leaf is now becoming a plant too. Amazing isn’t it?

The key lessons:

1. Embrace the end as the beginning of something new. My stump is now a beautiful flower stand 

2. The END means Embracing New Direction 

3. If you live your life in cycles and seasons you will always be winning or learning 

4. When people make you a side show, steal the show like the little leaf there. Refuse to be an footnote when you can be the headline 

ImageCred: MyGarden
#inspiration #motivationalquotes #disruption #disruptivators #personalbranding #RiseLikeAnEagle #LNqoutes 

HOW TO BUILD YOUR CORE TEAM & TO BE PART OF THE INNER CIRCLE : LESSONS FROM JESUS 

Matthew 5:1-2 MSG

“When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he CLIMBED a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the COMMITTED, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said…”

Nobody was as smart and wise as Jesus. That’s why I study his word. Let me unpack this one for you…

INSIGHT

1. Jesus was drawing large crowds – and he knew the majority of them were CURIOUS but not SERIOUS

2. In life you have HANGERS ON and the CLINGERS ON. Hangers-on come for benefits, clingers-on come to serve. Discern the difference!

3. Jesus CLIMBED a hillside to eliminate the uncommitted. Once he had eliminated the CROWDS…He started unleashing CLOUD stuff – what we know as THE BEATITUDES. 

4. You must always TEST before you TASTE or TRUST 

5. Don’t share everything with everybody. Jesus only shared with those “apprenticed” to Him

A few afterthoughts:

~If you want to be part of an inner circle – serve with your HEART not just your HEAD (ideas) and HANDS (skills)

~When you serve always think about what you can GIVE than what you can GET

~Those who CLIMB with you will never let you DOWN


ImageCred:RangersDiaries

Dealing With A Really Stinking Problem | A Lesson From Lazarus’ Resurrection

“Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already” – John 11:17
I am a corporate trouble shooter. We handle different strategic and operational challenges everyday. We have a very methodical approach to how we solve challenges. There is a term we call “deep dive”. When we deep dive into an issue it means we go to the root cause of the issue – we dissect, unpack and analyse an issue until we solve it. We hypothesize and test different assumptions until we solve the matter. Now come with me to the Master Problem Solver – Jesus and see how he deals with a stinky problem of his friend Lazarus. Picture this – Lazarus was a corpse/cadaver over 4 days dead! Jesus comes and watch how he solves this dead problem:

INSIGHT

1. IDENTIFY & FACE THE PROBLEM – Jesus asks “Where have ye laid him?” You can only solve a problem you identify. If you run away from a problem you will run into more problems

2. UNCOVER THE PROBLEM – Jesus directs “Take ye away the stone”. Don’t hide a problem. What is exposed is closed. What is revealed is healed.

3. ADDRESS THE PROBLEM – Jesus commands “Lazarus come forth”. Be direct. A headache does not need open heart surgery. Be specific and relevant.

4. DISENTANGLE THE PROBLEM – Jesus instructed “Loose him and let him go”. If you don’t remove the things that entangle you, you will remain bound by a problem. 

Today you could be facing a difficult situation – I want to encourage you there is no problem that has no solution. Every problem carries the seed of its solution. There is an answer for every question. Be encouraged!

Dealing With A Really Stinking Problem | A Lesson From Lazarus’ Resurrection

Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already” – John 11:17
I am a corporate trouble shooter. We handle different strategic and operational challenges everyday. We have a very methodical approach to solving challenges. There is a term we call “deep dive”. When we deep dive into an issue it means we go to the root cause of the issue – we dissect, unpack and analyse an issue until we solve it. We hypothesize and test different assumptions until we solve the matter. 

Now come with me to the Master Problem Solver – Jesus and see how he deals with a stinky problem of his friend Lazarus. Picture this – Lazarus was a corpse/cadaver over 4 days dead! Jesus comes and watch how he solves this dead problem:

INSIGHT

1. IDENTIFY & FACE THE PROBLEM – Jesus asks “Where have ye laid him?” You can only solve a problem you identify. If you run away from a problem you will run into more problems

2. UNCOVER THE PROBLEM – Jesus directs “Take ye away the stone”. Don’t hide a problem. What is exposed is closed. What is revealed is healed.

3. ADDRESS THE PROBLEM – Jesus commands “Lazarus come forth”. Be direct. A headache does not need open heart surgery. Be specific and relevant.

4. DISENTANGLE THE PROBLEM – Jesus instructed “Loose him and let him go”. If you don’t remove the things that entangle you, you will remain bound by a problem. 

Today you could be facing a difficult situation – I want to encourage you there is no problem that has no solution. Every problem carries the seed of its solution. There is an answer for every question. Be encouraged!