EXECUTING YOUR DREAMS

This is now the 8th month of the year. At the beginning of the year, you had a great plan with a clear vision, specific timelines and deliverables. Today as you read this you may be frustrated and probably thinking the plan wasn’t so good after all. Hold on, there is no need to go back to the drawing board. I want to share with you a most remarkable story I read over the weekend and gleaned some useful keys to execution. There was a man who was paralysed for 38 years. He lived by a pool which was called Bethsaida. This pool had healing powers. An angel would come periodically and stir the pool – if any sick person jumped into the pool at that time, they would get healed. This man for 38 years desired to be healed. Jesus turned up one day and saw the man. All the man could tell Jesus was “There is nobody to help me into the pool”. He was looking for a pity party. Jesus responded with three verbs: “Stand up, pick up your bed and walk” The gap between wholeness and 38 years of lameness was in ACTION!

 

The difference between those who leave dreams and those who live dreams is in execution. Many dream few execute. Many desire and few perspire. Action must now succeed where words have failed. Action is the spark in your dream. I want to share with you four principles critical to executing your dreams.

Principle One – Change Your Mentality

The lame man had a dependency mentality. For 38 years he was waiting for someone to help him get into the miraculous pool. It never happened. He could have made his wait much shorter if he had thought of ways of getting into the pool. Execution of your dream is one thing you can never delegate. Your dream hears your voice and understands your body language. What YOU can conceive YOU can achieve. You have the power to turn your dreams into reality. If your mind is operating old limiting software, there will soon be an “execution crash or failure” Have a “can do” mentality. Yes you can!

Principle Two – Change Posture

Position determines possession. The man had been sitting for 38 years. Jesus asked him to change his posture – “stand up!” Execution sometimes requires that you change your methods. If you are a fisherman, changing your posture may mean lowering your nets to the deep end in order to catch a net breaking and boat sinking catch. In business if you are not getting the results, changing posture may mean changing the structure.  If you pitch a tent in one place for too long you rob yourself of the thrill of discovering new opportunities. Changing posture at a personal level may mean visiting new places, changing your route to work, changing your wardrobe, changing your routine. Breaking your routine engages different side of your brain and can stimulate new ideas, even ‘aha’ moments. At a very practical level you get to meet new connections who may just connect your dream.

Principle Three: Change Your Focus

You become what you behold. For 38 years this man focused on his inability to get into the pool. He had a deficit inquiry than appreciative inquiry approach to issues. He looked at what was not working rather than what could work.  He chose to wallow in self pity. What you focus on gets done. A great lesson in focus is from the biblical Abraham – he never focused on his impotency or the barrenness of his wife Sarah. He focused on the promise of God that he would be “Father of many nations” It came to pass! Positive focus is the force that turns dreams into reality. If you focus on each of your goals just for 15 minutes every day, you will achieve results by end of the year (money back guarantee!)

Principle Four – Action, Action and Action

Action is the bridge between your dream and reality. It is instructive that Jesus did not make a hell shaking prayer or sing a powerful hymn for this lame man to be made whole. He gave a simple command – stand up, pick up your bed and walk. 3 verbs! Therein rests the greatest key to executing your dreams – action. I want to persuade and cajole you to turn the great ideas from thin paper to thick action. That song must be sung. The book must be published. That business must get busy. The project must get off the ground. If you so ardently desire to achieve your dream, then you must show us your faith.  Faith is a verb, show us your works, and we will show you your faith. Rise up, pick up your ideas and fly!

 

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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!

STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: 8 DIFFERENT WAYS TO GET GREAT IDEAS

stanfordbusiness:

We asked eight innovative Stanford GSB alumni entrepreneurs including Kiva’s Jessica Jackley (MBA ’07) and Design Within Reach’s Rob Forbes (MBA ’85) to shed light on how they come up with their best ideas. From collaborating with others, to observing consumer behavior, to taking naps, read tips…

Stanford Graduate School of Business: 8 Different Ways to Get Great Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

CONQUERING YOUR SPACE

Have you ever reflected on your uniqueness? Has it ever crossed your mind that you are creature of wonder? Has it ever occurred to you that you are in this world on a special assignment? You?  Yes, if not you then who? There is a unique space which you must conquer. This space could be your profession, ministry, industry, business.  There is a song which only you can sing. There is an idea which only you can develop. You are the final piece in the puzzle of humanity. Completing this puzzle defines your purpose. There is a demand upon your life to aspire to greatness. The seeds of greatness flourish in the soil of responsibility. There are a number of keys which you need in order to conquer your space.

Key One: Insight and Foresight

John the Revelator wrote the book of Revelations under when he was blind, yet with his internal eyes he saw visions which were so glorious. The lesson here is that, even when there is darkness around you , the eye of the spirit can still see. Through insight and foresight you can see beyond your limitations into the space of opportunity. Where others see gloom you see glory. With no solution in sight, you can bring one into light.

Live ahead of your time. You have the capacity to prophesy over your own life – because you have the measure of faith in you and the ability to dream. Dreams are a picture of the future. Insight and foresight doesn’t use the 5 senses, but revelation knowledge. Attempt new things. It doesn’t have to make sense to anybody. It didn’t make sense in 1978 that there would be at least one computer in every home, office. When Noah built the ark, everybody laughed at him. Insight and foresight connects you with divinity. As you connect with divinity, rivers of inspiration flow out of you. The world is looking for fresh inspiration to create new inventions and solutions. This year, swim against the tide and go against the grain. To conquer your space you need to do something unusual. Redefine the rules of your profession, business, ministry.

Key Two: Faith and Hope

Faith is the key to unlock your space. There could be giants in your space, but you can use faith to drive them out. To attempt pioneering acts you need faith. Faith does not have to see it to believe, it believes it to see it. Faith is the eye of the spirit.

Today your business might be struggling with cash flow problems. The customer base is shrinking. Your job is on the line. You might even be the most junior staff member in your company. Your department is an outcast. Your profession might not be so well regarded. Faith is the key that will make you transform your situation. Faith is what allows you to enter the future – not with a question mark – but with an exclamation mark! Faith does not consider your current status or condition; it drives you towards your dreams. How do you demonstrate your faith?

Key Three: Goals and Planning

You demonstrate your faith by setting goals. Goals are a measure of faith. Hope is the test of that faith. What the eye of faith has seen, the hand of hope will collect. Today I want to challenge you to set clear goals of where you want to see your career, business, ministry or organisation going. Goals give value to your purpose. Purpose is dead without goals. Goals empower purpose to deliver. Purpose is impotent without goals.  Goals are the defining boundaries of your space. The bigger the goals the bigger the space. There are limitless possibilities in you. Your life cannot be defined by a job title, job description, business or profession. You are much more. There is a star in you and it must begin to shine. You can operate in unusual skill and uncommon wisdom.  May God show up and show off in your life. You are a stunning crown in the palm of His hand.

DEVELOPING STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS PART 1

Did you know that you are only six people away from every other person in this world? Really? Yes, you are that close to anyone you can think of. In the social networking world of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you could even be the only person between you and the next person. So what does this mean? It means the possibilities and impact you can make in this life is so great, only if you make the right connections. You need to develop strategic relationships. These are relationships that are well thought out, and part of an elaborate  and systematic plan of action leading to specific personal success outcomes. To be strategic in relationships means you make the important relationships important and invest in them.

Life Is A Summary of Relationships

Your success in life is determined by the relationships you have. You cannot succeed beyond the kind of relationships you. Your life is summary of relationships. You are a product of a relationship between your parents. The stages we go through in life whether its school, college, work, business, marriage, associations or friendships …is all a series of relationships. While some of the relationships are a biological, geographic or social fact, you nonetheless hold the key to improving the quality of these relationships. Your relationships create your environment, and your environment determines your success, therefore to achieve success you need to manage your relationships.

Relationships Create Opportunities

Education, skill and experience are the nuts and bolts to success, but the oil that makes them turn is relationships. There are many people with great qualifications, skills and years of experience, but they have not met with corresponding success. The missing spark could be relationships. A week ago, it was reported that President Zuma’s approval ratings are going up. He recently met with his arch critic Archbishop Tutu and appointed another critic Tony Leon an ambassador. He has defined his presidency as one based on a more engaging style, than his predecessor, President Mbeki who was perceived as an aloof intellectual. Intellect without relationships is like a boat on dry ground. The key lesson is that while education or talent can open doors for you, to keep them open you need relationships. The secret to accomplishing personal objectives can be found in reaching out to other people. What distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships to create opportunities for everyone.

Who You See, Determines Who Sees You

Have you ever wondered why you will never see a Mercedes Benz dealership located downtown? This is because of the principle of positioning and association.  If you are positioned in a common place, you will meet with common opportunity and the converse is true. You are the product of the company you keep. In order to experience uncommon success you need to develop new relationships . Make it your aim to develop relationships with people who challenge you to better yourself. What is better to be a big fish in a small pond, or to be a small fish in a ocean? Leave your comfort zone. It’s allowed to go into a top hotel lounge and just ask for even free tap water or sit and ‘just relax’. Drive to a nice neighbourhood and start viewing houses for sale, visit a golf club just to see. If you bump into some big shot and they say ‘I don’t know you’ just respond and say “now you have an opportunity to know me”. As you do so, you begin to expose yourself to interactions which can take you to the next level. The law of association also states that what you continuously expose yourself to, you will soon become.

Your Personal Brand and Relationships

If you were to sit with billionaire mining entrepreneur Patrice Motsepe on a 6 hour flight what would you discuss with him? What impression would you want to give him about yourself? Would he entrust you with USD10 million dollars to incubate poverty alleviation projects in Africa? The point is to build relationships you need to be credible and offer your own compelling value proposition or unique point of view. Relationships are a give and take affair. You may not bring material resources to a relationship, but at least bring your personal substance and identity. How can you offer anything of value if you haven’t thought about how you want to stand out and differentiate yourself? Be someone worth talking to — even better, someone worth talking about. In everything that you do make sure you create your own content and develop skills that differentiate you from others and increases your value. Your unique intellectual property creates key opportunities to gain credibility and visibility. It can be a cause, an idea, a trend or a skill. Stamp your style and exercise the right to be yourself and see your value increasing.

If you’re not distinct, you’re extinct. A powerful personal brand is a great advantage in building relationships. A credible, distinctive and trustworthy identity attracts more people to you or your cause, and you’ll find it easier to win new friends and have more say in what you do and where you work. Who you are and what you are known for determines who will pay attention to you.

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