WIRED FOR PROFIT

Genesis 1:11

” Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear FRUIT with SEED in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.”

INSIGHT | WIRED FOR PROFIT

Principle of first mention – Seed is first associated with fruit. Every seed has an instruction to reproduce. Reverse engineering involves tearing up a creation to see how it was made and making exactly the same thing – the Chinese have mastered this art of “looking at the seed”. A child who opens up a toy to see what’s inside , has an inbuilt curiosity in their DNA to check out the “seed”.

1. You eat fruit. You sow seed
2. A fruit DECOMPOSES …a seed COMPOSES
3. Every fruit eater is a CONSUMER. Every seed sower is an INVESTOR
4. If you eat fruit without studying the seed you will always be a consumer
5. When you see a fruit don’t think CONSUMPTION…think PRODUCTION

YOUR GIFT WILL MAKE ROOM FOR YOU

How can someone from socialist Cuba, successfully head the embodiment of American capitalism, Coca Cola? Impossible. Huh? Yet Roberto Goizueta defied the odds. He became CEO of Coca Cola in 1981 and grew the company’s value from US$4 billion to over US$150 billion under his leadership.

A chemical engineer by training, he was born in Cuba, educated at Yale University. He joined Coca Cola in 1954 after responding to an advert for a bilingual chemist. Goizueta had excellent technical and organisational leadership skills, and in no time he became the youngest ever Vice President for Coca Cola and after some time Robert Woodruff, the Coca Cola patriarch passed the mantle to Goizueta. He was pure master class at what he did.

Even when he died unexpectedly from cancer in 1997, there was no panic on Wall Street; Doug Ivester had been groomed to take over. Coca Cola had done great things for him, with him, but he had even prepared it do great things without him.

1. Neve neglect your gift
2. Your gift will give your life a lift
3. God deposited something special in you…manifest it

TURNING TRASH INTO CASH

I just watched a short clip on TV about a group of young women in Rustenberg, South Africa who have started an organization that recycles empty plastic bags into a textile. They then use this textile to make school bags for disadvantaged children. This bag is aptly name Repurpose Bag. The bag has a solar panel attached to it which charges as the kids walk long distance to school and reflective material for them to be visible and safe. The solar panel is then used in the night to provide lighting. Off the hook ingenuity!

In a simple innovation they have solved the problem of plastic pollution, lighting for kids in rural areas, unemployment, road safety for the kids. This is the essence of leadership – ability to solve problems.

A few lessons to ponder:

  1. Innovation is about asking new questions to old problems
  2. Every big problem is a big opportunity
  3. Don’t look for resources. Be resourceful
  4. You can turn anything into something

You can also turn trash into cash…

STORMS WILL FORM YOU

What do you do when clouds gather and storms break? Run for cover? Not with the eagle. Eagles love the storm. When clouds gather, the eagles get excited. The eagle uses the storm’s winds to lift it higher. Once it finds the wing of the storm, the eagle uses the raging storm to lift him above the clouds. This gives the eagle an opportunity to glide and rest its wings. In the meantime all the other birds hide in the leaves and branches of the trees.

When life gives you clouds, make some rain and if it gives you a storm, ride on it! There is an opportunity in every opposition. There is a testimony in every test. The darkest clouds yield the greatest rain. Your breaking point is your breakthrough moment.

The challenges of life must never weigh you down. Your situation is not your destination. You must never allow where you are to determine what you can do. Where you are, is not who you are. When an eagle finds itself in the midst of the storm, it rises above the storm. An eagle is an eagle and will rise above every storm. Your identity determines your destiny. When you know who you are, you will never allow circumstances to define. Don’t be defined by your problems, define your problems.

Many of God’s masterpieces were created in obscure and difficult circumstances. Moses and David were trained to shepherd Israel at the backend of the desert looking after goats and sheep.

The circumstances of your birth must never determine the circumference of your worth. Jesus was born in a small Judean village called Bethlehem in a manger, yet his influence reached the uttermost paths of the earth. Mary delivered in a manger. When you are carrying a dream, you can deliver under any conditions. Greatness gravitates towards your gift – the wise men from the East visited Jesus in a manger! Cheer up, wherever you are – you carry something special. Your gift will give your life a lift. You can ride every life storm!
You were created on purpose, with purpose for a purpose. The storms of life do not and cannot change your purpose – they reveal it!

Extract from my book : How To Rise Like An Eagle

ASK, SEEK, KNOCK

ASK and you will receive, SEEK and you will find, KNOCK and the door will be opened. This timeless truth applies in every aspect of your life even today!

Courtship is such an interesting game. The young man has to woo the  lady. The first thing he does is to ask. A lot of charm and persuasion is required. If this does not work, the young man has to seek. Seek has about it a hunting feel. It is more purposeful and demonstrates more commitment. The next thing if this does not work will be to “knock”. Traditionally this would involve visiting the girl‟s parents at best or “kidnapping” at worst. If you have been asking, and not receiving, change your strategy. Some opportunities are like courting a young woman, they need charm. It is a time to seek. Seek that which you desire and you will find it. Open your eyes and ears. Be watchful, because that which you seek might be in the smaller details. If that doesn‟t work, shift a gear up – knock!

Be desperate about your destiny. There is no need to be apologetic about what you are after. Drop your guard, set sail and zero in on it. Bang the door down, looking for that which you desire.

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).

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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.

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.

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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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DON’T SETTLE, KEEP MOVING

“Back at Horeb, God, our God, spoke to us: You’ve stayed long enough at this MOUNTAIN. On your way now. Get moving. Head for the Amorite hills…” – Deuteronomy 1:6-7 (MSG)

The scripture above struck me. It’s instructive that the children of Israel where not in the valley but they were in the mountain. In other words they were at the peak. Everything was going right for them. Yet God instructs them to get moving. Interesting huh?

In 2007 I left a very good job to pursue different career opportunities. I had everything going right for me. Big salary, nice car and exciting organization. I went and started new opportunities – learnt amazing things which set me up for the next phase of my career.

This taught me never to be too comfortable in the present and miss opportunities in the future. I judge my loyalty to an organization not by staying but by my ability to achieve impactful results with all my heart, head and hands. Everywhere I have worked I never burn bridges – I build bridges and enduring networks.

I also do not judge my success by what I am called – titles don’t mean anything without achievement. I judge my success by what I answer to, the types of problems I solve and the kind of impact I make.

Let me share a few lessons to ponder:

1. Don’t leave when you are down (in the valley), leave when you are at the top (mountain)
2. Don’t leave when you must, leave when you want to
3. Don’t leave because there is a problem, leave because there is an opportunity – more lands to conquer, new skills to learn, new people to meet, new challenges to solve, new stuff to create
4. Never let a zone of comfort become a zone of lack of progress

Don’t settle …keep looking!

BREAKING THE PATTERNS

A few days ago reading the story of the 5 ‘daughters of Zelophehad’, I picked a few interesting things. Their father had died in the wilderness as the Israelites journeyed to Canaan. They were girls so they were not eligible for land allotment in terms of patriarchal Jewish inheritance customs. These girls would have none of that.

They demanded:

“Our father died in the wilderness…but he had no sons. Why should the name of our father disappear just because he had no son…” Moses brought their case before the Lord.And the Lord replied to Moses, “The daughters of Zelophehad are correct. Give them land…; give them the property that would have been given to their father…” Numbers 27:3-6

What they did was without precedence. It was very bold. This is what faith does. It doesn’t focus on policies, laws, rules, processes, customs and precedence. It focuses on it’s goal. Rules were changed. They set a precedence!

1. Good things don’t come to those who wait
2. Faith operates above laws, customs, precedence, processes and policies
3. Rules are for those who can’t make their own

Let nobody tell you it can’t be done or has never be done. There is always a first!

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NEVER JUDGE A PERSON BY WHERE THEY ARE TODAY: LESSONS FROM WHATS APP

Facebook just bought messaging platform What’s App for USD19 billion. But guess what 5 years ago in 2009, the co founder Brian Acton of What’s App was turned down for a job by Facebook. What an interesting turn of events.

After a 19 billion windfall he is laughing or is it chatting all the way to the bank!

Facebook turned down WhatsApp’s co-founder for a job 5 years ago. Well they just paid UD19 billion for their lack of foresight!

1. Where you are is not who you are
2. Your situation is not your destination
3. Don’t underestimate your future worth, because of today’s value

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