CREATED FOR MASTERY PART 1

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power – Lao-tzu

Have you ever sought to understand why some people seem to be more successful than others? Why do other people appear to always be making progress where you battle? Are great or successful people born or made? Are some people wired for success while others are not? In my search for answers, I have come to the revelation that there are four levels of mastery in life namely Personal Mastery, People Mastery, Societal Mastery and Business/Organisational Mastery.

If you are going to be a success in life, you need mastery in all these four levels. Mastery is the possession or display of great skill or technique. It is the power to dominate or defeat or the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond the usual limits.

Created to Dominate

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion…” – Gen 1:28

The very first commandment to man, by the Creator was for us to be fruitful (profitable), multiply (replicate and expand our sphere of influence) and to have dominion (mastery). This is the general purpose for which you were created. This settles any lingering doubts you might have had about whether you were created to be great. If you are not pursuing a path of greatness, you are abusing your general purpose in life. The genes of greatness are set in in you. If you do not activate this greatness, your life is like a Mini Cooper running on a Mercedes Benz engine. You are limiting the full potential of what’s inside you.

Personal Mastery

Your life is like a ship. The seas of life include the winds of economic cycles, the pirates of bad politics, the storms of failure, the icebergs of uncertainty and calm moments of smooth progress. You are the captain of that ship called your life. Is your life in safe hands? Can you trust yourself at the helm of this ship? It’s not what happens on the sea which determines whether a ship reaches its destination safely – it’s what happens in the ship’s control room. If you are not in control, you will soon hit an ice berg or you will be swept away by stormy seas of life.

In order to be a master at anything in life you need to master self. Personal mastery is the ability to make the most of your abilities, strengths, passions and talents. This helps you navigate through challenging times with confident balance. It is an ability to deeply listen and respond skillfully to the soft whispers that warn you when you are drifting off course. If you wish to control and direct the forces you possess, you must act from the throne of your being – the head office of your life.

Personal mastery is continuously making conscious choices…to get from who and where you are to who and where you want to be as opposed to wandering through life making unconscious choices. It is playing the game of life…enjoying the journey of life and not just waiting for the destination. You always have choices and you have the power to choose. You are never a victim of circumstance, but a product of choice. Personal mastery is managing the conflicts you face each day between expectations, consequences and choices.

Steps To Personal Mastery

  1. Create A Personal Vision: Where there is no vision, a life will perish. A personal vision creates a central theme for your life. It gives your life meaning and a sense of purpose. It’s the roadmap to your destination of greatness. It’s the shining beacon which keeps you focused, motivated and fulfilled. It accelerates the progress while inspiring creativity and risk.
  2. Self Awareness: You are a creature of thought and habit. You therefore need an awareness of how your beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviour impact yourself and your environment (family, friends, and colleagues). An awareness of your strengths and weakness determines how you position yourself in life, how you build your personal brand, and play your strengths (competitive advantage)
  3. Self Acceptance: own your thoughts, belief and blind spots and stop believing that the world is doing things to you. Neither does the world, employer or your country owe you a living. A captain of a ship who is always blaming the sea elements for lack of progress will soon give up. You are in charge of your own success – not your employer, organisation or the people around you.
  4. Self Responsibility: understand how your choices (action, attitude, thought) influence and create your life. It is also about integrity – a life based on values and principles. Without these your life is like an unfortified city which will soon be run over by enemies of your success.

Quote of the Week

He who rules his spirit has won a greater victory than the taking of a city – Yeshua Mashyach

DEVELOPING YOUR PERSONALITY FOR SUCCESS

Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves – Rollo May

I just had a chat with a young consultant who is very ambitious, focused and working on his self development. He approached me to get my insights on how he can use emotional intelligence principles to develop into a great person. I don’t mean great as in being a likeable person, but great as in being a person of influence, stature, impact and presence. As we discussed something really struck me in the conversation. He did not want to become a “great consultant” but a ‘great person’. This is deep. It resonates with my philosophy of success being ‘investment in your person and personality’. You need to build a personality architecture that generates success.

Many people become so career, ministry or business driven, they forget to develop as a person. Yet how well you do as in these areas is a function of how much investment you have made in your personality. Your life is like a seed; the extent to which it can be fruitful and multiply depends on the level of investment you put into it.  You must cultivate your gifts and abilities, grow your character and personality, and broaden your experiences in order to make an impact. If you are good you can be better, and with time you can become a master in your career, calling or business just by investing in your personality.

Build Your Capabilities

In a number of organisations which I consult for, I use the capability maturity model (CMM) to assess the ability of an organisation to be successful. Using this model I hypothesize that an organisation’s success is a result of the maturity of its capabilities (best practices, processes, systems, characteristics and attributes). It is based on the premise that an organisation cannot perform beyond the maturity of its processes and systems. We could apply the same hypothesis to your life: you cannot succeed beyond your capabilities (skills, talent, methods, processes and personality). This is why I would like to implore you to make an investment in your capabilities.

In my discussion with the young consultant, I began to share with him that he need not just look at his emotional intelligence (EQ), but also natural intelligence/talent (IQ) and spiritual intelligence (SQ). These three intelligences help in building the maturity of your personal capability. As these capabilities mature, so does your person and personality and your value, impact and influence too. Enroll on a course, research, read or browse, apply your skills, seek a coach or mentor and improve the way you do things.

Build Your Processes

A mango tree will not produce fruit beyond its maturity. If a mango tree tries to produce fruit too early, the fruit will be sub standard. A mango tree which has not fully matured cannot produce in terms of quality and quantity. It takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. I remember when we were growing up we would take green mangos and put them in plastic to ripen them. We were not following the natural process order. When you ripen fruit quickly, it loses its flavour and it cannot compare with fruit that matures on the tree.

What does this mean for you? It is not about how fast you grow but how strong you grow. Our obsession with speed is counterproductive if it comes at the expense of strength and stability. Progress must be balanced with due process. We should not judge the success of someone by how much they have achieved, but the quality of the process they have followed. Achievements can be short-lived, but process lasts. If there is something that can set you apart from everyone else it’s the ability to follow your own due process. This gives you uniqueness and reinforces your own personal brand.

Invest In Your Personal Brand

As you invest in your SHAPE (Spiritual Gifts (talent), Heart (your passion), Abilities, Personality and Experiences), it accentuates your personal brand and builds your personal brand equity. The things you will produce are path dependant (they are trail blazing) and have causal ambiguity (hence cannot be imitated). No mango tree can produce the same fruit taste as another unless it has been genetically cloned. You are a unique individual and as you invest in your person and personality you compound your value and influence and earn the right to deliver your special assignment in this world.

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.

CONQUERING YOUR FEARS

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance – Frank D Roosevelt

“This is the captain. We have started our descent for Richards Bay airport. However there are very strong winds on the ground, the runway is short…the runway lights are not working today and unfortunately this type of plane does not have precision landing equipment, but we will try and see if we can land” After these words there was a great silence on the plane as I was on a flight to a client site this week. One word explains the reaction – FEAR gripped the hearts of the passengers (me included). For a moment I thought of my young family. As I processed all sort of thoughts in my mind, I remembered how I had overcome the fear of flying more than 10 years ago. Flying was a nerve wrecking experience for me for some time until I decided to deal with it. Those lessons helped on that day and are applicable to overcoming fear in general.

Fear is not good because it creates a negative energy or force field. Fear serves as a counter-intention to all of your positive intentions. This affects the way you think or coordinate your activities. It is paralyzing and is the reason why most people fail to succeed in life. It is for that reason why fear must be conquered. How can it be conquered?

Face Your Fears

In moments of fear, I have seen people closing their eyes. Now that’s a temporary way of dealing with fear. The moment you open your eyes, the thing you fear will still be in your face. My day of facing my fears of flying was 10 years ago. Before the flight I asked the cabin crew that I wanted to go into the cockpit and see what happens there once we get into full flight. Once airborne I was led to the cockpit where the captain explained to me what happens in there and all the takeoff and landing procedures. They were so relaxed in the cockpit and even having drinks! That day I conquered my fear of flying.

You might not have a fear of flying. Your fear might be of financial, medical, social, professional, business or spiritual problem. Some people don’t look at their ATM receipt after withdrawing money because the bank balance ‘scares’ them. We could share of so many examples. However you need to go into the ‘cockpit’ of your fear, and leave your fear demons in that cockpit. The captain in that ‘cockpit’ might be a counselor, mentor, pastor, friend, doctor, sister or brother who could help you deal with your fears. Fear melts when you face it head on. When you fail to face up to it, the fear grows and grows. Fear is really nothing but an illusion, but your thoughts make it seem real.

Change Your Focus

Fear is like an attention seeking child, if you pay too much attention to it, it will get out of hand. One way I dealt with my fear of flying years ago was to get a nice book to read, or do work on my laptop. Sometimes I would start a conversation with a fellow passenger just to get distracted. This way, I would get lost in my little world and give fear no chance. I also have an intention to enroll into flying school at some point in the near future. I read a lot about flying and it’s now a hobby. I have conquered my fears.

There are practical ways to remove your focus from your fears. Instead of focusing on a medical condition, or the condition of your bank balance, you can focus on ways to get out of that condition. I have an uncle who 2 years ago was diagnosed with diabetes. Instead, of focusing on what foods he could no longer eat, and a worst case scenario, he focused his attention on how to overcome the condition. He changed his lifestyle and researched on natural methods to overcome this condition. Within a year, he went back to the doctor, who could not detect diabetes anymore.

Instead of writing an obituary about your health, business, finances or relationship change your focus. You could start an association or develop expertise around helping people get out debt, deal with a bad relationship, turn around a business etc.

You need to look at fear in the face once and show it the way out of your life. As fear goes through the window faith comes through the door. The law of polarity states that nothing can exist without its opposite. Fear is faith turned inside out. Pray up your faith, play down your fears.

HARNESSING YOUR STRENGTHS FOR SUCESS

“Presence comes before presentation and when all the presentation is gone what remains is your presence” – Lovemore Nyatsine Founder of Seedbed Consulting

OVER the last few months I have been involved with personal brand coaching with clients in different parts of the world. One thing that is so clear is that without self awareness and insight of individual strengths, it is not possible to position your personal brand effectively. I counsel most of my clients to spend some considerable time on identifying their strengths. The reason for doing so is because 60% of personal branding is making sure you are certain in knowing what makes you unique in strengths.  If you jump into merely positioning your personal brand, you risk much in there being a disconnect between who you say you are and who you really are. And, as we know, reputations take life times to build and moments to destroy. I take personal branding seriously because it is about an individual’s purpose and unique value proposition.

Personal branding is not about ‘packaging’ you, but is about accentuating you as the package.

There are categories of strengths which you must build your personal brand around:

Your Personal Best or Natural Strengths

Your personal best is what comes naturally to you. Some people have natural strengths, one such person is Bishop TD Jakes who is naturally charismatic, poetic and a powerful minister of the word. You cannot ‘package’ Bishop TD Jakes, he is the package already. When it comes to matters of the pulpit, he is a natural. He has the presence. So do you. You only need to identify the area in which you have natural strengths. Presence comes before presentation and when all the presentation is gone what remains is your presence. Your personal best is the right to be yourself through your unique talent and personality. To have a presence in life you need to identify your personal best. Life is like a stage, and you are an actor each with a unique part to play. Life is like an orchestra or symphony, and there is a part which only you can sing.

Competitive Strengths

“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete” – Jack Welch

These are the skills that are stronger than your competitors or peers. This kind of strength is due to your striving instincts or conative strengths. You have energy tanks which fuel your passions and gives you energy to compete – stand out of the crowd. If I am placed in a situation where I have to compete, I default to my competitive strengths (striving instinct) of innovation. I break all the rules and start to create my own. This is how I compete. I also have a friend who when placed in a similar situation gathers all the facts first, follows the rules and is methodical. At the end of the day we both achieve results but we use methods which play to our different strengths.

Years ago when Muhammad Ali faced George Foreman in the “Rumble in The Jungle” his competitive strength was around his mantra ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’.  He would dance around his boxing opponent using his speed and agility. On the other hand Foreman used his massive built and weight to absorb punches. In short Ali’s competitive strength was agility while Foreman’s was absorption. What is your own competitive strength in life? Taking a defensive position in life or taking an offensive position?

Distinctive Strengths

These are the strengths which do not only make you compete but also stand out from the rest. It’s the kind of strengths which give you naming rights for your industry, profession or sport for example Oracle of Omaha (Warren Buffet), King of Pop (Michael Jackson), Father Zimbabwe ( Joshua Nkomo ) and  Father of African telecoms (Miko Rwayitare). You need to do something different with a difference in order to make a difference. This can apply to the student at Goto High school in Zimbabwe, the driver of a matatu (commuter taxi) in the slums of Kibera (Kenya), the trader on the streets of Sururele (Lagos, Nigeria), the bankers on Wall Street (USA) or the miners at Debswana in Botswana. The greatest call you have upon your life is to make a positive difference. You are distinctively different in order to execute a special assignment which only you can do.

Real success does not just come from playing to your strengths. It comes from self awareness and adaptability. If you overplay strength, it can soon become a weakness. In our personal brand coaching programmes we emphasise self awareness and self insight in order to set you up to play the game of life with skill and panache.

REFLECTIONS FROM THE HALFWAY HOUSE

Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action -James Levin

A few years back when we were living in Zimbabwe, we used to visit our folks in the Eastern Highlands. The journey had a number of milestones including a place called Halfway House. This was halfway through the journey and is a place where we would normally stop for a number of reasons. I used to enjoy the fairly priced macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, biltong and some dried fruit from the farm store at this place. We would 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 would also stop for the same reasons, while some motorists would stop to change tyres, refuel or ask the petrol attendants for directions. This was the experience at the Halfway House and there are some lessons I would like to unpack.

This week marks the last week of June, and end of the 2009 first half. How times 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, tensions 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 directions than at the Highway House. I remember I would see a lot of motorists asking the petrol attendants for directions or remaining distance. It’s so easy to continue one’s journey without asking 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.

BATTLE 2008: SPOILS, TROPHIES AND CASUALTIES

As the year draws to a close its time to take stock. This is a just battle, and if you survived it, then you can live to fight another battle. Let’s use metaphors of battle and war to share a few points. You might have been a casualty of the economics, politics, business, social, spiritual or even environmental factors but if you are reading this it means you have another fighting chance. There are some of you, who might even be victors in the battle of 2008, but it’s not time to revel in perpetual celebration, the war ain’t over yet.

My granny always used to tell us stories using battles as milestones or memory pointers. In the ancient days, war was the way of life. At the end of battles, kings would sit down and take stock. They would count their casualties, spoils, trophies and most importantly the key learning points and or lessons from the battle.

Lessons From The Casualties

We all have suffered casualties one way or the other. I have my story too. I remember at the beginning of the year I put some money into some stocks, and the trading environment changed. I got burnt! Was it painful? Of course. Do I have to keep mourning over the losses? Hell no! I have buried the carcass of those losses and it’s time to move on. I have learnt the lesson though to be more diligent and judicious before I bet the family silver on the wrong horse.

Kings would declare a few days of mourning after their battle losses, but after that period was over it was time to get on with the kingdom business. Let me declare to you that days of mourning over the losses in 2008 are over, and get on with the business of taking your life somewhere. They would also draw lessons from the losses in order to avoid a repeat. Making a mistake once is a lesson, making the mistake twice is foolishness. There are certain losses where you can say “Never again under my watch, not in 2009 not ever”

Lessons From The Spoils and Trophies

The spoils and trophies represent your successes. Kings would declare days of celebration to revel in their plunder and parade the trophies (prisoners of war and enemy commanders). Celebrations would not happen forever because there were no permanent victories. The enemy would relent for a short season but would wait for an opportunity to avenge the losses.

It is good to celebrate your successes. But there is one truth…success in not a destination. It is the progressive realisation of predetermined worthwhile goals. Success in 2008 does not translate to success in 2009. You need to consolidate the gains from 2008 by putting anchors in the ground so that you do not back slide. Get your feet on the ground, be sober and know that you have won a battle but the war is not over. The lessons from your success/spoils are that you now have a template or point of reference to replicate that success going forward. It is also a memorial and mental anchor that YOU have done it before, so YOU can do it again.

Lessons From The Battle Strategy

The spoils and casualties you experience are a reflection of your battle strategy. War is an art learnt over time. You perfect your fighting art by learning from previous battles. There are battles which require heavy fire power. Other battles require ‘shock and awe’, some battles require that you hunt like a leopard…stealth, some guerrilla style or cow horn formation. The point is different battle goals require appropriate battle strategy. You cannot use antiquated weapons (spears and shield) to fight a space age war (GPS guided missiles).

Going into 2009, you need to ask yourself, ‘How could I have avoided some of the losses? How could I have maximised some of my success?’ As you answer these questions it shapes your plans around for the battle of 2009. Your process and methodologies for achieving your goals need to be changed if you are to get new results. I am deliberately using metaphors of war, because in 2009 I want us to be a warrior and revolutionary people who will champion progressive change in all areas of life. The losses of 2008 that might have caused you a heart break must be a defining moment which causes you to break new ground looking ahead. The successes must be a defining moment which causes you to break the charts going forward.

CREATING YOUR FUTURE

The best way to predict the future is to create it. This statement came to my mind today as I just read that GM Motors intends to sell the Hummer division. The current rise in global fuel prices and environmental concerns makes the fuel guzzling Hummer not “so cool” anymore. There are fears the Hummer business will have no takers or at best be sold below market value. Who thought 5 years ago that the Hummer would be under threat? The strategic planners and economic prophets at GM Motors did not see it coming. They failed to create a future for their business because they had limited vision. I recently spoke at a function for women entrepreneurs where I shared about how to “architect a future for your business”. I shared about 3 types of visions which one needs to have. These have practical application to both individuals and corporates. You need to see before, beyond and bigger.

See Before – Telescopic Vision

The Creator has given you the gift of foresight. This is the ability to foretell and forth tell your future. You can build and declare your tomorrow, today. You are the best prophet for your own life. To outsource your future to political analysts, government, economic analysts or employer is at best naïve and at worst irresponsible. Chart your own course. The decisions you make today are the input into your future. The life you live today is a result of what you did or did not do yesterday. Simple? Yes it’s that simple.

To create your future you need to have telescopic vision. This means anticipating the future and positioning yourself for advantage. Henry Ford has been accused of ‘marketing myopia’ because he thought every car must be black and of course be a Ford T-Model. If only he knew there would be mass market cars from Asia like the Tata Indica, Ford Motors would be the biggest and best today. Alas he did not see beyond the horizon. The best way to create your future is to be preemptive and proactive. When you create the future after your own imagination, there are no surprises. You set the context of what happens to you, how and when it happens to you.

See Beyond – X-ray Vision

Foresight alone is not good enough. You need insight. A prophet with insight can predict the future, but without insight cannot decode or understand it. While foresight makes you anticipate the future, insight is the ability to understand issues. It is the ability to join the dots, identify relationships and underlying currents. Even in business, you can not just do a SWOT analysis alone, but use other tools such as PEST analysis, BCG Matrix to get a grip on contextual issues and your business drivers. Have a different kind of investigation of issues. Things are not what they appear to be. Make sense of the nonsense. Shed light on the darkness. Einstein proclaimed that a problem cannot be solved at the same level at which it was created. You need to have a different perspective, incisive analysis of issues and an investigative probing of challenges. The future is in you. Apply your mind, your intellect and spirit and see the future beginning to unfold before you.

See Bigger – Magnifying Vision

A good prophet does not see all doom and gloom. To look into the future with eyes of fear distorts your vision. One Caleb, of old, once went to spy on the land of Canaan. He came back and said, “Guys, what a land, lets go for it”. Those who were with him said “Don’t even start”. They were afraid. But not Caleb. Even at 85 years Caleb asked for a whole mountain of land because he had the energy to work on it. What audacity! He had foresight and insight so his vision was big. How about David vs Goliath? Everybody thought “Goliath is so big, we can’t get him”. David, thought, “Wow, Goliath is so big I can’t miss him!”. A vision of courage magnifies opportunities while diminishing threats. There is so much global inflation, bad governments, fuel woes, aglaflation. So what? With the gift of foresight and insight you look before and beyond all that. You do not quake with negative energy and do nothing, but itch with positive energy to do something.

Create your future today – see before everyone else and see beyond everything else into the big future beckoning.

SUCCESS CONSCIOUSNESS

I made some interesting observation after the retirement of Fidel Castro. For 49 years, he lived with a single consciousness – socialism. He never turned left or right. He was strong in his beliefs. Socialism is in his blood. Even when the whole world moved to a new order, he remained steeped in his ideology. That is the consciousness he chose. He was in his own world. As individuals we all have a consciousness. The way you see your world determines the way you respond to circumstances, deal with issues and relate to others. Be it bad politics, battered economy, bad marriage, lousy job, struggling ministry or business. Consciousness is important because it gives you anchors and sails to withstand the winds and waves of life and the sails as you chart the course of your life.

What Is Success Consciousness

Success means achievement, victory, triumph, winning or accomplishment. Consciousness is an awareness of one’s personal identity or collective identity including attitudesbeliefs and sensitivities considered characteristic of a person or group. Success consciousness is therefore the characteristic identity, attitudes, beliefs and sensitivities consistent with a victor, winner or achiever. Your consciousness creates a force field around your life. This force field can either be negative or positive. Do you have the right identity, attitude, beliefs and sensitivities which make you a winner in life and create a positive force field?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identity

Your identity refers to your uniqueness, distinctiveness, personality and character. This is who you are. When you have a consciousness of your identity, that is , who you are it changes the way you talk, walk or act. If you know you are a winner or a king in life you act like one. You are not ordinary and you are not a victim to what affects the ordinary man. It’s a choice about your identity. Refuse to see yourself being subject to what everyone is subject to – failure, poverty or inflation. Have a unique identity – a winner and kingly identity. Be sure about your identity the same way you are conscious about being a male or female. This will change the way you look at life.

Attitude

Attitude refers to your thoughts, mindset, approach, stance, manner or outlook. A king in life is trained differently from a commoner. You don’t talk the common language. A king blesses and does not curse. The characteristic attitude of success comprises of three things namely faith, love and hope. Have faith in the great plan that the Creator has for your life. Faith is calling real what you have seen afar off in hope. Hope is belief in the future and in your goals. Pursue it with love. Love means no anger, no resentment and no complaining. An attitude of faith, love and hope is living from the inside out. You can write and frame your expectations. You no longer get weighed down by inflation figures, economy, politics, troubled marriage or struggling business.

Beliefs

Beliefs are your philosophy, viewpoint, idea or values. I believe life should never be up and down. It should be always up. I believe that everyone is a success. I believe that no one should struggle in life. What is my point? My point is that I most surely believe this to a point of stubbornness. I have a perfect understanding of these beliefs and I could explain clearly to anyone why I believe. It is my desire that anyone I speak to would have certainty about these beliefs I have about life. Beliefs are important because they influence the way you respond to life, the choices you make and eventually where your life goes. What are your beliefs?

Sensitivities

Sensitivities can be defined as the capacity to respond and the degree of that response to our environment and or to others. What are you alive to and what really awakens you? Winners have a kingly spirit, and they empathise with the needs of others, identify with the weak and are touched by their bruises. We don’t need despots and dictators because everyone must be a winner. You are so strong, yet you condescend to their weakness. That is a winner spirit. However you can not be everything to everyone but yourself. Touch the lives of those you have to touch. Be a champion for a cause that is in your pathway. Change your life and the life of others. Be sensitive to lack. Poverty is not the absence of required necessity; it is a confession of inability.

Overwhelming blessings!

HOLD ON, ITS YOUR GR8 YEAR

There is lot of alarm and despondency in the air. In Sociology we would say the media has created a moral panic. You get the feeling the world’s wheels have come off. Electricity problems in Southern Africa. Inflation in Zimbabwe at 26000%. Global agflation (agriculture commodity/food driven) rising. US economy in dire straits. Banking scandal in France. Global recession expected. Oil price projected to hit USD100 a barrel. There is so much negative news in the atmosphere. But wait a minute. Please lend me your ear! Let me declare to you that 2008 is going to be a gr8 year.

The Power Of Information

The foregoing introduction shows the power of information. You are a product of information. Information guides your actions, your actions create your character and your character fashions your destiny. You are a gateway of information, so you can choose the information you want to allow into you. A long time ago Joshua and Caleb were sent to spy on the land of Canaan. Their fellow spies brought a negative report -there were giants in the land and Israel would stand no chance. Joshua and Caleb saw it differently – yes they saw the giants, but said they would conquer the giants. They saw what everybody saw, they heard what everybody heard BUT they did not consider or regard it. If you choose to believe what the papers and TV are saying, you might paralyse yourself with fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. Faith makes you work with a purpose and hope. Without faith and hope in the future you lack power in the present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facts and Truth

Facts are based on circumstances. Truth is based on revelation knowledge (I shared about the importance of having a revelation about self in the article The Great Mandate). Facts are what you see or hear. Truth is what you KNOW. Who are you? Know thyself! Yes, according to the circumstances global food inflation will rise. But the truth is your destiny is bigger than food and that will not stop you. The fact is you might be living in a county with the highest inflation in the world but the truth is you can be a success anywhere anytime. You carry your own atmosphere and operating environment in your mind. When it’s raining outside, the sun is shining inside you. When everything around you is winter, its summer inside you. The fact is you might be living in a foreign land, but the truth is you can never let that be a disadvantage. The point is you need to know the one truth – that is you are a SUCCESS always, anytime and anywhere. Any facts contrary to this truth are not worth wasting time on. Instead of pity partying, joining in demoralising discussions about the economy, politics (facts), it is better to engage in self conversations about charting your future.

Uncommon Breed

Today, my message to all my reading audience across the globe is that we are living in uncommon times, demanding an uncommon response from an uncommon breed. Uncommon seasons call for a different breed – an uncommon breed which will thrive in spite of the environment. Isaac of blessed memory planted seed in the land of Israel during a great famine. He reaped a bountiful harvest. Yes when there was drought! He was a different breed. The lesson is we can still do great things inspite of the negative global, country economic, social or political outlook. There is something that you can do which nobody has ever done which will make you a somebody. Dare to be different. Sing your song from a different hymn sheet, than join the symphony of despondency and orchestra of despair. You no longer need to think outside the box BUT rather burn the box and start to think. That is uncommon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Armour You Need

The day you conceive a dream, is also the day a war starts. This war is a conflict between what you are carrying and the circumstances around you. The circumstances could be criticism, lack of resources, economic challenges, social or political problems, lack of knowledge or even lack of a clear plan. Let me share with you the pieces of armour you need to win this war as follows:

Vision – Great armies thrive on a great vision. Troops rally around a vision. You need to be certain of the course that your life must follow. As the battles rage, vision is what steadies you. Instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, you become the light in the tunnel.

Mindset – how you think is important. I like the Greek word for mindset – phronesis. It means your conditioned thinking process and pattern. If you think weak, defeated and beggarly, you will become so. As a man thinketh so is he. To condition your mindset, feed on the right kind of books (not all the negative press and latest social and political gossip), tapes and DVDs. Make positive affirmations and confessions. Every morning when I stand before the mirror, I tell the man in the mirror “You are going places. You DON’T fail. You have a sound mind”. This conditions my mindset.

Faith – this is the most important piece of armour. It is more than just positive thinking. It is your response to what your Creator says about you and your future. You were created to be fruitful, multiply and have dominion. Life must never be a struggle. Faith is the dynamic which gives energy to your dreams. It is the title deed of what is hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen. It is the ability to believe before you see. I know you have been taught that “seeing is believing” – that is wrong! Faith gives you the courage to prosecute your vision regardless of what stands in your way.

God bless you.

SPIRIT OF ENTREPRISE

Wired For Entreprise

The capacity to create something out of nothing is what makes everyone of us very special. Every human has the instinct for entreprise. We are all wired with an inherent ability to develop, build, craft, generate, produce, or spawn something. This could be an invention, a book, poem or a business. We just need to activate the spirit which makes us create – the spirit of enterprise. Entrepreneurship is the opposite of being a victim. Your political, economic, social situation might have made you a victim, but a spirit of enterprise is the visa to victory. Extreme adversity is a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. Whatever the situation you might be in, create possibilities. This spirit is not just about seeing possibilities and opportunities but about creating them.

Entreprise Spirit vs Spirit of Enterprise

Entreprise comes down to two things: who you are and how you think. You need to see yourself as born entrepreneur, and then have the mindset of entreprise. An entreprise spirit is what every human being gets when they are born. We all can perform an entreprise – work. With just the entreprise spirit, you are like a car with no petrol. What good is a car if it cannot be driven? The spirit of entreprise is the X factor you need to accomplish extra ordinary exploits. In other words you need to add attitude to the aptitude to tap into the wellsprings of entreprise. The entreprise spirit is the hardware and the spirit of entreprise is the software.

What you need to capture and cultivate is a spirit of entreprise. It is a consciousness of knowing that you are a creative being, and showing an attitude that goes with that awareness. In a way you have allowed failure, discouragement, the usual “lack of resources” to hamper your natural entrepreneurial instincts. The spirit of entreprise is the mindset or attitudes that allow the dormant entrepreneurial potential you have to be fully manifested.

Possessed By Spirit of Entreprise

When you cast out the demons of poverty, lethargy, apathy, procrastination, surrender you need to be filled with the spirit of entreprise. When this possesses you, it manifests as an overwhelming need for achievement and strong urge to build. Ask an entrepreneur like Patrice Motsepe (personal worth of R13 billion in 2007), Strive Masiyiwa (Econet founder), Phutuma Nhleko (MTN) or Nigel Chanakira (CEO of conglomerate KMAL). They will all tell you, that the spirit of entreprise is like fire shut in their bones. Do you have a dream that is threatening to tear you apart? Pursue it! This spirit makes one a tough, pragmatic individual driven by need of independence and achievement. The need to achieve drives you to a point of being a rebel with a cause. The spirit of entreprise gives birth to a vision. The vision is executed with such an enthusiastic passion and through persistence it becomes a reality. It translates you from the kingdom of doom and gloom to a kingdom of possibilities. Your vocabulary changes from “it cant” to “it can”, “problems” to “challenges”, “nothing” to “something”.

Hedge Your Interests

The spirit of entreprise means your eggs are not just in one basket and you are busy watching the basket. It is great wisdom to hedge your interests, whether you are a nation, businessperson, politician, student, employee or pastor. You need to have multiple streams of revenue or income. Create products and services which give you new revenue streams or additional income. You cannot wait for the future, create it today. Apart from your 5-8 job, you need to have additional income streams. Have a business on the side, as long as there is no conflict of interest. Write a book, blog, bake cakes, become a domain expert, piggyback (Virgin Mobile are doing it and they are in the mega money) be a commodity or service broker (somebody somewhere needs something that is a phone call away). Create something new, package it, patent it and make money from the intellectual property through passive and annuity income. Businesses also need to encourage a “spirit of intraprise”. This is achieved through creating a corporate social architecture that generates intellectual capital. For example allow your employees to dream, break down the suffocating bureaucracies, encourage and reward a spirit of entreprise. This will unleash the best of your employees.

Do it for yourself, do it for the world. With all thy getting get the spirit of entreprise.

God bless you and everyone else!

A CALL TO LEADERSHIP

A Call To Leadership

The recent events in Kenya are very sad. One African death is one too many… over 600 is just too much. The drawn out Zimbabwean crisis is yet another one which cannot be allowed to go on. How can a teacher who earns ZWD14 million per month be expected to survive when a bottle of cooking oil costs ZWD10 million? In Kenya it is the same story of personal, partisan and tribal interests. These two are just a few examples. We could talk about DRC, South Africa, Sudan. At what point are we going to produce a leadership cadre that puts national interests before their personal and party interests? Is it possible for us to pass on the baton without battering, killing and maiming each other? Leadership at the national level is a macrocosm of the microcosm. It is a reflection of the kind of leadership we have at every level in the society. I want to be challenged on this one. We NEED leaders at every level if we are to move forward.

What is Leadership?

Oswald Sanders defined leadership as influence. Period. You do not need to bash people’s heads in order to be a leader. You influence people to follow you because you have a compelling vision. Those who follow, enthusiastically buy into what you stand for by aligning their self interest to the common vision. The word lead at its root means ‘to go, travel or guide’. There is a sense of movement. Therefore leadership is about taking people form one level to another, a new dimension, a better place. This is what our countries, institutions, businesses, churches, families are crying for – leadership. David led the children of Israel out of the integrity of his heart and with skillful hands. That is the kind of leadership we should demand of ourselves and of others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership in The Marketplace

The first generation African entrepreneurs used to have businesses that were on strong ground. The essence of their businesses was primarily to serve and make a bit of money. That is why they were corner grocers, hawkers and bus operators. They made modest wealth. Sadly today, although many of us are now participants in the main stream economy, however the levels of corruption are sickening. There is now a sycophantic relationship between “business” and the bureaucrats in government. The levels of profiteering are criminal. Service and quality are sacrificed on the altar of profit. We need to pass on the right business values to our children. You can still be a successful business person without having to pay any bribes, evade taxes, exploit your staff, offering sub standard goods or services. It is good to be in business, but it is better to be a leader in business. Next time you want to criticise politicians, think about how you are running your own business. As employees, be good stewards of the employer’s time and resources. The way you handle another’s business is the way yours will be handled. Think about it!

Leadership in Politics

I admire American politics. Can you imagine a white man standing for presidency in an African country? Unimaginable? Barack Obama is from Kenya, and has an opportunity to go to the White House and succeed George Bush. This is in stark contrast to our kind of politics where I cannot vote for you because you are from the east of the country. We need to also develop from the “down with so and so” kind of politics. It is barbaric. It is this type that makes us have tragic events as we have in Kenya. Politics was never meant to be a job, but a sacrifice. The sense of entitlement that most of African politicians have is very sad, especially the liberators of yesterday who say “we died (sic) for this country”. In Nigeria, there is brazen looting of state coffers where political office is synonymous with self enrichment. Does Africa not deserve better? There is also a monarchial tendency in our political leadership…once in power, wants to die in power. True and secure leadership passes on the baton. Let us also not abdicate our responsibility to participate in politics. Politics affects our lives and we all have a political responsibility to be political.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership In The Home

Africa is crying for leadership in the home. Our homes need to be havens of protection, security and provision. We need to always be our children’s most important example. What our children see us do, they will also do. As parents our greatest responsibility is to lead our families to a better place. In order for us to break certain generational family dysfunctions we need strong leadership in the home. Spouse beating and endless bickering is a sign of weak leadership in the home. Strong homes build strong communities and strong nations. What generational impact have you had on your family? Some things must stop with you! Your parents were poor, and you want to bequeath poverty to your children? God forbid-O! Your parents in the village are still living in that hut where you were born many decades ago. Be the champion of your family – lead for a change! Change your generation.

God bless Africa and everywhere else.

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