Success Hackathons #1

Success Hackathon Image

By Josh Okello

How bad do you crave to be successful? How desperate are you towards attaining it? Do you take success as a basic need or as a want? What if you were to be successful? What would it look like? Our next seven series post is going to coach you to be disciplined in your desperate hunt for success. Success just never comes; it goes to people who crave for it the most, those who hunger and thirst to be on top. This could be you.  Sign up for this 7 series post that will help you transform your life and improve your life standards to where you should be not where life wants you to be. For a start, let us check two major ways of joining success hackathons:

Doing Good

Every good work you do, deserves a reward. Are you doing a good work? Better off if you could do an excellent work. Every day when you wake up, before you slip your shoes on and get ready for a long day work, what is your goal? Do you dream of being productive every day? This is a simple transformative question that I ask myself every single day I get my feet off the bed; “What good am I going to do today?” To me this is not a question to be comfortable with, it is a question that disturbs me the whole day and every evening I evaluate my performance with the same question. What good did I do today? Adopt the concept of giving the world your best and not your mediocre.

For some of us who do not have jobs, it can be really hard to answer this question. I personally have been there until I started writing. So far I have written three books in one year and two of them are coming out this year. You can also decide to do good even if you do not have a job. Write something, help somebody, create a plan, volunteer in an organization or a church, volunteer for other businesses. Just do good.

Being Positive

Nobody likes to be with people who wine all the time. Being positive is key to success. This is a tip that has been mastered by a lot of business gurus. They understand that their efforts transform the world to be better than what it has been. People relate well with happy people therefore learn to be positive. Smile.

Do not miss any of our 7 series simple life hacks to success by signing up to our blog and news feeds. I will also be responding to questions on the same link so feel free to ask questions and we will post it to our team to get more from those who understand and experienced in business and leadership world.

© Joshua Okello 2015.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

Entrepreneurship Disorder

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By Josh Okello

A disorder is a deviation from the normal structure or function of a body. Disorders can be genetical where instead of a human being having forty six (46) chromosomes (23 strands from each parents), there could be more or less chromosomes.

Genetic caused disorders, just like any other induced disorders can affect our brains, a faculty that is important in reasoning and solving complex challenges. By induced disorder, I mean those disorders that come as a result of the environment we live in.

Kyle a psychology expert and a counseling student in a private Christian university in Toronto describes environmental caused disorders to me: “There is power in words, and if you continue to tell somebody, say a child that they are great in a subject, they will start to believe that and try to prove that they are the best in it. But when you also induce a negative feeling on someone, that is what they will believe they are worth.”

If you tell a child that he or she is not great in math while another child is more encouraged and praised in math both of them in the same room at the same time, they will believe and adopt to what you define them as.

Entrepreneurship disorder.
Could there be such a thing as entrepreneurship disorder? I asked Kyle. “We’ll, a disorder is simply a deviation from the norm which most entrepreneurs seem to have.” they think differently, they share common traits and almost all of them have the same scores in Myers Briggs test.

Even though most of them are very smart, they seem to never learn and that is where we suspect the disorder could be. If a child plays with a sharp razor and cuts herself, next time she sees the razor she will not touch it. That is the normalcy of environmental induced learning. Entrepreneurs however, never seem to learn from their past beatings.
Entrepreneurs can invest a lot of their resources and lose it all. Go for the same idea, invest another round of resources and lose them. They just never give up and believe that they are often right.

Kyle believes that this stubbornness of entrepreneurs is not normal. Even though it has not been psychologically proven that there is such a thing as entrepreneur disorder, there are likely chances that it exists because it does.
Some entrepreneurs are intrinsically relentless while others are environmentally influenced. If a person is born in a family of entrepreneurs, they will most likely be entrepreneurs. There are also those who go into entrepreneurship because they believe that they can bring change and impact the world.

No disorder is a curse especially if you have learned to ignore what people say and that is the most difficult thing. We all stand equal chances of attaining mega success if we dedicate our time to it.
Kyle also believes that entrepreneurs tend to careless. It does not matter what amount of tantrums you throw at them. Discouraging them is like punishing a rock. It just never works.  Are you an entrepreneur?

© Joshua Okello 2015.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

Learn from Michelangelo

sistine Chapel

 

By Joshua Okello

Michelangelo was a sculptor, painter, architect, poet and engineer of Renaissance. His works inspired and has greatly influenced the Western arts. All of his works has made him the most celebrated artist ever since 16th century. A leader should learn a few if not all of Michelangelo’s traits.

Be a Multitasking guru

Michelangelo never relied on one thing for a living. He did it all and that is why he lives to be the most celebrated and influential artist to ever roam the face of the earth. He was a

Sculptor, painter, architect, poet and engineer. He never stopped at one thing. To be a great leader, one ought to learn to do it all. You do not have to be exactly who Michelangelo was but you should understand a number of fields for networking purposes.

People like to network with informed people. In the world today, technology has made it very easy for us to gather information and learn about the world. Make good use of it.

 

Be Determined

In everything Michelangelo did, he did it real good. His carvings and drawings are still liked to date all over the world. In whatever you are doing, be determined to give the best. The world only crowns those who are great at what they do. With the competition today, people will only buy the best, listen to the best and support the best. You can be on top of all these if you are determined enough to be the greatest.

Never Create Room for Mediocrity

Michelangelo did his best in whatever he was doing. He perfected his skills and became the master giving master pieces. The world is full of mediocre people and despite less room left for it, many people still find themselves in mediocrity. If Michelangelo could have not done his best, I could have not found anything to talk about. It is highly probable that there were so many artists who never perfected their skills and never astound people by their brush work. You have all the free will to choose who you want to be. Be Michelangelo not any other artists who died unsung.

Resilience

It took Michelangelo four years to paint the Sistine ceiling. He did all of this work lying upside down and it is said that that is how he developed a back bone problem. Real leaders never believe in impossibilities. Everything is possible and they know that there is a gain after every pain. Let your dark moments in life inspire hope in you that a morning is coming. There is always a reward in every struggle you successfully go through. Success is the final picture of struggle and hard work; therefore, never give up. If Michelangelo had given up in painting the world’s greatest ceiling ever, we would have had nothing to praise him for. Do your best today. You might not be celebrated or congratulated but a generation is coming after you that will write and sing about you.

Be Unique

Paint the pictures that have never been painted before, do the work that has never been done before, write on topics that have never been written on before, visualize the things that have never been imagined before and plan the things that have never been planned before. The Sistine ceiling would not have been famous if there were thousands or even hundreds of the same. Create some original ideas and make them a reality.

Inspire Competitors

To be crowned a winner, you must have contenders; better off if your competitors crown you one. To win you have to beat someone and therefore embrace competition. They will advance your thinking and anyway, why think small if you have the freedom to think big? Take risks. Sometimes the greater the risk, the greater; the reward therefore, try. If you lose, that is not the end of the world, laugh at your mistakes and never repeat them. But before you risk, do your homework. You want to have as less liability as possible, better off if you can have none.

 

© Joshua Okello 2014.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

60 Inspiring Quotes by Joshua Okello

Are you feeling discouraged or inspired? successful or failures? What if somebody told you that you were designed and destined to succeed? These 60 quotes by Joshua Okello will make you think differently about yourself and push you towards doing more than you can imagine:

  1. Change just never happens until we act
  2. Your efforts to change a life might be a beacon of hope to others
  3. No money or power earned will ever fulfill you emotionally as the ability to help those less fortunate than you
  4. You can’t simply buy a good reputation. It can only be earned by honoring your promises.
  5. Finding strength in your failures is one way of being successful
  6. The mind grows only through use, and it atrophies through idleness
  7. Great entrepreneurs are those who keep hope alive even when nobody is supporting life
  8. To have faith means to proceed without plan B.
  9. Planning is the key to success. Plan and again I say Plan
  10. A leader without a plan is like a magnet without poles
  11. When you don`t get a miracle, be the miracle to someone else! Spread
  12. I am humbled by God’s grace in my life. Give thanks in all conditions
  13. Never sit around failing to try, go out there, try to fail, challenge yourself, learn new things and fail as fast as possible
  14. The importance of having faith a long side our business plan is because it helps us overcome the hurdles of failures.
  15. We are reluctant to adventure because of fear of failure yet we forget that some wish for opportunities to adventure even if they are going fail.
  16. For sustainable development to function in developing countries, change should not be bigger and complex than they can handle.
  17. Infinity should be your limit. Get repeated failures and repeated success.
  18. Great leaders never make big and drastic changes, they keep them super simple.
  19. Some things cannot be taught in entrepreneurship, they must be practiced and they are; risk prone, tenacity and persistence.
  20. Nothing is as important as encouraging future leaders today.
  21. Leadership is about dealing with people, treating them equal and building them. Your followers define you.
  22. Organization success heavily depends on its leadership
  23. It is my leadership imperfection that makes me strive towards building a better team
  24. In leadership, you just never wish. You have to act on your wishes.
  25. In entrepreneurship, know that some offers are not worth taking.
  26. Stop learning and jump on the implementation train
  27. As a leader, knowing is not enough, apply what you know.
  28. Success is not attained by waiting, get going!
  29. The only fight you will ever lose is the one you abandon. Never, ever give up.
  30. Virtue is not given by money but can create money. Be good to all
  31. If you keep waiting for great ideas to arrive, they may never arrive. Be active in finding them and they’ll come to you
  32. There is no higher honor we can ask for than being servants of the Gods people
  33. Change just never happens until you act
  34. Your efforts to change a life might be remembered forever.
  35. No money or power earned will ever fulfill u emotionally as the ability to help those less fortunate than you
  36. Reputations are earned by honoring promises.
  37. Finding strengths in your failures is one way of becoming successful.
  38. Failure is part of the success equation.
  39. Remember to put a smile on at least one persons face everyday/.
  40. The mind grows only through use, and it atrophies through idleness.
  41. Great entrepreneurs keep hope alive even when nobody is supporting them
  42. If the world does not understand you, pray that they will but better off if you can offer them something better to make them understand you.
  43. What are you living for? Change lives through your actions and words.
  44. To make a difference in one’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care.
  45. Only if everybody was fired up to positively impact humanity for the best.
  46. To have faith is to proceed without plan B.
  47. Planning is the key to success. Plan and again I say plan.
  48. You are going nowhere as a leader without a plan
  49. Leadership of any kind needs guts.
  50. When you don`t get a miracle, be the miracle to someone else!
  51. I am humbled with God’s love in my life. Give thanks in all situations
  52. Never sit around failing to try, go out there, try to fail, challenge yourself, learn new things and fail as fast as possible
  53. I believe that I am the best the world has ever given.
  54. How about writing a book on your failures? Cannot fill a book? Then you have not tried that much.
  55. In game of cards never hold your cards too tight, get rid of the ones you do not need.
  56. Network for personal growth and create more opportunities in your career.
  57. procrastination is the mother of failure
  58. Leadership is like a game of cards, get rid of the cards you do not need.
  59. I have fail so many times, academically, as a leader, as an entrepreneur & that is why I am propelled to succeed.
  60. It is a waste of time waiting for work to get easier, instead, get stronger

 

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

How to Know You are an Entrepreneur

Darlene Lopez

By Josh.

This week on our Entrepreneurship Bench is non other than, an entrepreneur, a mom, a herbalist, an adviser, a consultant and a coach. Darlene M. Lopez. She takes everything she is doing as a ministry. She is ready to serve her clienteles globally through the help of internet and social media platforms. This is what she had to say on entrepreneurship

Josh: One thing I admire with you is how you keep people engaged. You are a net-worker for sure and I would like to learn from you.

Lopez: Thank you so kindly, that is very encouraging of you. I enjoy learning and you inspire me to keep pursing my dreams, knowing the outcome will be to fund ministries/work like yours

Josh: You are most welcome. So what are some of the challenges you have met on your way as an entrepreneur and a mom?

Lopez: What a good question, I think the most challenging thing thus far is that in both is being disciplined with time management along with always remaining a humble servant.

Josh: Oh yes that is a tight balance to hit. It is a challenge to me too. How did you come to learn that you are an entrepreneur?

Lopez: I never considered being an Entrepreneur, the concept had always interested me but I never fully pursued it but when people began offering to pay me for doing what I loved I began to entertain the idea but still didn’t pursue it.

I just love helping people in herbalism/natural living and friends and family and friends of family etc. would call me or ask for my advice etc. and I offered it and wrote protocols for them, they would come back with amazing testimonies thanking me over and over some would offer to pay me of which I would decline.

This sometimes would lead our family into small amounts of debt as I would purchase the necessary herbs and supplies for my clients thankfully it was never a burden to us and the debt never accumulated but nevertheless it wasn’t wise.

I still was reluctant to receive monetary compensation for my consulting it was something I loved and enjoyed doing, so I felt a bit guilty to receive money for doing what I loved, after all why charge for something that you can give for free and it is helping others.

I began to look into wholesaling houses and investing as a stay at home mom, I wanted to help contribute to the family income so Id take side jobs like providing childcare for families this helped but the concept of wholesaling and investing interested me but I needed information that only real estate professionals have.

We have some friends who are Real Estate agents, and have been in the business going on 40 years. I called her and began to explain my interest in investing in real estate and my interest in wholesaling, she educated me on the risks involved and the pros and cons.
Without discouraging my adventure she explained how I could get the access I needed in order to succeed, which the only way was to become a professional realtor.

I didn’t want to do that because well, it wasn’t something I had a passion about it was merely a means to make some extra income for our family, so I didn’t want to invest in schooling for this if I wasn’t going to pursue it passionately.

She then suggested I become her virtual assistant and manage her social media marketing for her and in exchange she would give me the access I needed to flip houses etc. I agreed and she paid for my social media for sales and success marketing class.

I became her online virtual assistant and I love marketing and social network, I have a passion and love for it, so I said sure why not. She offered to pay me and yet again I refused compensation because I felt guilty for being paid to do something you love.

This type of thinking some how held me back. I realized that there is nothing wrong with being paid, a worker is worthy of his wages. This led to me launching my own business.

I’m still a new entrepreneur and still learning to market myself as I Have spent so much time marketing and networking for others that doing it for myself on a professional level has been a learning experience.

© Joshua Okello 2014.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

Uncertainties & Risks

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By Okello Okello

Often times people talk of risks as the only fear to getting to entrepreneurship but do they really mean risks? What are risks? Is there anything else other than risks that can raise an entrepreneurs adrenaline. As an entrepreneur, if an action does not cause you to take a deep breath before you do it then it might not be risky enough and that means that it is not as important.

It is also good to understand that there is no perfect risk out there. There is a lot of uncertainty with decisions we make since we mortals can only operate in a linear time scale unless we are supreme beings. Therefore, people are always not scared of risks but the uncertainties that come with entrepreneurial decisions you make. What are uncertainties?

Uncertainty refers to outcomes not contemplated during the decision-making process while on the other hand risks refers to outcomes that have been contemplated, and are quantified as probabilities. The fact that risks are premeditated makes them expected in a way but uncertainties are those happenings that are not thought of and those are the most dangerous ones.

Duo-contemplation is about how to react in such occurrences of uncertainties. An entrepreneur needs to have clear thoughts when things do not go as planned. It can be drenching to operate in such a situation. Uncertainties can also include unexpected positive results or unexpected successes.

Uncertainties can be as a result of , Workers skills not matching the required standards of performance, low productivity due to low employee moral,  or the general mishaps in assumptions in the forecast sessions. Entrepreneurs should then give more weight to non-financial and qualitative factors than financial data. This is not to say that financial data are less important, but seeing past financial data can help give a second come back after uncertain occurrences.

Duo-contemplation matrix covers recovery from both risks and uncertainties and it heavily relies on the leaders ability to absorb market shocks and make wise decisions after a fall. For duo-contemplation to happen successfully, a leader should be ready for drastic changes. Employees should also be in a position to take the change with minimal and if possible no resistance however before these changes happen, an entrepreneur or a leader should consider;

Emotional Effects

How are the changes going to affect the entire team that an entrepreneur is working with? Are they comfortable trying new things? If they are not, how can we transform their fears into a cash flow generating ideas. That is the reason why business gurus do well. Dismantling failure, uncertainties and fears that come with it forms a strong base of success. As an entrepreneur, you do not want to be at the mercies of your emotions. Use your emotion to defeat itself. Change your emotions into happiness and enjoy the outcome no matter what it is. Sharing this attitude with your employees build confidence and a strong belief in the organization after drastic changes have happened. It is also important to know that when making changes, they should not be hard to adopt.

Psychological Effects

Let us take mind as the function of feeling, awareness and motivation. Anything that interferes with your state of mind negatively is what you do not want as entrepreneur. This is not easy as it may sound especially after a failure. The idea of duo-contemplation is to have a strong and stable state of mind to help you fight all the emotional effects that might come with a failure. Human mind is the most versatile organ in a body and can be trained to respond positively to any action.

As devastating a failure can be, human mind never run out of tentative solutions to the main problems in other words, there is no big challenge that human mind cannot handle. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13). I wish every entrepreneur would read a bible as it boosts one’s faith when it comes to trying risky things. Based on this bible verse, you can meet challenges of different kinds but God has promised that you will not be over come by temptations, therefore do not let your challenges affect your state of mind.

Why the Change

Entrepreneurs should not just propose a change because they feel like it is good to implement one. When going for a change, plan and always remember to maintain your core values intact. Always have a positive and a better reason than before of why you think a change is important. A change can be too big that it becomes insignificant. That is when a change is leading to a permanent failure. Based on keen observation of British Motor Works (BMW) X series, Starting from X3 to X6 there has been very slight changes on every stage, either on chassis shape, gearbox setting, interior space, engine size etc. The changes are always minimal, direct and less complex. They are identifiable changes that does not need extra work to learn or adopt especially on a consumers perspective. The fact that you can also order a custom design BMW makes it even better so the changes suit your preference. The point, always have a reason why you are introducing a change and let it be easy to adopt.

How “The Art of Execution”

Doing the same thing all the time, tremendous repeat or repeated abuse as one of my friends describes it is unhealthy. It is said that change is as good as a rest therefore change should be constant and always in motion. That is when you change the change. So how should people execute the art of change? Implementing the art of change can be hectic yet it can also be simplified through these key points.

  •  The vision: It is important to lay out the vision, what exactly is changing and how is it going to change. The vision gives a broader picture of what the team will work towards. This vision should be clear, short and precise. By making the change vision clear, short and precise, you are simplifying it for your team to easy adopt it therefore there is a higher chances that they will buy into it.
  • Specialization: You want to match the tasks with skills required to accomplish them. Through specialization and division of labour, you are already simplifying the change making it easy to adopt. Clarity with each individual on how important their tasks and roles are to the vision of change helps develop a team synergy. Duo-contemplation work best if you match your team with what they can do best. It is all about maximizing the output from your team.
  • Follow-up: Great leaders go to their employees to inquire if they are meeting any challenges. Try it, it works. You do not have to implement a change to do this. Just ask how you can help them meet their goals, make fun and create a lively work environment. How many entrepreneurs like to crack jokes with their juniors? You want to create an environment where your team enjoys your presence and the work they do. It is also important that you make them know that you are in control, a manager, a director, and the boss if you like calling your self that.

Span it Takes to Change

How drastic are your changes? Are they changes that need 10 years to adopt? Since you are working with start-ups and growing businesses, a change should not take your team more than three months to adopt. It should be that simple. Design a change that impress, a change that every body wants to flock to. If you find it difficult to come up with one especially after failure then look at the reason why you failed or what you want to improve on and just tweak it a little bit.

Let us look at this example, you are a fruit vendor who sells a lot of bananas every week. In one week due to bad weather your sales went down and you are left with a lot of inventories that are perishable. Since You want to maximize your cash flows and revenues, you can decide to have a banana cup cake business along side your grocery to take care of the left over fruits. This is an example of a change that does not require a long span of time to adopt. It is easy, almost obvious and can still generate some income to support the business.

Realistic Goals

If you are a start up, you do not want to tell your employees or yourself that you are going to generate 1 billion in the first week of your business launch. Not that it is impossible, but setting realistic goals is always good. Start small then grow big. You do not want to risk a lot of your resources in a start up therefore losing it all is not good. Be economical, take it one step at a time and sent achievable goals with a reasonable time limit. Most entrepreneurs are big dreamers, I am saying this out of experience. This can make it extremely difficult for your employees to match your expectations because you always want your books to read 100 million revenue in your first year. Give your employees enough time and realistic goals that they can attain. It is better you give them short term and easy to achieve goals that will grow your business than giving them big, dreams that they cannot achieve making you close your business in the first few weeks it starts.

Planed Plans

When a King wants to concur another kingdom, he meets with his military heads to plan and strategist the attack patterns. This is something that has existed through the ages. Planning. You do not want to attack a giant with bear hands. Think of a story in the bible; Joshua 18. Joshua is sending out three representative to go and survey they land, they were to write  a detailed plan on what they saw, and how to get in the land they were promised. He is also laying strategy on how to divide the land, who settles on the south, who goes to the North and who remains in the East.

Key lesson is, plan your movement. Plan your action. plan and again plan the plan. It is really hard to win without a plan. That is why most politicians work with a campaign team. These are people who meet everyday to lay strategies depending on the location of campaign. Having been in African Politics as a strategist to a member of parliament, I can say that strategists do more than what you see politicians say on screens or on a political rally.

After the speech, then we analyze the clips word by word, gesture by gesture, information by information then we do a quick meeting every day to update the potential candidate on what he did well in and what he missed. We also monitor his dressing cord and match it with the tribe or a particular group of people he is going to address. All these are planning and if well executed, they can result into a big success.

Uncertainty, Risks and Fear works like three horns of a triangle. Once you dismantle one side the whole structure collapses.

Leadership

Leadership-Cranes

It is better to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front like when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership ~ Nelson Mandela

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. ~Max DePree

 

By Okello Okello

Over the years, I have believed that business is the most important factor (apart from God) in our lives especially with the metamorphosis brought up by globalization. As I started writing more and more on business, innovation and entrepreneurship, I came to learn that without leadership, there is no success. So before a business is founded, there must be someone in charge. Leadership therefore stands triumphant over all else that pertains to success in our communities.

  • Think of a family set-up, there is always a breadwinner, who is most of the time the leader of the family, children and other members who either form nuclear or extended part of the family fully rely on the leader. These people needs a leader who can provide, take care, protect, support, advice and be a role model etc. It does not matter whether you are from a single family or with both parents, you still need a leader and if you are the leader, then you must be ready and willing to show your team the right way.
  • Leadership is also needed in our faith based organizations. There must be an individual who holds all the responsibilities and can be held accountable for all successes and failures of the organization. I am talking about successes and failures because most of the times, leaders performances are scaled in between the two points.
  • Institutions and community centers also need leaders. People who can report the management and affairs happening in the institution to both the government and the public. They take part in overseeing operations of different projects, and they also plan the future of the institutions they work in.
  • Politicians are also leaders who are engaged in daily errands and affairs of a country. They manage the country’s economy and hold the jurisdiction that governs their nations and states. Political leaders are most of the times the head of their countries security.
  • Businesses also need leadership. For success in the market that is either highly regulated or open, there needs to be a person with strong leadership skills. Somebody who is good with finances understands the market patterns, an organizer, a planner, a manager and if most likely a people person. In general, we cannot live without leadership because leadership transforms chaos into order.

Now that we briefly understand how leadership is important, ask yourself; “What if I was the one to be in charge?” Some people do not consider themselves’ leaders and often times decline a position that puts them in lime light. But can we really hide from leadership? At some point in life, you must be a leader. Either leading an organization, a ministry, a community group or your own family. It is therefore better to familiarize yourself with leadership and be ready to be called upon at any time.

In the history of the bible, God used people who were not considered naturally born leaders, therefore it is never wrong to decline that you are a leader, but if God has anointed you to become one, then what you need to do is to heed his calling.

Think of Moses and how he was anointed. He was a man of no charisma, was not fluent in speech and was the one who God picked and used. David was the last born of Jesse, and we know in our societies today that last born’s are always the spoiled ones. Probably it was the same back in the days and that is who God anointed. It is therefore good to understand that leaders are people who are anointed by God to fulfill a purpose and a need that is affecting His people.

What then is leadership? Here are a number of definitions of the word leadership.

  • Leadership is the ability to give a social aid to a mass of people who come together to achieve a common goal.
  • Leadership is doing the right things. (Peter Drucker).
  • Management and maintaining order in an organization
  • The guidance and direction of a group of people
  • The time when a person holds the position of a leader (Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Leadership is laying yourself down for the sake of other people. Not to say that the definitions above are wrong, but I like to give a different approach and view to leadership. As a leader, are you called to lay yourself down to the people you lead? Are you fully in charge of the situations and ready to be responsible for the good and the worst that your organization might encounter? Are you ready to stand for your employees and be a voice of those who are in need? Are you ready to show love? A leader is a person who considers these questions and tries to live by the standards that uplifts the people they are leading.

As the son of man gave himself to be nailed on the cross for the sake of the world, we should be in a position to stand firm for the people we represent. Some have called this type of leadership “Servant Leadership.” In the history of the world, Kings ruled and reigned, Judges lead and dominated, presidents have expressed and shown power in different ways but very few have been there to lay themselves down for the sake of their people.

In the world today, we should be in a position to differentiate market celebrities and leaders. Most of the people we call business leaders are good examples of market celebrities, they are there to dominate without love, promote themselves and finish their rivals. Where is love? How are they laying themselves law for the sake of the common people?

It is good to understand that there are social leaders, spiritual leaders, business leaders, consanguinity leaders and this work is to generalize all of them to come up with shared traits and also how to empower people to take up the role of leadership with a lot of confidence.

Please if you find this blog informative, share it on your social media, comment, follow, favorite and let other people learn from it too. That is the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are here to support each other. No one knows everything that is why we share, exchange and learn from one another. God bless you.

Building a Team Synergy

Synergy

By Okello Okello

A synergy is a systematic interaction of multiple elements projected to release higher magnitude results than the elements invested in the general output. This is every leaders dream but not so many attain its right formula. Building a synergy is like reacting elements in a chemistry laboratory where you observe the risks and expect the best end-results. So what exactly does it take to build a team synergy?

Self-Evaluation

As a leader, the best thing to do to your organization is to first evaluate yourself, be honest with your self and accept your weaknesses. We are not perfect. Even the most beautiful when asked to change anything on their looks, they will identify a feature that they do not like in themselves.

Being honest with yourself and accepting your weaknesses and strengths is where it all starts. The importance of starting with self evaluation is because you want your team to compliment your strengths. Therefore where you are weak, you find the right fit that can replace your weaknesses with amazing performance. After all why would you higher someone with same qualities as you?

Never Hire a Resume and Forget the Candidate

There are over 340,000  hits you can get if you type “job interview questions” on Google. So why bother waste your time interviewing people who have crammed all the questions  and possible solutions to the challenge? People who have sat in my interviews know and understand that I never ask ordinary interview questions. Job interviews are not high school enrollment questionnaires where you can cram the whole night and succeed in the morning.

As much as it is good to look at the resumes, that should not be the only or main reason why you are hiring. I have a high preference of hiring a high school graduate who is logical than a university graduate or a PHD holder who cannot think on his feet. To make it clear, I also understand that there are different personalities and I factor it all in before I make a final decision. Some of us are thinkers while others who are extroverts can constructively come up with an answer as they talk.

The success of your team and power they unleash highly depends on who you higher therefore take your time and get the right person. Most presidents who newly assume power are always given 100 days to change economy and revolutionize the government operations to the public. This is not possible as no economy in the entire world can change for the better in 100 days of taking oath of office.

However, in small organizations, 100 days is enough for you to understand the strengths of your new recruit. Always give your new recruit at least the a fore mentioned number of days to keenly follow up with the quality of work they do. These 100 days should also cover second chances, learning, correction, and teachings  opportunities. Never fire any employee by stroke of a pen. It is inhuman to do so. Let your employees know where they go wrong, correct them and give them second chances, talk to them, discuss with them your expectations and if they are not the right fit for the job then advise them to resign.

The team you build determines the magnitude of your organizations synergy. In case an employee resigns from your company, call them a month later and ask them how they are doing. Show concern be willing and ready to teach them where they go wrong even if they no-longer work in your company.

Display Positive Image

As a leader, you are a man of the people! Groom your self and build a positive self image. As an entrepreneur, especially start ups, business meetings are not the same as sitting in a classroom lecture. Dress appropriately. The image you display will always give people an idea on how to classify you. If you are not in entertainment or art business that requires you to dress casually, then avoid those jeans with holes on their knees and graphics all over them.

Work on your wardrobe and if possible, have some dress pants or trousers as some like to call them, repair your jackets or suits, get your shoes shining, iron your shirts. Your team reads a lot in you and since you are looking for respect, authority and honor, maintain your outlook and set the image pace.

Personally I am more confident when I am smartly dressed than when I am in casuals therefore it is best for me to attend business meetings and go to work dressed up. Find some cheap stores that offer quality products and invest in your self. Be crispy clean.

Build Impeccable Character

Everybody is important. I am saying everybody because most entrepreneurs and leaders always know how to classify people with importance. God created us equal therefore take your time and listen to people. Create time for people and people will create time for you.

Are you the type that never responds to phone calls? texts? emails? I highly recommend responding to people even if it means informing them that you got their email and they should wait for your detailed response when you are free to do so. A lot of entrepreneurs wake up to full inbox of emails, mails on their desks, texts messages, and missed calls. Try your best to clear them out of your way and remember that someone thought of you and spared there precious time to contact you. Show respect back.

If your team sees how committed you are to communication with all, they will be propelled to keep the standards and pace you set. At worst, respond to messages in 48 hours.

Use Surrender Tactic 

It is an inbuilt feature that comes as part of the package of human being to fight back. The ability to resist this strong urge to revenge and hit back can propel your organization to higher levels. It is about building a synergy therefore never forget to surrender in heated debates. Get me right, always get guidance from the organization chore values. Now this is what I mean; If a customer calls you and they are not satisfied with the work you have done, you really do not have to be rude however insulting they might be.  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (Proverbs 15:1). Since you exist because of your customer, always remember to tone down your voice. It can also make your customers think that the mistake is  mundane and you are ready to address it once and for all.

The lack of resistance disarms your opponent and keeps you at the fulcrum of the topic.  Since you always want to swing and sway the discussions your way, it is better to keep calm. Tell it to your team and let them serve your customers with respect and dignity. Your customers talk and any little thing that turns them off can spread like a bush fire and ruin your business.

Value Your Team

If you keenly evaluated your self as  described in the first point of this section of synergy, then you probably realize that you are dealing with people with gifts that you are lacking. Nature them. Your team holds the horsepower that propels the organization therefore show them that they matter in your team.

Nothing motivates people like letting them know that they are valued. Have effective communication with them and call them aside when something is wrong. Show them that you care but above all, do not pretend but show them that you really care. Lies can only go so far and they will all be unearthed. Value your team, they hold the potentials of your organization.

Coach Your Team

If you cannot be a coach, then advise your team to find a coach in their lives if your organization cannot afford mentor programs to your employees. Let your team pick their idols and work towards working to their levels. Remember that it is all for the synergy and conjoined success of your organization.

Coaches challenge, train and push people to go extra miles on what they can handle. That is what your organization needs for success. Successful leaders inspire and coach their team to go extra miles. Show people the way and let them walk. As much as you are setting goals and targets for your team, they should set their own goals and break their own records. That is when your team enjoys being part of the organization. As a coach train them to have healthy competition and to go an extra mile.

Have Faith

In a formal introduction I did, after meeting a fellow entrepreneur, I told him that my background extends to Business Administration International Development, Philosophy and Christian Apologetic. His question to me was, “Why did you mix those three contradicting things together? You must be a trouble maker.” In response I paraphrased this verse, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV).

It is just not about having faith that your business will do well but to anchor your faith in Christ and being ready to defend your beliefs. It can be great to have a team that share common beliefs with you but if you are not working with believers then use that opportunity to share with them the gospel. It propels your team to greater levels if you all believe in a common faith and goals and expectations that come with that belief.

Build a synergy and catapult your organization to elevated grounds of success.

Please if you find this blog informative, share it on your social media, comment, follow, favorite and let other people learn from it too. That is the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are here to support each other. No one knows everything that is why we share, exchange and learn from one another. God bless you.

Leadership, Management Dilemma (II)

Frustration

By Okello Okello

” You have touched on some good concepts here. Leaders must not just wield power,but place the bulk of the responsibility on themselves. While we need to share responsibility with our teams, the leader must shoulder the responsibility to ensure teams are provided with the information, tools, and guidance necessary to be successful. Individuals should be shown that their contributions are valued and learning from failure should be encouraged “  (Lizstincellis’s comment on my blog post).

Entrepreneurs are people who understand that there is a little difference between obstacles and opportunities and are able to turn both to their advantage. This needs strong leadership skills. “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him” (Niccolo Machiavelli). As a leader, you always want your name to be clean at all times and at all costs. Guarding your reputation builds your credibility and trust therefore remember that you are not only protecting your name but your brand as well. As a leader you should;

1. Build Alliances

Leadership and management of all kinds has got bits of politics in it. Politics as much as it has been defined as a dirty game, game of numbers or power struggle. To digress from these definitions, let us focus on business politics as a strategic move to form undefeated alliances. Successful leaders talk to great people, men of wisdom, the experienced and people they look into as mentors. In my last posts, I have mentioned the importance of having mentors and these are some of the simple actions that can propel you and your team to higher levels.

No politicians does it a lone and they will always merge into parties or bring parties together to form strong coalitions to defeat their rivals. As a leader, you gain a lot forming coalitions with experienced people. It is all about learning, copying and advancing what other people have done. Yes you might be having great ideas but you cannot stand a lone. You need people and therefore, take your time and listen to the lowest person holding the lowest rank in your organization. They are also part of the alliance and they might bring valuable information to you.

2. Be Ready to Serve.

Kyle is one of my best friend who has served in the army and it has become part of him that as a leader, he serves those under him first. He puts them ahead of everything including when it come’s to simple things like serving meals. Since this has been part of him for so long, he is nowadays extending it involuntarily to everybody everywhere he is. This is one major discipline in the forces and if something that leaders and managers should imitate from our boys in uniform, then it should be the heart of servant-hood.

To those of us who are Christians, the bible says “Each one of us should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms,” (1 Peter 4:10).  It logically follows then that if you are gifted in leadership, then you should use it to serve others. In a deductive argument, I would put it this way;

  1. Leadership is a gift from God.
  2. Leadership is one way of ministering God’s grace to people
  3. Serving others is a way of using our gifts for Gods glory
  4. therefore leaders can use their positions to glorify God through stewardship.

The world needs servant leaders therefore try and be one.

3. Risks

Entrepreneurs and leaders are known for their risk taking capabilities. This is actually one of the most important characteristics of all business people. The ability to expose their valuables to danger, harm and or loss. Since entrepreneurship is all about increasing your NPV (Net Present Value) and always keeping it positive, it is worth doing your calculations right before you try out a new idea. Plan every step and act with a lot of boldness. What this means is that you should eliminate unnecessary risks in your business life.

4. Mind the two extremes. 

As a leader, you should be both a manager and a friend. Never cross the boundaries and never offend the wrong person. You do not want to appear too bossy because then you will be scaring people away. As a manager, you want to build a harmonized team that brews the best chemistry at work.

As a leader, you should also be a friend of many, your employees or people under your leadership should be in a position to see you as a man of wisdom whom they can freely walk into and ask for help. Design a way that works for you and always  let your people know that you are the leader. Remember to be a servant leader. You definitely need respect from your team therefore be willing to show respect to them too. Respect and attention are two of the virtues that can be afforded by any body, pay attention and attention will pay you back.

By this time, you probably understand that leadership challenges come in pairs and the decision you take is not important. What is important is living with the standards that come with the decision you make. What comes after the decision is what is important. For more of this check our leadership and management Dilemma series posts.

Please if you find this blog informative, share it on your social media, comment, follow, favorite and let other people learn from it too. That is the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are here to support each other. No one knows everything that is why we share, exchange and learn from one another. God bless you. 

Leadership, Management Dilemma (I)

Leadership Dilemma

By Okello Okello. 

Should a manager lead? or should a leader manage? I am generally speaking about management, not specifics such as micro or macro management. Leadership is one of the tightest ropes to walk in life and the balance it needs is more than you can imagine. Most CEO’s in organizations always get mixed up by the myriads of roles that come simultaneously under their titles. This post is going to extract and display some of the greatest dilemma that most leaders go through knowingly and or unknowingly.

1. Power and Responsibility

Of cause leadership automatically puts you in power and most leaders always find it a challenge to differentiate power and responsibility. This is also where leaders start to use their responsibilities despotically and the result is always a devastated team. Leaders should know that they are in a delicate position and everything they do and say is keenly being monitored by those under him or her.

As a leader, first you should learn your responsibilities. Once again, learn your responsibilities before you exercise power over anybody. Know your limits, understand your people and know how much pressure you have to mount on your team otherwise you are bringing more harm to your team and to the organization.

2. Give Incentives

Every Good Worker Deserves Favour! Always reward your best performers and remember to discipline your non performers but remember to do it with love. Give them second chances and be polite especially when dealing with failures. It is not a must that the incentives must be in currency form but even thanking your team can mean much to them and can be a source of motivation to a lot of people.

Take your team out for lunch, order pizza online and celebrate victory, give your team a half a day break to show them that you are concerned and appreciate the quality of work they do.

3. Dealing with Failures

You are having angry customers who are unsatisfied by the work your team has done. You have called your team in a board room and they can read tension on your face. Their heart is racing and their faces can read that “At the end of this meeting, one person must be fired!” Dealing with failures is more like giving incentives only that instead of giving tangible rewards, you are going to educate your team instead.

Please remember that we are not equal. Some are more gifted than others and for them to make it to your company, they have shown some wisdom or strengths that you wanted to tap into. Therefore, avoid calling names and do not shout. Self control is more than important in this case. If someone fails, always remember to give them a second chance. Nothing inspires people like telling a failure that they can do it. Be ready to show them the way, that is why you are a leader and not just an employee.

You are dealing and handling someone else future, therefore take a lot of caution on what you say. Encourage them and never set your hands flying in disgust. Show love, motivate and encourage non performers in your company and if the same problem continues then shuffle your staff, maybe they are the right people in the wrong seats. Always remind them of their calling and educate them to be great performers.

4. Change Top-Down

It starts with you! Yes as a leader, you should be a role model to people not a scare-craw. Mind your language and treat people with respect. It does not cost a penny to pay respect yet it rewards more than the revenues you can earn. Simple rule, “The Golden Rule.”  In “Our Lords Prayer,” there is a line that says “forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespasses against us,” This should be a leaders prayer at all times. Learn to forgive, and change your self before the team you are leading change for the better. And always remember that “True transformation only comes from God” (Unknown).

Please if you find this blog informative, share it on your social media, comment, follow, favorite and let other people learn from it too. That is the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are here to support each other. No one knows everything that is why we share, exchange and learn from one another. God bless you.