I Asked Three Leaders what Books they Read, the Answer I got Will Shock You

Books

By Josh Okello

One simple question I like to ask new people I meet, leaders, managers, CEOs etcetera is “what books are you reading these days?”

People are always very honest to share ideas especially in the realm of entrepreneurship. My better-half knows and understand my love for books and it is almost predictable that most gifts I get from her are leadership books. We both like to learn even though we are in different fields. In general, we read a lot.

Back to my story, do you like to learn? As a leader, entrepreneur, how many books do you read in a month? I once walked in a store and asked three managers what they are reading and the answer I got was shocking. I am putting into consideration that not all like to read therefore it is not a crime to not read. You can acquire knowledge through other means.

You might also like this: Success is for Open Minded People

One manager told me that reading is not important as the books do not tell you how to deal with each individual customer. Different customers have different attitudes, emotions and personality therefore you cannot read a generalized book and work with that on each and every customer. How true is that? My answer is, “It is very true”. But how can you know how to deal with different customers without learning how to deal with different personalities? How does one acquire emotional intelligence (EI) without learning? Reading might not be your thing but are you in constant pursuit of acquiring knowledge? In philosophy we call it epistemology. Epistemology is the enquiry of what distinguishes justified true belief from opinion also referred to as knowledge.

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The other manager referred me to the manager who gave me the answer above. What does this boil down to? “Resistance to change,” and the mind set of “doing it our way.” how can we be open minded without being ready to learn? You do not have to read in the world of technology we are living in today. Listen to podcasts, audio books, and videos and learn at least one new thing every day. Never be bound to repeating the same old mistakes because you are resistant to books.

I would like to hear your honest feedback and hopefully books that you are reading/listening to this month. If you are looking for a simple leadership and entrepreneurship book to read, you might consider: Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Comment by suggesting at least one book for our leaders to read.  Let us learn together.

© 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.

This is the Power of Determination #success #leadership

Determination

 

By Josh Okello

 To be determined is to have a relentless pursuit of something you do not have. Nothing can deter you from getting it however long the road is. If it takes crawling, walking, running or flying, you will do it.

Source of Determination 

Human beings are naturally born with determination. At an early stage, right after birth, we are endowed with this internal crave called determination to grab things, interpret meaning, create ideas, understand recurring incidences, determination to know people, who is a friend and who is an enemy, who is mom and who is dad. We are born with less fear and a lot of determination. That is why children do things they do. When they cry, they are simply telling us that they are so determined to either get out of pain, get food, they are stressed or they just need to take a nap.

 Determination Catalyst 

Even though I cannot recall my childhood very well, I can talk in relation to what I see parents do to their children. A colorful object would be placed in front of them slightly past their reach to entice them to move. That is how children learn to be mobile. A curious child would crawl to grab the object, walk towards the object or run towards the object.

What drives you? What makes you move? What increases your determination to achieve something you do not have? What is your determinant? I always associate happiness with success therefore in everything I do, I try to tie it to happiness. I know I cannot please everybody and I cannot make all happy but my goal every single day when I wake up is how am I going to touch another person’s life? How am I going to make someone smile? How am I going to make somebody else successful because success equals happiness and vise-versa. That is my determination every single day I wake up.

We all come up with great ideas, but we lack enough determination to go for them. When drafting an idea to work towards, never go for realistic ideas. All realistic ideas have been achieved therefore go for unrealistic ideas. Build a strong catalyst and let it propel you to what you define as success. Let nothing stop you from going for your dreams not even your weaknesses.

© 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.

 

Balancing Family Time & Work

happy-family-silhouette

By Josh Okello

There is no such thing as a balance between family and work. Irrespective of how great or big your company is or the amount of work you have as a leader, family should be your top priority!

In most of my literature, I always describe success as happiness therefore we cannot be successful in our businesses or organizations if our families are going through rough time. It is hard to make a successful company when our families are not happy. Leadership starts at home therefore it is important to understand these tips:

Money is not everything
One of the greatest boxer Floyd Mayweather once said; “money is not everything but it is the only thing.” This statement is very wrong. Money cannot buy you a happy family, this is something you have to do by yourself and the best way to do it is to increase your time with them.

Time
Some of the greatest world leaders I know of try to create time for their families. An example is Barack Obama the president of the united states who tries to have dinner everyday with his family. That is a great success. Try and do something with your family at least everyday.

Find a Fun Activity
My father used to be a music teacher and he nurtured music in our family. He taught us music and started a family choir that we still have to date, nearly two decades after he passed away.
This was our bonding time with him and it was always fun to be around him. What is it that you are good at that you can share with your family? Click here to listen to or download my free music.

Remember Your Vows
One thing I admire and still cannot fathom is the motherly love. Our mothers and wives deserve respect from us. If you exchanged vows on your wedding day, then go back and read it again. If you follow everything you promised to do with or for your partner then I will encourage you to continue being a responsible man. If you do not follow your vows to the latter then I do not have to tell you what to do. Do what is necessary.

Do you think your husband, wife, father or mother deserves to be treated the way you are treating her now? He or she is worth more. Vows are not only for the wedding day, but a public binding agreement that must be followed. You do not have to abandon your work for the family but creating at least two hours a day to have fun and add value in your family is one way of attaining business success.

Be Productive
The reason why we fail to go home in time and hangout with family or bring work home is because we procrastinate in the office and take a load of work home with us. As an entrepreneur and a leader, I understand that there is always more to be done but there is also a family to show love to. If you are not their for your children, who will? If you are not their for your wife or husband, who will? All these can come if we redefine and redesign what family and work means to us. A happy family leads to success at work.

 

© 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.

Success is for Open Minded People

 open-minde

By Josh Okello

Have you wanted to attain a dream in your life, so bad that you cannot sleep without thinking of it? How irresistible do you get when you come up with a big, crazy and scary idea that could either lead to epic failure or epic success?
A lot of people generate great ideas but only about 20% of the total ideas generated by human beings are implemented. Are you in the 20 percent? Good news is, that you do not have to belong to the group of 20% to generate an idea. Ideas can be generated by anybody and if changed to practicality, they can be achieved by anybody.
Another great news is that you do not have to be all knowing to attain your goals. If you have an idea with potentials of transforming and improving humanity, then you can assign other people to implement it.

It takes people with open mind to attain big and scary dreams in life. We are living in a world where technology has made life easier, communication easier and so is networking. So what does it really take to succeed in life?

Focus
You can be gifted in a number of things but you can only succeed if you put your focus in one of them and execute it to the best of your ability. Pick one thing and do it to the final.

Open Options
This ties very close to the title of this post. To be successful, you must have more than one option. If you are thinking of designing an application for android or iOS, OS, your options are either, doing it yourself, asking a friend to do it for you or hiring a paid professional to do the task for you. You do not have to be a wizard to design a techy-app. Apps can be build by nearly anybody through a number of programming platforms such as Java and android with Java as the core language. One of my strong philosophies is that if you can think it, you can attain it. Find ways of executing your vision.

Try to Fail
One of the reasons why I admire failures is because they try. It is better to try and fail than to fail to try. One of my driving force is being told what I am not great at. We are living in a world where failing is nearly immoral. This ideology has immortalized failure making failures look like outcasts in societies. This school of thought can only drive us backwards.

Another problem is that those who fail do not like being corrected. If somebody is showing you what you are doing wrong, never take it personal. He who corrects you loves you. Be open and receptive to challenges and great ideas.

Empower Others
In our organization, we have a team of Five and once a year, we take one week to do nothing but to develop new ideas, write down the plans of execution and present it to the group. Each and everyone comes up with their own creative idea. Ideas always range from technological advancements, new programs, project proposals, communications, new software, new apps e.t.c.

Everybody always look forward to this week because it is a week of freedom. Nobody is tied to the company principles but to their own creativity and open minds. The more ideas we generate, the likely chances that we will find one that works. We are already having a team of geniuses that we cannot let come to office and go back home in the evening. Our goal is to tap into the wisdom they brought to the organization after their interviews.

Make Tough Decisions
If an idea is not making you uncomfortable then it is most likely not to be a great idea. Big ideas, come with big stresses, they are scary and ugly. They leave you wondering how your customers will react, they are risky but they are also the ideas that transform the world. The world is not transformed by cowards but by those who believe that they can positively impact humanity. Be restless and relentless, do things that make you uncomfortable, test your guts and the more you do it, the more you become flexible with big changes.

© 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

dna-strands-1

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.

Building a Social Media Kingdom

images

By Joshua M. Okello

The power of internet is one of the greatest blessings that potential as well as true leaders can count on. It has made sharing of wisdom easy and expansion of one’s geographical influence much possible than it used to be during pre-internet era. To build a true social media platform a leader needs to:

Garner following

My social media platform is twitter and I am having over 100,000+ people following me. These people have contributed to my social media success having been listed on top 50 most influential twitter users from Toronto, Canada.

Create Value

If we truly value ourselves, we will share value with others. All my tweets are tweets that build a people. Over 100,000+ people who follow me expect positive tweets from me and that is what I do. Not that they control what I have to say on social media but I tweet my thoughts as they come to me. Once your followers know what you tweet about, they will develop a habit of checking your website and interact with your information either internally or externally. I always direct people to my twitter handle when they need motivation or when they are down and depressed.  This would be compared to creating a market niche. Who are the people you want to impact with your message? You do not even have to write the wisest tweet of all the time. Just tweet about your life but remember to never spam your followers. Too much of anything is dangerous.

Get My second Book: Natural Laws of Success here http://Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Interact

Never just post your ideas, let people know that you are not a robot. We cannot generate positive ideas at all times. Human beings have highs and lows and let your followers see both sides of you. This is called humanizing your social media platform.

Another way to humanize your social media platform is by asking questions. A good example is when I was looking for an editor, I posted on my twitter and within five minutes, my twitter was buzzing with suggestions on some of the most prolific editors in the world of book publishing.

I also use twitter to outsource my mundane tasks. This way, I am creating employment opportunities making people trust that I am not a robot but a real human being.

Spend Time

To build a true social media platform, you have to spend time on it. Spending time does not mean wasting time. I spend 30-45 minutes every day building and improving, my website, Twitter, Facebook and blog. I also like to follow people who follow me and I do it in person because they mean a lot to me and because they are not worth robotic response.

Solve a Problem

My blog posts and Twitter ideas are mostly on how to be a better leader and how we can constantly improve to greatness. Every weekend I have a Q&A session where people ask me questions pertaining to leadership and entrepreneurship. If they are open ended questions that need more than 140 characters, then I try to give my followers solutions on my blog. Good part of solving problems is that I also get to ask questions and often times, my followers are open and honest with me which I really appreciate. People will follow you if you show that you care. Care just a little.

Get My First Book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership here: http://Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Be consistent

When you want to build a true platform, you have to be consistent. If it is posting once or twice a week, be disciplined to do exactly that. Create a social media rhythm and let people know when you are available for them. In my case, I only respond to questions on weekends and my followers know that.

It is also important to be consistent with your content. You do not want to tweet or blog about soccer today, rugby tomorrow and health the following day. It doesn’t quite connect. Pick one topic and be disciplined at educating your followers on the same.

Let people know you for one thing and be perfect at it. Above all, give solutions and if you do not have any, then refer your audience to where they can source the information they need because we are not all knowing.

© Joshua Okello 2015.

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.