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.

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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.

Stay Calm And …

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By Josh Okello.

Business and leadership is where the unexpected frequently occur. Some news can destroy you and even result into serious medical problems if not well taken care of. There is only one solution to entrepreneurship and leadership bad news; stay calm.

It is not easy to stay calm when bad news is fresh. When you are disappointed, discouraged and covered in rubbles. That moment when your roof caves in and walls crumble apart, when all hopes are gone and failure is the best you are left with. The worst is yet to happen and that is why you need to be calm. Here are some importance of being Calm.

Decision Making

When your world is shuttered, it is highly probable that the decisions you are going to make are going to cost you more. It is hard to make informed decision when you are torn apart. It is therefore better to recollect yourself before making decisions especially when you are angry or highly disappointed.

Take your Time

If any moment when patience become a virtue is when things go wrong. It is hard to stay patient and calm in such a time but best solutions are not made when people are mad. Take your time to calm down and see the challenge as a mare hurdle that tests your genuine heroic strengths behind your efforts.

Build Trust

Nobody trusts a leader who paces up and down in time of turmoil. People tend to love more those leaders who are brave or can put a smile despite the biggest challenge an organization might be going through. Once people learn of your confidence and ability to take a beating, they will look at you as their hero, a person they can confidently confide in to change their lives.

Positive Thought Process

It is often very easy to switch into retaliation mode by making hasty decisions when angry. Staying calm will make you sober and start thinking positively instead of negatively. Staying calm will make you act on your failures and challenges. Making decisions when you are angry and frustrated is a sign that you are reacting to the challenge making the challenge bigger than what it actually is. You should be controlling the challenge not the challenge controlling you. This is a concept that is widely adopted by those who go for mega success.

Despite the fact that you are challenged, never react but rather act on solving the problem. Challenges are there to be solved not to be fueled. By making decisions on the spot when you are not emotionally stable, you show a weakness that can be read by many.

Take Deep Breaths

It might sound silly primafacie but try it when you are rattled. It really does help. Different people have different ways of calming themselves down. Some people find solace in crying while I personally find solace in retrieving and thinking critically on the next step. I try not to work in panic mode. If the stress is more than I can handle then I just take a nap and wake up when I am fresh. Take a few deep breaths and make a decision on the best and realistic solution for the challenge. I then immediately start working on it and the more I get done the more my stress and anger goes down.

Find your philosophy of dealing with such challenges and be disciplined at implementing it.

Never Communicate

Anytime our organization faces a challenge, I try to cut all communications from emails, phone calls, social media, texts and anything that can show my emotions at that moment. People can read your emotions in the way you communicate with them even if it is not a face to face communication. Let nobody read your emotions when you are rattled. People will always think of you as a calm leader who knows and understand how to solve problems.

In some organizations, you might need to call a crisis meeting. Make sure that before you sit down with your team to inform them of the challenge, that you have digested the problem and have come up with possible ways to reduce the magnitude of the challenge so that your team can see it as a minor thing that they can act on and solve. Any moment you magnify a challenge, your team will double the magnifying glasses and make the challenge look twice as bigger than it is.

Mega success achievers understand these factors making them great problem solvers with high emotional control. For mega success, remember to stay calm.

© 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.

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.

To Move Forward, You Have to Move Backwards

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A lot of things in motion started from going backwards. Think of a person shooting arrows from a bow, they first have to pull it backwards. Think of a person firing a gun to a target, the gun moves backward. How about a soccer player going to take a penalty shot? They first have to move backward to gain the momentum to hit the ball. A lot of things in this world involve going backward before you move to success.

Nobody puts a ladder parallel against the wall to climb to the top. They have to move the ladder backwards so that they can be stable and reduce the workload of climbing. To get lead, you first have to be lead, learn, make mistakes and then merge victorious, however most of us always want to take the shortcut to the top. We fail to recognize the importance of moving backwards.

To gain dividends and or build a profit margin, first you have to depart with money. Money does not come unless you invest which means moving backwards. Successful and happy investors understand this principle while most people always ignore it. Literally, it makes sense to move from zero to something however that is not the reality. Good things just never come.

A bigger percentage of people in developed nations believe that they will win lottery at some point in their life time. Now to win a lottery, you have to purchase the raffle tickets. This in return reduces your assets because they are expenditures. The possibilities of winning now become probable but you stand the higher chances of winning by purchasing a lot of lottery tickets.

Leadership of any sort have a lot of backward motion. Most leaders understand that the end is good and it is not good yet then it is yet to come. They therefore:

Never Lose Hope

Hope is the belief that everything is possible before you achieve or attain them. Hope can take you where no car, airplane, train, or anybody can take you. Hope can keep you a live with a great promise that the pain and backward motion you are taking or going through will end and that you are going to get a projectile shoot towards greatness. Most successful and great leaders bare the pains and losses of backward motion with a clear understanding that that is where it all starts. It is hope that keeps them alive.

Never Stop Believing

To believe is to strongly have faith is something? The last thing I expect from anybody I coach is to not believe in themselves. I believe that if you have your mindset to do greater things and you have faith in your potentials then nothing or nobody can stand on your way. You can never lose what you don’t have therefore try and set your mind that you can achieve it. Everything is possible and for some of us who are believers already know that with God everything is possible. You can achieve everything through Christ who strengthens you.

Never Lose Vision

Vision is the big picture, the end product seen from a distance. The product is always very vivid in mind before it is attained and it is that mirage that we see and have hope in that drives us towards changing them into reality. Our ideas are the most useless things we own if we do not turn them into action. The only way to make a dream come true is to wake up. Dreamers are slumbers and nobody acts when a sleep. Vision is like building a sand castle by the beach. A strong wind or a tidal wave can easily sweep it away. If you want a castle then build the real one. Do not run to the beach and make one on sandy beach and start shouting and dancing of how magnificent your work is. That is a useless vision.

Never Take Short Route

Short cut routes yields no long term success. It is a rout taken by the lazy, those who are quick to discourage and slow to act. They never say anything important but useless talks that kill vision. Sadly you might be one of them but it is never too late to change. Change now! If you are not under this category, then you are a leader, a pioneer of success. You understand hard work and I bet your top five friends are hard workers too.  Short cuts will cut you short, therefore short change them before they short change you.

© 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.