Think Differently

A leader is anyone who believes deep down in their hearts that they are destined to do great things. For why think if you have nothing better to think about? Society has made us understand and agree with numbers. This is not to challenge statistics because statistics is one of the true ways of understanding our world until it is doctored then it fails to accomplish its mission.

All along, I have been highly against big numbers, I like listening to both parties and pay attention to the underdogs. It always raises my conscience when multitudes are for an idea. Why would I not want to think differently? It is easy to get trapped in the torrents of mass following and get swept away by the kinetic energy of numbers. But sometimes numbers are not enough.

God blessed us with minds so that we can think. Everyone has an obligation to think and we can chose to use our minds or fail to not use it. The decision is yours. One thing I do not like is conforming with the norms of a society. Only if people can ask “why?” then we can make the world a better place to be in.

How many times have we been lied to by politicians and we still endorse them for more than one term in office? This is just one evidence of humanity has refused to use our minds. Companies reason for us and we respond by flocking in their stores shopping for those things we think are good for us yet we fail to ask “why?”

A leader is one who sees things differently and questions the normal practices in our daily lives. Entrepreneurs fail to ask themselves “why” and that is where everybody goes wrong. Why would I start a new business? Why come up with a new idea yet the world seems to be moving well with all the ideas that are helping shape it at the current time? Above all, why think?

We always drum the support of change yet we fail to understand why we need change. We generate new business ideas and we fail to ask why we need new business ideas. One of the problems that our leaders have lied to us about is democracy. Democracy is the practice of crazy demons. All we need is theocracy which is the crazy theology and that is what I am offering here. My gospel is; if you have brain, then you have no reason not to think.

One of the reason why I like challenging the status quo is to understand how many people governed by rules and laws of this world understand what those laws are. People become successful because they fail to abide by rules or simply ignore them. As a leader, you should ask yourself why you are not challenging the status quo and again do not just challenge the status quo because you want to cause trouble. You are blessed with a brain to use wisely not to waste your thoughts on things that add no value in people’s lives.  Feel free to think, it is not a sin.

Uncertainties & Risks

F-Heisenberg_uncertainty_principle

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.

Socratic Leadership

Socrates

By Okello Okello

Is there anything business leaders can learn from Socrates? If anything then let us first start by getting to know who this man is. Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher who is credited as one of the founders of Western Philosophy. He came to fame through later classical writers most of them his immediate students namely Plato, Aristotle and Xenophon. He (Socrates) is widely known for his contribution in the field of ethics through arguments and self defense that puzzled most of his antagonists.

As an entrepreneur and apologist, I know that business leaders can learn a lot from this great philosopher, from ethics, bargaining, intelligence to reasoning.

1. Piety 

Socrates was so pious that he did nothing without the counsel of the gods, so just that he never did an injury to any man. This dependence on God is what most entrepreneurs lack, let me call it Socratic proslogion for now. The ability to have faith in God that all well thought-of ideas can work is a trait that can propel any business to higher levels. A lot of entrepreneurs lose hope so easily and shred their blue prints at early stages when they meet challenges. My advice is, seek counsel from almighty God and he will bless you with faith to believe that you can do it.

2. Temperate

Socrates never preferred pleasure to right. The ability to show moderation and self-restraint is very important when it comes to business. Successful entrepreneurs never do it for money but to change life standards of other people or to solve a need. When you are starting a business, my advice is; never put money first, always think of your customers and the value you are offering them. This is a concept that is very easily forgotten in business today. Accordingly, Socrates practiced temperance and self-denial to a degree which some thought ostentatious and affected

3. Intelligence

Socrates was so intelligent that he could not fault making judgement between what was good and what was evil. As a business leader, the ability to make right judgement is more than important especially in strategic management of any kind.  One very successful investor once told me, that it is never wrong to make mistakes but learn from them. His second advice to me was that it is okay to take risks, as long as they are critically thought of and well calculated.

4. Logical

Originating from the Greek word “Logike”, logic has got more than one meaning. a). It describes the use of valid reasoning, b). It is the study of reasoning. Socrates was a logician, who could reason out his thoughts in debates and arguments and that is how he won most of the accusations against him. A business leader should be a person who can reason well, logically and should tell when to quit if statistics do not tally. Business is about value both to the customer and to the entrepreneur and if any side is not gaining then it is time to apply logike.

5. Virtuous 

Socrates lived a life full of high moral standards. This could also be the reason why they teach business ethics in schools today. If something is not worth doing then do not it. My principle is; if something is against my moral and ethical standards then however good it is, I will not do it. Above all go to point one and know where the source of all morality comes from. Be pious.