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.

For Success, You Have to Build Synergy

Statue of Lib Pyramid

We all know the United States of America as the only super power that has ever been but this is not true. Go back in history and study how many super power nations have been there. You will be surprised to find out that the continent that is now currently the poorest on planet earth was once a super power. Yes Africa. So what made Africa and or any other superpowers successful? The answer is simple, they build team synergy.

Think of the Roman Empire, British Empire which is also considered to be the most influential and effective superpower in history. On this post I am  only going to focus on Africa as the then super power.  Egypt a country that is today run by guns was once at the level of America in dominance and power. It ruled Africa and its neighboring countries mostly under the influence of kings and pharaohs.

We all have a dream of one day taking a trip to Africa to tour the stunning architectural work that was put in building the Egyptian Pyramids. These are some of the stamps of authority that we can trace about Pharaohs. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 2589 and 2504 BC.

It is estimated that some pyramids took up to 100,000 people to build yet it goes down in history that Pharaohs build the pyramids. One thing that these pharaohs knew was how to build team synergy. Thy knew that thy could not do it a lone and therefore they used other people to implement their dreams. Unfortunately most people who took part in building pyramids were slaves but nobody talks about them. Everybody thanks and wonders at the marvelous works of pharaohs yet I am sure they hardly placed a brick to build the most astounding architectural work in the history of the world.

Pharaohs dominated and oppressed people until they saw their dreams come true. In the world today, we do not have to practice that to see our dreams come true but we can pick a team of qualified people to implement our dreams for us. No successful person does it a lone. We need people and that is why human beings are social beings. There are some people who know more than we know, some are gifted in different fields that we are. Let us give them a chance to shine. This does not mean that we are going to be successful by randomly places people in our work environment.

We have to select the right people for the right jobs. One of the most important knowledge and wisdom every leader or entrepreneur should have is the ability to pick the right people for the right jobs.  Just as Pharaohs picked wisely their architects, engineers and slaves who were strong, skilled and proficient, we also need to follow suit but with one thing in mind. That we have to create opportunity for growth to people who serve with us.  Add value in their lives and not turn them to slaves.

Let them enjoy what they do, let them love their work place and above all motivate them to go extra miles. Treat your people with love because they are the ones who build team synergy that results into success.  You need people, you can and will not do it a lone.

Successful Leadership

 

By Joshua Okello

As much as we have been talking on leadership on this blog, there are some points that we will continue reiterating until we drive the facts home. Leadership theories are like economics, they are the same in every country and in every business. So what makes leadership a daunting task? A leader and an entrepreneur should master these three concepts:

Persistence not stubbornness

I have come to realize that there is fine line between persistence and stubbornness and one can easily find him or herself on the other side of these two. Stubbornness is wrong, persistence is right.  Most of your clients will be touched by how persistent you are in achieving your objectives. With that said, you should expect rejections. That is the truth of the matter.

Back when I was starting our newly incorporated not-for-profit organization, I got so many rejections to a point I felt that it was not worth it pursuing my dreams in changing other people’s lives. I planned events that got shut down, I raised project proposals but all were aborted. Nothing is more frustrating like cancelling an event that people have signed up for. I got our organization event cancelled one week prior to the event. It was the most frustrating thing I had ever gone through.

I am very happy to report to you readers that I thank my team who cancelled the events and plans of the organization today. With the help of our amazing board members, we managed to register the organization and get projects going on. Entrepreneurship is not easy. Keep doing the good work you are doing and never be discouraged.

Most people will be converted by seeing how committed you are to your goals. Keep sending those newsletters but remember that when somebody tells you that they do not want to get your newsletter, then do not send it to them. That is just one example of stubbornness that will harm your start up or business. If you truly believe in what you are doing, then let nothing stand on your way towards achieving your dreams. Hard work pays.

Being stubborn closes you off to new understandings, new realities, and even new opportunities. Persistence, on the other hand, allows you to be malleable to discovery and learning from  new insights, while at the same time being resilient in achieving our shared purpose

By being persistent, we are able to see obstacles and challenges as opportunities to learn and evolve; to find new avenues where we can become stronger and do better job serving our customers.

Embrace Failure & Persistently Search for New Opportunities

You are going to fail! I wish I would put it in a better way but I do not want to sugar coat the truth. Failure does not really matter, what matters is how you get back after a hit. You have an option of staying grounded forever or picking up your pieces and taking it as an entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs know that the road to success has got so many stops, most of them failures. If you fail, never give up, go for new opportunities, search and research and actually from your failures you can draft a  plan that works since you already know what does not work.

One good thing I like with failing is that it only leaves you with one option and that is, how to do it successfully. After failing you do not have to do trial and error since you already know what works and what does not.

 

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Check out my book coming out this month on Leadership and entrepreneurship.

 

 

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.