Archive for the ‘Personal Development’ Category

The Next Level or A Legacy?

Monday, April 18th, 2011

People today are consumed with the idea of going to the next level in their lives, be it in their relationships, careers, finances or other area of life. While this is great because it motivates them, I find it can limit our true potential. We need to be consumed with the idea of the kind of legacy we will leave behind at the end of the seasons of our lives. Thinking about your legacy every day, rather than thinking about the next level only, makes you a better leader. Thinking about a legacy makes you other-people centered while thinking about going to the next level tends to make one self-centered.

How do you transition from thinking about the next level to thinking about developing a legacy?

1. Be more focused on other people rather yourself

The idea of being a ‘people person’ has been around for a long time. Dale Carnegie’s 1936 masterpiece, ‘How to Win Friends and influence People’, has helped so many people over the years to develop a people-centered perspective that has enabled them to leave great legacies. I would highly suggest a reading of the book. 

2. Ask how you can help rather than what others can do for you.

President John F. Kennedy immediately became a world figure with his acceptance speech in which he said, ” And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of teh world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” In order to leave a legacy you must ascend in thought to where you are asking what you can do for others rather than what they can do for you. 

3. Be a giver more than a receiver

Nothing shapes a legacy more than the spirit of giving. When you give of yourself to others you become a part of the solution. It’s solution-centered thinking that sets the pace for the kind of legacy a person will leave behind. Again, when one is thinking of going to the next level, the pre-dominant question is “What can I get (or receive) that will take me to the next level?” When one is thinking of leaving a legacy, the pre-dominant question is “What can I give that will help others?” Be more of a giver and your legacy will be unshakeable because the truth is that what we give is ours forever!

4. Be a leader more than a follower

Leaders impact and influence other people greatly. The great thing about being a leader is that you are able to take other people to the next level as you develop a legacy. What a beauty! Leaders pass along the best in themselves to other people. I’m always pleased when I hear from people I led in high school and at the university. They always say things like, “Herman, that idea was awesome. It took our group to a whole new level.” While those short-term moves were great for whichever group I led, the best thing is that a legacy was developed because even today they still talk about what we did.

Are you living for the next level or developing a legacy for and with your people? Start shaping your legacy today. 

Don’t settle for less! Seize the day!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

April 2010 was a rough month. Those who know me closely understand the pain I went through in losing my younger brother. At that point I stopped working on this blog for a couple of months. What I know for sure is that life happens and we are not meant to stop our path towards destiny when we encounter difficult situations. I once received a card that has encouraged me to remember this message. The card, titled, Follow Your Destiny, Wherever It Leads You!, has a message on the inside that says,

“There comes a time in your life when you realize that if you stand still, you will remain at this point forever. You realize that if you fall and stay down, life will pass you by.”

This is significant because we tend to forget these deep messages that are hidden within our underlying consciousness of what life is all about.  The card went on to say:

“Rather than wondering about or questioning the direction your life has taken, accept the fact that there is a path before you now. Shake off the “why’s” and “what if’s” and rid yourself of confusion. Whatever was – is in the past. Whatever is – is what’s important. The past is a brief reflection. The future is yet to be realized. Today is here.”

What a beautiful message! This card cemented for me the truth that we are engineered for greatness. We were born for accomplishment. The key to greatness is in being able to seize every single day and utilize every life’s opportunities to live up to your full potential. Don’t settle for less when you can have more. You were designed for accomplishment and engineered for greatness!  

Grow Within First

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Personal growth has always been a key topic when it comes to realizing personal potential. The truth is that if you don’t grow, you will go. Personal growth is a necessity in today’s world.  The secret to any person’s future is hidden in their level of commitment to personal growth and development. This is particularly true for leaders. It’s your “inner” growth which sets the pace for your “outer” leadership. Here are some principles which can generate a life of continued growth:

1. Have a personal growth plan

Growth is not automatic. You have to make a conscious effort to commit to a daily growth plan. This could include reading books that enhance your understanding of your chosen field, listening to tapes and audio-books that elevate your understanding and subscribing to websites or newsletters that enhance your insight. This has to be a personal commitment. There’s a proverb that goes, “You’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather is”. Make that commitment. Develop a personal growth plan.

2. Stay out of your comfort zone

There’s a quote I learnt in college that I really like. Ron Osbourne said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”. Many people get stuck in the rut of “same old, same old”. You’ve got to stretch and expand yourself. Do something new. Do it in a different way. Some wag oce said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Stay out of that comfort zone. Comfort creates ease and ease is the greatest enemy of growth.

3. Grow for who you will be, not what you will get

You need a proper focus if your growth is to go the distance. You can’t just have the goal of acquiring stuff because once you acquire your motivation will wane. Growth should be geared towards becoming a better person, living a better life. Grow to become, not to have. Growth brings good things; good things don’t bring growth. It is more important to be a better person than to have better things. We win in life by being better people, not by having the biggest and the best of stuff. True success is really an intangible thing – it’s the quality of person that you are.   

The Art of Influencing Others Positively

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Making a mark with people means being able to influence people positively. Everything we accomplish with people happens because of our efforts to influence them positively. The key to doing this is to master the art of positive influence. The art of positive influence centers very much on your ability to meet with people where they are and inspire them to a higher level. This happens through our perfection of the skill of encouraging people to go to the next level.

To make a mark, we all need the support and encouragement of others. When we positively inspire them through our interaction with them, a desire is birthed within them to want to work with us. This is a key competence for anyone in a leadership position; but it is also an essential competence for anyone, regardless of leadership position or title. Influencing people means appreciating them. It means listening to people. It means sharing ideas with them and equipping them to be better people. If you master the art of influencing others posititvely, you will make a mark worth remembering.

DESTINY – Seven Keys to Making Your Destiny a Reality

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Every single human being has a special and particular destiny that they were born to make a reality. In my book, Battling for Your Prophetic Desiny, I have written at length about specific strategies that can be utilized in making one’s destiny come alive. I recently developed an acronym that captures seven essential things that we can all do to make our destinies a reality. These thoughts form the acronym DESTINY:

Determine your true passions

You have to find out exactly what makes you tick. Many people stop pursuing their true passions when they get a job. A job is your pre-occupation while your true passions are your true occupation. What gets you excited? Perhaps one of the hindrances to finding our true passions is limited imagination. Edmund Burke once said, “There is a boundary to men’s passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination”. Allow your imagination to unveil new passions that will enable you to stretch yourself.

Embrace your assignment

Your true passions will reveal to you your assignment. Your assignment is that which you are meant to accomplish with your life that few others will be able to do as well as you could. Every human being has the capability of expertise. What are your talents? Your talents are the key to your potential and purpose. Use your talents to unleash all you can be, do and have. What do you enjoy doing most? That could be your assignment. Knowing your assignment in life is more important than finding a job.

Start right NOW!

Life is lived in the now. Most people’s undoing is that they live either in the past or in the future and experience very little of the now. The company that you’ve always dreamt of starting, start it right now! That song that you always wanted to compose, write it right now! Myles Munroe once said, “The richest place in the world is the cemetery, because there are people there who died with books that were never written, songs that were never sung and companies that were never started.” You’ve got to commit to living in the now! That incident that’s been lingering in your mind for months, let it go right now! Move on and experience the fullness of what life has for you.

Transform your thinking

Your thinking sets the pace for your doing. Thinking makes a great difference. You can’t experience greatness if you continue to think in the same manner that you have always thought. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the rut of bad or poor thinking. Elevate your thinking by associating with good thinkers. This can be accomplished in many different ways – through reading their books, face-to-face contact with people that spur your thinking, listening to audio-books or watching educational video or TV.

Identify your strengths

Winners play to their strengths. If you are going to be massively successful in life you have to start that journey of identifying your strengths. This will not only expose you to your potential but it will also aid in constructing your character. As you identify your strengths, you will definitely uncover some opportunities for improvement in many areas of your life. Strengthen your areas that need improvement and you are well on your way to a great destiny. Don’t play safe, play to your strengths. That is the key to having great outcomes in life.

Notify key personnel

You need a circle of support around you that will motivate, support and keep you accountable. Share your dreams with them. Allow them to challenge you towards realizing your full potential. They may be the key to your ability to move to the next level. Find trusted people who will become your inner circle of confidence. Build a team of people around you who will encourage you to expand your sights. Never under-estimate the power of your close associates. People who achieve greatly in life have mastered the art of notifying key people around them what they are working on and allowing these people to be encouragers of their pursuits.

Yoke with thought leaders

Someone once said that who you become five years from today is determined by the books you read and the company you keep. You have to be strategic about the environment that you invest your time in. Last month I had a post here in which I explored different dimensions of bad company and good company. I think it’s worth revisiting and really taking a good look at. Associate with thought leaders and your life will improve greatly. You can make that destiny that you dream of a reality!  

Thinking Makes A Difference

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Human beings are so designed such that they move forward based on the quality of their thinking. If our thinking is stagnant then our growth will be stunted! One of the things that keeps many people at the same level is herd-think – they go with the masses instead of using their quality of thinking to chart out a path that is truly theirs. A few years ago I enjoyed reading John C. Maxwell’s book, Thinking for a Change, which helps in developing that ability to think efficiently and correctly. I had already been practicing some of the concepts he developed in the book but he added superb insight to my understanding of the essence of good thinking. Three of his ideas stood out:

1. Good Thinking Creates the Foundation for Good Results

What do you want to achieve in life? The key to that will be in developing a reservoir of good thoughts that are well implemented. Your progress in life is directly proportional to the quality of your thoughts.

2. Good Thinking Increases Your Potential

Many of the thought leaders I have come to respect have been great proponents of the need to understand and pursue one’s full potential in life. Potential is simply the capacity that a person has for effectiveness in life. We can all attain our potential as we begin to elevate our thinking. Good thinking increases the level of results one can expect in life.

3. Good Thinking Produces More Good Thinking IF . . . You Make It a Habit

Nothing dominates life more than a habit. As you practice good thinking, you develop a foundation from which you can continue to harvest even better thinking. Internationally respected leadership authority, Stephen Covey, explains that we cannot face the challenges of today with the responses of yesterday. We have to continually raise our response – it takes a habit of good thinking to do that.

Will you climb out of the pile or will you stay rooted in it? As you climb out of the pile, remember the story of the crabs in a bucket. As one tries to climb out, the others will, without question, try to pull it back in. But know this one thing, there are encourager who will make themselves available to push you out of the pile and I’m one of them.

Use PEGS to Increase Other People’s Opinions About You

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

When I was a kid I used to love it when my mom would wash the bedsheets. Mom had this theory that for bedsheets to smell fresh and nice you had to hang them in the open air. She set up a clothes line in the backyard where she would use wooden and plastic pegs to hang the sheets and have them dry. The fun, for me, came in two ways. First, my younger brother and I used to like running in between the sheets. Of course it drove my mom crazy but she also joined in the play, knowing that we were just kids having fun. Second, we enjoyed sleeping in the fresh bedsheets at the end of the day. The key to this whole process were the pegs she would use to hang the sheets. Without the pegs the bedsheets would simply fall to the ground and it would be impossible to dry them. 

This is exactly the same thing with other people’s opinions about you. My mom taught me that there are four key things that are important to observe when an older person is talking to you. I want to modify those four things to develop the idea of PEGS as key to increasing people’s opinions of you. Without using what I call PEGS, it is impossible to increase the opinion that people have of you when you are talking to them. What do I mean by this?

PEGS simply stands for Posture, Eye-contact, Gestures and Speech. Let us look at each of these:

Posture

Mom taught me that it was important to sit up when being talked to or when talkign to someone else. She added that if standing, it was important to stand with shoulders back and head upright. When you sit up or when you stand upright you convey to other people that you respect them. When people see that you have a high regard for them, they will naturally have a higher opinion of you. Your posture sends a louder message to people around you than the words that you use.

Eye-Contact

Mom taught me that it’s hard for people to tell whether you understand and are following them if you did not give good eye-contact. She also stressed the importance of looking at the people I was talking to so that they could see that I was being sincere and honest with them. Making eye-contact enables other people to know that you truly appreciate them. The eyes are the window to the soul. Eye-contact enables you to connect with those whom you are speaking to or anyone who is speaking with you.

Gestures

Mom taught me that any gestures I use during conversation should be purposeful and relevant because they will determine how other people view me. She taught me that if my gestures reflect hostility and contempt, people will not have a high opinion of me. Over the years, I have come to learn that there are three key gestures that people focus on: hand gestures, body gestures and facial gestures. Any gestures used should deliberately add value to the conversation.

Speech

Mom taught me that what you say and how you say it are both very important in determining people’s opinion of you. She urged me to always speak slowly and clearly, carefully choosing my words and making sure that I’m using appropriate language. Along with language, the tone of voice that one uses should communicate respect for the other party. This is particularly important when speaking in one-on-one settings or small group settings. Careful choice of speech will increase people’s opinion of you. 

Saying No Can Enable You to Make a Mark

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Many times we get involved in situations where we are tempted to engage in so many trivial things that may not necessarily be beneficial to our passions in life. Sometimes these temptations can come from people who want you to join them in projects, activities or events that may not add value to who you are and what you are accomplishing with your life. Making a mark in life sometimes depends on being good at saying no to these distractions.

You have to get to a place whereby you clearly understand what your passions are and will not be sidetracked by tempting distractions that do not add value to your purpose. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to distractions, yes to tempting events, yes to someone else’s projects or yes to activities that have no value. You have to get to a place whereby you can say no to all these things (and more) without feeling guilty. Saying no can enable you to make a mark.

High Self-Esteem – the Secret Key to Making a Mark

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Many people fail to realize that self-esteem determines the quality of personal performance and the impact that one can have in the lives of those around him or her. We all have certain degrees of ‘mini-self-esteems’ that govern each and every one of our activities. We have a self-esteem for relationships, a self-esteem for finances, a self-esteem for work ethic, a self-esteem for public speaking, a self-esteem for exercising, a self-esteem for social interaction, a self-esteem for spirituality, a self-esteem for recreation, a self-esteem for friendships, and a self-esteem for many other areas of our lives. Our self-esteem really means how we see ourselves. More than likely, you will always perform in a manner consistent with how you see yourself. High self-esteem is the secret key to making a mark.

Making a Mark in Your Niche Area

Monday, June 1st, 2009

When I was a student in college, one of my favorite subjects was marketing. One of the main concepts that I learnt was that businesses succeed when they find a niche area in which they can concentrate their efforts. A niche area is simply a focused and targeted area of the market. Finding a niche enables a business to custom-tailor it’s marketing programs and products so that it can adequately serve the market for maximum gain. This concept can easily apply to our personal lives and the idea of making a mark.

If you will make a solid mark in life, you must find your niche. Your niche is that ‘sweet spot’ that enables you to be your very best and operate at the highest level of performance and service. Your niche may also be referred to as your calling. If you have no idea what your calling is, spend some time in personal reflection. What are your strengths? Where do you enjoy serving? Talk to people around you about your strengths and weaknesses. Ask them for feedback regarding your performance. This will enable you to learn the things you do well. There are also many valuable tests that you can take to discover what your strengths are. Two that have been particularly useful to me are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) personality inventory and the Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. Find your niche area and you will make a solid mark.

Life’s Two Constant Choices – Grow or Go!

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Life is all about growth. Every day we are faced with situations and circumstances that provide us with two choices – grow or go! Having a menatlity of growth is the first step towards being able to maximize your life and live above the level of mediocrity that plagues most of society. If you don’t grow, you will go! No question about that. I call this “Life’s two constant choices”. What choice will you make today? Will you make every circumstance that comes your way an opportunity for personal growth or will you shrink away from growth and give in to mediocrity? Life’s two constant choices are right before you today. Make the better choice – a choice for better life! 

The Traits of a Winner

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

There are many different traits that are essential for a better life but when it comes to truly winning in life, there are three crucial traits that one must embody. These are knowledge, passion and humor. Let’s take a quick look at each of these: 

Knowledge

Knowledge is the key quality that enables a man or woman to realize his or her true personal potential. Knowledge sets one apart since it enables you to demonstrate higher capacities and capabilities. The difference between one’s current state and a future desired state is normally bridged by the quality of one’s knowledge. Knowledge lifts you up from the pit to the pinnacle of your desires. 

Passion

Passion separates between the committed and the non-committed. Passion is the one essential quality that enables the realization of dreams and desires. Passion births zealous commitment in an individual and enables him or her to stay focused on the quest for a better life. All revolutions throughout the history of mankind have always been brought about by passion individuals.

Humor

Humor is an essential trait because it provides us with the motivation to continue striving through situations that may not fully be desirable. Having a sense of humor about life is essential. Fun, excitement, enjoyment, laughter and happiness are key pieces in teh puzzle of life. Life offers us many unique experiences and challenges. Humor enables us to ride these unique experiences and challenges without losing motivation.  

Your Potential and Capacity is Unlimited!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

We have a saying in Kenya that “A granary cannot be pushed into a hut”. This saying has been upper-most in my thoughts this week as I looked at the idea of personal potential in the light of current capacity and the limitations that surround it. We all face moments when our ability to perform is limited by current structures that pose immense threat to the vision within us. What is one to do in those situations?

A granary is a storehouse for grain. It symbolizes the fruit of one’s labor, or the yield of one’s hard work. A hut on the other hand is a dwelling of simple construction that is the common living area for many in African rural areas. Most huts are usually made of mud and have grass thatched roofs. Granaries on the other hand are made of wood and have tin/aluminium roofs.

Let us think of organizations. Robert Schuller once said that “You can’t fire a missile from a canoe”. A leader’s vision for his organization may sometimes be limited by current structures in the organization. There are also times when vision may be limited by structures that are not present within the organization. The organization’s objectives too play a great role in determining the results that will be yielded. There must be a solid foundation that ensures that any goals pursued will be achieved satisfactorily. A granary cannot be pushed into a hut.

How then do we ensure that our output will be measurable to our input without having to demolishing our present structures? How do we develop a system that allows us to fire missiles from canoes without toppling over into the water?

Every vision needs to be strengthened by the underlying philosophies and values that guide the organization. You can’t expect to achieve a big vision when the guiding philosophies do not match up to the vision. You cannot expect to accomplish great things when your strategy is flawed. Here are some ideas that can enable you to secure an output that is worthy of your input:

1. Have a Mission that matches your Vision

A company’s daily undertakings need to fit into the bigger picture of it’s ultimate objectives. Many organizations have dropped the ball by engaging in activities that are outside the range of the company vision. Vision is guarded by staying on the key path that is aligned with the company mission. Do this and you will be able to fire missiles from your canoe. I guarantee it!

2. Develop Goals that align with your Philosophy

Company philosophy is crucial to the outcomes and output of an organization. Your goals should align with the values that the company holds dearest. Every organization needs to clarify what it is that it holds as fundamental to it’s existence. Enron failed because the leader’s activities veered off the course of the company’s core values. Your have to hold onto your core values. Do this and your granary may be able to fit into your hut.

3. Create a Strategy that builds on your Accomplishments

Strategy is the key to building value in an organization. Value is measured by an organization’s accomplishments. The more a company accomplishes, the more it acquires a competitive advantage over other companies within that industry. Strategy therefore is key to the long-term existence of a company.

These three keys, applied in an orderly manner, will not only ensure that you fire missiles from your canoe but also that your granary fits into your hut.

To Till the Land is to Love Oneself

Monday, February 16th, 2009

There’s an old African saying that “To till the land is to love oneself”. When I was a kid I heard this saying a lot. I come from a community that tilled the land using very rudimentary tools. It wasn’t easy but it was rewarding. I remember being in the village and tilling the land for upto six or seven hours a day. Work works wonders. In today’s blog, I would like to share a few thoughts on work.

1. Work should be driven by purpose

Work is supposed to be meaningful. The key to this is for the work to be driven by a vision that is guided by purpose. This means that you have to know what your purpose is first. Work that is done outside of purpose is activity without productivity. This leads to sweat and waste. You want your work to be sweet. This begins by having a solid vision that is founded in your purpose. In an organization, leadership has to clarify to employees what the purpose is. Once they clearly understand what the main objective is, then they will have joy as they work.

2. Work should add value

The beauty of giving time to work is that you have an opportunity to add value. Value is the prime motivator for the expenditure of energy. People enjoy putting in the hours when they know that they are adding value. True reward does not come for the time put in at work but for the value added during that time. Adding value means being able to see a measurable change. When I tilled the land back home in Kenya, I would always look at what I had done with immense satisfaction and joy. Nothing brings more fulfillment than work that adds value.

3. Work should be fun and exciting

When I was in High School I used to enjoy playing soccer and rugby. It was always fun to score in any of these games. It was even more exciting just to be part of a winning team. Most people enjoy sports because of these two reasons: scoring and winning. Work should be fun and exciting too. The key to this is to create an environment when scoring and winning is possible at work. People need to be able to celebrate these moments too. That’s what brings spirit to work. It’s unfortunate that too many people think of work as burdensome and boring when it can be exciting.

Work does work wonders! May this be an enjoyable day of work for you!

Learning to be Peak Performers

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

We all have moments when we come to grips with our deficiencies or lack of training in certain skill areas. Our awareness of such incompetence should never freeze us from action, it should instead motivate us to acquire the training that we need. In order to motivate us towards this, I have developed a five-step strategy that can deliver results in such situations. Here is my LEARN strategy for conscious incompetence:

Let your incompetence motivate you towards learning 

Empower yourself by reading about the skill area

Associate with people who have competence in that skill area

Redefine your understanding of your capacity in that skill

Nurture a passion for teaching others that particular skill

Be a peak performer. Never allow incompetence to stop you from accomplishing your objectives. Lack of training should not necessarily equate to lack of ability. You can learn what you need to in order to move ahead into action.

TALENT is Key to a Productive Life

Monday, January 19th, 2009

One of the basic things that you must understand is that talent is never enough. I know that’s a shocking statement given the title of this treatise. Let me clarify: talent is powerful but it’s not enough. To gain the full power of talent you must understand the magic of TALENT. Here is what I mean:

Thinking cultivates talent – It’s one thing to have talent and it’s quite another to know how to exploit that talent. It’s the quality of thinking that separents talented achievers from talented underachievers. Learning how to think at a higher level is key to maximizing your talent.

Attitude sustains talent – Denis Waitley is fond of saying that the winner’s edge is in his attitude. Attitude shines and it is the key to maintaining a successful pursuit of one’s real talents. A great attitude will enable you to achieve so much more than you ever dreamt possible.

Leadership elevates talent – Talent can enable you to soar from obscurity into the limelight but it takes leadership to keep you in the limelight. Having a leadership bent and a mind for what it takes to stay at the top is key to utilizing talent efficiently. Your leadership skills will elevate your talent.

Excellence magnifies talent – A solid commitment to pure excellence is the foundation for the magnification of one’s talents. Doing everything with excellence creates room for you to extend your talents. Excellence also sets you apart from the crowd because most people are used to mediocrity.

Nature nurtures talents – Nothing is more natural than a person’s talents. The key to being able to develop your talent is to stay natural. Don’t be a cheap copy when you can be original! Your nature actually sets you apart and makes you a winner. You’ve got to stay connected to the essence of who you are as a person.

Trustworthiness secures talent – A lasting legacy comes from lasting qualities. Developing a reputation for trustworthiness enables you to secure the use of your talents. People want to be able to trust that you will deliver. The key to that is in being truthful and honest with them.

Talent is never enough. It takes TALENT to realize the fulness of talent!

Achieving Purpose and Potential: The Magic Power of Dreams and Vision

Monday, January 5th, 2009

One of the most impactful lessons I have come to learn is that most people are inspired by other’s dreams but it’s only a few who can be connected to a vision. All men have dreams but very few have vision. For dreams to have a chance at being a part of destiny they must be backed up with a solid vision that can be executed effectively. Dreams are born of hopes and desires while vision comes from foresight and passion. It is essential to have both because they work together in the manifestation of personal purpose and potential.Two Key Questions:

1. What is your dream?

What is your greatest hope or aspiration? What do you yearn for earnestly? What do you secretly wish for yourself and those around you?

Dreams are the cornerstone of life. Without dreams, life is meaningless. Dreams give substance to existence. They allow us to go beyond mediocre living to living with a zest for life. Dreams activate within us a willingness to embrace higher ideals worth striving for. Dreams are the bedrock of life.

2. What is your vision?

What do you imagine when you think about the future? What do you see yourself capable of achieving? If you had all the resources you wanted in the world, what would you do?

Visions give structure to life. They give form to dreams. Without vision life lacks power. Visions provide us with a framework for accomplishment. They enable us to go beyond living with zest to having a zealous pursuit that delivers results. Visions allow us to go from activity to productivity. 

The Marriage of Dreams and Vision … is the birth of purpose!!

Dreams + Vision = Purpose!!

What’s your purpose in life? What is the reason for your existence? Can you clearly define that which you would give your all in order to realize in life?

The Offspring of Dreams and Vision … is pure potential!!

Dreams X Vision = Potential!!

Every human being has the potential for greatness. In order to uncover your true potential, you have to allow your dreams to flourish and pursue a solid vision with purpose. You can do it!  

The Critical Importance of Goal Setting

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

In my previous post, I wrote on the topic of planning and explained how it trumps making resolutions. I want to continue with this angle of thought. Great organizations know that in order for them to stay on the cutting-edge of their pursuits they need to follow a certain specific schedule for managing their projects. They therefore utilize what has commonly become known as the Critical Path Method. This is a technique whereby all the activities to be undertaken are listed, the time duration is clearly outlined and the elements of the project are taken into consideration. Through CPM, critical activities are determined and float times are developed for less critical activities.

If we are going to be successful in pursuing our personal objectives and goals in 2008, I would like to suggest going through a similar process. Any resolutions that we make must be clearly outlined in terms of goals. Once the goals are set they must be clearly prioritized and the various elements specifically outlined. Each goal and its elements must have a specific deadline for it’s accomplishment. Once this process is complete, we must develop a laser-like focus that will keep us on target with the pursuit of those goals.

Engaging in a process like this will enable us and our organizations to have a fruitful 2008. Our quest this year should be effectiveness and excellence. Modern organizations have developed crucial software that is used for this process but you can be as effective or even better with the use of only a pencil and paper. During the course of the year our task will be to analyze our critical paths and determine what elements need to be accelerated and which need to be decelerated. I encourage you to bookmark this page as we will be sharing ideas that will be essential to keeping you and your organization on the critical path throughout 2008.

A Formula for Encouragement

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Some time last year, I received an email from a senior administrator at my former workplace. The email was a forward from another supervisor in a different department who was passing along a positive report regarding my work performance. I was tickled by the email largely because of the use of the word Kudos. Kudos is a rarely used english word that simply means giving compliments to another. Maybe the rare use of the word signifies the need for more kudos in workplaces. In an effort to contribute towards this, I would like to suggest a KUDOS formula for leaders and supervisors in organizations.

Here’s the KUDOS formula:

K – Keep your focus on finding acts worthy of encouragement in your people.

U – Underscore the vital necessity of a climate and culture of encouragement.

D – Discover the 101% principle (Find the 1 thing someone is good at and give 100% encouragement in this area.

O – Outline your expectations, knowing that people soar higher once encouraged.

S – Seek to encourage with a desire for the other person’s benefit, not your own.

Five Key Results of the KUDOS formula:

1. Increased productivity in service and results.

2. Generates motivation and keeps momentum going.

3. Cultivates energy for input of effort and hard work.

4. Maintains synergy as the power of teamwork is enhanced.

5. Leverages the final outcome of a desired target or objective.

How to Be A Master of Greatness and An Architects of Achievement

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

It’s a common quote: we are the masters of our own destiny and the architects of our own fortune. But the real situation is that very few people are actualizing the truth of that statement. What makes some people masters of greatness and architects of achievement while others languish in the obscurity of mediocrity? My thinking is that the main thing that separates between those who soar and those who flop in life is vision. It has been said that where there is no vision, people perish. Vision is the primary ingredient of success, the seed of greatness and the foundation of accomplishment.

The Mastery of Vision

Superb winners always show a mastery of their vision way before their competence at a task is demonstrated.  As a young teen in the late ’80s I used to enjoy watching heaveyweight boxing fights. Those were the days of men like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis. What enabled me to understand each fighter’s vision for a match-up was the press conferences right before a fight. I liked it even more when it was between the heavyweight champion and a contender. The boxers would vividly describe what they would do in the ring and then it was up to them to go out and show that they could back-up their words with action in the ring.

Winners in life have a mastery of vision that is undisputable. Mastery is defined as the command, grasp or control of a subject. We love sports because we can readily see mastery demonstrated before us. Look at a bike rider like Lance Armstrong. I’ve enjoyed watching him compete in the Tour-de-France year after year and I missed him in last year’s race following his retirement. Lance was a master at teaching us the art of vision. He would train seriously in the off-season and then come out every July in-front of the world’s cameras and show that he had what it takes to win a grueling 21-day race.  

The Architecture of Vision

Architecture is simply the structure of anything. In construction circles, it is the act or process of building. The architecture of vision is therefore the act of giving structure to that which has been intangible – your vision of the future. Going back to our opening quote, we are the architects of our own fortune. Fortune is a child of vision. When it is said that where there is no vision people perish, what that really means is that where people lack hope in the future, there are no fortunes for them to reach for.

Let us briefly look at the work of an architect. An architect takes a user’s vision and brings it to life. He plans and designs that which had been conceived in the mind. Many architects are great visionaries.

One of my favorite visionary architects is R. Buckminster Fuller, the creator of the Geodesic Dome. His concepts were revolutionary. The dymaxion car (contracted from DYnamic MAXimum tensION), for instance. Fuller had a superb ability to dream big and develop audacious goals. 

Success and significance in life are directly proportional to how well we act on vision. Acting on vision requires strategy. Developing goals and objectives that bring the vision into clearer focus is essential. Having a team of people who will buy into the vision is key. It’s all about mastery and architecture. May your vision come to pass!