Weekend Star Article: You Are Enough, You Do Not Need Validation



If you’ve lived long enough, you’ll relate to a person’s need for validation. Subconsciously or not, we’re always asking, “I’m I doing okay?” We go about life wondering if we’re getting it right. At each turn, we look out for signs – from loved ones, institutions and other sources – that confirm we’re doing well.

We’re energized by the assurance from what we consider credible sources and frustrated by the lack of affirming words or action.

That said; when should we be affirmed? When do we qualify for the pat on the back?


The Lie and Struggle

Our fast-paced modern culture communicates a clear message: do more, be more, get more. We call it: ‘the grind’, ‘the rat race’, ‘the hustle’ – whatever the term – the idea is to constantly break your own record because your life depends on it.

Get a degree, get a job, get married, get kids, buy a home, get more degrees, get a better job, move to a nicer neighbourhood, climb the corporate ladder, climb higher – and the demands never end. Is it ever enough? When at each peak, you’re told to do more.

I’m for hard work and attaining higher levels, but my concern is the nagging inadequacy that people experience with success – a situation where success becomes the struggle.

Society lies to you that you will be worthy of respect (or be enough) as a human being only when you achieve (and keep achieving) higher goals – and not before. It’s a lie because the goal post is constantly shifting. You achieve a milestone only to have another set before you. It can be exhausting when your value as a person is tied to getting or being more.

This lie creates undue pressure. For many, the pressure mounts daily because they’re convinced that they must first acquire more stuff before self-worth is conferred on them. So they grind away, getting more, hardly content and still feel unworthy.


See Your Worth

Contentment is the belief that you are enough as a human being at each point in life as you work hard at getting better and attaining higher levels.

For instance, I have a bachelor’s degree and currently pursuing my MBA. But before I get my graduate degree, I appreciate who I am now.

I am adequate and secure in my person as I push for better. Before the MBA, my worth is in place. I make the MBA, it doesn’t make me. Right now, I am enough as a person.

Some people achieve goal after goal and remain confused about their adequacy as persons. It’s a tough place to be because you’re blinded to who you are, what you’ve done and what you already have.


Enjoy Where You Are

If no one has told you (or you probably need reminding), I would like to clearly state that: YOU ARE ENOUGH! Yes, YOU. So far, you’ve done well and I appreciate the person that you’ve become in your journey. Right now, you are a person of value. It’s not dependent on how much more you achieve, but the fact that you’re a human being – and that’s enough!

You’re not yet a billionaire, but you’re a millionaire (or not) – for now, that’s enough! You may not be the perfect parent or spouse, but you work hard to improve – that’s enough. You work hard on your job and you’re getting better – that’s enough. Appreciate and enjoy where you are as you plot the next level. Celebrate who you are now and what you’ve attained as you grow. You are enough!



Weekend Star Article: The Three Reasons Why Your Great Idea is Likely to Fail


Ideas are common. Like oxygen, everyone has access to these free flowing elements. For some, it feels like a ‘mind-siege’- they constantly have fresh ideas surging through their system. However, how many of these thoughts get done? Truth is:  an idea assumes value only when it’s done. Until then, it’s cheap – just floating in the air.

Reality is an idea’s dream. Every thought wants to move from the unseen to the seen realm. That’s the push. Hence, an idea would keep moving until it finds someone who’s able to make it visible. That’s why you’ll see an idea that occurred to you being done by another – it moved. Doing the thought is more important than receiving it.

Two people get the same idea; one is unable to do it and the other does it successfully. Why? Why would brilliant ideas move from you? What’s stopping you? Why do you think, talk about it and don’t do it?

Existing Thought Patterns is one reason. Often, ideas occur in contradictory circumstances. They come to shake up our established way of thinking and living. Hence, it’s easy to think an investment banker is crazy when he decides to become a novelist.

Every new thought will encounter a push-back by our comfort zone. This is where the fight begins. Many novel ideas don’t survive this stage because the conflict can be fierce and most times, the comfort zone wins. Here, folks conclude it’s not worth the trouble.

The misconception is that you can execute a new idea on your current wiring (existing thought patterns). This approach has proven ineffective. To increase your chances of success when you get a fresh hit of inspiration, first ask yourself: what needs to change about my current way of thinking for this thought to flourish?

Another reason why ideas fail is Environment. Every place powers a thought. Silicon Valley powers tech innovation, Hollywood is the world’s movie Mecca, Las Vegas supports the idea of gambling and Wall Street is the engine for global finance. In these places, the atmosphere is specifically designed to ensure that a particular idea thrives.

This is very important in the creativity process. Generally, positivity enthusiasts assume that any idea can succeed anywhere. This notion works against the reality of the forces at play in each location. Sometimes it’s possible to exert a greater force in order to change the elements of a place for your idea to work. Other times, it’s wise to move to a place with ready energy for what you have in mind.

Where are you now? Does your location support your idea? If not, what are you going to do about it? Perhaps, you have the right idea in the wrong place. You can’t ski in Turkana – it doesn’t snow there.

People can hinder creativity – this is the third reason. If you ask me what I think is the main key to success, my answer would be: association. It’s my number one pick. In my view, nothing affects your journey more than the people around you.

There are dreams and ideas that you may never birth in the company of certain people – no matter how affectionate they are. There are places and experiences you may not get to enjoy because of your crew. Some ideas will naturally die around some folks.

To make ideas happen, sensitivity in this area is key. At the risk of sounding cliché, I’ll ask: who are your friends? Who’s got your ears? Whose company and words help shape your perspective? If you’re not willing to change your association, you might as well forget your dream.











#AnatomyOfLeadership(4): What Leadership Effectiveness Means

Anatomy4As a younger leader, I read many leadership books. They had ideals, standards and clearly stated the qualities that a leader should possess. To be effective, I had to practice a long list. It wore me out – and I found out why.

Those books addressed only the good and left me clueless on what to do with the bad and the crazy. I got relief when I realized that my weaknesses and complexities are vital aspects of my effectiveness.

On that note, I redefined leadership effectiveness. It’s simply the sum total of The Good, The Bad and The Crazy. The formula would look like this:

The Good + The Bad + The Crazy = Leadership Effectiveness

How does this work?

Focus on the three aspects. None is more important than the other. As much as the good, I suggest that you KNOW, OWN and MANAGE your weaknesses and crazies. Pay attention and think through a management system to handle them.

Your faults and crazies may never change, but you can be in charge. And yes, you can be crazy and lead well.

The Anatomy of Leadership ~ 3

Anatomy3I began this series by stating that every leader is made up of three major parts: The Good, The Bad, The Crazy. I’ve addressed the first two. Now, welcome to The Crazy.

The crazy is the complicated aspects of the leader’s life. It’s those elements that have deep, complex roots that can’t be easily explained or taken at face value – the crazy defies logic.

Usually, these are inward struggles due to different life experiences or the leader’s background. For most leaders, this is the toughest part of their existence. It’s simply complicated.

Leaders avoid talking about these areas of their lives because they grapple with its complexities – sometimes for many years – and lack the articulation required to share it with the public. It’s private and typically not shared.

However, it comes out in symptoms and often shocking behavioral patterns that make people wonder. It’s one reason why a massively successful person would suddenly commit suicide for “no apparent reason” – with no explanation. The crazy does exist and it’s part of leadership.

If that’s the case, what does leadership effectiveness mean in the context of this anatomy? Part four explains it.

The Anatomy of Leadership ~ 2

Anatomy2The bad is the leader’s weaknesses. These are faults or undeveloped areas in the leader’s life. Weaknesses in leaders vary – from emotional or character flaws to professional incompetence.

For instance, Tiger Woods is a great golfer, but had issues in his personal life. Every leader is flawed in some way.

Many leaders fail because they try to build integrity on their weaknesses. They make promises in these areas oblivious of the depth of their flaws. Here good intentions don’t count. It’s difficult to build integrity in an area in which you’ve not developed.

That said. Does a leader’s weakness make them a bad leader? No. Yes. No because faults are challenges that can be managed or overcome. Yes – when the leader lets their flaws run amok. But overall, weaknesses don’t have to disqualify a leader. It’s the leader’s choice.

Managed or not, weaknesses in the leader may or may not go away. But it’s a vital aspect in trying to understand leadership because the bad comes with the package and affects everyone involved with the leader.

In the next part, I’ll address: The Crazy. Keep reading.

The Anatomy of Leadership

Anatomy1Leadership is a big word; it feels strangely weighty – probably why it’s easily misunderstood. However, it’s essential to life. The leadership guru, John C. Maxwell, said that, “everything rises and falls on leadership” – and in this case, everything means everything.

After years of studying leaders, I’ve demystified and articulated the anatomy of leadership and this is it: every leader is made up of three major parts – The Good, The Bad, The Crazy. I’ll breakdown each part in this series.

The Good is the leader’s strengths. This aspect of the leader’s essence adds value to others – folks enjoy this part. Here delivery is effortless because the leader is gifted or has developed in an area. Leaders display their strengths with pride. Also, it’s a tool for integrity.

For instance: Sir Richard Branson is great at entrepreneurship or the U.S. President, Barack Obama, is an amazing orator. These are areas of strength.

Many leadership books encourage people to focus only on their strengths. Sounds like good advice, but I don’t agree. That’s just one part. How about the bad and the crazy?

What the Global Entrepreneurship Summit Means for Africa

Creative-Growth-800x542The financial analyst, Aly Khan Satchu, said that, “Kenya, and Nairobi in particular, is globally fluent, has 21st century connectivity and an impressive pool of human capital.” He’s right.

Previously, those words would describe a western city – but not anymore. He’s talking about Nairobi – a vibrant city in Africa – and that’s the new Africa. Nations like Kenya are a sample of the emerging trend on the continent.

Johnnie Carson and Mark Bellany, both former United States ambassadors to Kenya confirm that, “Kenya’s fast growing economy is based on a dynamic private sector, a diversified services sector and high education levels.”

What does this mean?

It means that after years of poverty, corruption, trial-and-error, African nations are finally finding blueprints that actually work and the results are evident.

Furthermore, just like the wild-fire of independence in the 1960s, this fire is going to spread. Nation after nation will eventually find what works despite their peculiar challenges.

The Global Entrepreneurial Summit is simply an official announcement to the world that Africa is ready to trade in ideas. The 21st century will experience an Africa that’s poised to do global business at any level.