changesCrazy! That’s how I describe it. Folks talk, crave and even fight for it. Yet, we seem to have little understanding of how it works. Ask Libya.

Articulating change is the tough part. The Arab Spring for instance; the people fought hard. However, trends show that those seeking change find it difficult figuring out what ‘after the fight’ looks like. According to CNN, ongoing instability continues to jeopardize job creation in Libya.

Have you ever wanted something (the new job, home, spouse, etc) so bad, get it and it eventually becomes your worst nightmare? Why the misery? Here’s one reason.

There’s a difference between the desire and capacity for change. Strong desire is negligible compared to the pain of being unprepared for what you’ve fought for. In my opinion, more time should be spent putting capacity in place. This is echoed in Zahra’ Langhi’s (cofounder, Libya Women’s Platform for Peace) TED talk, “Why Libya’s revolution didn’t work …and what might”.

I suggest that you not only picture what change you want, but ensure you’ve got the capacity and systems to enjoy and sustain it. Otherwise, regrets might be on offer.



rio_image_2“This thing is robust!” was Pedro’s scream trying to burst Blu out of his cage in the animation movie, Rio. Pedro’s attitude cracked me up. The movie is about the adventures of Blu – a rare, domesticated bird that couldn’t fly. Good picture.

The movie reminded me that there are times we set goals based on our myopic view of life. Hence, the universe has a way of replacing our small dreams with bigger and much better ones. Blu was comfortable in his cozy cage in Minnesota and had no clue that he was designed to thrive in the wild jungles of Brazil. A much better existence!

Challenges push us out of our comfort zone and open up aspects to life that we couldn’t have seen otherwise. At first, Blu was convinced that going to Rio was a bad idea. However, it turned out to be the best decision ever.

Trust life’s processes! At last, Blu saw the profit in life’s roller coaster ride. You may not see it now, but those challenges bear good gifts. Just wait. You’ll see.

The Next Step

nextstep3This is for those starting over. I see you. This two part series is designed to help you. I know how tough it can be. The feeling of being overwhelmed is real. However, it can be done. Be encouraged!

The basic idea of walking is one way to cope. We walk step by step. When faced with starting over, I break the challenges into steps. I ask myself, “What’s the next step?”

Focusing on one step leads you to the next step…and in this case, movement is very encouraging. Trust me! Most times, all you need to do is take one step and then the next unfolds naturally.

In the process of starting over, you can get ‘frozen’. This is the point where frustration sets in and you don’t know what to do. Often, this state is sustained when you try to eat the ‘elephant’ all at once.

The next step is the answer you’ve been looking for. It will lead you home.

Starting Over

startingover2Moore, Oklahoma. Tornado. Pain. Reconstruction. These words come to mind when I think about how much strength, courage and money is required to rebuild the city. The people of Moore have to rebuild their lives, families, businesses, etc. They have to start over.

Good or bad, beginning again can be difficult. It could be a great new job opportunity in a new city, starting a family or rebuilding after a tornado; new beginnings have their demands. It’s not for the faint-hearted!

I’ve had my fair share of fresh starts. My experience has taught me not to ignore the internal issues in the process. It’s easy to focus on the externals and forget the person going through the change.

As a leader, you will face many new starts. To successfully ride it, monitoring your emotions would help. At least, be aware of where you are emotionally in the process. The hidden aspects can make or break you.

Seek help! Clarity can be a challenge in these moments. Personally, I’ve had to work with a life coach to help me attain clarity at such times. Try it. Find someone.

I Like YOU

bob-marley-16x9In certain circles, he’s considered a prophet. Other’s think he’s immortal and some call him a god. Bob Marley, the reggae legend, effectively sold his person and message to the world without Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, and we bought in…happily!

His lifestyle had an irresistible allure. He enjoyed soccer, loved women and smoked the ‘happy stick’ (maybe you call it weed). He’s a religion to many and globally celebrated long after death. The man is timeless.

How did he do it? According to John Maxwell’s Law of Buy-In: People Buy into the Leader, then the Vision. It’s common to see a leader with an amazing vision that no one cares about. The vision might be impressive, but the person of the leader is not. Bob knew this.

If I like YOU, it’s easier to accept what comes with YOU. As a leader, it is wise to sell YOU first, then your vision. That way you set the stage for your vision to thrive. Otherwise, frustration is guaranteed, except you’re a dictator (not advisable) or other special reasons. Bob’s ideology is still a global sensation and now you know why.

Ready or Not

Six seedlings growing from soilRecently I had lunch with two good friends; young, brilliant professionals. Before long we started talking politics and then leadership. As thoughts flew, this question came up: “are you ready to lead?”

The exchange was interesting. Also, the mushroom sauce added to the thrill. Ultimately, it got me thinking about what makes one ready to lead. How do you know you are ready? Is it a function of age, special training or privilege?

In my view, there’s one key qualification for leadership. It is the: commitment to continuous personal growth. That’s how you know you’re ready. There’s no perfect leader. Hence, it’s a waste of time to wait until you’ve attained perfection in order to lead. If you’re committed to the growth process, you’re ready!

Your ability to learn is the fun part. You don’t have to have it all together, so no more excuses. Whenever you have the chance to lead, jump in! You have something of value to give at every level. That means you’re ready.

Fly Free

flyfree2Thought is sight. Sight is thought. Interesting dynamics! Confused? Don’t be. Think Yin-Yang! It’s crazy how someone walks away from the right opportunity, due to their thinking. They just don’t see it. Your thoughts create profit or loss.

I know The Secret was a hit, but wait! Do you really understand the concept? When I saw the light, I actively engaged in the exercise of discovering what thoughts were causing loss. What thinking was stopping me from achieving my goals?

Limiting thoughts equals shooting yourself in the foot. No one is stopping you but you. Perhaps you don’t need more money to advance; you probably have not found the right thinking to take you forward. The Japanese say, “good thinking, good product”.

Generally, when people gain the right perspective, they experience clarity and speed. Once they see differently, they move swiftly and success is faster. The idea: the clearer the thought, the clearer the sight, and vice visa. It’s cyclic.