Trade Off

Nelson-Mandela 2Madiba, in one word: Sacrifice. For 27 years, he sacrificed his life in prison for the freedom of South Africa. According to John Maxwell’s Law of Sacrifice: a leader must give up to go up. Nelson Mandela is a global elder statesman and his mastery of this law is one element that helped get him there.

Leadership without sacrifice is an illusion at best. Every successful individual is often clear on the sacrifices involved in their journey. Success never occurs without a trade off.

The cost of leadership is real. Someone has to pay the price. And guess what? The higher you go, the greater the price. In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell said, “The only way to stay up is to give up even more”.

Now you know how to get to the top and stay there. What price are you willing to pay? What are you ready to give up for a brighter future? As we pray for Madiba’s recovery, we‘re grateful for his sacrifice and selfless service.

We love you Madiba!

YOU Cannot Fail

An-unsuccessful-man-200x300I think it’s time to confront failure. After years of studying successful leaders, I’ve come to the conclusion that we were designed to rise above failure, every time.

This consciousness freed me! Have I failed? Many times. However, I’ve noticed that somehow, good comes out of the mess at last. Every time I fail, I learn, change, grow and get much better. I think failure is our wine making process. We get sweeter!

Effective leaders understand that failure is a growth opportunity. The fluid nature of life is much stronger than failure. The big picture is always at play when we think we’ve failed and can’t get up. Many successful people were labeled failures at first, but still made it because what looks like failure now is definitely success in light of the big picture.

My experience has taught me not to beat myself down whenever I fail. I’ve learned to get up, go back to the drawing board, strategize and re-fire. Don’t attend pity parties; they’re a total waste of time.

I Value YOU

goldLast week, I was asked by a national magazine to write an article on SMEs and business certifications. It got me thinking about the value of people.

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification is a vetting process that businesses go through in order to earn the right to do business at a certain level. In our relationships, this thinking should equally apply. Do you have a vetting system for the people that come into your life? How much value have you placed on yourself? Access is a gift; it parallels value.

It is unwise to give access to people that don’t qualify. They may not value the hard work that you’ve invested in becoming who you are. A box of cookies does not cost the same as a bar of gold. They should earn your essence.

I value my mind, so I feed it with quality knowledge that keeps it sharp. I value my time, so I try not to give it to those who don’t value theirs. I value my essence, so I’ve built a system that keeps away confusion. I invest so much in me; it’s a factor.

Faulty

puppetonstringIn my view, manipulation is the first sign of a weak leader. It’s a faulty strategy. The art is full of loop holes.

The final outcome of manipulation proves the blind spot of the artist. He believes his lies. This creates a closed system that traps everyone. His intense focus on self is the source of blindness. Like animals, manipulators only see the prey, oblivious to the hunter’s gun.

The ‘spell’ over the manipulated gets broken eventually. Always! People snap out of it and see what is really happening. The manipulator sees people as tools and believes that the ‘puppets will never find out. This lie loses its grip because people end up seeing.

At last, these leaders lose more than they gain.  Once they are discovered, people revolt somehow. No one enjoys being manipulated. People are not stupid.

Dreamer’s Pain

dreamerspain2This is not exhaustive. The dreamer has a myriad of challenges. I will discuss one. The inability of the environment to articulate the dreamer’s dream.

The ever-evolving world of the dreamer leaves her environment confused, not knowing what to do with the ‘madness’. Unfortunately, many dreamers fail to realize this confusing change. Hence, they get hurt by the reaction of the environment. Sometimes deeply!

Andile Ndiovu is a South African ballet dancer who was raised in Soweto. His love for ballet was evident from childhood. Against all odds, he was careful to move to an environment that articulated his dream. By late 2008, he was awarded a place at The Washington Ballet. Now, he’s world renowned.

Many dreamers struggle with the right dream in the wrong place. They spend so much time fighting with the elements and people that don’t understand what they are about. If you’re there (physically or emotionally), you may have to move to keep your dream alive.

Dreams are like plants. They require the right soil, climate and care in order to blossom.

Save Energy

savenergyJohn Maxwell’s Law of Priorities states that: leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. I learned the hard way. You don’t have to waste money, effort and emotional energy chasing a thousand goals. Find the vital few and channel your energy for best results.

The Rules

therulesLife plays out on levels. There’s always a higher level than where you are currently…and new levels, new rules!

Folks often complain about a friend or family member changing after they’ve attained a measure of success. They expect their relationship with this individual to remain the same. This is usually not the case.

When your friend got successful, she attained a new level and the rules changed. If this change is not factored in, the relationship may not be the same. Not everyone will fit into the new levels that you attain and trying to carry them along (if they don’t change) might hurt you.

I don’t mean to be snobbish, but the next level is different from where you are. The relationships, work, attitude, lifestyle, world view, etc., are not the same. Accept it! Only the prepared can move with you to the next stage.

The laws that govern driving are different from those that govern flight. Decide on what you want and know the rules. You cannot be ignorant of royal protocol and dine with the Queen of England. At that level, it’s a different ball game.