Sunday, May 29, 2011

Treasures from DLA

Sometime in March this year I was opportune to attend the Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA). It was the Basic Leadership Class. I had a fulfilling experience I must confess. Firstly, I had always wanted to do this, so having it ticked off my goal list was very satisfying and secondly because of the knowledge gained and the enriching networking opportunities.

As fulfilling as it was, it was a stretch program. There were rules to be followed, tests to be written and most especially mindsets to be changed. It took me incorporating early attendance (which was mandatory) with my regular morning school runs. We were taken on courses like Personal Transformation, Success Habits, Excellence Oriented Organization, Organisational Growth, Project Management, Systems Development, Family Success, Delegation Strategies amongst others.

An article would not be adequate to do justice to all I’ve learnt, but I would share some key ones in this post. I also encourage as many as can attend this Leadership/Management Program to do as well or any other recommended ones. If not for the certificate, it would be an opportunity to gather so much knowledge in a short time on leading people or an organization.

The first lesson that dawned on me at the beginning of the program was the essence of leadership. I learnt that there are many misconceptions about it which has somewhat resulted in the abuse of it over time and in many settings, from homes to organizations and the government.

It is not about titles, but about the tasks performed
It is not about status, but about service
It is not about consumption, but about contribution
It is not about cohesion, but ensuring cooperation
It is not about intimidation, but about inspiration
It is not about manipulation, but about motivation
It is not about lording over people, but loving people
It is not about being a celebrity, but a role of responsibility

In other words, if you are performing relevant/key tasks, serving sincerely, contributing valuably, enhancing cooperation in a team and inspiring or motivating some person other than yourself, if you never knew it before, you have been leading. I for one, used to think (while I worked) that since the organization’s organogram didn’t place me in a “specific - titled” role, then I wasn’t being challenged to develop my leadership potentials and couldn’t give so much as a leader. However, I discovered that in the capacity with which I had somewhat influenced individuals, junior colleagues, peers and teams towards the achievement of a goal, I had served as a leader.

Another lesson I took away from the program, is that SUCCESS IS WHO YOU ARE. In essence, your nature determines the success that can be achieved. It is not merely in the doing but in being. That is why sometimes we see some people whose status or achievement we covet, and the first thing we try to do to succeed like they have is just copy exactly what they do. This often leads to frustration in the long term because we are somewhat working against our nature.

To do something you have never done before, you must become someone you have never being before. The first point of call is changing or developing your person, and then the doing will automatically follow. More often than not, your person is tied to your mindsets; for the journey from grass to grace is an Internal Trip. The challenge here is to so work on your inside, challenge and correct those wrong or limiting mindsets, discover truths, develop your mind, that your outside would be struggling to catch up with it. Even if the outside isn’t changing in the short term, in good time, it will align.

The last but definitely not the least of all my take-aways is the bit on Self Improvement under the Success Habit Course. I am a freak, fanatic, stickler (what other vocabulary is there?) for personal development. I believe in becoming a better you and not settling for the status quo, challenging yourself continually. So it was quite interesting to learn more on this. One of the major activities on self improvement is reading /studying. Earl Nightingale said many years ago that “one hour per day of study in your chosen field was all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do”. The tasks with this are to identify that area you want to be good at and then develop the staying power to keep at it. I study an average of 7hours/week now, but on different interests. However, I intend to pick my area of passion and make sure, I top up on it regularly.

On a final note, to gather information is great, but to do with what-you-know is greater. I have tried to instill a practice of noting down action points from every book I read and training program I attend. The fewer they are the better and with deadlines. That way I can experience immediate value from a learning. I encourage you on this, as well as the pearls I have shared. On our own we may not be able, but definitely with God we can.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Indonesia, USA, Canada...and Nigeria tops Entrepreneur Favorable Survey

Quite a bit of interesting news here and good one too on Nigeria & Entrepreneurship. A recent survey of countries concluded Indonesia is perceived best by her people to be favorable for starting business. According to the BBC, "there were also plenty of developing economies that came out as pro-entrepreneur - India, China and Nigeria were also perceived by their own people as relatively favourable places for new businesses" 

Nice to know...perhaps we need to start believing more in ourselves and sharing this bit of optimism internally!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Site visitors can say thank you

Most of you blog for the sake of sharing your thoughts and opinions, however a little side income is like an unexpected gift.
Google has just released a new gadget that allows readers to directly contribute to your blog. Setup is only five simple steps and should only take a few minutes of your time

Add a virtual tip jar like this to your blog
Originally posted to Blogger Buzz by Peng Ying, Developer Programs Engineer

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OOPLF Art Contest

Click here to download the flyer

Legislative Internship Programme

Visit for legislative internships with State Houses of Assembly and possibly National Assembly. This is how I got the 2010 internship at Ekiti State House of Assembly. Stop whining, start trying.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Buying Vintage

Penny wise, pound foolish.
Went shoe-shopping at Yaba Tejuosho market this week. Bought some really quirky, nice, earthy and comfortable shoes at 1/10 the "Island" price. One's red, one cream, one brown. So I may actually give my favourite pair (black sandals, bought at the same location) a bit of a holiday - or not.
For clothes too, I like the Yaba area - inside Unilag, near Unilag front gate, and at Sabo Ecenter - 1/3 of Island price.
I found some blouses in a stall at Ojota one morning. I think they were China, not okrika. Who can tell the difference? Who cares? They are just lovely.

China ~ cheaply manufactured
okrika ~ second-hand

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Bigz Girlz is broke (or was)

I used to work for the government where the favourite sport was waiting for the paycheck starting in the late teens of the month, by the twenties the money would be there. Granted the first paycheck didn't arrive until three months after I started work but hey.

Then I moved to a private gig and rounder monthly pay. I buckled down to work knowing that I was paid enough to cover expenses: long phone call with site manager to get details just right, or cab fare to and fro before I moved down the street from work? All justified because hey just get the job done.

Then last week (uh oh) I found that I was out of cash. Ok, I'd been warned about the industry with its nice paychecks and missed paydays but was still blindsided. Not sure if the purpose of delaying pay is to piss off the staff and degrade the product, but that is how it plays out.

Yesterday I was stuck eating peanut butter and avocado. (Ok that seems ajebo but have you ever eaten plain avocado pear?) Downgraded right quick from boss water to pure water. Just begged the ATM again for 1,000 and it said insufficient funds. So I said how about 500 and it said I had to specify multiples of 1000.

Moving on... a friend is going to raise me some cash this evening. At that point, the cash will become pretty useless since as everyone knows money is most useful when you don't have it. The tyranny of money.

Previously on UpNaira