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.


t said...

Wonderful report.
Especially the lessons regarding abuse of leadership.
My current interest is the abuse of followership: being lower in power shouldn't be an excuse for passivity and stupidity.
I think it takes more than one hour a day to be the best, but fortunately it doesn't all have to be spent reading; activity, discussion, experiment, writing - all count as well as reading.

StandTall-The Activist said...

'...our nature detemines the success that can be achieved'. ' gather information is great, but to do with what-you-know is greater.
Very real and concise. I have learnt aa lot reading this post!!!

Rotimi Akinola said...

Thanks for posting this. Good reminder for me especially because I had attended the course mid last year and your report served as a great refresher for me.

Footsteps said...

Even I am inspired reading this old article again.
Yes Tosin you are right, maybe not reading as we know it literally, but acquiring more knowledge or information continually on that field. In my photography pursuit for example, I 'read' almost 100 pictures per week.


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