Wednesday, April 04, 2012

We Can...Cos We Have

Some weeks back, my sister (an upcoming International Image Consultant) facilitated a session with the family. It was one of the outcomes of her recent training in the career she has become so passionate about. It entailed us writing a few points on the areas we felt positively about every other person present at the table. So as to maximize time, we were limited to 3 points per person and had to conclude within a limited time. Afterwards, with a focus on each person, we were to share one by one, these areas we had noted, whilst addressing the person directly. Thereafter the person would respond to all that had been said or shared about him or her.

I must confess this session didn’t only leave us feeling good about ourselves with those encouraging words we heard, we were also a little shocked as we discovered abilities we probably hadn’t thought much of that we possessed. Even though I have been in sessions like this prior to this time, this one gave me the opportunity to hear some wonderful things about me again, and it was somewhat different because it was coming from family.

A precious part to this meeting was that each of us acquired reinforced knowledge of where we were good at, we were reminded of those things we do so naturally, with little or no effort…our areas of strength. I was then motivated to ponder more along this line, and also to continue reading a book my unit in my local church recommended for new intakes – Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. My ponderings still continue, but I would like to share my thoughts so far, some discoveries, some reminders, though it may take me more than this article to do so.


We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions and callings. Abraham H. Maslow


In a world like ours where expertise, specialties and achievements are celebrated, the tendency is for us to assume only a few are blessed or endowed with (special) abilities. This few being those in the limelight. We are inclined to belittle any skill that seems less than the ‘acceptable/celebrated standard’. Sometimes it’s just our orientation of what we consider as a potential - that ability that could eventually distinguish someone. For instance a long time ago, being able to kick a ball was just a form of play, it wasn’t perceived by many as any “special ability”. Today it is seen differently, it is a likely money-spinner.

Let’s be comforted knowing this, no one exists without a special “something” in and to them. WE ALL HAVE STRENGTHS - inherent giftings or potentials. Each of us has at least one natural, special ability. We all have something we came to the world with, that differentiates us, something we can use for good. It could be skill tied or relationship based, it could be mental or even physical. More often than not, we won’t have or express the same abilities in the same manner or degree. So it doesn’t matter what others have perceived about you or what you have probably thought of yourself before now, everybody has something to offer, a part to play in the whole circle of life. As I meditate more on this, I remember the title of a message I heard some years ago….there’s GOLD in you.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Cashless Lagos

Now that the cash-transaction limits are operating in Lagos, folks are adapting.  According to the Central Bank, the "cashless" policy was originated for the good of customers and of the banking system, and is being tested out in Lagos first.
However, BusinessDay reports that "customers [have] embarked on counter-measures through opening of multiple accounts...banks and their customers are in a battle of wits to outsmart each other on the impact of the penalty." 

I just had to steal this cartoon:

References: cbn.gov.ng/cashless , BusinessDay and cashlesslagos.org

Comparatively speaking

How do politicians make money? (Source)

When Bill Clinton left office after eight years as president of the wealthiest and the most powerful country in the world, he had nothing, not even a home.

In fact, he was seriously in debt to the tune of about $12 million on account of his legal battles while in office. According to him, "I knew that I wanted to write a book about my life and the presidency and that I would have to work hard for three or four years to pay my legal bills [and], buy our home"

In 2004, Clinton received between $10m and $12m for writing My Life. He has followed this up with a lucrative speaking career, earning about $40 million in speaking fees over the past six years.

In one of his most lucrative years since he left the presidency, Clinton earned $9 million to $10 million on the lecture circuit. He averaged almost a speech a day -- 352 for the year. On one particularly good day in Canada, Clinton made $475,000 for two speeches, more than double his annual salary as president.

"I never had a nickel to my name until I got out of the White House, and now I'm a millionaire." Clinton reflected.

But contrast above with Nigerian politicians. Some governors are currently facing trials for allegedly looting their state treasuries. One of them is accused of laundering a staggering N36 billion while in office.

As they say, different strokes for different folks

- by Martin Udogie (Editor of Bottomline Business Newsletter)


There's this old joke I like to tell, which I read in Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat (with Western, Asian, and African government officials). This version is from a Kenyan site, so just Americans and Kenyans. But you get the idea:

A Kenyan politician went to the US to visit his counterpart. When the senator invited him home for dinner, the minister was very impressed by the lavish mansion, grounds and the costly furnishings. He asked, "How can you afford all this on a meagre senator's salary?"
The senator smiled knowingly and took him to the window. "Can you see the river?"
"Yes"
"Can you see the bridge over it?"
"Of course", said the minister.
"10 percent", said the senator smugly.

Some time later, he had occasion to pay a return visit. The Kenyan minister lavished all hospitality on him. When they came to his house, the American was stunned by the huge palace the minister had built, glittering with precious art, hundreds of servants etc.
"How can you possibly afford this, on a salary in Shilings?', he asked.
The minister called him to the window. "See the river over there?"
"Sure", cried the senator.
"Can you see the bridge over it?"
The senator looked, was confused, peered closely and said - "No, I don't see any bridge."
"100 percent", said the minister !!

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