Author Archives: rshumba

7 Perception Shapers

The activities we tend to take part in have a tendency to be influenced by how we see things in life. We will opt to do things because according to us those things are good. We will do certain things simply because they will make us gain something, make us be recognized, make us happy and fulfilled. It is therefore important to trace and find out what really is shaping our ownperceptions which in turn become the paint brushes we use to color our world. You and I can
both look at one thing and come up with different analysis and conclusions. It is the conclusions we make that then influence the recommendations and decisions or pathways we take. We have missed a lot of opportunities in life owing to our mindset. If you carry a hyena’s imagination, you will never see goats as business partners but prey. We miss the point in life because of our perceptions and nature of our appetites.

  1. Our experiences – I grew up in a rural village, most people do not believe it today. The wisdom I had for the better part of my life was obtained through experiences, herding cattle, hunting for game meat, swimming in ponds along the Lundi River, fist fights with boys out in the bushes and sitting around a plate of food to do some team-work on one plate available for 6 or so young boys. When I moved from the village I continued to see things in life using the “village lens”. I judged character, I made my own assumptions based on what I experienced earlier in life. Exposure is important – you can never go past your level of exposure in life.
  2. Our memories The mind is a sponge which absorbs and stores memories for the longest time possible. Such memories can be painful or joyous. When someone treats me in a certain manner today, my mind stores that treatment and over time I will retrieve from memory and almost feel the excitement or pain I felt at one point. My perception of who the person can be to me is therefore based on the memories I have created with them. If they treated me badly at one point, I am likely going to keep them at a distance because to me, they are a source of bad experiences.
  3. Our Beliefs We are what we believe. We promote what we believe in, we act in accordance with our belief systems. Our actions formulate our habitual life, those things we do without even thinking and as you know, habits are building blocks for lifestyles. I grew up under the Christian faith. I therefore use my beliefs as a barometer for character. My beliefs are so much inside me and therefore I have buckets of “right” things and buckets of “wrong” things that I should not do. It is unfortunate that our belief systems may cause us not to perceive anyone who thinks differently as a good person. As a matured individual, I can now listen to people of a different faith from mine as I have come to accept that there are elements in other religions that are good.
  4. Situations Around us – Sometimes it is not what we personally experienced but what other people experienced that determines how we see things. We develop prejudices of certain races because of situations we have seen their fellows in. I am sure you have heard it many times when people say “People from such and such a country are thieves”. This is because we hear, we read and therefore conclude based on the multiple occurrences of situations that indeed this tribe or race is full of thieves. It may not necessarily be true but because of such situations we trade cautiously when we meet people whose perception we have already formulated.
  5. Our AssociationsYou at the sum total of people you hang around with. They could be friends or family members. Have you ever noticed that a team of five friends will almost react in the same manner to a situation simply because they have been around each other for that long. Whether we like it or not, perceptions rub off from and to those close to us. If someone who carries a significant office in your life (mentor, spouse etc) simply says “so and so is a bad person”, the first thing you do is believe them without questioning or doubting. I am now watchful in terms of who gets very close to me to the point of influencing my perception of what life is about.
  6. Our own ValuesOur upbringing shapes our value systems. The values that our parents inculcate in us while we are young tend to stay with us for our entire lives. It is these same values that shape what we can or can not do. We tend to therefore judge others using our own values as a benchmark. We see those who value other things as either bad people, not so serious people, not competent and so on. I value my time a lot. To that end I will do all I can to ensure that I am on time. Anyone who arrives late for an appointment with me does not get a pat on the back but gets to know immediately. I am now working on at least accommodating explanations and not paint all late-comers with the same brush.
  7. Images and Sounds – by this I am simply referring to what we see and hear. We have to be watchful of what enters the gate to the mind (eyes and ears). The frequencies we have around us are all clamoring for our attention. What you hear over and over again you will soon believe it to be true. That is the power of repetition. It alters our perceptions. Whatever used to be absurd at one point can soon become normal to the point that we miss it when it is not there no matter how wrong it is. Our minds begin to shape a new normal because they remain the factories of our lives. Subliminal messages are all over the songs and soapies we watch. Movie and music producers know the power behind the sounds and images and they will use it to alter our perceptions. I have seen beer advertisements that make you crave a beer even though you don’t drink. It is depicted as a soothing, cool, thirst quencher and something of a lifestyle nature.

As you can see, perceptions are critical. I leave you with these questions. How many times have we seen other people as “soul mates” because the hunter in us could not imagine otherwise when they were going to be our keys to financial freedom through proper business deals? How many former jail birds have we condemned to the dustbin simply because our eyes refuse to see them as reformed individuals but the judge in us says “he or she is finished”? How many young people have been ignored, their potential buried because the politician in us sees them as mere voters to keep us in power when they have ideas to change the world? Perception is a powerful force. Use it carefully.

7 Predictions for 2017

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Welcome to the start of yet another year. Like most people, you are probably scratching your head wondering how this year will differ from the last one. You may have had a rough year in 2016 where everything seemed to go wrong. You have some goals you really wanted to achieve but for some reason those goals have remained so elusive it is even causing physical and emotion distress. The good news is that you are live to give your dreams and aspirations another chance. A new year ushers a fresh chance to try one more time. I have my own personal predictions about what may happen this year. Please follow these closely. The views are personal but I strongly feel these will happen.

1. IDEAS – People who make decisions to work hard and implement ideas will make significant progress. Idle chatter will see many exiting the year empty handed. Talk is very cheap that is why most people can afford it. So many people start the year saying “this is my year”. My question is always “you claimed last year to be yours and how much progress did you make? How many ideas did you implement?”. Take risks and see how far you will go.

2. NETWORKS – People who develop their networks will increase their chances of apprehending opportunities. Not many opportunities will fall on your laps without you talking to people. I often hear people saying “God is my supply”. True, God is your source but most of what you get in this lifetime will be supplied by people. It does not matter how nice you are, how wonderful your products are; if no one knows you and what you can do they will not move money into your life.

3. FACING OPPOSITION – People will continue to disappoint you through their lies and unwillingness to see you moving forward. Don’t be distracted by those who hate your success, be consumed totally by the love from a few who are not threatened by your progress. Every good thing will always have an opposing force and this is mainly through people.

4. TIME MANAGEMENT – Procrastinators will continue on the self-pity journey blaming everyone else but themselves for their stagnation. Those who manage time well and ordering their priorities will have a feel of success. We all have equal amount of time in a day or year. It is what we do that determines the quality and quantity of what we produce. Those who are wary about loss of time will really produce amazing value. Don’t leave until tomorrow what is due today.

5. FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE – Those who consume less than they earn will have a chance to practice a saving culture. Discipline with the little you get will take you very far this year. Saving for a rainy day will save your life and more importantly it will preserve the very dream that’s giving you income. It does not matter what your level of income is; if you start cultivating a culture of discipline around how money is spent you will start growing your income levels gradually.

6. BALANCED LIFE – People who strive to live a balanced life will make greater strides this year. Your life is not all about work, it is also about taking care of your health, setting aside time to do charity work, working on your personal development (attend that course, read that book), be there for your family among a host of other elements of your life. As they say, too much of anything is not good. Realise this year that your life is not all about work at the expense of everything else that is important to you.

7. PERPETUAL HUNGER– Those who remain inquisitive and expectant stand a greater chance to strike gold. If you have a mouth you should never get lost. The gap between success and failure could just be a question. Have a mind that is ready to absorb new information this year. Information is power; if you go out looking for information you will increase in relevance and usefulness this year. As you feed on new information you increase your ability to feed others.

All the best in 2017. More than just reading this see what you can work on of the things above. Tell me how your story reads at the end of the year.

7 Corporate Sins to Avoid

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There is no leader without flaws and neither is there an organization that is perfect. Corporate leadership however needs to realize that according to the late Dr. Edwin Cole “the character of the kingdom emanates from the character of the King”. Leadership has a major role to play in ensuring that the organization survives any economic weather that seeks to destroy the ship. In fighting economic woes and pressures, there are however corporate sins which are tantamount to you digging a grave and writing an obituary for your business. I am probably mentioning these not as a way of exonerating myself as a leader but pointing something that I have done or seen first-hand.

1.   Failure to see value in employees – no matter how amazing your vision or idea is, it requires more than just the founder to get it off the ground. You need to ensure that you hire the right people or at least people who can be trained to give you value. Having them on your team is not a guarantee that they will produce value; take a step further and ensure that you value their contribution and reward them accordingly left your business becomes training ground for other companies or markets.

2.   Investing blindly without due diligence – no entrepreneur throws money around like grain. You are not in business just to gain the title of business man or woman. You are in a business because you want to make money. Before you run with your ideas (or fantasies) you need expert advice on feasibility of the idea. Before any mergers and acquisitions please read widely about the business you want to acquire lest you be deceived into buying a shell that may never develop into something of value.

3.   Refusal to move with the times – the business landscape is forever changing. Your business probably has smarter, faster and more agile competition than it had 2 years ago. Consumer appetites keep evolving. Spending culture is forever changing as well. As a smart entrepreneur your role is to keep studying the trends and immediately positioning your business to remain relevant to the customer. Mobile Technology is bringing another fresh form of competition. If your business was to manufacture cameras or take photos you now have families having their own state of the art mobile phones taking better pictures on the go. Adapt or die.

4.   Taking customers for granted – Your business exists to solve a customer need. Getting a customer is one thing. It is a costly exercise but keeping one happy is a venture you need to invest in. Customers can easily move next door because there is now a multiplicity of options. Customer centricity remains a key element which determines if people will stay with you or not. Never assume that customers are still with you. Do surveys from time to time. Do “brand health” checks using independent companies. It is easy to go bankrupt as customers leak one at a time until you have no-one to serve. Customer remains king / queen as the old adage goes. Pay attention to their cries even those cries that are not outwardly expressed.

5.   Paying lip service to quality issues – The business environment is very turbulent the world over. Markets are shrinking, competition is biting every day. As such, business people tend to try and “cut corners” as a way of staying profitable. In Zimbabwe we have seen customers rising to complain about how quality of products have gone down over time. If one customer takes to social media to complain about your quality of products and services, bear in mind they have a sphere of influence that feeds from their palms. Sooner or later your brand goes down the drain. You have yourself and your team to blame. A pork pie making company in Zimbabwe had a rude awakening when one customer started posting about the reduction in the amount of meat in a pie. They have since corrected this but it cost them a lot to repair damaged trust as the complaint went viral in no time.

6.   Dicing with financial indiscipline – You can tell who a person really is when there is enough money around them to spend on anything they want. You then see priorities shifting. As an entrepreneur, the biggest you can ever make is assuming every dollar in the bank is yours and therefore you start making personal decisions on money that is not even yours. That is greed. It is easy to spend the tax authorities’ money on holidays only to come back and experience serious garnishes. We have seen a proliferation of companies closing down all because they used money meant for other statutory obligations. We have even seen law firms spending trust funds meant for customers. Whatever line of business you are in, only spend that which is yours.

7.   Lack of Corporate Governance – This is closely tied to sin number 6 above. I would like to single this one out completely. Businesses grow and succeed to the level of leadership they have. The board oversees the organization setting policies and helping with strategic direction. However, there are boards that exist to meet and have coffee while the house burns. There are CEOs who tell the board what to do especially if the CEO is the founder. This defeats the whole purpose hence accountability, transparency and effective decision making flies through the window. As a founder, pick people whose voice you respect, people who can tell you to your face when you stray not people who will applaud you for your dumbest decisions just to stay in position as a board member. If your organization is ungovernable then you either remain a “brief case” organization or you prepare to close shop someday, soon. 

What are your experiences? What have you seen in your own world? Share with us in the comments section. Let’s talk about this.

7 Mistakes to Avoid in Life

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Picture Courtesy of theodysseyonline.com

It takes one missing brick on a wall to cause the total collapse of the same no matter how good looking it is. Similarly, it takes one link in a strong chain to cause the total disintegration of the same. I have spent a significant amount of time studying key pillars for success in life. The attainment or failure to achieve boils down to how you put the bricks of the success wall together. I have observed in my life some of the things which I had overlooked and were slowing me down immensely in terms of achievement of my own goals. I will share with you a few key links which when they are missing in life will cause an immense dislocation. There could be many more but these stand out for me.

  1. Life without purpose – A life that lack the reason for its own existence is not usually a fulfilled and fruitful life. A fundamental question in life is “why am I here”. Whether you believe it or not there is reason why you had to show up and not another person. I discovered my purpose not so long ago which is summed up “I exist to uncover greatness in others through inspiration”. My purpose fuels me. It is the reason why I woke up to write this article. What is yours?
  1. Existence outside of relationships – you were not born in a vacuum and neither were you created for solitary confinement. Human beings are created for communion with other humans. We need others to grow mentally, physically, emotionally and in every other area of our existence. I have noticed that the more I isolate myself, the less I grow as a person as my purpose relies on relationships around me. Everyday ask yourself “who is in my circle”. What are those people doing in your life?
  1. Living only for yourself – this is closely tied to the point I just raised on relationships. There is a huge temptation to live for yourself and your family only forgetting that you need to serve other people beyond your own clan and lineage. Serving others does not always mean you are losing money. It could mean mentoring and coaching someone who is trying to find their way in life. It may mean sharing the little food you have just so that another person can afford a smile. When you see me do charity work it is not because I have excess, I have been raised to know that sharing is caring. Do you care enough about serving others?
  1. Mind that refuses knowledge – every day that you exist on this earth is important in as far as your mental development is concerned. It is easy to think you have reached the pinnacle of information acquisition when in actual fact you need to develop and feed your mind every day. The most dangerous things in life are those we don’t even know. Ignorance is a serious epidemic which you must always work to reduce in your life. No matter how much they call you a learned person, you need to ensure that you are growing your mind daily. Read a book, watch the news, attend a seminar – just do something about increasing the quantity of what you know.
  1. Expenditure without reason – you can always tell what a person values by what occupies their priority list the moment they receive money. One thing that derailed me especially soon after I left college was financial indiscipline. I remember music used to occupy my budget, that is if I had a budget. I used to get money and simply spent it without planning and I would wonder where my money was “disappearing to”. It is the small things such as having a carefully planned budget that determine how much progress you make in life. Take care of these small issues and the bigger picture will soon take shape.
  1. Acting without careful thinking – every day we make decisions. Life is a series of decisions. It is important for you to exercise your mind before making a decision. This is why you cannot enter into a day without a plan. Work on a simply action list a day before and as you go through your day start ticking the items off. As you go through the day, never be under pressure to say stuff without carefully processing whether it is necessary or not. Words by their very nature can damage others around you. Your maturity is in knowing when to act and when to speak.
  2. Mistakes that don’t cause learning – I have made a number of mistakes in life but I don’t bury my head in the sand. I have made decision in life that nearly decimated my own life but I don’t wallow in self-pity. I simply learn from my mistakes and I move on. I have realized that I will not always have things right. No matter how much of an expert I may think I have become, there are things I will continue to learn out of every mistake I make. It is a waste of time to make the same mistake daily and not learn from it. Also learn from the mistakes of others.

40 Heroes that touched my life in the last 40 years

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I am where I am because of people whose voices I have listened to; whose paths I have tried to follow and whose lives I have observed and learnt from. In this post I am looking at just 40 of those people in no particular order. There are certainly way more than 40 I can think of but these have left a definite indelible mark in my career and personal development. This is my way to say “Thank you” to all of you for imparting something in my life.
  • Dr. John C. Maxwell (USA) – I have learnt a lot about leadership from you sir. I teach on this subject and always quote your principles. Thank you.
  • Dr. DrStem Mahlatini (USA) – You took me under your wings. You endorsed my books and gave me space on your radio show.
  • Dr. David Molapo (RSA) – A phone call away. Always there to coach and guide.
    Tumi Frazier (RSA) – a great friend whose work I admire. Thank you for endorsing my books.
  • Brian Tracy (USA) – a great writer and speaker. Thank you for co-authoring a book with me. You have raised me.
  • Dr. Myles Munroe (Bahamas) – I have followed you from 1997. A great leadership expert whose principles I agree with.
  • President Barack Obama (USA) – A great leader; breaking the ice, building generations. A great orator.
  • Justin Cohen (RSA) – You have taught me to present well. Thank you sir.
  • Amby Charles Ray (USA) – A great writer. I have learnt a lot from you as an individual during your time in Zimbabwe.
  • Jackie Edwards Shumba (Zim) – Daily I get your advice. Thank you for being my wife. You support my work immensely.
  • Pastor Tom Deuschle (Zim) – A great man of God with a huge vision. Thank you for inspiring me to dream.
  • Dr. Sam Chand (USA) – Thank you for helping me with my books. Wow. I love your work Dr.
  • Bishop Tudor Bismarck (Zim) – Great ministry. Phone call away. Always there to listen and guide. Bless you
  • Bishop Manhanga (Zim) – I gave my life to Christ in your church. My marriage officer. You invested a lot in me.
  • Dr. Mensa Otabil (Ghana) – The Genius. Your sermons have touched my life over the years. I love to have a mind like yours.
  • Rev Murray Cornelius (Canada) – You gave me hope and courage. You listened. You gave a helping hand all the time.
  • Dr. Mike Murdock (USA) – You endorsed my work. You are always encouraging me to push forward. Thank you.
  • Dr. Goodwill Shana (Zim) – Your prophecy in my life is coming to pass. Thank you for being an integral part of my life.
  • Bishop Michael Pitts (USA) – You have built me and many Zimbabweans around. Thank you for great sermons and teachings.
  • Dr. John Stanko (Zim) – You did a Foreword of my first book. You took me under your wings and guided my writing.
  • Strive Masiyiwa (Zim) – For being a role model in business. Thank you for touching lives in this nation and beyond.
  • Bill Gates (USA) – I am originally a Microsoft Engineer and I have been inspired by your philanthropic work too.
  • Douglas Mboweni (Zim) – My current boss. You are an amazing business man. I am learning daily from your life.
  • Warren Buffet (USA) – Your template in business is invigorating. Thank you Warren.
  • Nigel Chanakira (Zim) – Phone call away. You stepped out and built a business using kingdom principles. Awesome
  • Dr. Ola-Vincent Odulele (Nigeria) – You inspired my ministry and writing gift. Thank you Dr. You are amazing.
  • Dr. Tawafadza Makoni (Zim) – You fanned the writing and speaking flame. You inspire me daily. Great mentor and coach.
  • Dr. Peter Raeth (USA) – You came to Zimbabwe for the first time to help me build young people. You took a plunge that many are afraid to do. You keep investing in my books and non profit work.
  • Dr. Shingi Munyeza (Zim) – You have given me space in your busy schedule; to learn from you. You endorsed my work.
  • Allan Dubon (USA) – My Social media mentor. Thank you Allan. There is a bigger reason I met you. Thank you for endorsing my work.
  • Dr. Noah. M. Pashapa (Zim) – Man of ethics. You have taken me under your wings; endorsed my work and showed me the ropes.
  • Dr. Charles Mugaviri (Zim) – Man of purpose. Thank you for your great mentorship and endorsing my work.
  • Lou Tice (USA) (late) – TPI course changed my life. You shaped my thinking processes.
  • Quincy Oliver (USA) – A great man; great speaker; great brother. Thank you for investing my life and endorsing my work.
  • Isaac Jeche (Zim) – A brother whose voice I listen to. Thank you for standing with me when all else was shaky ground.
  • Steven R. Covey (USA) (late) – You have shaped my thinking and speaking. Your work remains in my life. Thank you for endorsing my work.
  • Simon Cohen (UK) – Thank you for teaching me how to speak for a living.
  • Elimon Tagwirei Mapuranga (my late father) and Dainah Mapuranga (my mother) – Great parents. I could not ask for better parents. You raised me to be who I am. Invested in my destiny.
  • Matilda Pugede (Zim) – You showed me the path to Christ. You witnessed to me in a brilliant way. Invited me to church and now we are still friends 16 years later.

10 Greatest Enemies To your Greatness

Rab Post_19Greatness remains a birthright for every living human being. Your greatness is guaranteed and without question or negotiation. The capacity to dream is built in and grafted to everyone at the point of conception. This function is enabled more as you arrive on earth and become aware of what could be, possibilities and opportunities as well as potential obstacles that you face in the process called growth and experience. However, your ability to dream and guarantee of greatness has equally opposing forces which seek to either delay, derail, destroy and mutilate your progress towards destiny. To know the disease is half the cure just as identifying an enemy is half the victory in the battle front. In this article I explore common enemies or dream killers that I have face faced as I have dreamt and worked on my vision. I have overcome some and yet still face more enemies. The goal is to empower you to identify your own enemies and have a strategy on how to bring them down so that your greatness can be well positioned to take place.

Common Dream Killers

1. Bad Personal Experiences and Testimonies that Others Tell You About
Usually when you have had a bad experience with a dream or vision you are likely going to remember the bad parts as you try to work on another dream. You need to break past the force of history and consider that a new page is opening. Fear of the past can grip you desire to do big things. Do not be moved by how others experienced their walk. We may have similar dreams but how I choose to walk and implement mine will bring the differences in results. What others say should not hold you back. I like the old Chinese proverb that says “Let those who say it cannot be done give way to the one who is doing it”.

2. Bad Advice / Counsel / Wrong Associations
Sometimes it is too soon to tell other people about your vision or dream. That may scuttle the incubation process and cause a premature delivery. Counsel is important but no one understands the intricacies of your dream like you do. When counsel is given it is proper not to implement all you hear but carefully assess the counsel a write the advice points down. Sometimes, people who are too lazy to implement their own dreams would want to also discourage others from breaking forth into success through dream implementation.

3. No documentation (or poorly written) – There are many dreams that have died while the dreamer continues to live all because there was no documentation. When you document, you have a constant reminder of something that is pending. When you die before your dream comes to pass, leave others copies of the ideas you had been working on. Your children will be able to enjoy the fruits of your dream as they implement it. If there is no blue print, plan or guideline to follow, your dream may well fade into the horizon of history on your departure. I would rather have this said about me “Well, he did not only leave money and assets but he left a dream which his family and children will enjoy”. If you leave money, your name drowns soon after it has been shared.

4. Chatter Box Syndrome – Advertising Chickens When You are Holding on to Eggs
Timing sometimes is important when it comes to who you can tell of your dream. Many dreams have been mutilated because of premature publicity. You never know the reaction of those you are sharing your dream with. Maybe they will become envious, they will discourage you and point you to how impossible it is. Before you open your mouth to tell the world about your dream, consider the side effects. Most importantly be allergic to discouraging voice. The moment you conform to every voice that comes is the moment you realize that you will be more confused.

5. Inconsistency and Lack of Integrity – Your dream requires consistency through and through as well as a large degree of integrity. Consistently affirming and building the vision, consistently putting wheels to the vision so that there is continual motion, consistently putting building blocks, values and scope etc. Integrity is being an individual whose word is their bond, who calls a spade a spade. Lack of integrity will see potential funders of your dream shunning your vision.

6. Impatience – This is when you sometimes say “I want it to happen here and now”. From vision conception to manifestation there is work, gestation, continual feeding and shaping of the vision. Speeding is an offense in driving and is more disastrous in the dream process. Let the vision run its full course. Some visions come to fruition in a shorter time than others. When you get into the habit of thinking the “quick return” visions are better than long term ones then you will always hop from vision to vision “hoping” for a quick returns.

7. Ignorance & Wrong Mental Focus – Lack of the Right Information can Kill Your Vision
Invest time in research and development (R&D). Living in assumption mode is dangerous. You need to take time to gather the relevant information that builds your capacity. Your mental focus plays a key role in making sure you are always building and not destroying your aspirations. What your mind conceives, if you believe it, you can easily bring it to reality. Your mental focus affects your conviction position.

8. Chasing Many Birds at Once – A Clear Sign of Indecision. Firing random shots is a waste of bullets. You must target at the bird you want to catch and go for it. A lion roars to scatter a herd of buffalo so that it can focus on the one and get it. Once it is focused on the one it is able to gather all its energy to chase and kill its prey with ease. It is good to diversify but wait until the first vision is running on its own lest you lose both visions at their infancy. It is quite overwhelming to get 3 visions off the ground at once. Some get stressed by this and they quit totally.

9. Indiscipline and Wrong Motives – Indiscipline is not doing what you plan and say you will do. Indiscipline in money matters comes when you borrow for consumption but not for investment or production. Some dreams suffer at the mercy of the motives of the dreamer. If you dream is merely about making money, then once the money does not come in time, you take off and start a new dream. If you dream is rooted on helping others, rooted on making this world a better place, then you will not be easily shaken. You will hang in there no matter what forces come against you.

10 Pride joined with Greed – These are cousins whose existence goes against the greatness you desire. Pride looks down on others. It does not seek to raise anyone up for greatness as that becomes increased “competition”. Pride seeks limelight all the time. It wants the microphone, to be heard and to be seen. Greed on the other hand is biting more than you can chew. It is never satisfied with anything. It wants more than is allocated.

Note that “Lack of Funding” has not qualified as a major threat to your dreams. Why is it so? If you are passionate enough about your dream and work towards eliminating the enemies above, funding will follow your vision. You will not convince anyone about your dream if you impatient, greedy, ignorant – all that I addressed above.

The Greatness Manual nominated for International Award

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This post is a special dedication to all those who have stood by me during the writing of my first book, The Greatness Manual. The good news is that this book has been nominated to receive an International Book Award by The People’s Book Awards.

Calling on all my fans to VOTE for this book. Every vote counts. Those who do not have the book as yet will not be left out. I am glad that you can download FREE sample chapters here so that you vote having read what the book is about.

To VOTE, simply visit The Book Awards website where you will find the Greatness Manual nomination by clicking here. All you need to do is hover over the stars above the book picture to select your rating (from 1 to 5 star). Once you have selected the stars you can proceed to leave thoughts about the book. This is not mandatory.

That’s all you need to do in order to VOTE. I thank you so much for all your help. Click-Here-to-Vote

40 Qualities Employers Look for in Employees.

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  1. Ability to prioritize – Given a number of tasks to work on, are you able to set priorities or you treat everything you have with the same level of attention.
  2. Accountability – If you are only accountable to yourself you are doomed to fail. Have other people who can look at you in the eye and tell you if your work ethic is pathetic.
  3. Adaptability – Change in business and life will forever be there. If you are not willing to change with the times you get left behind.
  4. Adherence to standards – every company or business has its standards which they seek to abide by. If you are not willing to stick to the rules of the game you are simply disqualified.
  5. Adventurous, daring risk taker– Never feel confined in your thinking. Be willing to try new things; new concepts. Business is a risky place and you have to get used to it.
  6. Approachable – If you exhibit an unapproachable disposition you are assured that people will not want to work with you. The work environment has other people. Be relational
  7. Boldness – This also speaks of being brave and confident. Noone wants to employ someone who is shy to express their own feelings, ideas and concerns.
  8. Change agent – As mentioned somewhere on this document, change happens. Those who cause organisations to evolve and grow will always be sought after.
  9. Clarity of purpose – Lack of purpose brings higher chances of you not being content with the job or vocation you are in. No contentment = no fruitfulness.
  10. Communicator – If you can communicate well, you will have a higher chance of people listening to your opinions and suggestions. Such people are in demand.
  11. Confidential – An employee who blurts corporate secrets creates a bad reputation that other employers will soon hear about. Manage information that comes your way.
  12. Continuous learner – You will never get to a point when you can say you know everything. An individual who is willing to learn new things is marketable. A teachable attitude is vital.
  13. Decisive – A person who makes decisions is likely to be promoted into leadership and greater responsibility than one who waits for orders.
  14. Delegator – You will not do all the work alone. Yes, it means that you entrust others with the role of executing a task but you remain responsible for the outcomes. Don’t walk alone.
  15. Deliverer of Results– You are rewarded for results you deliver not those that you promise of simply wish for. If you can deliver results, you will be promoted quicker than a mere talker.
  16. Dependable – Can you be trusted to down what you promise you will do? If your leadership begins to realise that you are dependable all the time then you will always smile to the bank.
  17. Desire to build others – Corporate memory is enhanced by individuals who are willing to pass on knowledge and experiences to others in the company. Be selfless with information.
  18. Detailed – Always pay attention to detail. Avoid thinking that the small things do not matter. Many are fired from their positions because the “small” things end up causing a big mess.
  19. Determined – If you are determined you will never lose heart or lose hope before tasks are completed. You will thrive even against the adversity in the work place.
  20. Different – You are unique in many ways. Employers always look for someone who comes on the team with a different flare. If you live the life of a copy you will not be noticeable
  21. Diligence – This is what breed Excellence. A diligent person will perform tasks with a high level of consistency. If you are excellent then people will fight for your signature.
  22. Direction (Focus) – If you live as if you do not know what your destiny entails then you will be tossed around like a robot. Have a plan for each day, goals for your life, aspirations.
  23. Disciplined – Several employers cherish employees who are disciplined enough to work with minimal supervision. The reason is that you will not always have a supervisor over you.
  24. Dreamer – Have a dream even if it scares you. Have a dream for your life, career, business etc. You will always be asked about your dreams in interviews. Bring ideas to the table.
  25. Driven individual – These are people who are motivated with tasks at hand not just moved by rewards. Make your work a priority; let your work speak for you and rewards will be justifiable.
  26. Flexible (Dynamic) – Do not be rigid. Sometimes you need to assess the situation and decide to do things differently. Of course, this is not a license to violate your own value system.
  27. Goal getter – Many love to set goals but it is the goals you actualise that position you ahead of competition. These could be both personal and professional goals.
  28. Gratitude – Be willing to thank those who assist you or those who do well to make your job easier. If you are thankful and grateful you will inspire productivity even more.
  29. Honesty and high integrity – Can you be trusted? Every employer is always looking for people with a high levels of honesty. Without it you are always suspicious to others.
  30. Humility – Remain humble no matter what achievements you have. Strike a balance between boldness and arrogance. Ensure that you remain level headed at all times.
  31. Live within your means – Be real. Eat what you kill. Employees who decide to live lives that are way above their own levels of income end up stealing from their employer or colleagues.
  32. Manager of self – You cannot manage corporate resources until you take a conscious decision to manage yourself better. Take time to confront yourself.
  33. Perseverance in tribulation – Someone who works knowing that challenges have a lifespan will not be deterred by skirmishes. In fact, always turn challenges to opportunities.
  34. Responsibility – Be willing to take responsibility for your own decisions and actions. If you always shift blame you are not a candidate for any senior office.
  35. Skill – An individual who has the right level of skill will attract the attention of an employer who is serious about excellence. Sharpen your skills always. Stay up to date in your field.
  36. Sound Character – While skill is important, character is what will keep you in any position. An employee with a weak character code will always be siphoned out and replaced with those whose character is unquestionable.
  37. Take responsibility – Maturity is seen in your readiness to take responsibility for your actions and decisions. Such individuals will attract leadership or management roles.
  38. Team Player – Business goals are realised quicker when employees have a team spirit. Without that there is division where employees seem to be on their own missions.
  39. Time consciousness – Business revolves around our attitude towards time. If you are not a good manager of time, chances are that you are not a good manager of many other areas.
  40. Value driven – If you lack values then you are shapeless. Have a moral compass which tells you things you will never do. Values guide your conduct and character.

40 Vital Life Lessons I learnt in 40 years

Rab@40

The19th of July marks an important milestone in my life. I turn 40 years. I have been running a series under Rab@40 Series. Enjoy this collection

1. Always be willing to take responsibility for your own actions and decisions – I have made mistakes in life but I ensure that I learn from them. I don’t blame others for what I know I did.
2. Any dream you have will face persecution and adversity – In my journey to make a difference, I have faced rejection, wrongful imprisonment, ridicule yet I keep standing.
3. Anyone can achieve mediocrity; excellence is what propels you far – I made a decision to strive for excellence in all I do. I rather not do something if I know I am not prepared to be excellent.
4. Be careful of the standard you settle for – Everyone should benchmark themselves in terms of where they want to be in times to come. Have people around you who challenge you to think big.
5.Build lasting relationships throughout life – Don’t be in the habit of burning bridges. I learnt this lesson when I left my 1st employer without notice. I felt bad for years. I still had to work with them in another forum. I noticed that we need each other throughout life.
6. Challenges come to us all but we must take them head on – Life was never meant to be rosy. If you can take every challenge as an opportunity to test your capabilities you will be amazed. Every challenge has an underlying solution to it and reason why you should face it.
7. Cherish the support of those around you – When you face challenges it’s easy to withdraw into yourself yet many want to stand with you. If one person stands with you that’s all you need.
8. Criticism is not always meant to bring you down. Use it – I am thankful to everyone who has taken time to disagree with me and offer constructive criticism. It is because of critics that I always drive towards excellence. Without them I would short-change myself to think I have arrived.
9. Do what is right no matter how much pressure or temptation comes from the majority.
10. Education is good to the degree that you are willing to apply it. There is no use being an educated fool – I am using all I have learnt to propel my vision and dreams further.
11. Hard work pays off all the time. It pays to persevere when it does not make sense to do so – I give myself tough writing targets and penalise myself for non-delivery. I have to write daily.
12. It is pointless to have great ideas that are never implemented – God has blessed me with great ideas. I try by all means to make those ideas a reality that benefits humanity.
13. It pays to rest so that you can do more when revitalised – I used to push myself to the limits without adequate rest. The body will do more for you when you also give it attention.
14. Know what you are good at and capitalize on it – At times we worry about things we can’t do. You can never be good at everything. I continue to discover my strengths and I deploy them to good use daily. I did not know I could write and when I discovered that I decided to go all out.
15. Life is a series of seasons; they not all the same – It is what you do in each season which will determine whether you survive or perish. I have faced seasons all seasons and survived.
16. Manage your time wisely – One resource that is always running out is time. I try to ensure that nothing that I never planned for “suddenly occupies my time. It is increasingly getting harder to get impromptu meetings with me unless it is absolutely necessary.
17. Maturity is knowing when to hold on and when to stop – Sometimes we have to hold on when it does not make sense but at times letting go can save us. I ran a business during hyper-inflation. Held on in it all. In 2010, it was time to let go and follow my purpose.
18. Money is good but not the ultimate priority – You will be frustrated if you live to chase the next deal and the next. I realized that your purpose may not pay your bills but it is all that fulfilling.
19. Never despise people based on their appearance; they could open doors for you someday – Some of the greatest leads and opportunities have been given to me by people who would be down trodden and seemingly unimportant. I cherish everyone.
20. Never look down upon where you came from. Your past was not by accident. Use your past to build your future – I grew up in a rural village from where I draw a lot of inspiration.
21. Never underestimate the value of networking – I am personally a networker by choice. I am forever growing the base of those who know me and those I know. Networks are important.
22. Not every opportunity that comes your way is yours – I have stopped crying over missed opportunities. I am probably alive today because I missed opportunities that could have killed me.
23. Nothing is worth losing your life for; value life always. At one point I contemplated suicide because I thought life had lost meaning. It was before I discovered my purpose.
24. People believe in you to the degree of your believe in yourself – Many times I would carry a sad, stressed sorry face and would wonder why people would not listen to me. I was draining their energy.
25. Plan beyond your present circumstances – It’s easy to slide into survival mode forgetting about the future. I manage today’s situation with a clear goal to build things that last.
26. Purpose propels you into high productivity. There is not much you can do outside your purpose – I discovered my purpose 3 years ago & have done in 3 years what I failed to do in 37.
27. Serving a nation is not merely for civil servants; it is everyone’s responsibility – I am aware that I can serve my nation by doing what I do to the best of my ability.
28. Success could be in things you are yet to try – I am not afraid to try new things, concepts and ideas. I would rather not succeed after trying than waste opportunities that come daily.
29. The greatest battle you will ever encounter rests between your ears – If you can manage your thoughts, you will be a great manager of life. My greatest struggle in life was wondering what other people would say or think. When I overcame this, I live a stress free life.
30. There is nothing you can do without faith – Everything I have achieved in life is not because I am smart or “lucky”. It is simply because the Lord has guided me. Finding my faith is the best decision I have ever made in 40 years. Everything else follows from there on.
31. There is power in forgiving those who wrong you – When you harbour unforgiveness you put pressure on your emotions. Forgiveness is not forgetting. It doesn’t also mean that the person who wronged you shouldn’t face consequences of their decision to wrong you.
32. Use your God given talents and resources to better the lives of others –I am more fulfilled when I help others to achieve even more than I have done.
33. Watch the baggage you accumulate over time – Many times the way we are treated by others in life begins to shape the way we treat others. I watch the way I speak to other people.
34. When you do good to others, avoid raising your expectations for reciprocal action – I have learnt that no one owes me a favour. If they remember me or they don’t it is still fine.
35. You are never rewarded for intentions no matter how good; you are rewarded for results – Working for a multinational corporation I got promotions for the results I produced.
36. You can lose physical material but never lose hope. Always tell yourself that it will get better. In 2008 I lost almost everything I had. I never lost hope that one day I would regain them.
37. You can only go as far as your awareness takes you – It is easy to be ignorant for life. I make it a habit to travel, read widely and meet/connect with different people. I raise my awareness always.
38. You will make better progress when you have people to learn from – I have made strides in my career all because I targeted a number of people who had made it in specific areas who I desired to be mentored by. I have mentors for every facet of my life. Find your mentors too.
39. You will not always make great decision; keep making decisions anyway – I have made great & dumb decisions but I do not bury my head in the sand. I keep making more decisions daily.
40. Your competitor is not your enemy – I value people who strive to do what I do because through them I get to do even better. Without competition, I doubt that I would maximise my potential.

40 Perspectives for Building Great Relationships.

Rab@40_Relationships

  1. A relationship that can stand the test of trust, distance, time, external competition and interference is strong. Most relationships fail largely because of these forces.
  2. Always be careful how you treat people. The world is too small. You are only a few people away from anyone you have always wanted to relate with. You could be ill-treating your future boss.
  3. Always seek clarity about what brings and binds you together. Doing so will help you be wise about your expectations & to be careful enough not to crack the relationship building blocks.
  4. Avoid giving favors with hidden expectations. It is better to be open about what you want and not get it than hold people at ransom by your gift wrapped bribe.
  5. Be careful not to inflict injury on others as a result of bad emotional seed in your past. Wounded people can injure others unknowingly. Shed off baggage that’s not worth carrying.
  6. Be careful who comes near you as they have a higher chance of hurting you. Watch out for matters you view as trivial and yet others are sensitive about them. People are different.
  7. Be selective about who you allow into your own life. Not everyone you meet should occupy your inner circle. Exercise discretion and know that you can only relate closely to a limited number.
  8. Be watchful over the words you say.  You may never take back the words that have left your mouth. Words can damage the receiver. Before you speak, make it a habit to step into the receiver’s shoes.
  9. Be willing to learn from others. You do not know everything there is to know. No one wants to be around a person who repels the contribution of others; be it counsel or caution.
  10. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. It is how conflict is managed that determines the lifespan of the relationship. Conflict can be healthy as it brings together different perspectives.
  11. Disagreements will come. Avoid thinking that all the people around you need to always agree with you. Learn to disagree amicably. You actually grow better with people who think differently.
  12. Forgetting the people who helped you up the ladder of life is irresponsible. Acknowledge those on whose shoulders you stood over the years no matter how small their contribution seems.
  13. Great relationships have constant communication at the centre. If you cease to communicate then you will soon grow apart and the pulse of that relationship collapses.
  14. Humanity is possessive when it comes to achievements. It is unfair to only think of others in times of turmoil. Relationships should be unconditional. Anything outside this is exploitation.
  15. Hurt me with the truth than please me with lies. Truth can be painful but it is better than deception. Don’t give a false impression as people will make critical decisions based on it. A friend who doesn’t mince his words is a great asset. Truth builds. Lies create fragile fantasies.
  16. If you desire fruitful relationships fulfil promises you make to others. Avoid creating expectations when you are certain you can’t deliver. You measured against them so think before committing.
  17. If you have a challenge trusting other people then you will struggle to initiate relationships. It is a risk to be vulnerable to others yet it is a step you have to take.
  18. Keeping a relationship alive will cost you time and effort. If you are not willing to invest in a relationship then be assured that you will soon be on your own.
  19. Learn that forgiveness is essential in cementing a relationship. People will err and so will you. If you hold grudges then you will soon not have anyone around you because mistakes will happen. Forgiveness is the best cure for dents in relationships.
  20. Love is a powerful force, bringing together two strangers with their history to a common undertaking. The journey of love is a journey worth taking and a lifelong adventure.
  21. Manage relatives that you work with in a professional environment by setting boundaries. Do not let your personal association affect your professional deliverables and conduct.
  22. Never cry for people to respect and value you when you treat others like insects. Respect flows in the direction it came from without you having to choke or squeeze it out of people.
  23. Never despise doors that people who are seemingly ordinary can open for you. They may access people you don’t know. You will go far if you learn to relate even with those with no titles.
  24. Never inherit other people’s enemies. My friend’s enemy can actually be my customer. As far as possible refuse to be contaminated by the relations and experiences that other people have had with each other. Stop adopting other people’s issues and making them your own.
  25. No matter how good an individual can be, mere association with bad individuals corrupts one’s value system. If you can’t influence your friends positively you are better off keeping your distance. People that occupy the bulk of your time should justify their space.
  26. No matter how much counsel a person requires, leave them to make the final decision on next steps. You can’t take over their decision making. Don’t be offended if your counsel is discarded.
  27. One big mistake people make is running away from those they owe. Running away gives you temporary comfort but the truth remains (you owe). Keeping your line of communication open, explaining the position each time is the best way to manage relationships.
  28. Relationships can propel you beyond where your intellect, money or even experiences have taken you. Relationships are more valuable than all of these items mentioned.
  29. Selfless people tend to make greater progress than selfish ones. It does not cost you money to make another person smile. Take stock of relationships you have abandoned and mend them.
  30. Sometimes we fail to appreciate those who are close to us because our sensitivity to them is dampened by our increased familiarity. You take for granted everyone you are too familiar with.
  31. Strong relationships feed on honesty and truth. There is no relationship that can feed on falsehoods and survive. A façade is never a good ingredient for great relationships.
  32. The money you will ever desire to make is in the relationships you build. You can wish for success all your life but without relationships you struggle. You are as big as your network.
  33. The quality of our lives is the sum total of our associations and aspirations. It’s crucial who you share your life with because they can dampen your drive towards the life you want.
  34. The strength of a relationship is seen in the nature and magnitude of problems that the relationship solves. A sound relationship can prescribe solutions to its own problems.
  35. The survival of a relationship is a joint responsibility of all parties involved. When a relationship is left to one party to keep alive, they will struggle and soon give up.
  36. True friends aren’t those who come to your celebrations only but those who faithfully identify with you when your world falls apart. Don’t count your friends when your purse is  overflowing.
  37. Unwillingness to identify with someone’s pain and suffering disarms you from seeking last minute affiliation in the person’s successes. It’s important to be wary of opportunists who specialize in sensing your good seasons & creeping in just in time to benefit from you.
  38. You are not in a relationship for what you can benefit but for what you can contribute. If you are possessed by a consumer mind-set then your relationships won’t last. Rather walk alone than be caught up in a forest of deception.
  39. You have to learn to compromise. When differences of opinion come you seem to fail to disagree amicably, it is time to strike a compromise.
  40. Your greatest asset in life are the relationships that you build. There are people whose lives have been impacted by your existence while you have also benefited from relationships.