Category Archives: Business Success

Business Related articles

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.

10 Key Networking Principles

Business Communication Duplicate modelPic Courtesy of Profiles International

In close to 20 years of professional experience, I have interfaced with a number of people and I have seen a common thread that has hindered their progress in life and more-so in the corporate world and that is the lack of a key soft-skill called “Networking”. Below is a quick compilation of thoughts around the subject which can help you become an effective net-worker.

  1. The people you are afraid to meet & network with are willing to meet with you as long as you know what to say when you meet them. I have met a number of notable people in my life including prolific entrepreneurs, Presidents and professionals. I must admit that at first I was afraid but I soon snapped out of this mode and became a networker by choice.
  2. If I know you and you know someone then I can access them through you. Such is the power of networking. Don’t be an island. You are always 2 or 3 people away from the person you have always wanted to meet. Never think there are people who are unreachable under the sun.
  3. There are doors that are better opened for you by others than you battling all your life without success. Networking does work. I have lived this message in my career. It was through networking that I have travelled the world speaking and inspiring people.
  4. The power of networking is that you can accelerate the rate at which you learn by tapping into the expertise of those around you. You shouldn’t wait for the classroom to reduce your level of ignorance. Leverage on the power of networking and you will succeed. When you are in a network. In my network are mentors and protégés. While I learn from others I pass that knowledge to the next generation of leaders.
  5. Don’t go into networking only for what you can get. Relationships are a two way street. Be prepared to give of your substance. People are wary of parasites that only seek their own satisfaction. As long as a relationship has mutual benefit, it remains solid and strong. Even millionaires have needs too. It may not be money but maybe encouragement. Go into networking with the right motive. If all you see is you getting richer then you are sincerely mistaken. Start afresh. You don’t turn to your network only when you have pressing needs you want met but also when you have a contribution to make.
  6. In your daily networking, don’t take people to be stingy when they don’t have a clue what your needs are. Not many can guess. One thing I am not afraid to do is asking. I have noticed that in life the gap between where you are and where you need to be could be a question or just opening up to a person who has the means to get you there.
  7. Your skills benefit you if you expose them to people who feel they are valuable. Don’t be skilled and poor. Start networking. I noticed about 5 years ago that I had a skill that could benefit and inspire humanity but this kind of skill could only be useful to others if it was given to them. This is why sharing inspiration is a way of life for me.
  8. Your network is so powerful to the point of determining your net worth. Your worth is not just measured in money terms alone. When you are involved in networking, you grow in wisdom and knowledge through the multiplicity of skills and talents around you. The associations you have can either lift or reduce your profile so network with wisdom. You may not have huge material resources but the moment you start networking, your resourcefulness spirals exponentially.
  9. It’s not the number of followers you have that matters, it is your ability to feed them enough to keep them in your network. It feels good to be popular but popularity that does not help those who follow you is futile. Of what benefit are you to those who follow you? If people leave you worse than when they came to you then you stand to destroy your network.
  10. The skill of networking doesn’t come naturally to many people. The good news is that you can learn and be a master at it. I am a product of efforts by many mentors around me to get me to become a power net-worker. I owe it to lessons learned over the years and my willingness to implement something which seemed foreign at the beginning.

This list is not everything there is to know about networking but I am only hoping that it will ignite your passion to start doing something about gaining this soft skill.

 

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.

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 Guidelines for Effective Leadership

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  1. Leaders serve, they do not wait to be served. If your desire to serve others is overpowered by your willingness to be of service to them then you effectiveness is compromised.
  2. Leaders are passionate about developing other pro-active leaders not just making followers who always wait for instructions like robots.
  3. Leaders are team players and team builders not referees. As a leader, desist from just being a spectator. Get your hands dirty.
  4. Leaders know that they will not do all the work alone hence they delegate tasks to members of the team. Through delegation they are able to see areas where extra coaching and mentoring is needed.
  5. Leaders take responsibility for non-delivery. They will not pass the bark. They will not hide from their own mistakes. Instead they come out to help fix problems even if they did not cause them.
  6. Leaders always strive for continual improvement. They do not rest on yesterday’s successes but rather they use those achievements as today’s pedestals.
  7. Leaders have vision. They are not stuck in the past but they always set their eyes on the horizon. They always have the future in mind as they build.
  8. Leaders are great at managing conflict. As a leader you will always have people around you. Multiple individuals in one space means conflict.
  9. Leaders have high integrity. You cannot demand that your team members be of high integrity standards that you are not willing to abide by. Do what you say you will do.
  10. Leaders are role models – Team members do what they see the leader tolerating not what the leader instructs.
  11. Leaders are strategic in their thinking and approach.  They spend most of their time plotting strategy of how to keep the organisation moving forward.
  12. Leaders have people at heart. People will work best in an atmosphere where they feel their leader cares about their well-being not just about results. A leader who nurtures others is productive.
  13. Leaders are great listeners. Leaders encounter people with issues from time to time. Take time to hear them before jumping to your pre-conceived conclusions.
  14. Leaders welcome ideas from those around them. They encourage team members to innovate and bring ideas to the table. They don’t stifle creativity.
  15. Leaders take time to discover their personal weaknesses and finding effective ways to counter or contain them. Self awareness is a crucial element of effective leaders. Before you lead others you must lead yourself well.
  16. Leaders are secure and confident in themselves. They don’t intimidate rising stars and neither are they jealous of them.
  17. Leaders are great communicators. As a leader you will always be communicating vision, goals and strategy therefore communication is a pivotal element for buy-in from staff and teams.
  18. Leaders are not consumed by titles but by creating value for the organisation especially through the people employed there-in.
  19. Leaders persevere even in the face of obvious persecution, adversity, pain and obstruction. They remain calm while focussing on keeping the dream alive.
  20. Leaders are not afraid of criticism. As a leader you are in the spotlight. Every move you make receives a response from those around you. You are therefore not immune to scrutiny.
  21. Leaders are optimistic. Optimists see mistakes as learning opportunities, not as catastrophes from which they’ll never recover.
  22. Leaders take risks. Developing great leadership stamina entails getting out of the seat of comfort by setting “stretch” goals that enable them to develop new skills.
  23. Leaders create a positive culture that drives organisational excellence and attainment of goals or targets. If your staff have a sour attitude, trace back to see if you did not encourage it.
  24. Leaders break barriers and walls of limitation. Great leaders refuse to be contained in a given space. They rather choose to define how far they want to go despite circumstances.
  25. Leaders spend quality time planning and even more time implementing their ideas. They are great dreamers but they are not hesitant to make their ideas practical.
  26. Leaders always raise the bar. Set standards and define expectations. Failure to challenge staff to aim higher and achieve more results in the organisation achieving mediocre results.
  27. Leaders are great at balancing their time between work, rest and other responsibilities outside the confines of their organisation. They lead a balanced life.
  28. Leaders always seek to expand their level of awareness and exposure. Leaders read and travel widely. They use every opportunity to learn ways to build stronger organisations.
  29. Leaders work with a succession plan in mind. They set their eyes even towards the period when they retire and begin to groom potential successors deliberately.
  30. Leaders are loyal to their vision and dreams. They will not hide or keep silent when others trample over their own exploits. They always find ways to safeguard their dreams.
  31. Leaders offer recognition of the efforts and achievements of their team members thereby inspiring them towards even greater achievements. They go a step further to reward performance.
  32. Great leaders are decisive and resolute. They make decisions and stand by them all the way. Team members become insecure around a leader whose decisions are never solid.
  33. Leaders manage information well. As a leader you will receive a lot of personal sensitive information. Learn to maintain confidentiality and publicise your staff’s information.
  34. Leaders develop relationships of trust with their staff members. As a result team members open up where they face challenges in executing their roles or even at a personal level.
  35. True leaders are selfless with their success. They reward those stakeholders who helped them to rise as well as making a difference in the communities they operate.
  36. Leaders are able to adjust to change but more importantly they cause change to happen. They are not stuck in the old way of doing business. They swiftly move with the times.
  37. Leaders have sharpened attention to see and seize opportunities. They do not wait for consensus while opportunities vanish. They enjoy meeting the needs of people and by so doing they create revenues for their businesses.
  38. Leaders go against the grain creating a new status quo. They are not comfortable by what already exists. They seek to venture into territories that others shy away from. That is how they become success stories.
  39. Leaders value people who think differently than them. They do not see that as disrespect. Rather they try to use alternative suggestions to sharpen their own ideas further.
  40. Leaders are not manipulative of those they lead. They let them have free space to exercise their own judgement and decision making power without fear of reprisal.

40 Tips that will position you for Greatness

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July 2013 is the month when I will be turning 40. Yippie, life for me is about to begin. Got me thinking today about what I can give you as I begin my celebrations of this landmark in my life. I finally decided that I would empty myself of 40 tips which I feel are important as you seek to become a candidate for greatness. Enjoy this unedited version of my outpouring.

1. Be a continuous learner – This is a process that should never stop in your life.
2. Turn challenges into opportunities – Identify a need, meet it and see if you balance sheet will not improve.
3. Think beyond the present – If you can think of the future it will affect how you manage your life today.
4. Use your talents effectively – Stop envying the gifts and talents that others have. Identify your space and occupy it.
5. Be more organised – Success emanates from careful planning. Don’t just expect things to happen. Plan for them.
6. Be willing to work – Don’t be fooled; it is almost impossible to achieve greatness without working hard and/or smart.
7. Manage relationships – You were not born in your own planet, you have people around you that can propel you forward. All the money you want is in the relationships you are yet to make. Don’t burn bridges all your life. Seek help from those around you.
8. Be bold and daring – Greatness will entail that you take risks. Do things that others shun from. Attempt the previously impossible. You greatness is covered in that.
9. Cultivate an investor mentality – Realise that for success to come your way you have to invest your time, treasure and talent. Deploy your resources where there is return on investment you put in.
10. Be open to criticism – Criticism will surely come. It is how you handle it that determines how far you make progress in life. Be open to correction and counsel.
11. Manage your thoughts carefully – Your life is shaped by what you think about. If you can manage your thoughts then you can manage your life even better.
12. Implement your ideas – If you can transfer your thoughts to become something your hands can work on then you become a winner. Don’t sit on your ideas expecting them to undergo metamorphosis on their own. Don’t bury your dreams alive.
13. Have hope and faith – Whatever you lose, don’t lose hope, don’t lose your grip. Have faith that somehow things will turnaround in your favour.
14. Manage your confession – What you say to yourself daily is what you will believe. What you believe you promote, what you promote you become. Stay positive always.
15. Be excellent in all you do – Whatever you find to do, just add a touch of excellence to remain competitive so that you stand out. Anyone can achieve mediocrity. Don’t stay at mediocre level if ever you happen to find yourself there. Aim higher.
16. Learn to manage failure – You are not the first one to fail. Use every failure as a learning point to do even better on your next attempt.
17. Manage your expectations – Frustration is a result of false expectations. Be real with yourself. Don’t over promise yourself. Be objective in your expectations.
18. Manage your time and money – Be disciplined with what occupies your day and your budget. At any given time in life you are either managing time or money.
19. Sharpen your skills always – The world is forever changing which places a demand on our skills to also keep changing in line with the new needs of mankind.
20. Think beyond yourself – As long as you aim to enrich and lift just yourself up you limit how far you will go. Lift others as you rise.
21. Watch your friends – Find like-minded people who share your ideals and passion for growth. Your friends can grow you or bring you down outright.
22. Manage information – The information you have or do not have governs how far you will progress. Always seek to enrich your information power base.
23. Watch who you partner with – As you setup businesses, be careful who you select as your partner. They can either build your dream, steal it from you or simply mutilate it. No matter how well resourced they are, they have to share in the dream first.
24. Start what you plan and finish what you start – Don’t just settle for being a good starter. Rewards are for those who finish the mandates. Finish strong.
25. Be a great listener – Human beings love to hear themselves speak. However, take time to listen to your stakeholders (your customers, suppliers, friends etc.).
26. Be a good role model – Do all you can to ensure that what you do does not stumble others. You may not know it but other people are learning from you.
27. Honour your word – Your word should be your bond. You should not promise what you know you are not willing to deliver. Keep your promises.
28. Introspect always – Take time to carefully assess your own decisions, own progress and rate and appraise yourself objectively. Have “me times”.
29. Celebrate your victories – They may seem small but note them and celebrate them. Stand on every victory so that you aim even higher.
30. Have a mentor and mentor others – You will make better strides when you learn from those you admire and have walked the road longer. Just as you are mentored, take time to mentor others.
31. Manage stressful moments well – You will be stretched in life. Don’t bother worrying about what people are thinking of you. Stay on you track. Do the best you can with what you have. People have expectations on you but manage those situations with tact.
32. Be patient; shortcuts are not recommended – Follow the process. Greatness is not an overnight process. It may take varying amounts of time. Remain steadfast and resolute knowing that your chance to shine will come.
33. Be flexible; change is imminent – Learn to move with the times. Manage the process of change carefully. Change is said to be the only constant in life. You are forever changing physically, mentally, socially etc. Don’t change your values unnecessarily for the sake of change.
34. Manage your reputation – What do you want to be known for after you are gone? Spend time to ensure that you promote what you stand for. It is your reputation that sometimes gets doors to be opened without a single request from you. People will seek your advice just because of what they know about you.
35. Identify your purpose and live it – Your purpose may not bring you millions of dollars but it will help you to live a fulfilled life. Take time to know why you are occupying space. You are not your career. No one can impose purpose on you. You just have to find what you are passionate about and do it.
36. Stop feeling sorry for yourself – You are not a victim; you are not down trodden. You may be down but that does not mean you are out. Yes, you may fall from time to time but that should not define your end.
37. Take responsibility for your actions – Own up when you mess up. It can’t always be someone else’s fault. Your maturity is when you are able to say “I am the one who did wrong; I am sorry”.
38. Be decisive – Not all decisions you will make in life will be great ones but keep making decisions all the same. Every decision you shall make will have varying degrees of consequences but do not shy away from making them.
39. Be a consistent giver – You don’t need to be a millionaire before you can extend your hand to those less fortunate than you are. Making a difference begins with however little you have. Giving is not always about money anyway, you can give wisdom, you can give time to listen to a distressed individual. Just give of yourself.
40. Learn to be content with what you have – This is not a license for aiming low and settling for half achievements. This is a call for you not to exercise greed just because you want to look better than the next person. Watch the motive behind your accumulation.

7 Guidelines to a Productive Day

Hand check mark the listHow many times have you set to attack a day and yet towards the end of the day you could hardly account for the running you did all day? How many times have you entered a day with no clue what you wanted to achieve but in the end still remained frustrated and unproductive. These are commons situations that professionals face daily. One’s productivity is a result of intentional and deliberate decision to aspire for and work towards productivity. You can never attain what you cannot measure. You can never enjoy life in the absence of productivity. Life calls for you to be proactive and deliberate about your own happiness as a professional. Happiness is a result of all that is desired being achieved within the set time. This article was birthed out of several disruptions to my fruitfulness. I watched and monitored how my time had been wasted and sought to change the way I did things. It worked phenomenally for me and I know it will work for anyone who is deliberate and intentional.

1. Determine you major and minor goals for the day – The main issue is knowing which issues are important and which ones are secondary to the main purpose. If you fail to plan your day, anything that comes will destroy your attention and focus. You will be tired and everywhere and yet not have the desired result. Work with the desired result in mind. That is being organized.

2. Stick to your plan – It is one thing to have a meetings schedule, it is another ball game to stick to what you purposed in 1 above. It calls for a high level of discipline to do so. Avoid over stretching meetings unnecessarily. Stick to the point. Stick to the budget. Whatever was not planned for at the start of the day may not suddenly be the main focus for the day. There are exceptions to this but in general terms, what was planned should be accomplished. Prioritize issues based on importance and urgency.

3. Watch out for disruptions – While you are planning your day, other people are planning their appointments with you but the feel that there is no need to inform you. Watch out for such time wasters. People must get used to booking to see you. This is not for senior professionals. Anyone should have a diary that they can stick to make things happen. Watch out for unplanned visitors and calls with no real value.

4. Occupy the idle moments – There is a lot stuff you can cover in between meetings or while driving from one place to the next. You can use that time to listen to an audio book. You can use waiting time to catch up on the news and so on. There are things you would rather not do during prime time, when you mind is fresh. I made a point not to read the newspaper at the start of the day. Newspapers tend to carry depressing issues which can scuttle your effectiveness and focus.

5. Put reminders on the computer and PDA – alarms will ensure you don’t forget what you have set to do. I carry my phones with me as they help me stay organized. I set the reminders, synchronize my PDA, phone and other gadgets with my email collaboration system. It works like magic for me.

6. Avoid over-promising your stakeholders – Productivity is usually scuttled because you would have promised far too many people big things that are not attainable in the given space of time. Be realistic with your promises.

7. Measure, correct and journal your experiences – You can never improve on something you are not deliberately recording and revisiting. You should be able to measure or score against all given tasks how productive each day was. When you journal you are able to come up with lessons on how to make it better the next time

Fountain of Inspiration vol. 1 to be launched in Harare

My latest book, Fountain of Inspiration vol. 1 will be launched in Harare, Zimbabwe on Thursday 13 September at the Book Cafe (Samora Machel Avenue). This is in collaboration and partnership with Zimbabwe United States of America Alumni Association (ZUSAA). You are all invited to this event where there will be entertainment and fun. This will happen from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Contact info@greatnesstrust.org to organize collection of your invitation card. See more information here and confirm participation.See you there!!!

Fountain of Inspiration Volume 1 is out!!!

My life is dedicated towards the inspiration of others towards greatness. That is how I sum-up my purpose for existence. To do that, I speak and write inspirational messages that seek to take you from where you are to where you are supposed to be. My new book, “Fountain of Inspiration Vol. 1” offers just that. There are 13 incredible chapters with 70 inspirations in each chapter. It makes it the premier book of inspiration. Read below what Brian Tracy, Dr. John Stanko and many others said about the book. You can also order this hardback by clicking here.

"Fountain of Inspiration Vol. 1", Rabison Shumba's New book

A few of the endorsements of this book:

“This book gives you a series of powerful, practical tools and ideas you can use to unleash your personal power for success. I recommend this great tool indeed.”
Brian Tracy. President of Brian Tracy International, Motivational Speaker,
Consultant & Best Selling Author of over 55 Books, such as No Excuses, Eat that Frog!
Solana Beach, California, USA

“Rabison Sumba has done it again.  He has shared with us out of the abundance of his heart and what we have in this book is a veritable feast of wisdom, insight, and inspiration.  You can literally dive into any part of this book and receive pearls of wisdom about life, leadership, purpose and productivity.  An old adage that states, “A man cannot lead you where he has not been himself.”  Rabison leads us to the place where he lives and draws life, and gives away what he has paid a high price to receive. Thank you, Rabison, for sharing so freely.”
Dr. John Stanko – President of PurposeQuest International,
Author of over 10 books including “Unlocking the Power of Purpose”, Conference Speaker
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

“A well planned meal of inspirational wisdom is how I would describe this gift by Rabison Shumba. I suggest that you turn the pages slowly and read thoughtfully. To read too quickly, one might overlook the depth of thought that went into each phrase. As I read one thought of wisdom after the other, I wanted to take each one apart and find even more. The gift left me with the notion that we all matter regardless of the circumstances of our start. The embrace of individual ‘unselfishness’ is key to long term success for self and others. This was so clear to me.  Such a gift has tremendous application for building a positive infrastructure of relationships in any arena where people gather.”
Clifton L. Taulbert – Founder & President of the Building Community Institute
Pulitzer-Nominated Author & International Lecturer on the Power of Community
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

“It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the negative news to which we are regularly exposed. This collection of short, but powerful pieces of wisdom can be your antidote. With his personal insights on a variety of topics, you can’t help by feel inspired by Rabison Shumba’s writings!”
Charlotte Weeks – President of  Weeks Career Services, Inc.,
Former Co-author “101 Great Ways to Enhance your Career”
Consultant and Author of “I Want to Work in an Association – Now What??”
Chicago, Illinois,  USA

Where to get this book

You can purchase the book in print in Zimbabwe from Innov8 Bookshop, Insignia and many other outlets. You can order a print copy or e-book from here. Get a copy and be inspired.

7 Jewels for your growth

1. The smallest particle that makes up the big success that you desire is called information. Access to information is what separates those who make it in life and those who are stuck in the realm of excuses and complaints. Increase your access to information and you suddenly you boost your access to opportunity.

2. They do not lie when they say information is power. When ignorance is reduced by half, chances of succeeding treble. You can never attain opportunities you are not aware of. You will use jewels to kill birds and bank notes to light fires in the absence of information on what those items truly are.

3. Run your life by principle and not by guess work. You have to come to a point where you are values driven in all your decision making. If you ignore principles, you will be tossed around by all whims and appearances of “opportunity”. Be loyal to your own standards and values. In the absence of standards, chaos is inevitable.

4. I would rather tell the truth and lose out than lie all the way and win. A lie as small as a grain of sand can create a reputational catastrophe big enough to decimate your chances to gain true success. A small lie will grow little by little. You graduate into a perpetual habit where you itch to lie unnecessarily with every sentence you create.

5. In any relationship, you have to be clear about what brings and binds you together. Doing so will help you be rational/reasonable about your expectations and careful enough not to crack the building blocks unnecessarily. Manage expectations well, preserve the values jealously and your relationship will thrive.

6. It becomes lonely at the top if you are a selfish, insecure and unaccommodating leader. Great leaders go up the ladder while pulling others to follow suit. If all you do is concern yourself with the title and not come to terms with the fact that leaders give birth to more leaders then be comfortable in your loneliness.

7. Do the best with what you have, where you are. Excellence is an art that requires consistency in terms of practice. If you are excellent with the small things, you are a candidate for the bigger assignments. Excellence is not a game of chance. It is supposed to be a lifestyle. If “average” is good enough for you, then you disqualify yourself from visibility