Category Archives: Professional Development

For the professional in you. Self help tools to make you excel in your career.

7 Important Personal Attributes

Attitude Word CloudGraphic courtesy of socalmulligan808.blogspot.com

An individual is the sum total of his/her personal attributes. You can tell who a person is by assessing how they behave in given circumstances or situations. People are bound to be different hence there should never be an expectation that people will be the same one day. They may agree on one issue strongly but be at a different tangent on a separate subject. The differences that people have make this world a wonderful place to be, it becomes so colorful and pleasurable to stay in. In this article I look at what I consider the important facets to an individual. These are attributes which when you possess you begin to stand head and shoulders above your own peers.

1. Pro-activity in situations – to be proactive is to be able to discern what needs to be done and then do it without even waiting to consult and follow the red tape. A proactive individual is preferred for leadership positions because sometimes you will not always have people to consult over an idea. As a leader you will have situations when you have to create or control a situation rather than always having to respond to what has happened (reactionary or reactivity).

2. Persistence to the end – This is the ability to be able to continue steadfastly at something in the midst of adversity and immense difficulty. People who persist to the end have a winning attitude, never giving up because of impending failure. Persistence is the willingness to push until there are results showing. Many people have great potential but lack the urge to push to the end.

3. Patience in tribulation – patience can be defined as the capacity to tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without becoming angry or upset. In life one may experience delays in getting what one needs, patience is important. Things may not happen according to your own timing or your own thinking but one has to develop tenacity to be solid, to hold on even when it does not make sense.

4. Peace in the midst of turmoil – When one is at peace they are free from disturbance, anxiety or stress. Peace is contentment with what is. It does not mean the absence of turmoil. One has to maintain their cool even if in the midst of chaos and threat of danger. Peace is a mental state that one must pursue. It therefore calls for one to master the art of ensuring that nothing ever disturbs the processes in the mind.

5. Personality that is pleasant – people who exude pleasant personalities create friends and network easily. These are people who know how to relate with other people. Roles that require human interaction such as leadership, customer care, sales, help desk and so on require someone who is friendly. Pleasant should never be confused with weak. These people are friendly and yet firm on their convictions and beliefs.

6. Positive character at all times – No one ever wants to be close to people who are always negative. Positive thinkers look at the brighter side of life, the side of possibility, the side of hoping against hope. These are constructive, optimistic and confident people. A positive person can easily attract a job or favor while a negative person looks on.

7. Professionalism and good work ethic – Professionalism is the competence or skill expected of a professional. A professional who is guided by a set of moral principles will always go far and beyond and ordinary person. When at work such an individual will not abuse company resources such as time, finances and so on. If you lack in principles then any behavior is acceptable to you.

More than just reading this article, make it a point to begin to do something about what you have read. Head knowledge is only important to the level of your willingness to implement what you read.

7 Ways to maintain your reputation

reputation-management-head - BradBlogging(Picture Courtesy of BradBlogging)

Your name is one of the greatest assets you have. Your name builds and defines your reputation. Reputation is about one of the most important tools you carry around. When your name is mentioned in a conversation what are the perceptions that come to mind? Are the views and perceptions positive in any way or your name has become synonymous with all kinds of negativity? In no way am I asking for you to reform into an angel because I am sure there are enough angels already. You just need to be you, the original you. There is no one without weaknesses. In no way am I encouraging lawlessness and upholding of the shortcomings. One has to be seen to be making an effort in the direction of transforming weakness to strengths. Reputation must be safeguarded with all the energy available. Habits you entertain, words you speak without thinking, actions you take without careful analysis and thoughts you entertain tend to shape the brand that you become. Let me help you with a few hints to maintain or safeguard your reputation.

1. Meet your promises – whenever you say “I will do it”, mean it with you heart. People trust you until you prove that you are not worth trusting. It is better to say no and still go ahead and work on the assignment than to give an impression that you will work on it and disappoint people needlessly. Sometimes it is hard to say no but this frees you from pressure and people will appreciate your candidness. I suffered from this issue for many years where I took on tasks which I knew had become one too many. As a result it reduced my effectiveness and my frustration shot through the roof. If you promise someone, it is incumbent upon you to fulfill the promise no matter what cost you have to face.

2. Communicate progress and constraints – Your reputation can be marred easily because of constraints and problems that emanate from the task you have taken up. People will assume you are making progress and yet you may be facing challenges that can be alleviated. Communication will solve most worries you carry. People will appreciate your communication and possibly prepare themselves for potential delays or chances of non-delivery. Communication is a soft skill that lacks in most people but fortunately you can learn it.

3. Mind those you linger around – friends and accomplices shape your reputation. Choose how you want people to know you by selecting the correct set of friends. It is easy to become “guilty by mere association”. Always ask yourself what your friends are known for. Your brand reputation can easily be painted or lumped together with those you spend time with. It is good to relate with people but not everyone you meet should come into your inner circle. If friends are taking you nowhere then it is time to safeguard your reputation by keeping them at a distance. Always watch for feedback from those you consider to be close in terms of where you are taking your reputation. Make corrective action before there is irreparable damage.

4. Be careful with financial integrity – Some people will be fine with everything else until money comes into the equation. They will sacrifice their name and reputation for a few dollars. At the end of it all, integrity is one of the most important facets you require. Integrity is cultivated even at the point when you are dealing with small amounts. It sounds obvious but there are people who are not scared to snatch that which is not theirs whether from an employer, friend or even family member. Live within your means, in fact as much as possible try and live below your means. You will not have the urge to impress people with money that is not available which usually leads to debt and all kinds of chicanery.

5. Watch events and places you attend – The places you visit, the times you are seen in certain places are all building or destroying your name. It is not every event that you are invited to that you should feel compelled to attend. There are places that are only visited by a certain type of people. People make assumptions and based on those your brand reputation or equity is impacted. While we are encouraged never to judge people, unfortunately in the world we live in people will make judgments quietly at your own detriment.

6. Always clarify expectations – You may have hidden or unclear deliverables that can mar or destroy your good name. Always verify that you are working on the correct expected piece of work. There is no point attempting anything until you are clear that you are doing something as expected by your customer. Never be afraid to verify what the instruction is. You will save yourself a lot of time and resources. More importantly you will satisfy your customers. If in doubt, simply ask. Don’t be selfish with your ignorance as that impacts people’s perception of your own work ethic.

7. Mind your language – This relates to both telephone conversations and online activity. The tone by which you address others can be attached to your name. Ever been told that “the internet never forgets?”. It is so true. There are issues we post online which may have negative connotations resulting in them causing people to think of us as full of negativity. We post those words and in years to come when we now run for positions that require a certain type of person we are then found wanting.

This is by no means not the full list of things you need to look at but a starting point for you to ensure that you reputation is kept in check. I am hoping this will lower your reputational risk.

7 Guidelines to a Productive Day

Productivivity - Lifehack(Picture Courtesy of Lifehack.org)

How 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 after running around and yet not have the desired result. Work with the desired result in mind. Start what you plan and finish what you start. I have noticed that if I get into a day without clarity of what I want to achieve, disaster and fruitlessness become imminent.

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 they feel that there is no need to inform you. Watch out for such time wasters. People must get used to booking appointments to see you. Anyone should have a diary that they can stick to in order to be organized. Watch out for unplanned visitors and calls with no real value or agenda. Over time, my friends and family have come to realise that without an appointment, it is almost impossible to hijack me.

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. When I am waiting for someone who is late, I use that time to write until the meeting starts. I have no business whining, I rather work as I wait.

5. Put reminders on the computer or mobile phone – 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 phone with other gadgets that I use more often. It works like magic for me. As you get busier in your career, you may require someone or something to keep you reminded of the things you need to achieve.

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. People will judge you based on your commitments to them. I am not afraid to advise those who have expectations from me of the amount of time it will take however long it maybe. This is better than promising heaven on earth.

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.

If you feel this article is of great help, share it with someone or with your team. I am committed to your effectiveness and success.

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

Rab Heroes
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

TGM Cover_Dwn

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.

Rab@40_Employers

  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 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.

40 Guidelines for Effective Leadership

Rab@40_Lead

  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.