CLASSIK BLOG

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The Pursuit of ‘PURPOSE’

The-Pursuit-of-Purpose

It is end of December again and with year-end comes the reality of setting goals and planning for the upcoming year and beyond.   I have come to accept that writing goals is fundamental to me but converting dreams to actions and ultimately results could be a challenging task.

I have a dream, and the dream is to live a ‘purpose driven life’ but that comes with fully understanding the true definition of ‘purpose’ and embracing mine.  The other day, I read a profound quote which stated: “if you lack wisdom, go on your knees and if you lack knowledge, go to school” thus I picked up a book to increase my knowledge about the pursuit of purpose.

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An Encounter with ‘Purpose’

An Encounter with ‘Purpose’

During a coaching session with a client recently, she looked around in my office and asked; “what all are you involved in? In other words, what is everything you do for a living”.  My natural tendency whenever this question is asked leans towards listing everything I do and because the list is long, she said; “you do a lot”.   She took it a step further by asking a follow up question; “how in the world do you find time to do all of that”?. 

Even though “doing a lot” could be a measuring gauge for success in our society, I was challenged to re-think and re-consider how I brand myself.  I recognized quickly that branding is all about ‘packaging’ which also requires wisdom.  I was reminded of a statement I once heard which basically said “If you lack knowledge, go to school but if you lack wisdom, go on your knees”.  Needless to say, I went on my knees to pray for understanding and wisdom on how to articulate what I do without sounding overwhelming in the future.   “Sure enough, help came from above.  After persistent prayers, actively listening and patiently waiting, the revelation came.  I was finally able to sum up what I do in a meaningful way. 

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Becoming A Person of Influence!

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Even though there are many ways to finish the sentence ‘Leadership is….’, today, I want to focus on one profound definition – “Leadership is Influence”, nothing more, nothing less!  I am learning that “everyone is (created with natural abilities to be) an influencer of other people” and if we want to accomplish our goals in life, be better leaders and make an impact in our world, we “can do so faster, be more effective, and the contribution we make can be longer lasting if we learn how to ‘be a person of influence’”.   

The fourth quarter presents a new challenge to me.  I am already looking into the future and making commitments to invest in self-development to take my ‘influence’ and ultimately my ‘leadership’ to higher heights.  But wait! did I just say “invest”?  Yes, I sure did; because I received revelation knowledge that “The road to successful leadership (becoming a person of influence) has several toll booths.  People who keep depositing, sacrificing and paying at this toll road get the reward of great leadership skills”.

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The Future is Here

The-Future-is-Here

I am deeply engaged in reading (my friend, your friend, and our friend) John Maxwell’s “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” book and it is amazing how much I am learning even though I am reading it for the second time. This time around, I am reading it not just for the acquisition of knowledge but with purpose. With my heart turning to Youth leadership development, I find myself spending a lot of time on Law number 3 – ‘The Law of Process’. I am learning in this chapter that effective leadership skills can be learned over time and that leadership as a process “encourages development, matures people, changes people, their behaviors and cultural beliefs about leadership”. So in a nutshell, John is saying: “To lead tomorrow, learn today”.

I am deeply moved by the story John shared about a nineteen-year old who attended one of his leadership seminars several years ago. John noticed Brian because he saw eagerness to learn in him. He was taking notes and interacting well with others so when John got to teaching the law of process, he gave Brian the most empowering and wisdom-filled advice that any young and aspiring leader should hear and embrace. Brian, he said: “I’ve been watching you here and I’m very impressed with how hungry you are to learn and glean and grow. I want to tell you a secret that will change your life. I believe that in about 20 years, you can be a great leader. I want to encourage you to make yourself a lifelong learner of leadership.…..It’s not going to be easy but in five years, you’ll see progress as your influence becomes greater. In ten years, you’ll develop a competence that makes your leadership highly effective. And in twenty years, when you are only thirty-nine years old, if you’ve continued to learn and grow, others will likely start asking you to teach them leadership…..You can be a great leader, but it won’t happen in a day. Start paying the price now.”

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Driven to Action

Driven-to-Action

It is such a divine coincidence that three weeks following the major certification seminar I attended in Orlando, Florida and being so inspired about including Youth Leadership Training into our service menu, I was invited by Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) President to a Youth Summit in Washington D.C.  It happens that while in Orlando, I heard John Maxwell and most of the speakers at the seminar repeatedly stating the viewpoint that “everything rises and falls on leadership”.  There could not have been a better time for this summit because in this very season, my heart was focused on Youth Leadership Development and the agenda for the three-day event zeroed in on “Promoting Youth-inclusive Policies for Growth/Youth Livelihoods and Learning Program”.    

During presentations on the first day, I had the opportunity to be surrounded and educated by influential leaders from the continent of Africa and the United States.  These instrumental leaders have captured the revelation that “leadership is a process” and a country’s quality of leaders is dependent on how early and how much those in power begin or are willing to invest to develop the population targeted to navigate the country in the future. 

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A Divine Dream come True

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When I was growing up as a child, I was always inspired by people who teach, speak or who seemed to have the guts to stand on a platform with several eyes watching them.  I cannot explain how being inspired by their bravery led me to my own path of dreaming to become like them some day.  My dream was ignited when I heard the opening address from my high school principal – Mrs. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta.  She sounded eloquent, intelligent, poise and such a graceful ambassador of her country.  This lady was distinctive, dignified and appeared to be lifted from the “bogs” and “stereotypes” of women in our society at the time.  I listened to her with every fiber of my being and deep inside of me, I murmured: “one day, one day, I will be like you”.

My journey of becoming a teacher, speaker and now a coach started in primary school and maybe it is worth mentioning that following my graduation from high school, the same principal who motivated me also mentored me into becoming a teacher in the same school.  Even though the career was short lived, it was the most rewarding first job I could have ever had.

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