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Leadership in Trying Times (Pt. IV)

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

Don’t believe in what you are called; it can trap you! I don’t trust your titles. You have not done what you could have done yet! What they have seen so far is only a fraction of who you are. Don’t allow what you have done to prevent what you could do! “ – Tolulope A. Adegoke

It is pertinent to note at this juncture that leaders initiate change. Leadership naturally demands change. Nigerians are not the problem, but the leaders. You can only lead people as far as you have gone yourself. If you do not improve, your organization will never improve. I have discovered something about developing countries, because I was born in one and still live in one; when you give them a title, they stop learning. Nothing is worse for a Third-World man than giving him promotion and a title, because he believes he has made it. When you call someone a manager or CEO or honorable, reverend, or bishop, they stop learning. And that’s when an organization stops working or growing. When you are given authority or a title, you should buy more books and take more courses. Because you are not just leading your own life, you have lives to lead to a higher future and a higher level. This is why true leaders never graduate from the school of life; they are always learning. Because I must constantly re-educate myself, Dr Myles Monroe (of blessed memory) says, “I read four to five books a month. I have been doing that for the past years… that means one book per week.” I am an eternal student.” You are reading this article right now because you are willing to expand your mind. You can never grow beyond what you know, unless you grow what you know. To lead in difficult times, you must be a reader, because readers may end up becoming leaders when they apply what they have learned in school.This is why you should never allow anyone to prevent you from studying and growing. Also, never believe that you have made it. Don’t trust your titles. Don’t believe in what they call you, it can trap you. I am a recipient of several awards, but I do not allow them to get into my head, because the greatest enemy of your progress is your last success. Don’t trust what you have achieved. Don’t believe anybody’s accolades, because it is a trap. You have not done what you could do yet.  What they have seen so far is only a fraction of who you are. Stop being mediocre! It’s time for you to stop complaining, and start studying. Don’t allow what you have done to prevent what you could do. The act of leadership is taking followers from where they are to a place they have never been. As a true leader, you have to be able to take people to where they have never been. That’s your role. Leadership is not about maintenance, it’s about innovation, exploration (that is, going beyond the box).

Leadership entails an adventure of thriving in creating a future, even in trying times, when all hope seems to be fading off. I believe that many of you (readers) are tired of the majority of the difficult situations that you face.I sense strongly that you complain so much about it. It may be about your nation, family, continents, or low-level leaders or governments who tend to take you on a journey to nowhere. But if you truly desire a genuine change, you have to be willing to take an adventure into the unknown.

Thriving could entail some form of discomfort.

Leaders will always create discomforts that are worthwhile. Why? Because they are uprooting people from their own familiarity. This is why true leaders seem not to be liked by a majority. They disturb your laziness and also irritate your comfort. They make people do things that are uncommon, probably things that they have never done before. They make people change their behaviour. In short, they frustrate your comfort zones but re-shape our cultures, ethics, norms, and values. True leaders thrive the most in trying times, because they are ‘eruptors’, they are catalysts! They always act as leverage, taking you from a place you know to a place that you do not know. The major problem with the majority across the world is that they like the familiar. It’s amazing how much we say we want change, and when it’s time to change, we tend to hate it.

The Crisis is increasing-it is called Trying Times.

Thriving comes with a brand of leadership that naturally creates change, and this comes with crisis. We tend to talk about crisis in the world today, even globally in diverse facets of life. But sincerely, all of that is not true. To me, there is no such thing as a crisis. It doesn’t exist! A lot of people are doing so well, achieving great feats in the middle of crisis, simply because they could see beyond the ordeals. Such people, like me, see opportunities! Mentality is key! Leaders create crises so that there can be more opportunities to thrive. They are not victims of them. Simply ask me how?

Leadership is an exercise in the management or the creation of crisis. A true leader says we would construct a six lane road network. That’s a crisis! Because many people are used to the single lane-road, where they sell and hawk their goods in the middle of its pot-holes. Now it’s a crisis because the government is trying to make a change happen on such a road network, and many people may not be able to sell and hawk their goods anymore. But it takes a leader to take such a drastic step for a good change to occur within the system. These actions create discomfort for those benefiting from the bad road network. It is a crisis to take people to the level that they have never been, even though it may be a good place. Leaders initiate change… This change tends to change or reshape the patterns of people’s lives daily.

The Change Factor

You are a leader only if you initiate change. Managers only maintain things, while leaders change things. This is why a manager and a leader are completely different. Managers focus on systems, while leaders focus on people. Managers focus on the bottom line, while leaders focus on the issues that arise. Managers focus on what to do, while leaders focus on ‘why’ we are doing it. They think differently. And I strongly believe that you are finding this write-up interesting because it’s time for you to move into leadership. This moment in this write-up was a divine appointment, because you are tired of being what you are. You’ve most likely been faking it for the last few years, telling your parents you’re having a good time.But why is this happening to you? It’s simple. You are bigger than who you really are. You are far stronger than what they say you are. You can do much more than they told you that you could do. You are far better than what they say you are. And I am doing this writ-up to irritate you. You do not change until you are angry. Anger could be a crisis, but it could also be a weapon for a good change. Whatever you tolerate will never be changed by you. This is why what you call crisis comes into your life. A crisis comes to take you out of the ordinary and force you to dream bigger! It forces you to be creative! There is no problem in your life or around you, they are only opportunities to be better and bigger.

You all must come to understand that change is your best friend! It is the only thing that is guaranteed and has your best interest at heart. Some nations are excelling more in these trying periods because they are not seeing crisis in the common senses or language of ordinary thinkers or seers. These categories of nations are only seeing opportunity! And they all keep maximizing it, whether you like it or not. You must also come to understand that a thing is what you call it! They say opportunity, while shallow thinkers say crisis!

Come on! You need to align yourself with creative people. You need to start reading and studying the right books! Being with the wrong people and a bunch of complainers will only keep you stagnated and wanting or wishing for life, if you are not careful. I charge you to change your relationships. As a matter of fact, you can never rise above your company. If you are the smartest person in a group, then it’s time to leave the group… Waking up from mental slumber is one of the greatest make-ups which fine-tunes our beings into stepping up in the right order and lanes to thrive at any point in time in life.

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Food for Living: How to Attract Opportunity

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Opportunity is something everyone seeks. Students need opportunity to prove themselves in higher institutions of their choice; parents need opportunity to show how they can train their children, job seekers and employees need opportunity to show their capability and competence, and politicians need opportunity to show their leadership skills. The list is endless.

As we journey through life, we seek opportunities to shine. However, we fail to understand that we are the opportunity we are seeking. You may be wondering how this works? Let’s take a case study of someone who wants to be a public speaker, singer, or writer. He may be wondering who will grant him the opportunity to sing or speak at global functions or events while seeking those opportunities. But how about you beginning to sing or speak on your own and sharing your work on social media? Do you know that we live in a connected economy where the internet is literally a global village connecting people and sharing resourceful information. When you publish your content on the internet, loyal friends might assist you in sharing them, videos or graphics, and you don’t know who might see your work, like, and comment on it. Did you know you are the opportunity you seek?

The challenge most people normally have when they seek opportunity is waiting for the perfect time. Let me tell you; you don’t have to wait for the coast to clear before you begin your journey. Did you know that done is better than perfect when perfect is not done?

Again, imagine being a creative writer! Did you know you can literally get bigger opportunities if you publish your articles on your personal blog or even on social media. The same principle is applicable if you are a soccer player. The world will never give you want you desire, but it can give you what you “deserve”. Like I always say, if nobody gives you a chair, bring your own chair to the meeting. If you don’t speak about yourself, nobody will speak about you, if you don’t write your stories, nobody will write them for you. Now, do you see that you are the master of your life?

To attract opportunity into your life, the people you meet, places you go, and the principles you keep are some of the determinants to the kind of opportunity you will get. Opportunities are like information, when you have the right information, and act upon it, you are bound to succeed. In one of my life coaching series, I deduced that “if you are not informed, you are ill-informed, and once you are ill-informed, you can’t perform because information leads to reformation and transformation”. In a nutshell, information leads to formation.

Did you know that opportunities don’t literally come to you, you create them? Opportunities work like luck, if you are not prepared, and when an opportunity or luck comes your way, you are bound to lose it.

If you would like to attract opportunity into your life, practice these few points which are not exhaustive, but very resourceful.

Discover yourself

This is the foundational point of how to attract opportunities into your life. You must know yourself. You can’t be anything and everything. The word needs to know you for a reason. When you know yourself, you will know the kind of opportunities you desire and where you like to go with the opportunities because the right opportunity can be the game change you need in your life.

Surround yourself with success

Nobody likes to associate with a failure, successful people are always fond of associating with their fellow successful people. Little wonder like-minds always attract their kinds. A popular saying has it that you are the average of five people you associate with. Some schools of thought have opined that if you have nine great friends who are millionaires, you are likely to be the tenth millionaire, and if you have nine friends who are idiots, you are likely to be the next idiot.  That said, it’s important to state that your environment is crucial to your happiness and success in life.

Leave your comfort zone

Many people want to succeed but are not willing to leave their comfort zone. Success and opportunities won’t come to you. You must go out there to meet it and when you get it, you must grab it. You can leave your comfort zone by deciding to wake an hour or two early to do some productive work.

Share with others

A great way to attract opportunities is to be beneficial to the people who are going to give you an opportunity. You can do this by serving selflessly. Volunteer your time and resources to the good causes they believe in. When you do, they will notice it and in due time appreciate you. This is because, life is not always about you, sometimes, it’s about others.

This is the mindset you need to practice if you plan to attract opportunities. To receive in life, you must give. What you give is what you get. What you think is what you attract. If you want better things for yourself, you should give something to others. I strongly believe, you will get what you want faster when you help other people to achieve what they desire. Being selfless has been one of the strongest traits that have attracted so many opportunities and goodwill to me. Cultivate the habit of sharing with love no matter how little you have. When you share, the universe has a way of appreciating you.

You can also share with the world your gift, talents, skills, and knowledge. If you are a good writer, singer, comedian, etc., please share your content with the world. When you share, you are practicing gratitude to your creator and the universe.

Network

Networking is one of the most priceless tools to attract opportunities. When you network with the right people, you build a relationship that has a value attached to it. When you nurture the relationship, by investing in it, you are bound to reap from your investment at the right time. You can build a solid network by joining great associations.

Solve Problem

You can attract opportunities by solving problems. While some people may see problems as challenges, see them as opportunities to move to the next stage in life. When you solve problems, the world will resonate with you. You have ideas, tap into it and make the world a better place.’

 Practice Words Affirmation

Did you know you can attract opportunity into your life by speaking into life? There’s power in words. When you speak, the ground stamps it, the walls hear, and the universe carries it. Consider speaking into existence whatever you desire into life though you can’t see it now. This principle has worked for me on several occasions. 

In conclusion, attracting opportunities is an uncommon skill that needs to be understudied. As a Human Capacity Coach, I can work you through the dynamics of how you can attract the right opportunities into your life. You may have seen some resourceful information online on how to attract opportunities, but sometimes, execution is what makes the difference. If you need more guidance, feel free to contact me with the information below.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a Human Capacity & mindset coach. He’s also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Dingyadi Reiterates Govt’s Commitment to Advancing Technology-Based Policing

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The Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, has reiterated government’s renewed commitment to advancing technology-based policing in line with global best practices, and the need to deepen community policing and human intelligence in Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by the Head, Press and Public Relations Bolaji O. Kazeem, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), Dingyadi made this known during a sensitization campaign on the Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC) activities for the South-South zone held at the Adsuits Hotel, Calabar, Cross Rivers state.

The Minister pointed out the merit in broadening policing endeavors from the traditional approach to a more encompassing and community-led Policing strategy, which requires active citizen participation and a high level of confidence in the Nigeria Police.

In his words, “the far-reaching benefits of deepening the realization of a people-centric and collective security paradigm, through the reformation of our policing architecture, and creation of additional layer for citizens to seek redress, necessitated the resuscitation of Police Public Complaint Committee, in the year 2019”.

He added that the strengthening of the newly resuscitated Police Public Complaints Committee, to eliminate all forms of subjective narrative, which hitherto hindered cooperation between police and citizens, is coming at a time our nation is in dire need of citizen support to collectively fight crime and criminalities.

According to him “following the directive of Mr. President, I inaugurated the resuscitated Police Public Complaints Committee in Abuja on 7th April 2021, to among others bridge the gap between the police and the populace to elicit sustainable confidence and mutual cooperation. We are here today, to sensitize the public, on the Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC), being an initiative taken by the Federal Government to enlighten the public on measures to enhance Police-Public Relations in Nigeria”.

Dingyadi said Public Complaints Commission deals generally with all kinds of complaints against administrative injustices by public institutions, adding that the Police Public Complaints Committee is created as a specialized institution to deal strictly with public complaints against Police Infractions.

“It is important to point out, that this strategy is already in operation in many advanced nations,” he stressed.

The Minister noted that the overriding objective of the PPCC is to serve as a platform that has oversight on the activities of Police Personnel viz-a-viz their interaction with the public.

In his goodwill message, the Deputy Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Cross River Chapter, Engineer Joel Henshaw thanked the government for creating the PPCC noting that the youths are most affected by the activities of the police officers.

He said the initiative will change the narrative of infringement of the rights of the youths and serve as a medium for appraisal of the activities of the policemen in the field.
The Secretary, Cristian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cross River State, Rev. (Dr.) Emmanuel Orok Duke said that CAN has an important role to play and is very concerned about Human Rights and ready to partner with the government to ensure that citizens live in peace in the country.

In his words: “the issue of security is a concern of all, we pray to God to transform us. The crisis of insecurity and tramp on Human Rights is in our nature and habit, we continue from the pulpit to engage with others that every citizen should respect civil authority and also encourage our faithful to respect the law of the land and if anybody among us falter against the law should be ready to be reprimanded.”

The representative of the Inspector General of Police, AIG in charge of Zone 6, Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Kamorundeen Okunlola stated that PPCC is very important to the Police ecosystem and IGP resolved to bring the police closer to the people.

According to him, “there is the need for synergy to bridge the gap between police and citizens. People need to be educated on the importance of cooperation and the sensitization campaign by the Ministry will assist us to understand that we need each other.

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Aregbesola Launches New NIS’ ePassport Production Centre for Edo, Delta

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The Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has commissioned the enhanced ePassport production Centre in the ancient City of Benin to take care of the production of Passport applications for Edo and Delta States Passport Offices.

A statement signed by the Service Public Relations Officer, Mr. Amos Okpu, noted that the Minister declared the Centre as specially designated for the Passport Offices in the two States because of the increasing volume of applications in the States in recent times.

He stated that with the commissioning of the facility, Edo and Delta States Passport Offices have joined other locations in the southeast and southwest that have been successfully migrated to the enhanced ePassport platform. The Minister maintained that the enhanced ePassport offers sufficient options to applicants to choose from the 32-page five-year; 64-page five-year and 64-page ten-year validity Passport categories. He noted that the enhanced ePassport is a product of improved technology especially additional security feature a polycarbonate data page which would make the document difficult to counterfeit or forge.

He enjoined prospective applicants to avoid patronizing middlemen while applying for Passport as the process has been digitized to allow for the use of simple devices to apply and process Passport at the comfort of one’s home or offices. The Minister assured that more reforms are being planned by government to ensuring that the Passport application and issuance process is made a lot easier, dependable and seamless for Nigerians.

In his remark, the Comptroller General Isah Jere Idris stated that the roll-out of the enhanced ePassport at the Benin Centre was part of the Passport reform efforts particularly meant to offer expanded menu to applicants who can now make choices among the various categories of Passports. He enjoined applicants to turn in their applications via passport.immigration.gov.ng in good time, make payments and book their appointments to avoid last minute rush stressing that the Service shall not entertain frivolous requests for waiver of appointments. He maintained that the Service does not accept cash payments and enjoined prospective applicants to ensure that they have completed their applications and made payments online before visiting the Passport Offices on their appointment dates.

Earlier, the Governor of Edo State Mr. Godwin Noheghase Obaseki commended the Service for the profound reforms it has introduced into its Passport platform. He expressed appreciation for the choice of Benin City as the Centre for the facility and pledged more of his government’s support to the Service including assurances of meaningful support for the construction of the proposed Passport Office in Auchi.

Meanwhile, the Oba of Benin Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Omo no’ Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Ogidigan has commended President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for approving that the enhanced ePassport Centre be located in his Kingdom stressing that the President has remained very nice to the people of Edo State in particular and all Nigerians in general. He assured of his support to the project and thanked the Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for leading a high level delegation of senior Officers of the Immigration Service and other agencies to his palace.

Dignitaries who attended the commissioning ceremony include Hon. Justice PA Akhikhero who represented the Chief Judge of the State, the Chief of Staff to the Governor; the immediate acting vice Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, Prof. Osarheme Osadolor, heads of military, security and response agencies in the State among others.

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