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Opinion: From Zero to Hero

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

The example of Japan is pertinent here. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Japan’s two largest economic cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were bombed to the ground. Several lives and properties were lost. To put it simply, Japan was reduced to nearly nothing, economically and politically.

Yet, because the Japanese believe so much in their individual and national potentials, they have rebuilt their economy to be one of the best in the world. In fact, in the early 2000s, a Prime Minister of the country, while speaking at the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, said that even if Japan were to be placed in a desert, the Japanese would rebuild their nation to become the second largest economy in the world in a short time.

The truth of that statement can be seen all around – especially with the quality and quantity of products manufactured in Japan. In fact, even though Japan currently does not have enough steel to produce vehicle bonnets, nor does it have enough silicon to produce side-mirrors or even enough rubber to produce steering-wheels, yet the country is the highest exporter of cars in the world.

My point is that Japan rose to be an economic giant from being reduced to zero. Despite the odds and pains, it ascended the ladder of greatness among the nations of the world. This teaches us the power of resilience. Every zero status can be reversed if dutifully worked upon.

The wealth of any individual or nation is not found under the feet but in-between the “ears” – that is, the contents of their brain and character. Let’s apply this to Nigeria as a nation, especially to re-orientate its leaders and citizens, the young ones in particular. The real wealth of Nigeria is not in the creeks of the Niger-Delta or anywhere else in the country. It is neither in the abundance of crude oil nor in the vast mineral resources all over the country. The real wealth lies in the country’s heterogeneous population. Yes, let me repeat it – It is the very citizens of the Nigerian nation that are usually considered the least of its resources (the zero resources) that are its hope and future. This is because right in them lie the ability, acumen and determination to harness and utilise the various natural, mineral and petroleum resources of the nation in line with God’s purpose for its existence.

In truth, the so-called valuable resources that people often jostle and sometimes tussle to get from the ground are not the real resources of any nation; the true resources are the citizens – the often overlooked treasures who have several divinely-endowed potentials in them. Sadly, many of these die daily, before their time, and go the grave with their potentials in them. No wonder the late Myles Munroe said that the richest place on earth is the cemetery!

Pertinent Reassurance
Before proceeding to the next phase in which we shall be exploring detailed principles on positively empowering our zeroes, I need to reiterate here that, when it comes to this noble task, nothing is impossible! Only change is constant in life. Everyone can improve at anything and at whatever level, provided that he or she is willing enough to undergo the required processes of development.

My point is that your life can experience a revolutionary change, as long as you are ready to learn, follow the footsteps of champions and apply other essential life-changing principles from the Scripture and other relevant sources.

Let me illustrate this truth with the experience of D.W Ghent who was said to have participated in Dale Carnegie’s public speaking programme in Philadelphia. Shortly after the opening session, Ghent had invited Carnegie to lunch with him in the manufacturers’ club. Ghent was a middle-aged man and had always led an active life; he was head of his own manufacturing establishment and a leader in church work and civic activities. While they were having lunch that day, he leaned across the table and said: “I have been asked many times to talk before various gatherings, but I have never been able to do so: I get so fussed, my mind becomes an utter blank: So I have side-stepped it all my life. But I am now on a board of college trustees. I must preside at their meetings. I simply have to do some talking…Do you think that is possible for me to learn at this late date in my life?”

“Do I think, Mr Ghent?” Carnegie replied. “It is not a question of my thinking. I know you can, and I know you will if you only practise and follow the directions and instructions.”

Mr Ghent wanted to believe what Carnegie had said, but it seemed too rosy, too optimistic. So he said, “I am afraid you are you are just being kind; you are merely trying to encourage me.”

After Mr Ghent had completed his training, he and Dale Carnegie lost touch with each other for a while.
Some years later, however, they met again and lunched together at the Manufacturers’ Club. They sat in the same corner and occupied the same table that they had on the first occasion. Reminding Ghent of their former conversation, Carnegie asked him if he really had been too optimistic then. Ghent took a little red-backed notebook out of his pocket and showed him a list of talks and dates for which he had been booked. “And the ability to make these,” he confessed, “the pleasure I get in doing it, the additional service I can render to the community – these are among the most gratifying things in my life. Not only have I given countless public speeches, but just recently I was chosen from all the community leaders in this city to give the introduction when David Lloyd George (then the Prime minister of Great Britain) addresses a mass meeting in Philadelphia.”

Yet, this was the same man who had sat at the same table less than three years before and solemnly asked Carnegie if he would ever be able to talk in public!

We find another amazing proof that nothing is impossible when it comes to transiting from a zero to a hero in the case of the biblical David. The inspiring story of his rise from a despised shepherd boy to a renowned warrior and revered king begins from I Samuel 16. Here, we are told how God, who had seen his commitment to duty and passion for service in the loneliness of the mountains and valleys where he cared for his father’s sheep, sent Samuel to anoint him Israel’s next king, following the rejection of Saul. Being the family’s zero, however, nobody had initially considered presenting David as one of the sons of Jesse – yet the Almighty God who rewards enthusiasm for greatness found him out and he was anointed. It was after this that he killed Goliath before the Philistines and the Israelites. He became a military general of Israel at the very tender age of 17.

David eventually ascended the throne, despite various attempts by Saul to kill him. He started as a zero but eventually emerged a hero! He diligently went through the rough but refining and toughening process of his transition through his strength of character, fear of God, unwavering courage and undaunted self-belief.

I tell you, friend, you too can rise from your present level to an exceedingly glorious and influential one. This is the will of God for you.
(…The End…)
Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

Tolulope A. Adegoke is an acclaimed “globalpreneur”, with the mandate to enrich lives and provide the professional, spiritual, academic and leadership empowerment needed to birth, maximize and sustain possibilities in peoples, corporates and nations. He is a prolific writer, frequent keynote speaker and spoken word poet, among others, having written countless articles in diverse reputable fields and honoured many public invitations.
He is also a Senior Administrator.
Tolulope Adegoke can be booked for public events via the contacts below:
E-mail: adegoketolulope1022@gmail.com
globalstageimpacts@gmail.com

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Food for Living: Define Your Purpose

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

Today, I would like to ask some simple but intriguing questions. Who are you? Who do people say you are? What do you want from life? Be as honest as possible to tell yourself the truth. Remember, the worst thing you can ever do to yourself is to tell yourself lies. This is because you can lie to others but you can never lie to yourself.

Everyone one of us wants to live a life of purpose, but in actual sense, living a life of purpose can be challenging but fulfilling. Most times, we ask what should I do with my life? What is my life purpose?” It’s quite unfortunate to not note that many people don’t know really know themselves until they get to their 40s and 50s and still some of them have no clue what they want to do with themselves. The answers to some of these questions are what we shall be discussing today.

If you ask a million and one person what they want for themselves, trust me, you’ll get a million and one interesting and amazing answers. The reason is quite simple, just like we all have several taste buds, so also do we all have different choice and aspirations towards life.

The journey of life is such an interesting one that makes one to really ask what is the meaning of life? The meaning of life can simply be found inside you. Whatever you decide and value in addition to giving attention can be used as a perception guide to know what someone appreciates.  For example, while some people care more about money, some others might have a preference for fulfillment in a career, or alternatively joy and peace of mind. In a relationship, a man and woman need various qualities in each partner before they make up their mind if they can either tolerate or outright reject the person. In business, every rational and informed mind chooses a business of interest he/she likes or is passionate about. Failure to do so might limit your motivation to forge ahead especially when the return of investment is not coming through.

I believe that every person on the planet is born with intrinsic value. I believe you were put on this earth for a specific purpose. So, regardless of where you are in life, I have a question: What’s the ultimate goal behind what you do every day?

What’s your mission, your calling, your purpose? Are you achieving it? Probably not. So, consider this one simple piece of advice that could change everything and help you live the life you’ve always desired.

We shall be exploring several areas of interest to elaborate how you can not only define yourself, but at the same time, how you can distinguish yourself.  Many people suffer from indecision and this has contributed to a lot of failures in their personal and professional lives.

The first step in deciding what you want in life is by defining yourself.  Defining oneself might be a little bit challenging. It is worthy to note that you’ll have a hard time defining yourself if you don’t know yourself.

Let’s share some practical examples of how we can shape our future.

What Are You Passionate About?

The question can be framed to be what are your values and interests to life. In our contemporary society, the world is in dire need of visionaries with great innovative thoughts and actions. Your values and interest can be used to define you. What most people don’t understand is that passion is the result of action, not the cause of it. Discovering what you are passionate is a lifetime adventure because it’s like a trial and error process. Some of us don’t really know what we like until we actually engage in that activity.

Who you are is defined by the struggles and values you stand for in the pursuit of success. For example, the people who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape.

Furthermore, since most people find it hard to know what they want in life, it is always better to ask them a simple but intriguing question- If you have everything you need in life, what will you do with your time? Alternatively, it can be framed to be if you are to live your house voluntarily to anywhere on planet earth, where will you go and what will you do? Whatever response anyone gives can be used to know their values, interest and what they are passionate about life.

In defining your life, it is imperative to ask yourself questions like, What change will you will like to see in the world, how will you like the world to remember you? How will you like to save the world? What are you going to do to save the world? These are some of the questions you can use to define oneself.

Employers are not left out in this struggle, in their pursuit to get the best employee to hire for a position of interest, they always look at the values, sacrifice and time a candidate has invested both theoretical and practical terms to show interest and passion in the industry.

Furthermore, people want an amazing physique but don’t want to put the pain and physical exercise that comes with it. People want to start up a business but are not willing to take a worthy risk. People want an amazing partner but are not willing to deal with the stress that comes with it-rejection and patience to get it right. We desire an amazing job, but yet we find it hard to put in the necessary work, skills, knowledge and associated networking that comes with it.

What Are Your Goals

Goals help to define us. One of the key ways to know what a person likes in life is by looking at where they spend their time on. If you have the desire to be on the television, you must do the work by learning the skills and profession very well. If you have a passion for fashion, you ought to be dressing to impress, if you want to be a great public speaker, you have to read great books and practice public speaking by joining local clubs in your neighborhood like Toastmasters International. Settings goals is not an easy feat, it is following through that makes the difference. An athlete, a vegetarian a lady or man looking for a particular shape know they have to work on their diet and also engage in physical exercise to get their desired goal. It is imperative to note that goals are necessary in order for you up to have a happy future. Do you have goals; career goals; family goals; spiritual goals? If yes, what are they? What determines your success is the pain and sacrifice you are willing to invest. You definitely have to know why you are pursuing your goals.

The secret to Success:

An indisputable definition of a genuine success is achieving success itself. Nothing defines a man than what he was to overcome in order to achieve success. Success truly defines us in many fashions. However, this success did not come on its own, it has many feathers such as focus, perseverance, determination, hard and smart work amongst other factors. For the sake of this topic, we shall concentrate on focus. No doubt there are many secrets to success, but one of the outstanding secrets of secret is focus. When you are as focused as an eagle, you see nothing else but the endpoint of your vision.  One of the most powerful techniques you can use to ensure your immediate and continued success is to stay focused on what you want and don’t give in to worry doubt, or to the temporary circumstances or even set back that might be happening right now in your life.

In the light of the above points, can you in all sincerity define or say what you want in life?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. 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. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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Opinion

Opinion: Wonders of Wisdom, Grace and Positivity

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“As you walk in God’s divine wisdom, you will surely begin to see a greater measure of victory and good success in your life.”

Joseph Prince

 Rightly has the Holy Book (scripture) said that “wisdom is profitable to direct” (Ecclesiastes 10:10). And this is especially apt in activating the hero within. I have to point out that in seeking to activate and maximise the seed of greatness that God has deposited in you, wisdom and the leading of God’s Spirit are vital – so that your efforts will not be in vain.

A revered man of God once told the interesting story of two different individuals who activated the hero within them but got different results. One emerged a hero but the other remained a zero. Here is what happened. Just at the time that the idea of external elevator was to be transmitted to the world, a man got the inspiration. It was meant to be his avenue to greatness, but he missed the opportunity.

Here is what happened. There was at that time a particular structure, owned by a big company in one of the major cities of the United States of America. The owners of the structure had installed internal elevators but, soon after opening the place, the number of people who used the elevators had exceeded the owners’ projection. It was obvious that disaster was looming and the managers of the building began to frantically think of how to salvage the situation.

Days passed by and the managers hadn’t been able to find a solution. However, one day, as they deliberated, a man who usually served them tea and had heard of the burning issue, surprisingly told them: “There is no big deal about what you have been discussing. The solution is very simple. Go outside the building, break down the entire wall of a section from the top downward, then fix an elevator inside it. You will have enough room for people to queue and then the problem will be solved.”

Just like that, the tea server ignorantly shared the multi-million-dollar idea, which the company implemented; but he didn’t receive much for his idea – just because of the careless way he presented it. He obviously lacked wisdom.

On the other hand, there was a janitor, whose highest qualification was a high school certificate. He worked for a toothpaste company, whose Board of Directors had been looking for a means of increasing the sales of their product for almost a year. One day, the janitor approached the Board of Directors and told them he could guarantee a significant increase in the company’s sales. He added however that he would only release the idea on the condition that the company signed an agreement that clearly stipulated that he would be entitled to a certain percentage of the company’s profits on the product and that he must be a member of the Board. After some consideration, the Board agreed to his request.

Now, what powerful idea did the janitor have to share? Well, as at that time, the orifices (or mouths) of toothpaste tubes were so tiny, making it difficult for the consumers to use much quantity at once. So, the janitor simply told them, “Expand the orifice of the paste tubes and there will be so much wastage by the consumers. This will make them buy more.” The company’s directors were all stunned at this idea and wondered why it hadn’t occurred to them earlier.

As soon as the company implemented the idea, what followed was a massive increase in their sales. The janitor therefore was promoted and made a member of the Board of Directors of the company. He also soon became rich as a result of the percentage of profits that he got from the product.

The interesting thing is that he himself had got the idea that changed his and the company’s fortunes by listening to the complaints of the buyers and users of the product who passed through his gate every day. He simply maximised the information that he had and that took him to the top.

This is why you need divine wisdom and guidance to know what to do with your vision and ideas. We often pray to God Almighty to meet our financial needs and turn our lives around for the best, but the truth is that, most times, God does not send money. If He were to send money, what currency would He send? What God gives are ideas that can transform our destinies, if we can apply them with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Born to be Unstoppable

God has ordained for every child of His not to be subject to earthly limitations. We are not of this world, we’re only here to manifest and deliver the inestimable potencies of God. Zachariah 8:23 says, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

That is God’s desire for His children on earth. In other words, God is always set to provoke the envy of our generation by the proofs that He has deposited in us at redemption. And this is quite expected because the earth and its inhabitants need our presence for a multitude of reasons. Romans 8:19 declares “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

This means that everything that God created is waiting for us to prove who we are by demonstrating the potencies of God within us. We must understand that Christianity is not an emblem but a proof-producing lifestyle. 1 Corinthians 15:40 reveals that that there are bodies that are terrestrial and there are bodies that are celestial – with each differing in glory from the other. Put simply, there is a kind of glory that natural men can carry and there is another dimension of glory that belongs exclusively to children of God

Moreover, 2 Corinthians 4:7 says: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” This means that even though we have earthly bodies, we have been designed and destined for heavenly manifestations.  Since our physical bodies are mere containers of the heavenly treasures in us, we are expected to manifests as gods, even though we appear as men.

Let me make this even easier for you to understand. Every offspring of a lion is a lion; every offspring of a dog is a dog; so also is every child of God a god! It’s as simple as that. Every child of God is ordained by God to manifest heaven on earth through the several gifts that have been deposited in us by grace. We can simply therefore say that “heaven on earth” is our main purpose as children of God.

Even in the natural sense, the word MAN connotes “Made Above Nature” – which means that God’s original purpose for mankind is to operate supernaturally. We lost much of this ability with the fall in the Garden. However, with our redemption in Christ Jesus, we regain all our losses and function as God intends us to. This means that we are configured to function in a higher dimension of capabilities.

Note also that the word MAN equally connotes “Managers over All Natural resources”. In other words, we have been created to supernaturally discover, manage and maximise all the natural resources and abilities given to us by Grace. Ours therefore is meant to be a life of all-round dominion; we are not meant to live like serfs or paupers!

…To be continued

Thank you all for reading.

 

Tolulope A. Adegoke is an acclaimed “globalpreneur”, with the mandate to enrich lives and provide the professional, spiritual, academic and leadership empowerment needed to birth, maximize and sustain possibilities in peoples, corporates and nations. He is a prolific writer, frequent keynote speaker and spoken word poet, among others, having written countless articles in diverse reputable fields and honoured many public invitations.

E-mail: adegoketolulope1022@gmail.com

globalstageimpacts@gmail.com

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Opinion: Building Leaders Through Character Management in the 21st Century

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

This write up, by implication of its contents aim to solve the societal menace that have ravaged, hampered and tampered with the spinal cords of majority of leaders in the Third World Countries, which has its roots in what I refer to as Untamed Freedom- the root cause of Character failure in humans, corporates and nations at large.We all must understand that true leadership penetrates into the core aspect of human relations and endeavours which helps to nurture, build and deliver the authentic requirement for true and sustainable leadership, and how it affects the economy and politics of nations and the world at large. It focuses on ‘Character’ as the main and authentic key for leadership, how relevant it could be and why and as well how to harness it to building future leaders locally, nationally and globally for the benefits of mankind. It also dived into the internal affairs of some developing nations in the world and how they have suffered from ineffective leadership practices through unethical conduct. It also looked into how ‘Ethics’ could be said to be a disturbing aspect of leadership and how it has so much affected majority of the Third World Countries who are having issues in handling sustainable leadership. It therefore concludes with how a nation like Nigeria could enlarge its coasts by judiciously maximizing its endowments through effective ‘Character’ in individual and joint leadership endeavours, thereby enlightening the readers with the facts that character sees people as great ASSETS and not properties. The researcher adopted Historical and Thematic Analysis in carrying out the research.

I ponder so hard on ‘How do we then build leaders of today? I shall focus on the Power of Character (as vital requirement for leadership in Nation Building)’ with the aim of building capacity through greater enlightenment strategy towards fixing today, and as well handing over a better world to coming generations globally

Do you know why leaders are so weak in many developing countries of the world? The reason is that they lackCHARACTER. Lack of character is what makes bad leadership, and bad leadership is what breeds gross mismanagement and misconducts, while misconducts and mismanagement are what destroys or impedes national growths and development. Bad leaders are one thing in the day and another thing in the night! They make deals that are shady and then look pretty or handsome on the camera. They rule instead of leading; they grind instead of guiding.

The Book of Life (Bible) says, God is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever! It also reveals that Night and Day are the same to God! This is a clear indication that God has CHARACTER! And He has given unto us the same thing called CHARACTER! If you are going to be what you were born or created or desired to be (future leaders), then, you must develop the first principle God gave to us (MAN) which is CHARACTER! For us to deliver the present and future, and as well fulfill divine intentions (purpose), we need to study God Himself and His manner of operations and creations according to Genesis chapter 1 verses 26 (NKJV): ‘Let us make Man in Our IMAGE after our likeness: and let them have DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ Nothing is therefore IMPOSSIBLE, because I and you came out of God. He is the most authentic leadership example to be followed; He has made us in His IMAGE and LIKENESS to have DOMINION over the works of His Hands. It should be noted that the first gift given to Man by God is IMAGE. Whatever God gives you first is what you need first.

What is IMAGE? Image simply means CHARACTER. God said let Man have my CHARACTER. The most important thing you need to become what you were born to be (which is a LEADER) is CHARACTER. The number one fitness in leaders today is CHARACTER. It is the foundation of leadership! Everybody was born to be a leader, but, we are not meant to rule over people! Leaders lead by examples, guides by principles and guard by strategies. Leaders lead in specific areas of gifting or expertise. The word CHARACTER means FIXED, PREDICTABLE, STATUE, SET, STABLE, STEADY, DEPENDABLE, READY and WORK! These are qualities which are unchanging and dependable like the STATUE. For example, have a good look at a STATUE; what is it doing where you put it or fix it? Whatever inflictive words you say to the ‘statue’, it still stands? That is simply CHARACTER!

As a leader that you are wired or desired to be, can we trust you to be the same, even in the dark? Are you the same person when no one is watching? What would you do if none would ever find out? What are those things you secretly do on your mobile phones or laptops or on the internet? Are you the same person all the time? Are you the same person even when given freedom or power? When life rains on you, are you the same person? Are you the same person, no matter what people say to you or about you? That is why Third World Countries are having issues handling true and sustainable leadership! What is commonly present in those regions of the world are RULERS not LEADERS, due to lack of CHARACTER.

REQUIREMENTS OF CHARACTER FOR SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP

Do you have CHARACTER? When you change location, are you still the same person? LEADERSHIP demands CHARACTER. A reliable example of Character is PRINCIPLE, because it is Constant, it never changes. When you throw something up, it falls down… it is like that everywhere. Leadership requires CONSISTENCY! This is because the will of God never changes. No matter where you go, gravity is constant. Do you have Character? I want you to keep encouraging yourself to keep on developing CHARACTER. As future leaders, who are empowered to save the future, to impacts our world positively, we must be unchanging (i.e consistent on the positive sides) if truly we are going to develop our powerful leadership capacities.

THE DISTURBING ASPECT OF LEADERSHIP

The major disturbing aspect of leadership which most leaders do not consider to develop is ETHICS. Ethics is as a result of character! The power of unethical behavior affects everyone in the community, society, state, nation and the world at large. Ethics is personal, but it is never private! A few business or political leaders have no ETHICS; they make some unethical moves that can affect everyone. When you violate character, it is a personal decision, but it is not a private issue. You affect all of us. That is why corruption must never be tolerated anytime, because one corrupt person affects everyone. Many developing nations are still struggling with their economy today, because of unethical behaviours by a majority which has fully established CORRUPTION as a practice that can now be overlooked, which have crippled the economy of these nations. Many people consider Nigeria a poor nation in spite of all the natural resources she is endowed with (Precious stones, crude oil, very fertile soil among others), because just a few set of people are unethical which affects the entire population in the country. So many investors are currently scared to invest in some part of the developing nations, because there are just a few set of people who would abuse such an investment which has therefore deprived so many people of the opportunities to be employed or t become job owners, just because a few people are unethical. You therefore need to tell your neighbor ‘Do right for my sake’. If great leaders who have been absorbed by history had decided not to do what is right, what do you think would have happened to us today? A few chose to stand right, do right and make right. One decision could have affected the entire world. This is why it is so important for you to have character for the sake of the millions who will look up to you some day! This is why your gift is critical to your generation, but protecting it is much more important. GREED is a matter of CHARACTER. When a research on the major cause of crisis in the world was made, it was said that some set of people had GREED, and greed became a global phenomenom. Discipline powers character for effective leadership.

Character and Ethics are national and global security issues. Living right is a global security issue. When you live right, you are simply affecting a lot of people vice-versa.

THE TESTS AND TRIALS OF LEADERSHIP

Character is developed by ‘testing and trials’. Testing is the development of ETHICS. Character is built or developed through pressure, temptation (trials) and resolve. The credibility of leadership is character! The force of leadership is character! The trust of leadership is character! The legitimacy of leadership is character! The integrity of leadership is character! The reason why people still celebrate Nelson Mandela, Koffi Annan among others is because he was tested and trusted. The reason why Nelson Mandela had so much credibility all over the world is because, while he was alive he went through a test of 25years in prison, because of a conviction he had, he was just like a statue with this notion:

I cannot bend; I am going to jail just like this;

I believe in what I see, I believe in a dream,

I believe in my convictions, because they are right,

I will not compromise, I will not change!

Nelson Mandela stayed faithful, he went through the test and trials, and people trusted him. In prison, he was the same, he was beaten mercilessly, he was the same, when he had to cut the rocks with chisel, he was the same, and when he came out of prison he was still the same, and was made the President of South Africa, because he was the same. People could trust him. Even the Dr. Myles Monroe (of blessed memory) once said:

‘People often look at me as if I was born the way I look, but i have been through a lot of things, pressures, scars on my back, tribulations, criticisms, attacks, but I decided, I believe what I believe! I stay steady! The world reads my books, I have been invited to over a hundred and fifty-two nations across the world and they wondered: who is this young man, but I have developed my character through tough times.’

Anybody could begin something, a few people finish! How many things have you begun, how many things have you started managing, how many of it have you finished? Where is your character? Are you steady under pressure? Can you be faithful under being disappointed? Can you still believe when no one is with you? When you have character, you are ready to go alone! Everybody is evil, not me! Everybody is corrupt, not me! Everybody is failing, not me!

You have to work by yourself to develop character! Your innate gifts are at the mercy of your character! Your character is more important than your gifts, because without character, you can lose your gifts. That is why God gave Man CHARACTER (His IMAGE) before He gave him DOMINION (Control). Most people lose their provisions because they lost their character! That is why it is important for you to protect yourself by your character (IMAGE), and that is why character (IMAGE) is God’s utmost priority! Character is necessary for DOMINION (Control), it guarantees a tamed- freedom.

Character breeds decent followers; it builds them into enviable leaders that can ‘MANage’ the natural resources as given them by God, and then, put them into appropriate and decent usage for the good of all mankind. Leadership is simply service to humanity, it is not selfishness, not greed, not abusive…Only character determines and promotes service. Service is followership, help; it is the authentic exhibition of our innate being. Character builds a nation; it builds kingdoms, Empires, family and the world at large. Character tames freedom so as not to abuse absolute power; it promotes sustainable peace and global development that guarantees the handing over of a better world to coming generation. It is a baton which must be passed on and on forever. Life is a mysterious gift given to man by God Almighty embedded with so many hidden treasures… its usage is up to man, but only the deeds of men pollutes it!

Character therefore, should not be mistaken for REPUTATION. Reputation has become much more important in the world today than character, and that is a tragedy, because, position has become more important than disposition. As a matter of fact, we need leaders with character, not leaders with personality! Some people have well packaged personality but lack character, yet they are the most celebrated in our world today. Many people are well branded as dignified figures vying for leadership positions, unfortunately, ignorant people rush up to them, vote them in, then the economy and political structure of their countries crashes! Instead of voting the man with CHARACTER (i.e the right IMAGE), which compliments leadership to the position of reliable leadership. This is simply the reason why I chose this topic: ‘HOW DO WE BUILD FUTURE LEADERS?’ Which focuses on CHARACTER in Nation Building in today’s world).

Nigeria and other developing nations must first of all confront their domestic problems by consolidating their democracy. Democracy is not just the question of holding periodic elections, Important as this is, it means developing a democratic culture underpinned by the rule of law. We must build an egalitarian society with careers opened to talents. It should be possible for any (Nigerian) talent(s) to rise to any position that these talents entitle him or her. We must face the question of the economy squarely. Fifty-eight years after independence, we still operate a dependent economy based on export of raw materials and industries of import substitution. We must reverse the process by building industries, particularly agro-based industries in which we have comparative advantage. Nigeria (my Country) can support huge textile and garment industries based on local production of cotton. This is also an industry which the current regime of the World Trade Organization favours for developing countries. The so-called Tiger economies of South East Asia, China and India virtually dominate the textile and garments industry of the world. We ought to be able to compete with Israel and the United States in providing the world with properly packaged tropical fruits. We should cut our tastes for unnecessary luxury goods and use what we can produce. We need to open our market to investments from the outside world. One hopes present policies in this regards would be determinedly pursued.

The economy is a major factor to earning respect in the international system and we must do everything to develop our economy. There is no strategy of economic development better than those that have been tried and that have worked in the Western liberal democracies. Any attempt to graft economic development on an authoritarian regime will fail. Character is key factor! We need to take a look at the example of Botswana (few years ago), when and where honest and liberal government and proper management of national resources and patrimony have led to development. Character sees people as greatest ASSETS and not properties.

Value your fellow man greatly, they are the only tool that can stand by your side anytime any day, they shall be the one to continue your leadership processes in the future for the benefits of all as a result of your tremendous impacts on them. The assignment of leaders is not to raise followers, but leaders through greater impacts by living a life of great examples and never to forget to help them with emotional intelligence which is key factor for leadership inputs and outputs.

 

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

Tolulope A. Adegoke is an acclaimed “globalpreneur”, with the mandate to enrich lives and provide the professional, spiritual, academic and leadership empowerment needed to birth, maximize and sustain possibilities in Peoples, Corporates and Nations. He is a prolific writer, frequent keynote speaker and spoken word poet, among others, having written countless articles in diverse reputable fields and honoured many public invitations.

He is also a Senior Administrator.

Tolulope Adegoke can be booked for public events via the contacts below:

E-mail: adegoketolulope1022@gmail.com

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