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Opinion: Thriving in Trying Times – Pt. 3

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

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

It is pertinent to note at this juncture that leaders initiate change. Leadership naturally demand 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 a promotion and a title, because he believes he has made it. Call someone a Manager or CEO or Honourable or Reverend or Bishop, they stop learning. And that’s when an organization stops working or growing. When you are given authority or title, you should buy more books, 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. Dr Myles Monroe (of blessed memory) says “I read four to five books a month, I have been doing that for the past 22years…that means one book per week” because I must be re-educating myself. I am an eternal student.” You are reading this article, right now because you are willing to expand your mind. You cannot grow beyond what you know unless you grow what you know. To lead in trying times, you have to be a reader because readers may end up becoming leaders when they apply what has been learnt in the course of studies. 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 (a) 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 strongly believe that many of you (readers) are tired of most of the trying moments confronting you. I sense strongly that you complain so much about it, it may be about your nation, family, continents or low-level leaders or government who tends to be taking you on a journey to no-where. But, if truly you desire a genuine change, you have to be willing to take an adventure into the unknown.

Thriving (could) entails 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; they also irritate your comfort. They make people do things that are uncommon, probably those things that these ones have never done before. They make people change their behaviours. In short, they frustrate your comfort-zones but re-shapes our cultures, ethics, norms and values. True leaders thrive the most in trying times because they are ‘disruptors’, they are catalysts! They always act as leverage to 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 Increases- 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 a 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 a crisis, simply because they could see beyond the ordeals. Such people, like me, see opportunities! The Mentality Factor is key! Leaders create a crisis 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 good anymore. But it takes a leader to take such a drastic step for good change to occur within the system. This action creates 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 reshapes 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 arising. 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 on this write-up was a divine appointment because you are tired of being what you are. Probably you have been faking it for the last few years, telling your folks that you are 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 their predictions about you. You are far better than what they said you are. And I am doing this write-up to irritate and infuriate 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 forces to dream bigger! It forces you to be creative and innovative! There is no problem in your life or around you, they are only opportunities to be better and bigger. But you must be ready and determined to walk the work.

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 bigger in this trying period because they are not seeing a crisis in the common senses or language of the ordinary thinkers or seers- these categories of nations are only seeing opportunities! And they all keep maximizing it, whether you like them or not for it! You must also come to understand that a ‘thing’ is exactly what you call it! They say opportunity, while the 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 the bunch of complainers would 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 the company you keep. If you are the smartest person in a group, then it’s time to leave such a 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 or platforms to thriving at any point in time of our lives.

Thank you for taking out time to relearn and re-educating yourself via this series. I wish you would apply it to real-life issues as they unfold with time.

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.

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Boko Haram Ambushes Zulum’s Convoy, Kills 15 Officers

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At least 15 security personnel comprising eight policemen, three soldiers and four Civilian-JTF personnel died today after suspected Boko Haram gunmen ambushed a convoy of Borno officials travelling to Baga town.

The attacked officials, according to sources familiar with the attack, were heading to Baga town ahead of government’s planned return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Maiduguri to the camps.

A battery of armed soldiers and police officers, as well as Civilian-JTF personnel, were deployed to provide escort to the officials.

The convoy ran into an ambush by Boko Haram at a spot called Korochara, which is about 2km away from the base of the Multi-National Joint Task Force on the way to Baga from Monguno.

“Seven policemen, four C-JTF members and three soldiers died instantly as the insurgents rained bullets on the unsuspecting members of the convoy,” an official of the Borno state government who wouldn’t want to be named told our reporter.

The source said the attack happened at about 2 pm

Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, who is expected to supervise the arrival of the IDPs at Baga, had left Maiduguri earlier in the day via a military chopper.

The Borno State government and the security agencies whose personnel were affected are yet to officially comment on the attack.

The attack happened four days after a colonel, D.C. Bako, died after another ambush by Boko Haram terrorists.

Mr Bako was until his death the commander of 25 Task Force Brigade in Damboa. He died in a military hospital where he was receiving treatment after the ambush.

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Food for Living: Listen to Your Inner Voice

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Friends,

In today’s contemporary world, we have many interests battling for our attention, especially with the advent of social media. Staying focused can therefore, be a challenge. As rational minds, we all have different thoughts and feelings, but what makes the difference is what we see and hear in our inner minds. For example, we all sit in the same classroom, but our level of comprehension and articulation is different. As a team working on a mission, your vision might be different from what others see, some might be there just to get paid while others might be there to transform the world. Even pain has a different feeling, some people might scream when they feel pain while another person might endure.

As a progressive on a journey to transform the world with your ideas, innovations, and personality, it might be difficult to get a team that believe in not only you, but also in your vision. Whether you are an entrepreneur, politician, student, religious leader, etc., you can challenge and change the status quo. Changing the world is not easy, in fact, it is not easy to change the world; it takes a lot to change a tradition that has been in place for decades, but it is interesting to know that it is easier to influence people than to change them, this is because human beings generally are resistant to change.

Question: Do you have a dream, vision, idea, or plan to bring a change in the society or government? Please bear in mind that it is not going to be easy. However, your concern should be on focusing on the reason it should work and not why it is not going to work. You may be wondering how you’ll achieve this feat when faced with glaring challenges. A great way to remain focused in the face of adversity is to listen to the still small voice in your inner mind. Your inner voice is the greatest strength you can muster when all other options fail. For instance, if you have a strong belief in your network, mentor, friend, parent, associate, or relation to support your work and they disappoint you, what will you do? Will you perish your idea?

Again, you may have strong networks, but they may not see hope in what you are doing. What then will you do?  If you strongly feel the vibe and urge to continue in your vision, please listen to your inner voice. A good way to know if your voice is leading you aright is the presence of peace of mind.

For instance, if you need to make a decision at the moment, but can’t figure out what to do, take a moment to take a deep breath, relax and meditate on the pros and cons of the idea. It’s called the law of mental transformation. Success is not a product of what you do alone, it is as a result of who you are becoming than what you are doing. True success is a product of who you are. It should be noted that the mind is like a garden. A garden won’t stay fallow. It either grows flowers and vegetables or weeds, depending on the seeds you sow on it. Your mind will either manifest success or failure depending on the thoughts you feed with it.

Furthermore, it is normal to complain when the line doesn’t add up. For instance, when you lose your biggest clients; feel cheated in business, or even lose a loved one, there are many voices that will give you cogent reasons you shouldn’t continue in that line of business or see the loss of the loved as the end of your vision, especially if the person serves as your biggest supporter or inspiration. But if you are able to think out of the box, you may realise that there are forces or circumstances that may work in your favour without you knowing due to the demise of the person.

Let me share a personal experience with you; three years ago, I quit a good job with no prospect of another job insight because I felt the urge to see my late grandmother, promote my book and get married. Amongst these three reasons, my grandmother has a bigger role and influence because I constantly see her in my dream pleading with me to see her. I didn’t know why, but maybe because I was one of her favourite grandchildren if not the most favourite grandchild. I took the bull by the horn and resigned and traveled to see her, not only did she bless me, she prayed for my book and professional career. I have no iota of doubt that her blessings and prayers have continued to play a huge role in my life. There is a saying that when you lose a loved one, don’t grief much because they have gone to prepare a better opportunity for you. In fact, they are seen as guardian angels.

In conclusion, just so you know, just like your greatest supporter can be your family member, friend, network or stranger, in the same way, they can serve as detractors. Your primary concern is how you can listen to your inner voice and dare to succeed.

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 and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com  

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The Authentic ‘Place’ of Sacrifice for Empowerment

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Tolulope A. Adegoke

Scars that makes ‘stars’.

Actions with the right motives.

Creativities that guarantees productivities.

Responsiveness that unveils passion.

Illuminant.

Favour that compels envy.

Independent.

Crosses, crowns, cares & cures.

Expectant, experienced, expressions & excellence.

“Sacrifice is the scar(s) we bear in the processes of carrying our ‘crosses’ (responsibilities) towards getting our ‘crowns’ (desired results)” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

Sacrifice is the scar(s) we bear in the processes of carrying our ‘crosses’ towards getting our ‘crowns’. There is no star without a scar! The scar of every star is sacrifice. It is nothing else! It is simply the ticket towards delivering possibilities. Sacrifice is going the extra mile, paying the extra-price and taking the extra steps to deliver your mandates! Your extra-ordinary inputs determine your extra-ordinary impacts! You need to go the extra mile in your “disciplined” life. You must pay the extra-price in your “diligence”; then, the star in you emerges! Do not envy success, envy sacrifice!

Many around the world are embodiments of extra-ordinary potentials (gifts), but have found themselves in fields that are different from their real (divine) calling(s). For example, some are gifted footballers but have found themselves in the Engineering sector… Not until they subject themselves into the diligent sacrifices of football training and timings (age-wise), such people will not manifest or fulfil their original destiny. They would only be engineering stars by chance or by force. It takes sacrifice for the star in us to manifest!

You cannot eat your cake and have it! You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs! Not even faith is a substitute for sacrifice. Vision is not a substitute for sacrifice! Sacrifice is a covenant requirement of every kingdom star! Apostle Paul in the scripture (Philippians1:21) said: “For me to die is gain, for me to live is Christ.” I will rather die than allow anyone make my glory in Christ vain is a typical description of the term Sacrifice. Being crucified with Jesus Christ is Sacrifice! Every star has a story of sacrifice to tell! Bishop David O. Oyedepo is used to saying: “If you do not improve on where we live of, then you are a failure!”

The above means that, you must wake up from your slumber and invest your time in creating the future that you desire! Until you do what others do not do, you will still remain on the same spot as others! You must therefore wake up and tell yourself the bitter truth and design for yourself a new programme and do not let the year to end without a schedule for next year and a lifetime goal…This would show that you are really a serious entity on a mission to deliver your world from its aches!

Even Jesus Christ, the most anointed said in Luke12:49-50 (KJV): “I have come to set fire on the Earth…I have a baptism to be baptized with and now am I stretched until it be accomplished.”  Anyone that desires to have a “global impact” must pay a “global price”!

You cannot have it until you pay its ultimate worth! You cannot have your crown, not until you are done with the cross!

“Every seed of Abraham is a seed with potentials for global impacts (Genesis22:17-18)” “And if ye be Christ’s, ye are Abraham’s seed and according to the promise (Galatians3:29).”

You are here on Earth for global impacts; you are not here for survival! Global Impacts is about being a positive influence all across the world on humanity in your area of calling(s), chosen career(s) or field(s).

I strongly believe that there are readers of this write-up that would manifest greater grace of positive impacts all across the world all to the glory of God Almighty, if they would be willing to pay greater prices than many great men have paid in the past in order to be the “moves” and “waves” of the “movements and trends” and affluence in their generation(s). Until you pay the greater price(s), you cannot generate greater value(s). For whatsoever a man sows, he shall reap!  What is only waiting for you in the future is simply your investment in today! We need to be prepared to at least start aspiring to do a few things we can do, then the grace will flow in on us to do more/greater! It is then we would be able to soar higher than the Eagles because the skies would have simply been transformed into our starting point!

Ultimately, you must discover your area of calling(s) or field(s), so as to be sure that you are no investing in the wrong direction. Your vision must be clearly defined so as to fully understand your mission and then empower yourself for possibilities in that field. According to 2Timothy 2:15 (KJV): “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Acquire relevant skills, apply the spiritual knowledge and understand the needs of your environment in relation to your “Empowered Zero.”

Your field is the “green pastures” where your flocks feeds through your properly “Empowered Zero” which is harnessed/directed as solutions towards meeting demands, needs of peoples, corporates and nations. Harnessing your “Empowered Zero” is the full-scale methodological applications in a bid to impart your world with the treasures that lies in your earthen vessel!

To empower in this context means to positively influence affect or fuel something or someone or a place to become useful or better towards emerging/fulfilling or serving the real and full purpose of which it was originally created! Having thoroughly studied my Zero to Hero series, a majority across the world have come to understand that no one is indispensable, nothing last forever, change is constant and there is always room for improvement to be able to transit from Zero to Hero. Zero to Hero, in this context, is not limited or restricted to individuals or peoples alone but it touches as well the Corporate world and Nations; illuminating us that we can always be better, come what may!

Empowerment is both a value orientation for working in the community (practical) and a theoretical model for understanding the process and consequences of efforts to exert control and influence over the decision(s) that affect one’s life, organizational functioning, and the quality of Community life; so said Perkins and Zimmerman, 1995; Rappaport,1981; Zimmerman and Warschausky 1998.

The value of the orientation of empowerment suggests goals, aims and strategies for implementing change. Empowerment provides principles and a framework for organizing our knowledge and lifestyle. Robert Adams points to the limitations of any single definition of empowerment “empowerment” and the danger that academic or specialist definitions might take away the wood the connected practices from the very person they are supposed to belong to. Still, he offers a minimal definition of the term: Empowerment as the capacity of individuals, groups and/or communities to take control of their circumstances exercise power and achieve their own goal, and the process by which, individually and collectively, they are able to help themselves and others to maximize the quality of their lives. According to Cornell, Empowerment Group, “it is an intentional, ongoing process centred in the local community involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring and group participation, through which people lacking an equal share of resources gain greater access to and control over those resources.”

Learn, Apply & Share.

Thank You!

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.

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