What is Right

What is Right

A people that value its privileges above its principles soon loses both

Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

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We can’t take out the epitome of moral conduct and expect to have a sane, moral and safe society.

We focus so much on rights and pay little or no attention to what is right. A society does not flourish because it’s inhabitants know and fight for their rights. It flourishes because it’s inhabitants know what is right and they do it.

When a nation or an establishment constantly meets to devise new laws, it is a sign that something’s not quite right.

Morality has probably left the building!

 

Lead right and Live light;​

Belinda O-Ujani

How to Take Advantage of Opportunities

How to Take Advantage of Opportunities

I was driving to my children’s school to pick them up one afternoon. I had left the house a few minutes later than usual so I was kind of in a hurry to make up for lost time. I then made a quick decision to take a route with no traffic lights. It wasn’t a very long road so I still had to come out of it to join the main road at some point. As I got to the end of my no-traffic-light road, I had to wait behind the double white line until a kind-hearted driver allowed me to join the slowly growing queue of cars. I had my attention so focused on ‘catching’ the eye of the next driver to see if he/she would allow me enter the road (I wear glasses, so I had to focus more), so much so that I forgot to move my gear stick from 3 to 1. Suddenly someone stopped and boy was I glad. I looked on to ‘catch’ his eye, just to be sure he’d really let me go. As soon as I ‘caught’ his eye, he gave me a nod and a wave of hand to let me know that I could go in front of him.

The moment I stepped on the gas to go, the car jerked. I quickly looked down the gear and realised I was still on gear 3 instead of 1. Almost immediately, the car stopped and I felt a bit silly. Here was the kind hearted driver I had been hoping would turn up and allow me cut in front of him and here I was not able to move because I had broken the first basic rule of moving: preparation.

So there I was a bit flushed and embarrassed that my car had stopped. I could imagine him thinking: “move it woman! I haven’t got all day”. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had moved and blocked me from entering to be honest. He did the decent thing by waiting and it was me who didn’t take advantage of that window of opportunity.

You could argue that it was no big deal for him to wait but it wasn’t just himself and myself that were involved in this situation, there were other cars behind him. These other cars could have noisily honked their horn for him in frustration. Plus, who knows what emergencies one or more of those cars might need to get to.

Anyway, I started my car quickly and thankfully; he waited. I moved noisily as I pressed hard on my accelerator because I didn’t want any excuse for the car to go off. Once I took my place on the line with other drivers, I signalled to express my gratitude to the driver who let me in.

This kind of scenario is not uncommon in our everyday life. At home, business, school and really…life in general; there are windows of opportunities that present themselves to us at different times. These windows of opportunities sadly only stay open for a short time, long enough for us to take advantage of it before it passes. Some of these windows require you to get in and move along with the flow. While others require you to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Whatever form the opportunity might take, one thing is paramount: be prepared.

In this traffic case, I was lucky to have someone patiently wait for me to get my act together. In life issues however, one might not get that chance. Once you figure out what it is you want to do or achieve, don’t wait until the opportunity presents itself before you get prepared because you most likely will get passed. Make sure that you get your act together by preparing yourself before hand for when that opportunity presents itself.

If you’ve ever wondered why some people just sometimes seem to get all the good openings, preparation is probably why. These seemingly ‘fairy-dust-covered’ people have prepared ahead of time and all they are waiting for, is for that window of opportunity to open so that they can readily leap in.

As you begin to tidy up all loose ends and review this passing year, spare some thoughts for the coming year. Start thinking about what you’d want to accomplish in the coming year and start making plans for yourself and for your environment.

I strongly advice that you do this one thing towards your growth and success for the coming year: make preparation a key thing.

“Opportunities will come, they always do but you can only recognise it and take advantage of it if you have prepared yourself for its arrival”.

 

Stay Blessed and Prepared.

 

Belinda

Time for Change

Time for Change

Good morning to you all. I believe you had a good weekend, well I did (in case you wanted to know) really busy but good.

I’d like to share something with you today that I’ve noticed for some time now.  There seems to be a shift happening in different organisations. I don’t know if it has to do with the year coming to an end or not but whatever the case is, I can sense a shift and a need for change happening in various organisations. I perceive a yearning for something more (from the leaders and team members) and a readiness and willingness from the leaders to take their teams to the next level.

With this yearning comes a need for change.

Some leaders might be experiencing some challenging times like: a decline in commitment, enthusiasm, growth, development, etc., of team members/employees. Or maybe a decrease in the number of team members/employees as a result of relocation, retirement, new births, losses, incompetence or plain old “I’ve had enough of this job”. Other leaders might just be ‘sailing’ smoothly at this time with no challenge whatsoever. Whatever the case may be, realize that change will always happen. Challenges will always come and so will good times. Team members  will always come and they will also leave; some with valid reasons and others with not so valid reasons.

As a leader who is currently facing challenges and understands the need for change; this is the time for restructuring. A time to implement new things, a time for reinvention. It is not a time to sit, wallow and yank out your hair unproductively but a time to take stock of the journey so far and do something to make the journey ahead productive.

The simple solution is a change: a change in the way things are currently done, a change in expectations and above all, a change in  attitudes and perceptions (both team members/employees and leaders). Change is one thing that is bound to happen whether we want it to or not, we may not like it or even respond well to it but that will not stop it from occurring.

If you need to hire professional help for this (which I strongly advice) then do so because an outside perspective might be all you need, more so if its from a professional.

Below are some steps to follow, to turn your challenging times to times of productivity:

1. Revisit the vision of your establishment.

2. Review the mission of your establishment.

3. Identify where your team/organisation is at the moment.

4. Identify what the next level is and what needs to be done to get to the next level.

5. Review the policies, procedures, rules, regulations and adjust them accordingly to fit with the updated mission and vision.

6. Make provision for continuous development for yourself and your team.

7. Have a structure in place for how your organisation/team should function.

8. Communicate all changes to your team effectively and start implementing them.

9. Seek ongoing support and help from a mentor, coach, consultant, etc.

These are the foundational steps you should follow to turn your current unproductive situation around; and please, remember to ask for help and support as you go on (you’ll need it).

When it seems like the challenges just seem to be mounting, it’s time to create (or recreate as the case may be); it’s time for change. When people walk away, don’t sink into despair. Pull yourself together and focus on those you have left; those who have remained with you. They are probably still there because they have some passion and loyalty left; work with that. Make use of those resources you currently have, it might seem like it’s not enough but trust me; its just enough to get you to the next level.

 

To your higher level of success;

Belinda

Productivity Decline? Try this…

Productivity Decline? Try this…

Have you been experiencing dry spells recently? Does it seem like your creativity is slowly deteriorating? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to reproduce previous successes? Are the results you’re producing desired results or more of a hit and miss? Do you feel tired all the time? frustrated? stuck? ineffective or even empty? If you find yourself in one or more of these situations–or any other closely related situation–then you my friend, are in a period of drought.
What exactly do I mean by a drought?
I’m talking about a period of dryness. A time when nothing substantial is happening. An interval devoid of excitement. Tiny moments that slowly add up to a rather large space in time when nothing tangible or profitable has been achieved. I’m referring to nothingness. I’m talking about a period of No-Flow; a period where nothing seems to flow through you. A time characterised by little, insignificant movements. Times of not good, not bad, just…nothing.
For those of you leaders who cultivate your creativity for different productive purposes, you most certainly understand what I’m talking about. My guess is that you’ve had periods when your creative juices just didn’t seem to flow as they normally would. Or maybe you’ve had periods characterised by disengagement or disconnection from the things you’d normally be happy doing.

When these situations arise, what do you do?
How do you get your drive back?
How do you carry on being productive?
My answer? Here it is:
1. Time-out
2. Time-out
3. Time-out

Time-out is my answer to getting your energy/mojo/drive–or whatever else you choose to call it–back and I’ve written it 3 times to make sure you don’t miss it.
You need some time away, end of. Whether it be from the desk, the laptop, the tablet, the meeting room, the writing table, the brain storming sessions, the classroom, the baby cot, the kitchen, the pulpit, the lecture room, the laboratory, the theatre, etc., you need to take T-I-M-E – O-U-T! There is no getting round this one if you want to function well, retain your sanity and stay productive.
Your time-out should be a period to rest, refuel or reconnect; or maybe all three.
No one ever remains productive without taking out time to rest and be refreshed. The reason you’re irate, frustrated, experiencing a mental block or being a right ol’ pain in the back side is probably because you’ve not had any time-out recently.
When you notice that the things which used to give you joy and cause you to experience fulfillment now make you angry or frustrate you; it’s probably time for a time-out. Your creative mind will only function well when the principle of time-out and common sense is applied.

As the year draws to a close, evaluate yourself and figure out if you’re due a time-out. Maybe you need a rest; then schedule some time to do so and arrange for someone to cover your duties.
Maybe you need to refuel; then find people who are achieving the kind of things you want to achieve and receive valuable knowledge from them.
Maybe you need to reconnect; then dig deep and stir up that passion that motivated you to land a role as CEO, manager, team leader, mother, father, teacher, entrepreneur, doctor, author, accountant, minister, coach, mentor, consultant, artist, chef, etc.
If you need to join a network, association or support group to help you refuel and reconnect; then do so. If you need to take a course, be mentored or coached; then please do so.
Don’t let your self go to waste by becoming unproductive. Don’t buy your own narrow narrative of being stale.
The problem is not with your passion, your purpose or even you per se; the problem is that you’re drained.
And here’s the solution: take T-I-M-E O-U-T.

 

Lead right and Live light;

 

Belinda

3 Characteristics of a Highly Productive Team

3 Characteristics of a Highly Productive Team

How many times have you looked at another team in another establishment or even within the same environment and wondered why your own team could not just be as productive as them? Maybe you’ve even gone and sought counsel from a flourishing colleague to find out what he/she is doing to achieve such great results but you’ve come back feeling that your colleague is holding back on some valuable information.

Nothing can be so frustrating for a leader than having a team that is unproductive. An unproductive team can have a ripple effect on an establishment as a whole never mind the affected department. It’s effects are huge and can lead to financial and intellectual decline within an establishment.

What we ‘see’ as productivity when it comes to teams can be broken down to mean: when team members give you their best and the outcome is of greater or equal value to their input. On the other hand, when a team is unproductive it can be broken down to mean: when team members give you their ‘left over crumbs’ and the outcome is much less or of equal value to their input. Now when I say ‘left over crumbs’ I don’t just mean what is remaining from a certain amount of whatever resources they have. What I mean is the broken fragments of whatever they have left, after they have used up their resources somewhere else or for something else. Notice that an unproductive team does have resources (contrary to what you might think), the only problem why those resources are not being invested in your establishment is because they are giving you the broken pieces of what they have left after they’ve exhausted it elsewhere.

What every leader should be concerned about is not to find more team members externally who have more skills and abilities. Leaders should focus more on getting their existing team members to give their best to the establishment. Doing this will save establishments a lot of time and money.

I have put together 3 main characteristics of a highly productive team. I’ll also give you some brief insights on steering your team towards high productivity further down this post.

The 3 main characteristics of a highly productive team.

  1. Passion: team members who give their best have a genuine passion for what they do and this is why their approach to their job is very different. They are willing to sacrifice–within reason–in order to achieve team and organisational growth. They are also focused on achieving good results and remaining productive.
  2. Investment: team members who give their best are known for their investment qualities. Their investment of time, skills, ideas, effort, support and sometimes money. They give because they understand the importance of the outcome and they know what role their input plays in the scheme of things.
  3. Motivation: a lack of motivation is like ‘spanner in the works’ for any establishment. Teams who give their best are usually known for their level of motivation which keeps them active, innovative and productive.
Insights to help you steer your team members towards high productivity.
People usually take on job roles for three main reasons: if they are passionate about your cause, if they are passionate about what they do, or if they are happy with what they’ll get in return for their input. Shockingly, a lot of team members these days have no passion for their jobs. Hence, the decline in team members who give their best. If a team member has no passion in the cause of their establishment or for what he/she does, it’s only a matter of time before such a team member starts giving ‘leftover crumbs’ rather than his/her best. If you are in the process of recruiting, look for passionate individuals. If your team members seem to have lost their passion for your cause or for what they do, take necessary measures to help them back up. If you’ve genuinely done all you can to encourage a team member to stir up his/her passion and it’s still not working then remember that it’s better to release people rather than keep them trapped.
Team members stay committed and engaged when they feel like they are regarded and treated as partners of the establishment where they work. Partnership could be in terms of building good relationships, making shares available for them to purchase, involving them in certain strategic planning, creating opportunities for them to contribute ideas towards the advancement of the establishment, etc.; it doesn’t have to be overly dramatic, keep it simple but inclusive.
In as much as passion gets the productivity ball rolling, motivation is what will keep the ball rolling. It is a common truth that nobody works for free (this has nothing to do with being selfish). The return on one’s input does not have to be in monetary value in order for one to feel rewarded. The return could be in terms of: recognition, exposure, experience, fulfillment, referrals, development, etc.; the undeniable truth is that we all feel motivated to give our best when we know that we’ll get a satisfactory return on whatever input we have made, monetary or not. Highly productive teams are known to be motivated individuals who are catered for in terms of rewards and/or incentives.

Until next time, continue to
Lead right and Live light
Belinda
A Valuable Resource

A Valuable Resource

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Great news!
My book is now available for purchase as an e-book on amazon and I’m really thrilled about it.

This book is aimed at real and practical leaders at all levels who have a regard for leadership and the purpose that it serves. The truths and principles in this book are an indispensable resource for any leader who wants to have a sound life, an efficient team and a thriving organisation.

There are also a few words of wisdom for team members who want to increase their worth and value; and also enjoy steady progressions in their career.

Head over to amazon now to download yours and one or more for friends, family and/or colleagues. Click here.

Leaders deserve a sound life. Organisations flourish with sound leaders. Communities enjoy progress with relevant, successful organisations/businesses/institutions. Do your bit to encourage improvement and advancement in your environment; spread the word about Leadership Maxims!

Yours truly,

Belinda (Author of Leadership Maxims … Sound Principles for Leadership Excellence)

Stone Cold

Stone Cold

Just about everything that happens in life–with regards to humans–is a product of the activities of the mind/heart. Leaders are definitely no exception to this rule. In truth if anything, leaders should be more aware of this.
Most leaders have developed a stone cold and insensitive heart/mind that they no longer realise that human beings are at the center of all they do; both as employees and/or partners, or as customers/clients.
They know the vast majority of widely accepted leadership laws, policies, theories and all what-nots (they probably even wrote some of them). They even talk the leadership talk and move in desirable circles but the insensitivity of their heart has slowly but surely blinded them to the true purpose of leadership and the value it adds to all involved.
We have–most often than not–fallen prey to things like this at one time or the other;
– We protect our own interest at all cost with no consideration whatsoever for anything or anyone else.
– We’ll say and do anything provided it gets us into certain circles and fattens our wallets and/or bank accounts.
– We’ll mindlessly throw sound values and standards out the door for recognition.
We’ve all had times when we’ve made mistakes like this on a small or large scale; intentionally or unintentionally.
We’ve gotten used to saying the widely acceptable things that we’ve lost sight of what is sound and sustainable. We’ve let our hearts/minds become stone cold and insensitive that it has lost the warmth that is needed to add value to lives and improve situations.
Believe it or not, you cannot be a worthy leader if you lack warmth. You can’t be frozen cold within and expect to be sound without; leadership does not work that way because it involves people. If you want to add any bit of value to people’s lives or get them them to work with you willingly then you must lead from a heart of warmth.

Make a decision today to lead from a heart of warmth. Make your group/organisation/institution a productive place that steadily improves and advances.
If you discover you are not producing the kind of results you desire, check the condition of your heart/mind and be willing to adapt your perception and behaviour; I’m willing to help.

*Most individuals believe warmth has no place in leadership; very untrue.
Here’s the truth: Leadership has no value and serves no true purpose without warmth*

Lead right and Live light

Belinda