November 2021


“We tend to conjure entirely the wrong images when we try to keep ourselves safe from those who commit horrors. Assaultive and violent sociopaths, though a small minority, constitute a compelling reason to raise our awareness of the sociopathic pattern.”

A Sociopath is someone without a conscience, they display antisocial behaviors, and it is used to describe someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), people with ASPD are individuals who habitually and pervasively disregard or violate the rights and consideration of others with remorse.

Sociopaths are everywhere; they could be our spouse, sibling, friend, neighbour, classmate, work colleague, religious leader, confidant, or even enemies. We tend to think that most people are normal but that is far from the truth. The sad reality is that there are evil and manipulative people lurking around our homes, offices, churches, mosques, and schools, disguised as sheep in human clothing, snakes in suits, etc. The daily news cycle is filled with stories of homicides: Patricide, Matricide, Fratricide, Filicide, Mariticide, Nepoticide, Prolicide, Sororicide, Uxoricide, domestic violence, Paedophilia, and other acts we can not imagine. One common denominator of these news stories is the shocked neighbour or colleague, who cannot believe that the individual can commit such despicable and outrageous acts of violence.

“Sociopathy is more than just the absence of conscience, which alone would be tragic enough. Sociopathy is the inability to process emotional experience, including love and caring, except when such experience can be calculated as a coldly intellectual task.”

In Never Go Back, bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud shares ten doorways to success. The 10 principles of never going back includes never:

1. Return to what hasn’t worked

2. Do anything that requires you to be someone else

3. Try to change another person

4. Believe that you can please everyone

5. Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit

6. Trust someone or something flawless

7. Take your eyes off the big picture

8. Neglect to do due diligenc e

9. Fail to ask why you are where you are

10. Forget that your inner life produces your outer success

Theme – Never Go Back

There are certain awakenings that people have—in life and in business—that once they have them, they never go back to the old way of doing things. And when that happens, they are never the same. In short, they got it .

Once we intellectually understand what we should never do again, how do we actually change? It’s one thing to “understand”; it’s quite another to live out that understanding. Unfortunately, we humans often repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

When we go through certain doorways of understanding, we never go back to our old way of seeing things

Reinvention is the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new. Personal Reinvention is the process by which we reinvent ourselves either by changing careers, environment, jobs, or worldview. As Greek Philosopher Aristotle once quipped: ” We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.” The process of personal reinvention is a lifelong journey and it needs to be done repeatedly.

Here are 30 great quotes on personal reinvention:

In Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading, author and Leadership expert John C. Maxwell shares 26 principles and insights that he has learned in his 40+ years of leading people and teaching leadership.

“There’s only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.” – Poet Archibald MacLeish

John Maxwell said about his leadership journey:

“During the late 1970s, I poured myself into training and raising up potential leaders. To my delight, I discovered that leaders could be developed. That eventually prompted me to write my first leadership book in 1992, entitled Developing the Leader Within You. Since then I have written many others. For more than thirty years, leading and teaching leadership have been my life’s work.”

“It’s said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others’ successes.”

“Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

John C.Maxwell is my favorite Leadership mentor and author, he is the author who have read his book the most (16), John is a great communicator, highly experienced, knows his stuff, got the jokes, anecdotes, insights, lessons learned, myths, stories, parables and examples of what it takes to be a great leader. I enjoy reading his books as they are very insightful and thought-provoking. According to John, Everything rises and falls on leadership. In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, John noted that Leadership is an inside job:

 Leaders are effective because of who they are on the inside—in the qualities that make them up as people. And to go to the highest level of leadership, people have to develop these traits from the inside out.

In “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times American Tibetan Buddhist. Pema Chodron suggests that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.

When Things Fall Apart Themes:

  • We all need to be reminded and encouraged to relax with whatever arises and bring whatever we encounter to the path.
  • The great need for Maitri (loving-kindness toward oneself), and developing from that the awakening of a fearlessly compassionate attitude toward our own pain and that of others.

The two kind of people poem is a great poem by American author and poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. The final line of the poem asks a simple question:

In which class are you? Are you easing the load Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road? Or are you a leaner who lets others bear Your portion of labor and worry and care?

There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” –Lao Tzu

I once read a great definition of Leadership which goes thus: “Leadership is unveiled by vision, driven by passion, engineered by sacrifice, activated by planning and actualized through tireless pursuit”. Ever since i read this definition of leadership, it has directed my outlook on leadership. A leader has the following attribute: Vision, Passion, ability to sacrifice for the common good, they are diligent planners and they are relentless executioners. Leadership is an inside out job, you can not give what you do not have, first within, then without.

Leadership is unveiled by vision, driven by passion, engineered by sacrifice, actualized by planning and activated through tireless pursuit

The major reason for the leadership crisis we have in the world today is as a result of outside-in Leadership. As Austrian-American management consultant and author Peter Drucker once quipped ““Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”

If you look to lead, invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself – your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 30% managing those with authority over you, and 15% managing your peers. – Dee Hock, Founder of VISA

Someone that has not led his household wants to lead a whole nation or multinational organization, someone that find it hard to lay his bed every morning wants to lead a team of professionals, we want to look outside of ourselves for leadership but as Swiss Psychoanalyst Carl Jung once quipped ” Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” The key to becoming a great leader requires leading yourself before trying to lead others and that involves developing a lot of self-awareness. It is a quality that is the hallmark of great leaders, entrepreneurs and self-starters. They fundamentally know that we get rewarded in public for what we diligently and relentlessly practice in private. If you can win your internal battles, you would be in the position to lead others in external battles.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 “Leaders are effective because of who they are on the inside—in the qualities that make them up as people. And to go to the highest level of leadership, people have to develop these traits from the inside out.” writes Leadership author John C. Maxwell in his book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow, he further noted that:

Everything rises and falls on leadership. And leadership truly develops from the inside out. If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside. People will want to follow you. And when that happens, you’ll be able to tackle anything in this world.

One of my favourite John Maxwell advice is that of becoming a tour guide instead of being a travel agent. He uses the travel industry as a metaphor for leadership

“Too many leaders are like travel agents – they want to send people where they’ve never been.” — John Maxwell

Travel agent sell the tickets and package to our travel destinations and most times they have never been to the destination. Whereas the tour guide show us the city, they go on the journey with us, they understand the terrain, history, cultural nuance of the city and destination they are showing us. Poor leaders often give their people direction without showing them how to get there. Great leaders lead the way and show their followers the route to their destination. By participating and leading the way, great leaders instill confidence in their people as they know their leader has got skin in the game.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi

True leadership means being able to think for yourself and act on your convictions.” American essayist and critic William Deresiewicz wrote in his 2010 essay: Solitude and leadership:

Unless you know who you are, how will you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life? Unless you’re able to listen to yourself, to that quiet voice inside that tells you what you really care about, what you really believe in.

Leadership means finding a new direction, not simply putting yourself at the front of the herd that’s heading toward the cliff.

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership is a great book about the leadership philosophy of NFL’s greatest coach Bill Walsh, who was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the Stanford Cardinal, where he won three NFC Championship titles, and three Super Bowls.  I first heard about the book from watching Jack Dorseys 2013 Y Combinator’s Startup School talk where he spoke highly of the book and Leadership author John C. Maxwell refered to the book as one of his favourite book of Leadership.

A good leader is always learning. The great leaders start learning young and continue until their last breath.

Bill Walsh noted that teaching defines your leadership. He writes:

There are winners, and there are people who would like to be winners but just don’t know how to do it. Intelligent and talented people who are motivated can learn how to become winners if they have someone who will teach them.

Leadership, at its best, is exactly that: teaching skills, attitudes, and goals (yes, goals are both defined and taught) to individuals who are part of your organization. Most things in life require good teaching—raising a family and educating children, running a company or sales team, or coaching athletes—so it’s unfortunate that more people don’t spend the time and thought required to do it effectively.

The more you know, the higher you go. To advance in any profession, I believe it is imperative to understand all aspects of that profession, not just one particular area: Only expertise makes you an expert. A teacher gains expertise by seeking out great teachers, mentors, and other sources of information and wisdom in a relentless effort to add to his or her own knowledge.

Leaders are paid to make a decision. The difference between offering an opinion and making a decision is the difference between working for the leader and being the leader.

In his book, Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life, founder and chief executive of The Vanguard Group John C. Bogle highlighted 10 rules for building a great organization. He wrote:

“What, then, are the characteristics of good leadership and of good management? On that subject, I have (surprise!) strong opinions, most of them formed in the crucible of my own six decades of business experience, including four decades as a leader—nine years as chief executive of Wellington Management, 22 years as chief of Vanguard, and (if you will) now nine years running Vanguard’s admittedly tiny Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, with its crew of three plus me. So here I speak from my own broad, firsthand, and often hard-won experience.”

Rule 1: Make Caring the Soul of the Organization
Rule 2: Forget about Employees
Rule 3: Set High Standards and Values—and Stick to Them
Rule 4: Talk the Talk. Repeat the Values Endlessly.
Rule 5: Walk the Walk. Actions Speak Louder than Words.

If you demand hard work, work hard. If you want your colleagues to level with you, level with them. It’s not very complicated!

Rule 6: Don’t Overmanage
Rule 7: Recognize Individual Achievement
Rule 8: A Reminder—Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street
Rule 9: Lead and Manage for the Long Term
Rule 10: Press On, Regardless

If there were a single phrase that best articulates the attitude of business leaders and managers who both deserve and reward a great workforce, it would be “press on, regardless.” It is a rule of life that has been a motto of my family for as long as I can remember, and has sustained me through times thick and times thin alike.

Amazon’s Leadership Principles

Leadership is not about your position or title, it is about the effect you have on people. A leader is a dealer in hope, possibility, visioning and leading the way. A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. American civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jnr. once observed that “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Leadership involves serving people, sacrificing for the greater good and helping people achieve their dreams, goals and aspirations.

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar

Executive coach and author Lolly Daskal in her book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, describes Seven Leadership Archetypes and Gaps. She writes:

1. The Rebel, driven by confidence.
Gap: The Imposter who is so insecure they play havoc with their mind because they self -doubt.

2. The Explorer, fueled by intuition.
Gap: The Exploiter who manipulates every chance they get just so you will not know how powerless they really feel. 

3. The Truth Teller, embraces candor
Gap: The Deceiver who is suspicious about everyone because they cannot trust themselves to speak the truth.

4. The Hero, embodies courage;
Gap: The Bystander who is too fearful to be brave, too conservative to take a risk, and to cautious to take a stand. 

5. The Inventor, brimming with integrity.
Gap: The Destroyer who is corrupt and would rather watch great ideas die than get credit for them. 

6. The Navigator, trusts and is trusted;
The Fixer who is arrogant and a chronic rescuer no one trusts. 

7. The Knight, loyalty is everything;
Gap: The Mercenary who is self -serving and put their own needs before those of the team, the business or the organization. 

There is a great poem that epitomizes what leadership is, it is about what you do and not really what you say. Leadership is a verb, not a noun.

Leadership builds up, not down.
It is active, not passive,
Leadership brings a smile, not a frown.
Leadership gives credit, not blame.
It casts vision, not doubt,
Leadership drives change, not same.
Leadership adds value, not clutter.
It sees causes, not symptoms,
Leadership ignites passion, not a sputter.
Leadership helps you swim, not drown.
It is inspiring, not expiring,
Leadership is a verb, not a noun.

You Can Have Everything in Life You Want if You Will Just Help Enough Other People Get What They Want.- Zig Ziglar

Leadership involves sacrificing for the common good, self-leadership, self-awareness, service to humanity and leading the way. What the world need is more leaders who can exhibit courage and resilience in trying times. As Martin Luther King Jnr. noted “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” There are going to be trying times, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when, every good would be tested. Whatever would go wrong would eventually go wrong. The ultimate test is how you handle the tough times. If you can lead your self successfully, leading others would not be that hard.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. Influence can also be defined as the power to change or affect someone or somethingthe power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen.

“He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”

Here are 30 great quotes on influencing:

From the landmark album “Illmatic” in 1994 to the Grammy-winning “King’s Disease,” Nas has been exposing truth through rhymes and vivid street poetry for more than 25 years. Now he’s sharing his journey, the evolution of Hip-Hop, and a brand-new song with you. Hip-Hop, lyricism, flow—learn how to tap into the power of your own voice and turn your experiences into music with one of rap’s all-time greatest artists.

Named one of Billboard’s Best Rappers of All Time, Nas emerged as one of the leaders of the 1990’s “golden age of Hip-Hop” with “Illmatic” in 1994, which is still widely regarded as one of the greatest Hip-Hop albums ever. Drawing from his experience growing up in New York City, his lyrics and rhymes gave voice to the voiceless and helped fuel a global musical revolution.

In The Paradox of ChoiceWhy More Is Less, American psychologist Barry Schwartz explains why too much of a good thing has proven detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. Synthesizing current research in the social sciences, he makes the counterintuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. Schwartz argues that freedom of choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

“He who the GODS want to destroy, they give many options”. -African Proverb

There is an African Proverb that says: “He who the GODS want to destroy, they give many options”. We live in a world where we are swamped with endless opportunities, we are bombarded with news, social media reels, stories, entertainment, notifications, advertisement, and lots of great content on the internet. The average person is said to encounter on average between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day. We are long on options but short on time.

The Paradox of Choice is the phenomenon that too many choices often cause us more stress, and less satisfaction when making a decision. Before making a decision, we analyze (analysis paralysis), hedge our bets, keep our options open, and eventually do not even make any decision because of the fear of better options.

The Fear of a Better Option ((FOBO) is a social phenomenon popularized by American Venture Capitalists and author Patrick McGinnis, he defines FOBO as the insidious twin of FOMO.

FOBO, or Fear of a Better Option, is the insidious twin of FOMO. It keeps your from committing to any choice in case another, more optimal opportunity comes along. Thus, you find yourself stretching out the decision making processes (for decisions both big or small) for as long as possible.  Then, at the very last minute, you pick whatever works best for you, without considering the effects your behavior has on those who are impacted by your indecision.

New York Times bestselling author and positive psychology researcher Neil Pasricha writes about building resilience through a nine-step guide filled with stories and research findings. Neil writes in You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life:

“It is a series of nine research-backed secrets, shared through personal stories, on how we can move from change-resistant to change-ready, failure-prone to failure-proof, thin-skinned to thick-skinned, and anxious to awesome.”

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