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As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot. – Ray Kroc

For most of us, our education stops the moment we finish formal schooling. From age 2 to probably 25, we attend various citadels of learning such as elementary, primary, secondary, higher institution, graduate school, vocational training school, etc. We get indoctrinated, instructed, programmed, our worldview gets shaped, we form lifelong relationships, even meet our future life partners or business partners in these institutions. But sadly for a lot of us, our learning atrophies because we confuse schooling with education.

Education is supposed to be lifelong, from cradle to death. The word “education” is derived from the Latin words ēducō, educate, educere and educatum. It means to bring forth, to draw out, to nourish. education is supposed to draw out our hidden talent which is latent in us. As American writer Mark Twain noted, “Don’t let your boy’s schooling interfere with his education.”

“Don’t let your boy’s schooling interfere with his education.” – Mark Twain

“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, neighbor, classmate, work colleague, religious leaders, confidants, and even enemies. We tend to think that most people are normal but that is far from the truth. The sad reality is that they are evil and manipulative people lurking around our homes, offices, churches, mosques, 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 neighbor 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.”

“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.

21-indispensable-qualities-of-a-leader

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:

solitude-and-leadership-speech

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:

enough-john-c-bogle

“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.

The Mariam-Webster dictionary defines priorities as something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first. The condition of being more important than something or someone else and therefore coming or being dealt with first. Prioritization is the activity that arranges items or activities in order of importance relative to each other 1

Priority is derived from the old french word Priorite, from the latin Prioritas. Morphologically it contains the word: Prior + ity. It means the importance placed on an activity, item, event, person or situation. As author Robert J. McKain, once stated ” The reason most goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first.”. A priority is something you do first, you do it prior to doing any other thing. It is of utmost importance, it affects your bottomline, it affects your well being etc.

Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,

The Frog and the Scorpion is a fable that teaches that most people cannot resist hurting others even though it is not in their own self-interest. The fable is one of my favorite stories of all time as it teaches about human nature. The human mind is dark and evil. We act in our best interest and sometimes we do act in ways that are not in our own best interest.

“Codependency is about normal behaviors taken too far. It’s about crossing lines.

We all started life by depending on our parents, caregivers, society, and peers. Codependency is not necessarily bad, there is a place and time for it. We started out life helpless, unable to walk, speak, feed, and do the basic things without the help of our caregivers but with time, we are supposed to figure out a lot of these life skills. For most of us, we still remain dependent on our parents, society, spouse, and peers for things; we ought to have figured out. Our family and friends, knowingly or unknowingly enable some of these behaviors such as chemical dependence, drug and alcohol addiction, financial irresponsibility, among other things.

I consider Jim Rohn to be one of the most influential motivational speakers of all time. One of his most influential teachings is The Season of Life: The Four Major Lessons in Life to Learn. In his book, Leading an Inspired Life, he dissects the seasons of life and shares parallels of lessons we can learn from the seasons in life and in business. He wrote:

“There are two phrases I’d like you to ponder for a moment.”

  • The first is that life and business are like the changing seasons. That’s one of the best ways to illustrate life: it’s like the seasons that change.
  • Here’s the second phrase: you cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself.

The Four Major Lessons in Life to Learn

The first lesson is this: learn how to handle the winters. They come regularly, right after autumn. Some are long, some are short, some are difficult, some are easy, but they always come right after autumn. That is never going to change.

There are all kinds of winters—the “winter” when you can’t figure it out, the “winter” when everything seems to go haywire. One writer called it “the winter of discontent.” There are economic winters, social winters, personal winters when your heart is smashed into a thousand pieces. Wintertime brings disappointment, and disappointment is common to all of us. So learn how to handle the winters.

“You must learn how to handle the nights; they come right after days. You must learn how to handle difficulty; it always comes after opportunity. You must learn to handle recessions; they come right after expansions. That isn’t going to change.

The big question is, what do you do about winters? You can’t get rid of January simply by tearing it off the calendar. But here is what you can do: you can get stronger; you can get wiser; and you can get better. Make a note of that trio of words: stronger, wiser, better. The winters won’t change, but you can.”

“The winters won’t change, but you can.”

“Before I understood this, I used to wish it were summer when it was winter. When things were difficult, I used to wish they were easy. I didn’t know any better. “Then Mr. Shoaff gave me the answer from a part of his very unique philosophy when he said,

“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.”

Here is the second major lesson in life: learn how to take advantage of the spring. Spring is opportunity. And spring always follows winter.

What a great place for spring—right after winter. If you were going to put it some where, that would be the place to put it. God is a genius.

Days follow nights. Opportunity follows difficulty. Expansion follows recession. And this all happens with regularity. You can count on it.

However, the mere arrival of spring is no sign that things are going to look good in the fall. You must do something with the spring. In fact, everyone has to get good at one of two things: planting in the spring or begging in the fall. So take advantage of the day, take advantage of the opportunity, and read every book you can get your hands on to learn how to take advantage of the spring.

Get busy quickly on your springs, your opportunities. There are just a handful of springs that have been handed to each of us. Life is brief, even at its longest. Whatever you are going to do with your life, get at it. Don’t just let the seasons pass by.

Days follow nights. Opportunity follows difficulty. Expansion follows recession. And this all happens with regularity. You can count on it.

The third major lesson in life is this: learn how to nourish and protect your crops all summer. Sure enough, as soon as you’ve planted, the busy bugs and noxious weeds are out to take things over. And here is the next bit of truth: they will take it unless you prevent it.

There are two key phrases to consider with the third major lesson. The first is “all good will be attacked.” Don’t press me for a reason. I was not in on some of the early decisions, so I don’t know why. I just know that it’s true. Let reality be your best beginning. Every garden will be invaded.

The second phrase is “all values must be defended.” Social values, political values, friendship values, business values—all must be defended. Every garden must be tended all summer. If you don’t develop this skill, you’ll never wind up with anything of value.

learn how to nourish and protect your crops all summer.

The fourth major lesson in life is this: learn how to reap in the fall without complaint. Take full responsibility for what happens to you. One of the highest forms of human maturity is accepting full responsibility.

Learn how to reap in the fall without apology if you have done well and without complaint, if you have not. That’s being mature. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it’s the best way to be.

Learn how to reap in the fall without apology if you have done well and without complaint, if you have not. That’s being mature.

The seasons don’t work for you or against you. They just are what they are. They are guaranteed to come every year, bringing both the positive and the negative. So it’s up to you to remember the four major lessons in life, prepare for them, and make the most of everything they offer.

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

Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning. – John Henry Newman

Regret is the emotion of wishing one had made a different decision in the past because the consequences of the decision were unfavorable. Regret is a negative emotion predicated on an upward, self-focus, counterfactual inference. (Gilovich and Medec 1995). Regret can also be defined as a negative, cognitively based emotion that we experience when realizing or imagining that our present situation would have been better had we acted differently (Zeelenberg 2010).

Most of us cannot fantom why anyone would be manipulative, deceptive, cunning, rude, or evil. But the reality of life is that there are more evil people in the world than we can imagine. People with personality disorders such as Narcissistic personality disorder, Borderline personality disorder, people living below the veil of consciousness. We have roaming among us on the street, offices, homes, clubs, religious gatherings – sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths, pathological liars, pedophiles, perverts, etc.

As clinical psychologist Martha Stout, Ph.D. noted in her book, The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us:

A shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even your family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

“4 percent of the general population has antisocial personality disorder (ASPD, sociopathy, or psychopathy).”

Most of the challenges we face in life are a result of interpersonal relationship issues. We tend to think that everyone is somewhat rational but unfortunately most of us are not. One of the favorite manipulative tool of evil and devious people is Gaslighting their victims.

“I’ve decided that enterprise is better than ease. If you rest too long, the weeds take over the garden in the summer. Life doesn’t stand still, and random negativity will start overwhelming the positive arrangements of life if you just let things go. So we’ve all got to have a positive attitude about activity.”

An ancient phrase states, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” That’s a powerful philosophy. Many people are getting by with using half their might.

“The road to success is not straight, there is a curve called failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends, red lights called enemies, caution lights called family. But if you have a spare called determination, an engine called perseverance, insurance called faith, a driver called your conscience, you will make it to a place called success.” – T.E. BOYD

Faith is derived from the Latin Fides and old french feid which means confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. It is easy to have faith when things are going great, the real test of your faith comes during the hard times, tribulations, pain, and trying times. As American Baptist Minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Faith comes in different forms, you can have faith in someone, a religious deity, yourself, the universe, and other people. Faith is believing that your business would get traction with time, even though you can see the signs right now, it is believing you would be fine, no matter what, betting on yourself and your ability. Italian Philosopher and Theologian Thomas Aquinas once quipped “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.

Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me.

We get what we tolerate in life, it is that simple. If you allow people to treat you unfairly because they are your family, parent, spouse, boss, or friend, the issue is not with them; it is with you. You need to set and communicate healthy boundaries with people or else they would continue to treat you in a way you do not appreciate.

Most of us think that boundaries should be common sense but it is not. Your job is to communicate with people what you would allow and what you would not allow. Your job is also to enforce the consequence of violating your boundaries. People don’t like to be told what to do, hence communicate your boundaries and if it gets violated; enforce the consequence. Boundaries without consequence is nagging. If you continue to give people the benefit of the doubt, eventually they would get the benefit and you get the doubt. 

Boundaries without consequence is nagging.

Complaining is like bad breath. We notice it when it comes out of someone else’s mouth, but not when it comes out of our own. – Will Bowen

Complaining involves expressing dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault. American poet Maya Angelou remarked: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” Most of the things we complain about are things we can change; perhaps complaining signals that we need to change something. We complain about things that we can influence, such as our spouse, friends, problems, but we hardly complain about things we cannot change such as gravity, rain, the seasons, etc.


When most people are unhappy with their boss, they complain to their spouse. When they are displeased with their spouse, they complain to their friends. They speak to anyone and everyone except the person who can actually improve the situation, and they live in disappointment and bewilderment, wondering why their relationships don’t improve. – Will Bowen, A Complain Free World

Complaining is not always bad as we might want to hear the view of someone else; it could be cathartic and even therapeutic. As former United States president Theodore Roosevelt once commented, “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” We usually complain to the wrong people, we complain about our boss to our spouse, complain about our spouse to our co-workers, complain about our siblings to our friends.

Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 In his book Building a StoryBrand, American author and public speaker Donald Miller presents the StoryBrand 7 Part Framework inspired by principles of storytelling. The SB7 Framework is a seven-step formula designed to help businesses streamline their marketing strategy by clarifying their message. With the SB7 Framework, you have the power to eliminate confusion, connect with customers, and grow your business.

“Think of the StoryBrand Framework as a recipe for a loaf of bread. Failure is like salt: use too much and you’ll ruin the flavor; leave it out and the recipe will taste bland. Regardless, the point is this: your story needs stakes.”

The StoryBrand 7 Part Framework is based on the hero journey which can be seen in most stories(movies)

  1. Every story starts with a character who wants something.
  2. problem gets in the way of the character getting what they want.
  3. The character encounters a guide who can help them overcome their problem and get what they want.
  4. The guide gives the character a plan
  5. Calls them to action.
  6. By taking that action, the character avoids failure and
  7. Helps them achieve success