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Volume 01 Issue 05: Master Yourself

We imagine leadership to be for those at the top, not us. But what does it mean to lead? In simple terms, to lead means to give direction, to show the way, to influence others, to empower others, to develop others, to positively affect others and so on. Like me, if these are things you want to do, then you want to be a leader. But the reality check is that unless you can do these things for yourself, for instance give yourself direction, influence yourself, you can’t be a leader. You must master yourself before you can master others.

Where do we start?

 

  • Stand for what you believe in and act as if what you do matters.
  • Think for yourself. Believe in your own ideas. Determine what your values are and stick to them. Know what you stand for and live by it. Build your competence around your areas of interest. This will enable you to give your own opinion even if it’s different from that of others.
  • Don’t let the fear of making mistakes hold you back. When you make them, don’t waste your mistakes. Use them as stepping stones to take you to the next level.
  • Keep the promises you make to yourself. If you say you will do something, do it.
  • Quit making excuses for yourself. Overcome the problems you encounter to get the things you want.
  • Start where you are. Quit waiting for the day you will do great things. Begin by doing small things in a great way.

Leading is taking pride in the things that you do – John Bird, Author of How to change your life in 7 steps.

As we go along the road of personal growth and development, we realize that what gives the most fulfillment is what we do in the service of humanity. This is indeed what leadership is all about. Greatness is about serving others. As we master ourselves, we discover our place of service. We get clarity on the things we want to influence others in; what we want to empower others to do; the skills we want to develop in others. We get clarity on the areas we want to lead others in.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 04: Personal Renovation

I was thinking of how depending on our personalities, we hold on to things that no longer serve us, things that basically belong in the trash bin. Some of us hold on to the first bank accounts we opened when we got our first jobs even when they are inefficient and have been outgrown by our needs. For some its furniture, clothes, and if you are like me, you may still have your exercise books from college. We renovate our houses and offices from time to time; and sometimes we do a wardrobe makeover to give ourselves a new look. But what about personal renovation? Just like renovating a house adds value to it, there certainly is value addition in taking time to take stock of our lives every now and then, if only to keep us on track on our journeys of personal growth. We have seen buildings under renovation covered up with sisal bags or iron sheets and when the covers are removed we marvel at the transformation the building has attained. Depending on where you are, it may be time to put up a mental sign that you are under renovation.

Is it time to build a better you? In evaluating your relationships, make a list of people who;

 

  • You want to emulate;
  • Inspire you and how they inspire you;
  • Are toxins to flash out;
  • Are hindrances/obstacles in your life
  • Are distractions/a waste of time
  • Are friends you want to hold on to

 

It’s not just our relationships that need renovation from time to time. Personal renovation has to do with all areas of life. Part of it is our finances, the things that we value, our habits, our lifestyles, our health, the way we spend our time, our preoccupations, the list is endless. Consider asking yourself the following questions reflectively;

 

  • Which areas of my life do I need to mend?
  • Which areas of my life do I need to repair?
  • Which areas of my life do I need to restore?
  • Which areas of my life do I need to fix up?
  • Which areas of my life do I need to refurbish?

Then take action. Become a better you.

 

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 03: Strength Engagement

Growing up, our parents and teachers wanted us to get A’s in all subjects. Like everybody else, there were subjects that were obvious A’s and B’s for you. But there was at least one notorious subject where you scored a D. Taking home the report card on closing day, our parents would drill us and even spank us for getting a D on that subject, sometimes neglecting to praise us for the A’s that populated our report cards. We were expected to be good at everything. So, we grew up thinking that fixing our weaknesses was the way to go. The fault was not with our dear parents and teachers since that was also how they were brought up. And some of us are finding ourselves applying the same principles to our children, pushing them to turn their one or two notorious D’s into A’s. We even experience it at work as supervisors and supervisees where we are expected and expect others to work on getting better in their areas of weaknesses.

But think about it. Isn’t building on our strengths as opposed to fixing our weaknesses what will make us more successful? We can’t ignore our weaknesses but they will never become our areas of our greatest opportunity. We grow most where we are already strong.

Your personality doesn’t change as you grow older. As you grow you become more and more of who you are. Your values, dreams and aspirations will change but the core of your personality will remain the same.

Your weaknesses are not your areas of opportunity. You grow most in your areas of greatest strengths. Address your weaknesses but they are areas of your least opportunity.

Build on your strengths and manage around your weaknesses.

In this light, shouldn’t we put more emphasis on the subjects that our children score highly in; and instead of pushing them to work harder on their D subjects, try and find out why they are doing poorly in them? We may find that the problem is in the method of teaching by a particular teacher, or something else; and addressing that could improve the D to C, and be ok with that as we support them to get better and better in the subjects they are already good at.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 01: Ending Discipline Times with a Positive Conclusion.

Sometimes as parents we feel that once we have given a consequence for a child’s misbehavior, our job is finished. I often told my daughter that I was upset with her and kind of fumed at her and she would look so sad and keep asking, “mummy, are you happy with me?”

I have learnt that discipline is not complete until the relationship between the parent and the child is restored. The child needs to understand what they did wrong, but also feel the unconditional love and acceptance from the parent.

There needs to be a positive conclusion (through a discussion) for discipline to be constructive. Express love, forgiveness and acceptance during the discussion and end the discipline time on a positive note. This can consist of 3 questions and a statement;

Question 1: What did you do wrong? Ask in a gentle way, not accusing. This allows the child to admit wrong, take responsibility and demonstrate sorrow for it.

Question 2: Why was that wrong? Use this to address heart issues directly, pointing out character qualities like pride, selfishness, anger or disrespect.

Question 3: What are you going to do differently next time? Once the child realizes why the behavior is wrong, this question helps to clarify what should be the proper behavior.

Statement: Finally, always end with an affirmation. Give the child the encouragement to try again. A child needs the opportunity to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me,” and then feel forgiven.

Lillian Chebosi

 
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Volume 01 Issue 02: Words of Affirmation

As married couples, before we learn, some of us find ourselves working hard to express love to our spouses and it feels like the recipient doesn’t really feel loved by our actions. This is because we all speak and respond to different love languages. Different things communicate love to us. A husband may work so hard to provide his wife with all financial benefits and feel that by doing this, he is loving her. But that wife may not necessarily feel loved by this if it’s not what she cares for. It helps to learn our spouse’s love language and do things that communicate love specifically to them. One of the common love languages for some people is words of affirmation. This is not what communicates love to everybody but it does to some people.

Words of affirmation can be expressed in several ways;

1. Verbal compliments: Make your collection of words of affirmation to use in communicating love to your spouse regularly. You can be creative and add to your collection of compliments from lines you hear from movies or programs that inspire you.

Examples: “I really appreciate you for taking time to come for this function with me”.

“Thanks for getting the rent paid on time this month. I want you to know that I don’t take that for granted”.

We can also affirm our spouse indirectly by saying positive things about them when they are not present. We can also affirm them in front of others when they are present and; by writing them affirming words.

If you are like me, speaking words of affirmation doesn’t come naturally. It helps to practice words of affirmation in front of a mirror before delivery.

2. Encouraging words: To encourage is to inspire courage. It is only encouragement if it is in the area your spouse already has an interest in. This is different from pressurizing our spouse to do something we want. Since encouragement requires seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective, we should first learn what is important to our spouse, then encourage them to go for it.

Examples: “If you decide to do that, I can tell you one thing, you will be a success. That’s one of the things I like about you. When you set your mind on something, you do it”.

“If that’s what you want to do, I will certainly do everything I can to help you”.

3). Kind Words: Meaning is derived from how something is said. We use kind words to communicate love verbally. Check your tone of voice in the words that you speak as your spouse interprets your message based on your tone of voice, not the words you use. Share your hurt, pain and anger in a kind manner. When your spouse is angry and lashing out words of heat, choose to be loving and not reciprocate with additional heat but with a soft voice. This is mature love. When wronged seek forgiveness instead of justice and choose to live today free from the failures of yesterday.

4). Humble Words: We should express our desires as requests, not demands. We use humble words when we make known our needs and desires as requests. This way we affirm our spouse’s worth and abilities. A request creates the possibility for the expression of love, whereas a demand suffocates that possibility.

This is inspired by one of my coaches, Dr. Gary Chapman.

Lillian Chebosi