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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Dynamics Of Quality Leadership

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 A leader is someone who can inspire, motivate, and stir confidence in the people he leads. A leader is someone who can motivate the people he leads and finds new strategies to improve the organization he leads and make it move forward. A leader is only a leader if he can add value to the organization he leads and make it better than he found it. A leader is someone who can trigger off uncommon and extraordinary confidence in the people he leads.  A leader is a man or woman of the ship is mostly about relationships. Therefore, a good leader attaches great importance to how he or she relates to other people especially his followers. influence.

Myles Munroe who is an authority on leadership defines leadership in his book The Spirit Of Leadership this way: Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by a passion generated by a vision produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose.

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A good leader fascinates and fires the imagination of his followers so that they can work harder and perform their duties better.  In other words, a leader is a visionary with a well-defined vision that caters as a roadmap and guides him, his followers, and the organization. However, then the vision must be acted upon and followed through until the desired results are achieved.

Effective and quality leadership is relational. A good leader does not gloss over nor underplay the importance of relationships because leadership is about relationships. Therefore, a  good leader attaches great importance to how he or she relates to other people especially the followers. John C Maxwell who is known and renown as a leadership guru has this to say about leadership in his book How To Influence People:

Leadership [which is a specific application of influence] is at its lowest level when it is based on position only. It grows and goes to a higher level as you develop relationships with others.  That’s when they give you permission to lead beyond the limits of your job description.

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People who benefit from the quality and successful leadership are dedicated followers who get closer to their superiors and learn the secrets of their bosses’ successful leadership styles. As the old adage says;

Closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat is.

On the other hand, critical subordinates don’t learn anything from their superiors because they are fault-finders rather than faithful disciples.

Courage is an important quality of leadership. Every leader worth his salt must have the courage to move people and the organization he leads forward. When Moses died before the children of Israel reached the promised land,  God had a pep talk with Joshua to prepare, inspire, and motivate him as a successor.  God told Joshua without mincing words to become courageous for him to successfully carry out the daunting and challenging task ahead of him.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:8-9

 A good leader is not someone who lives in ivory towers but someone who is ever close to the followers so that they can be motivated. Jesus is a model of quality leadership because He was always with His disciples. Consequently, the disciples managed to spread the gospel to almost all the corners of the world disregarding the fact that they were only a handful. Incredible! The leadership style of Jesus rubbed off on to the disciples through their regular interaction with Him. Good leaders reproduce good leaders and bad leaders reproduce bad leaders and there are no two ways about it. You simply reap what you sow and that is the nature of life.

Integrity is an integral part of leadership. Suffice it to say it is the hallmark and foundation of leadership. Any type of leadership without the solid foundation of integrity is built on sand and cannot endure the hard knocks of life. Integrity is the be-all-and-end-all of leadership. Leadership, and leadership, is no leadership at all without the trappings of integrity and all that go with it. Integrity is the true definition of quality and effective leadership. Myles Munroe who has written extensively about leadership and integrity, says integrity must be the lifestyle of every leader.

 A great leader is imaginative and he periodically injects fresh ideas into his followers to maximize their potential so that he can bring the best out of them to increase production and services as the case may be.

Great leaders are men and women of authority but they don’t go around throwing their weight around because they know that respect is earned and not imposed and that requires wisdom.

Great leaders are competent and because of competence, their organizations thrive on excellence.

You are a leader in one way or the other in your sphere of influence. As Myles Munroe aptly puts it: You are in essence a leader, no matter who you are, regardless of whether you manifest or not. Therefore you need to have the foresight to drive your followers and organization to your destination according to your vision. A true leader and great leader is capable of shifting people from where they are or from where he found them to a far better place according to his vision because true and great leadership is progressive.

Great leadership is not about age but about the ability to change the status quo and the ability to influence followers to successfully carry out a specific assignment at a specific time for a specific goal. There are lots of old men who have carved themselves a niche as great leaders and there are young men who have succeeded in business, politics, and the entertainment industry and they are commanding respect. Therefore, age cannot and should not be used as a scapegoat for leadership fiasco. Leadership is not about age but about vision and the ability to lead people and to punch through the obstacles along the way to get to the intended destination.

You should never give up or surrender as a leader until you achieve your objective. If things don’t work out the first time, just change the strategy. The only time you should give up is when you die, but even then, ensure that you are truly dead!

These are but just a few things that constitute quality and effective leadership’ The qualities of leadership are inexhaustible.

Gilbert Sikanyika is a Zambian Freelance Journalist/Pastor

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

6 Must-Have Soft Skills In 2021

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Emotional Intelligence

You probably know someone who is academically gifted but when it comes to their personal relationships they are so creepy or someone who is so successful in areas of business but they can’t just control their emotions or relate well with others. This is one of the most important skills you need to master and it is often overlooked or not properly understood or implemented but believe me without emotional intelligence you won’t go far.

Emotional intelligence (also known as Emotional Quotient) according to Help Guide organization can be defined as the ability or know how to use and manage your emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. From this definition, you can see that emotional intelligence is a measure and we can assess ourselves and the good news is it can be mastered or improved. Just think of how you empathize with others, communicate, deal with challenges, stress, and conflicts. According to Daniel Goleman, the psychologist of emotional intelligence, he divided emotional intelligence into five main elements are Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills, Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation.

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Under self-awareness, we are looking at sub-components like emotional awareness which is the ability and considerations of your own emotions and those of others; self-confidence, and self-assessment. Under self-regulation we are looking at self-control, trustworthiness, adaptability, conscientiousness; Motivation we are looking at sub-components like your optimism and commitment; Empathy we are looking at things like understanding others and developing them, leveraging diversity and your ser-vice and lastly, under Social Skills, we are look-ing at things like influence, leadership, conflict-management, cooperation, and communication.


Emotional intelligence is a very important skill that affects every other part of your life, it affects your relationships, spirituality, health, school, work, relationships, etc. and why can’t we make an effort to work on it this 2021. Remember it as an ongoing journey, let’s just start and we keep going. By looking at the above components we can assess ourselves and improve accordingly. There are many ways and tools you can effectively use to improve your emotions that include recognizing and naming your emotions, asking for feedback, responding instead of reacting, maintaining a positive attitude, etc. I greatly advise you to get professional help particularly from an Emotional Intelligence coach and International Coaching and Mentoring Foundation (ICMF) boasts of qualified and top-notch ones.


Critical Thinking

Here is one best or on-demand skill especial-ly with employers or when you working on your project, startup, or business. Critical thinking is the ability to logically, rationally, and clearly think through situations and problems to effectively solve them. Critical Thinking is self-directed, self-discipline, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. To improve the critical thinking skills you need to be observant, curious, intro-spect, identify biases, and being objective in your approaches. You also need to analyze the problem at hand and determine possible out-comes or what you need to achieve which is to identify and reframe the real problem.

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Negotiation

How well do you negotiate through situations, deals, and dealing with others? Negotiation is a method by which we humans settle our differences, remember that as human be-ings we will also have differences, we will not necessarily agree from the point go, have the same line of thinking, etc. Negotiation skills are the qualities that allow to or more parties to compromise or agree while trying to avoid argument and dispute
Negotiation is used in many situations for example business, relationships, family, government & international systems, and many others.

art of negotiation

Negotiation includes skills and ability to effectively communicate, pursued, strategize and cooperate, rapport building, and decision making. For every negotiation you must set your goal upfront, what is it that you want to get out of the negotiation process, don’t just negotiate for the sake of negotiation but you should set clear what you want of the negotiation process. You have to have your best or highest that you can go for; what is the least or lowest you can go for and what’s your plan B (if it fails to work). With persuasion, you are able to convince others to buy into you, support your ideas, take action, support you, etc.


Team Work & Collaboration

Life is not a solo journey, it is all about teamwork and collaborations. Even for business, if you aim to go big you need to have a team and according to Jack Ma, “You need the right people with you, not the best people”. Sometimes we need the right people, the people who believe in the same vision as you, who want to work with you, and who fits into what you intend o achieve. Teamwork and collaboration are a mixture of interpersonal, problem solving, and communication skills needed for a group to effectively work together for an intended cause or towards a common goal.

team work

The main difference between teamwork and collaboration is that teamwork each individual is working individually whilst with collaboration they work collaboratively. Teamwork and collaboration help increase efficiency and productivity by maximizing on each other’s specialities, skills, talents, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Each can effectively focus on what they can do best and it helps boost productivity. Instead of going after you won, here we are able to work towards the group’s common goals. High-performance teams include members with a balance of skills, diversity of knowledge, perspectives, views, gender, race, age, views etc.


Time Management

They always say time is money and it is the currency of life, we have to take care and properly use our time. management is an essential skill that we master in 2021 beyond and this is will mean that you are able to work smarter and do more in less time. According to Wikipedia, time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.


Time management comes with many benefits that include stress relief, more time by properly scheduling and doing things on time among many others. There are many tips for time management to try out that include setting time limits for each task, having a to-do-list and following on it diligently, prioritizing and removing non-essential tasks, and setting SMART goals. To succeed in time-management you need to be focused on your life and goals as it helps you to effectively achieve more in less time.


Adaptability

With the ever-growing demand for modern life and uncertainties, it now demands that we be more adaptable like never before. Adaptability can be defined as one’s flexibility or ability to quickly respond to changing trends, innovation, destabilization, etc. To become more adaptable you need to be growth-orientated, always seeking ways and opportunities to grow and make yourself better. Another way is always to be on the look-out for change, trends, innovation, etc. especially within your line of industry, community, economy, and societies, and go beyond that but to embrace and accept the change that comes with it.

It requires you to be flexible that means learning something new, gain a new skill or behavior. Adaptability is very important also when working on projects, developing strategies, and implementing new ideas. It allows you to survive, develop, create, learn, and succeed in life as it encompasses a lot of elements such as positive thinking, self-management, and decision-making skills.

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LIFE

India: The More You Know

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By: Fatima Shakir

India, you have probably heard of it, second most populated country, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and the land of the most interesting food in the world. But there’s probably a lot of things you don’t know. For example, did you know that India introduced the aspect of shampoo to the world? Among many facts about India, this one is the biggest source of amazement. The first-ever shampoo was used by locals in India. Dried Indian gooseberry mixed with many other herbs was used to wash hair, a recipe that is still used in the country today. The word ‘shampoo’ is derived from the Hindi word, champo.

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India is amazing, and not just because that’s where shampoo came from. India is a culturally diverse and interesting country. The country occupies the greater part of South Asia. Its capital is New Delhi, built in the 20th century just south of the historic hub of Old Delhi to serve as India’s administrative center. Its government is a constitutional republic that represents a highly diverse population consisting of thousands of ethnic groups and likely hundreds of languages.

 India is home to numerous languages, including Sanskrit which is one of the oldest languages in the world. Other languages such as Hindi are commonly spoken throughout the Indian subcontinent, with regional variations. As India is a land of diversity, different types of languages are found across different places in India. Each area has its own languages and people love speaking their mother tongues. There are innumerable speakers as well as innumerable languages prevailing in India. The prominent languages in India besides English and Hindi are Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi, and many more.

Apart from its many religions and sects, India is home to innumerable castes and tribes, as well as to more than a dozen major and hundreds of minor linguistic groups from several language families unrelated to one another. Religious minorities, including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, still account for a significant proportion of the population; collectively, their numbers exceed the populations of all countries except China. Because of the population diversity, there is immense variety in Indian culture. The Indian culture is a blend of various cultures belonging to diverse religions, castes, regions that follow their own tradition and culture.

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One of the most culturally prevalent aspects of Indian societies is festivals. There are different types of festivals celebrated in India with joy and happiness. Different people celebrate different festivals as per their religion, caste and culture. People celebrate National festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day, and Gandhi Jayanti. They also celebrate religious festivals like Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Vasant Panchami, Eid, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, Christmas, New Year, and many more. The young generation also celebrates Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Friendship day, etc. The various festivals show the vast variety of cultural diversity present in India.

The discussion on Indian culture would remain incomplete without discussing dance forms of India. India is a land of diverse dance forms. The most popular classical dance forms are Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, etc. Folk dances are mainly performed in any occasion like birth of a child, festivals, harvesting seasons, wedding events, etc. The folk dances include Gaur Dance, Chhau Dance, Bihu Dance, Dumhal Dance, Padayani Dance, Dollu Kunitha Dance, Dandiya Dance, and many more. These are celebrated on different occasions by the people of India.

 Music is something that has existed from the beginnings of Indian culture. These are vital elements of Indian culture and a part of human life. There are different instruments like drums, cymbals, etc. Singing is common during festivities and celebrations. These musical instruments can produce different types of melodic sounds that are pleasant to hear and make the body calm. In the early ages, there were Kalidas, Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabir, etc. who were popular for their music and songs. The diversity of Indian culture is reflected in Indian music. There are different forms of music, such as ghazals, Shayari, folk music, and many more. There were many legends that created music in India like Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, and Pandit Ravi Shankar, etc. They are great pioneers in their own field. Also, it is worth mentioning that, presently, the Indian music industry also has many musicians and singers like Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Abhijeet, Arijit Singh, etc.

Art, literature, theater, and film (including the world-famous Bollywood films), and architecture have flourished in India for centuries and they continue to flourish today. The Ramayana is one of the oldest known epic works of literature. India is full of talents in the field of art or architecture. Indian Art includes paintings, rangoli, plastic arts like pottery, and textile arts like woven silk, etc. From Ancient ages, paintings are a part of India art. Examples include paintings of Ajanta cave and the Paintings of the Ellora cave.

It seems that wherever you turn in India you will come across a site of historic, natural, or cultural importance. India is rich in heritage, and some of the main UNESCO world heritage sites in India are listed below:

  • The Taj Mahal: Tourists flock from all over the world to see this resplendent seventeenth century mausoleum.
  • The Great Himalayan National Park: This national park is situated at the base of the world’s tallest mountain.
  • Agra Fort: The Yumana river flows serenely past this ancient fort in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Elephant Caves: Deep inside these spooky caves you will find elegant statues and designs carved by the human hand.
  • The Western Ghats: These mountains are renowned for their mysterious forests and their wildlife sanctuaries.

India is a diverse and beautiful land that is full of amazing people, places, and things. Visiting the country is like exploring a unique mix of modernity and traditions. It is big, beautiful, and beaming.

Compiled by

Fatima Shakir.

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FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE

Improving Your Personal Financial Health: Part 3

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Recognize Needs vs. Wants—and Spend Mindfully

I have noticed that a lot of people find it difficult to spend mindfully because they do not know how to really differentiate between needs and wants.One of the largest challenges to creating and managing a personal budget is understanding the difference between needs and wants.Spending money on wants is often the first thing I tell my clients to cut in my budgeting class.

However, the truth about wants spending is much more complicated and (more important to satisfaction) than any needs spending.First, let’s define financial needs and wants.

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Needs: Spending on goods or services required for basic survival without which an individual would die. Needs spending includes basic shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, etc.

Wants: Spending on goods or services that are not necessary for basic survival but that we desire or wish for. Examples of wants spending include dining out, going to the movies with friends, buying brand name vs. generic, etc. Unless you have an unlimited amount of money, it’s in your best interest to be mindful of the difference between “needs” and “wants,” so you can make better spending choices.

Needs on the other hand are things you have to have in order to survive: food, shelter, healthcare, transportation, a reasonable amount of clothing (many people include savings as a need, whether that’s a set 10% of their income or whatever they can afford to set aside each month). Conversely, wants are things you would like to have but don’t require for survival. It can be challenging to accurately label expenses as either needs or wants, and for many, the line gets blurred between the two.

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When this happens, it can be easy to rationalize away an unnecessary or extravagant purchase by calling it a need. A car is a good example. You need a car to get to work and take the kids to school. You want the luxury edition SUV that costs twice as much as a more practical car (and costs you more in gas). You could try and call the SUV a “need” because you do, in fact, need a car, but it’s still a want.

Any difference in price between a more economical vehicle and the luxury SUV is money that you didn’t have to spend. Your needs should get top priority in your personal budget. Only after your needs have been met should you allocate any discretionary income toward wants. And again, if you do have money left over each week or each month after paying for the things you really need, you don’t have to spend it all.

Let me leave you with four ways to strengthen your spending defense mechanisms:

  1. Be realistic with your yourselfIt’s very difficult to limit spending to your most basic needs. There are many reasons why the “No-Spend Weekend” or “No-Spend Month” only span short amounts of time. A “No-Spend Year” would feel like a punishment to most people, and not a rewarding experiment that can unleash creative ways for rethinking your budget and spending patterns.One of the biggest mistakes you can make is being too strict with your budget. If your budget is too rigid, you’ll most likely not stick to it. If having a coffee or going out for dinner with a friend is important to you, make it part of your monthly expenses,but keep it reasonable. Stick to your spending plan and make sure your splurges are affordable.
  2. Find the thrill in being frugal and thriftyMany people love the “thrill of the purchase” because they are not asking themselves, “Do I really need this?” before reaching for their credit card. Indeed, the self-inquiry normally comes after the purchase. “Why did I buy this?” Along with feelings of guilt and regret.However, it is totally possible, with a change in perspective, to find a better, longer lasting thrill in being “cheap and cheerful”. For some people, frugality and thriftiness must be learned.
  3. Defer your pleasure purchasesPut things back and take some time to think about it. We often fall in love with particular items in the store. Sales people come over and deploy all sorts of strategies to help us make impulse decisions. “I’m going to shop around a bit. Thanks for showing me this. I might come back for it later” can be a polite way to get out of moments of shopping doubt. Never buy things that you aren’t fully committed to. If you are still thinking about something in a week’s time, maybe it’s meant to be! After a week or so, you may also have made the little sacrifices needed to afford it.
  4. Keep the online shopping to a minimum in order to keep wants in check, be conscious of the society we live in. We are constantly bombarded with online marketing strategies that are designed to prey on our tendency to confuse needs vs. wants. This is especially the case when we are in front of our phones.Yes, online shopping can be dangerous. In two or three clicks you can be buying a brand new pair of shoes you don’t need.What happens if you have to pay for shipping to return them? You might just end up with something that never leaves your closet. Shopping apps? Deadly. Make your purchases an event that you have to plan for. And save for these things to avoid putting them on credit.Start today to create a future you desire.

My upcoming book will open your eyes to so many traps and how to avoid them. However, I hope you got value from today’s episode.

Till I come your way with another tip next week. I remain my humble self, your finance coach.

This post was originally shared in our Facebook Group: Money Mathematician Network

Temi Alade-Mustapha.

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FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE

Improving Your Personal Financial Health: Part 2

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I started this series last week, where I gave the first point; “ Do the math- Net worth and Personal budget” You may need to go through this page to read it again. The second point I will be sharing with us today is:

Recognize and Manage Lifestyle Inflation.

Most individuals will spend more money if they have more money to spend. As people advance in their careers and earn higher salaries, there tends to be a corresponding increase in spending, a phenomenon known as “lifestyle inflation.” Even though you might be able to pay your bills, lifestyle inflation can be damaging in the long run, because it limits your ability to build wealth.

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Every extra dollar you spend now means less money later and during retirement. One of the main reasons people allow lifestyle inflation to sabotage their finances is their desire to keep up with what is in vogue. It’s not uncommon for people to feel the need to match their friends’ and coworkers’ spending habits. If your peers drive exotic cars, vacation at exclusive resorts, and dine at expensive restaurants, you might feel pressured to do the same.

What is easy to overlook is that in many cases these friends may be servicing a lot of debt to maintain their wealthy appearance. Despite their wealthy “glow”—the fancy cars, the expensive vacations, the private schools for the kids—they might be living paycheck to paycheck and not saving a dime for retirement. As your professional and personal situation evolves over time, some increases in spending are natural.

You might need to upgrade your wardrobe to dress appropriately for a new position, or, as your family grows, you might need a house with more bedrooms. And with more responsibilities at work, you might find that it makes sense to hire someone to mow the lawn or clean the house, freeing up time to spend with family and friends and improving your quality of life. Lifestyle inflation can easily derail your long term goals.

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The trap of short term gratification in the form of luxury convenience can delay your plans to get out of debt or distrust your retirement plans.

Let me leave you with 7 ways you can control lifestyle inflation:

  1. Be aware of your spending choices.
  2. Do the math of your raise.
  3. Treat yourself – within reason.
  4. Set aside a percentage of your income for splurging.
  5. Add big changes to your budget gradually.
  6. Find friends with the same goals.
  7. Set up automatic savings.

Till next week…Start today to create the future you desire.

This posted was originally posted in our Facebook Group: Money Mathematician Network

Temi Alade- MustaphaAuthor Money Maths.

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