OPTIMISM – II

#TGIF Family!! It’s another wonderful day to be alive, it’s the penultimate Friday in the month of July 2019. I can’t believe how fast the year is running out. As usual, I will still ask about your goals & targets for 2019, are we on track or off-track?

No matter the answer, just keep keeping on & do reach out to me if you require my support in attaining that goal. Slowly we are building that FB community as a means of support & it would be great to have you as a member.

For the second time in a roll I am working out of station & it’s becoming like a regular affair now, but to say I’m enjoying myself is an understatement.

Based on the various events, I’ve experienced during the week, I’ve been inspired to continue the “Cultivating A Growth Mindset Series” with this post (The 10th in the series). There is really no time to summarize the discuss, but you can click on the links below for a post by post access at your convenience.

OPTIMISM
FAILURE NUGGETS – II
FAILURE NUGGETS – I
THE TALENT TRAP – II
THE TALENT TRAP
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – IV
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – III
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – II
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – I

In the last post, we defined OPTIMISM

As the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen. I also highlighted that this is not just blind faith, but the trust in a God that makes everything work together for my good. No matter how things twist & turn, how many obstacles or challenges I face along the way, I ALWAYS choose to see the good parts & know that it will all work out well.

This week, the story of Joseph (the dreamer) in the Bible has been on replay in my mind constantly. He was hated by his half-brother because of his dreams, his uniqueness (11th son of Jacob) & the coats of many colors his father made for him.

Totally ignorant of the schemes of his evil half-brothers, Joseph was a jolly good fella & one day his half-brothers decided to kill him, but Reuben (thank God for Reuben, I also have a Reuben in my life) found a way to save him & they ended up selling him to a camel caravan carrying spices and perfumes to Egypt as a punishment & they said “We will see what will become of his dreams

One thing was very clear in the story of Joseph from the time of the plot to kill him till he became a god to Pharaoh as the 2nd in command, God was always with him & he prospered. That is the key to my optimism, even in the darkest of the darkest day – as long as I have God with me – I will be fine & everything will work out for my good. In the end, after the dust settles, it will only be GOD & I that will stand.

I will continue to be diligent in my work & do it to the best of my abilities, but I leave a space for God to also do his thing. That is the covenant I live by & stand for.

WHO OWNS THE FUTURE?

This might look like a trick question as I know the answers could be in multiple folds & dimensions. But the simple answer is:

THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO CAN CREATE IT

Psychological research tells us that high levels of self-belief enhance your confidence, which, in turn, increases your chances of reaching goals. To put it simply, Henry Ford was correct when he said, “If you think you can “or you think you can’t, you’re right.” when we talk about optimism, we’re not talking about blind hope.

If you want to achieve success, reach goals, develop your skills and mindset, the most effective way to do this is to utilize an optimistic and realistic approach.

You can do this by following a simple exercise.

Firstly, take some time to consider what it is you want to achieve. This is your vision.

Secondly, create your mission statement. Why is it important you achieve this? What does it mean to you? The more emotional you can be here, the better. You want to really connect with your mission as this will help you to keep moving forward, even when the terrain is rough.

Thirdly, set yourself clear goals that will help you to reach your vision. You want to make sure your goals stretch you, help you to develop, and are achievable with focus and effort.

Fourth, for each goal, detail what you’ll do to make these a reality. What do you need to learn? What skills do you need to develop? Who do you need to speak to to help you?

Finally, how are you going to measure success? Detail how you’ll know when you’ve achieved your goals. Your vision is your guide. Your mission is your optimism. Your goals, tactics, and measurements are how you will create opportunities for yourself.

NUGGETS

Once you achieve your set goals, dont plateau there. Enjoy the victory for a while & press forward & onward, THERE IS MORE. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement & I personally follow the management & business principle of KAIZEN

Kaizen is an approach to creating continuous improvement based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap major improvements.

Until my next post, do have a fantastic day & weekend.

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

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THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – II

Hello Family, hope we are all doing great? This week I’m out of station & my routines are a bit skewed but I’m still very much committed to sharing my thoughts with you all as we continue to dive into this series “THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM”

To catch up on this series, please click on the links below:

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – PREQUEL

The United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) won the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year. This makes them champions back to back & the 1st team in history to win the Women’s World Cup 4 times.

They are currently ranked number 1 in the world.

A brief research throws up some very interesting stats & this will be the focus of our discuss today.

Did you know that the Women’s soccer team was created in the US after the passing of Title IX in 1972, which outlawed gender-based discrimination for federally-funded education programs.

The team lost their very first game in August 1985 by a lone goal to Italy, had no support or significant recognition from the Sports Federation (as they focused only on the Men’s game) & only got sponsored by Nike (maybe out of pity)

Now they are on top of the world!!!

John C. Maxwell stated in the 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork that “As the challenge escalates, the need for teamwork elevates”. This he calls the “Law of Mount Everest“. Teams face challenges everyday & it’s usually the great ones that rise to the occasion & conquer while others shrink & lose.

Adequate Focus on the team and the dream should take care of itself.

The type of challenge determines the type of team you require:

A new challenge requires a creative team.

An ever-changing challenge requires a fast, flexible team.

An Everest-sized challenge requires an experienced team.

The USWNT has gone through a lot of challenges as they started with nothing, lost their debut match, had to re-gig the system by going on an experimental year after 2016.

On April 5, 2017, U.S. Women’s Soccer and U.S. Soccer reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement that would, among other things, lead to a pay increase.

Won their 500th game in 2018 with a 1-0 win over Portugal, outrageously beat Thailand 13-0 in their 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup match in the group stage ( A new world record) went all the way to win the Cup & currently ranked #1 in the world with 4 trophies in their cabinet.

As teams face challenges, they go through several stages of development starting from the very beginning. Great & successful team transition from one stage to another as they overcome challenges at each turn & become better & better.

STAGES OF TEAM DEVELOPMENT

Dr Bruce Tuckman published his team development model in 1965 specifying four stages & he added a fifth stage in the 1970s which is still a major model to study when it comes to team development & it’s dymanics.

The 1st 4 stages are:

FORMING

STORMING

NORMING

PERFORMING

While the last stage is ADJOURNING & it’s only relevant for a team that needs to be disbanded after a successful project or task is achieved as expected, this usually happens in a Project Management space or a projectized organization where specific project teams are created.

Allow me take a stab at Dr Tuckman’s model referencing http://www.businessballs.com

FORMING

At this stage, the team is freshly formed, people bask in the euphoria of starting something new. There is a high dependence on the leader for guidance and direction.

Little or no agreement on the team aims other than received from leader. Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear.

Leader must be prepared to answer lots of questions about the team’s purpose, objectives and external relationships.

Processes are often ignored. Members test tolerance of system and leader.

The challenge here is about trying to gel the team together to have one aim & focus.

STORMING

As the name implies, this stage is all about the storms. Team members start to step on each other’s toes. Decisions don’t come easily within group.

Team members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members.

Clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles.

The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues. Compromises may be required to enable progress.

The challenge here will be the leader’s ability to sell the vision, understand the makeup of the team, identify strengths & weaknesses, be ready to quench any fire & calm any storm.

NORMING

This stage depicts the quietness that comes after a storm. Agreement and consensus largely forms among the team, who respond well to facilitation by the leader.

Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted. Big decisions are made by group agreement.

Smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. Commitment and unity is strong. The team may engage in fun and social activities.

The team discusses and develops its processes and working style. There is general respect for the leader and some of the leadership roles & functions are more shared by the team.

The Leader facilitates and enables. The leadership challenge here will be the ability to encourage participation

PERFORMING

This is the ultimate stage of the development. The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing.

The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader.

There is a focus on over-achieving goals, and the team makes most of the decisions against criteria agreed with the leader.

The team has a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occur but now they are resolved within the team positively, and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team.

The team is able to work towards achieving the goal, and also to attend to relationship, style and process issues along the way. Team members look after each other.

The team requires delegated tasks and projects from the leader. The team does not need to be instructed or assisted. Team members might ask for assistance from the leader with personal and interpersonal development.

The Leader delegates and oversees. The leadership challenge here is the ability to delegate, release & let go of the team to perform efficiently.

There are challenges every where you turn, every step of the way & every stage of development for both the team members & the leader.

Great teams are made when these challenges- even if they are as high as Mount Everest- are surmounted!!!!!

The USWNT have achieved a lot so far, but the challenges never end & the next big one is off the pitch. On March 8, 2019, all 28 members of the U.S. team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, accused the Federation of “institutional gender discrimination.” The lawsuit claims that the discrimination affects not only the amount the players are paid but also their playing, training, and travel conditions.

For those counting, we’ve touched on these LAWS OF TEAMWORK:

The Law of Significance
The Law of the Big Picture
The Law of the Niche
The Law of Mount Everest

Let’s see how far we can go……..

Are you a team member or leader?

Do you have huge challenges like Mt. Everest?

Are you elevating your teamwork?

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

OPTIMISM

Hello Family!! It’s the 1st Friday in July 2019 already. It’s amazing how time flies when you are having fun & doing what you were designed to do.

I can tell you I am having a ball!!! How are you all doing? Q3 has started in earnest & I hope you are ticking off those goals & targets for 2019. If Yes, high fives all around, if No, then there is a need to call for a time-out & re-access your journey so far, dont be discouraged, just re-adjust & re-fire!!!

So all through the week, my thoughts were aligned to continue the “Making of a Great Team series” with another post, but last minutes I was inspired to go back to the “Cultivating a Growth Mindset series“. The last post was on Failure Nuggets ( learning to gain lessons from failure & bouncing back no matter what), I got feedback on how this has been a blessing & I really appreciate that.

For those who will like to catch up on the “Cultivating a Growth Mindset series below are the links to all the previous posts:

FAILURE NUGGETS – II
FAILURE NUGGETS – I
THE TALENT TRAP – II
THE TALENT TRAP
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – IV
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – III
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – II
CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET – I

WHAT IS OPTIMISM?

According to Cambridge English dictionary, optimism is the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen.

To cultivate a growth mindset, you must be full of hope, focused on the good parts of any situation & have that belief that something good will happen no matter what, that mindset will enable you to thrive, reach goals, and continually achieve more in areas that are important to you.

It becomes very important & essential to take an optimistic approach in any situation and learn how to create opportunities.

The excerpts below from Quora also defines optimism:

Optimism comes from the Latin word optimus, meaning “best”, which describes how an optimistic person is always looking for the best in any situation and expecting good things to happen. Optimism is the tendency to believe, expect or hope that things will turn out well. Even if something bad happens, like the loss of a job, an optimist sees the silver lining.

The emerging field of positive psychology studies the positive impact that optimism has on mental health. Other research shows that optimism may be good for my physical health too-optimists are sick less and live longer than pessimists. Apparently, a positive outlook on life strengthens the immune system (and the body’s defenses against illness), cardiovascular system (optimists have fewer heart attacks), and the body’s ability to handle stress.

Dr Gemma Leigh Roberts ( The facilitator of Cultivating the Growth Mindset Course on LinkedIn Learning) states that:

Sometimes opportunities come your way, maybe because of previous effort you’ve put in, maybe it’s just luck. But the best way to increase your chances of coming across interesting opportunities is to take control and create them for yourself.

THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO CAN CREATE IT

Imagine you want to develop within your career. You want to take the next step, but you’re not quite sure where to start. Is the most productive approach to rely on the tactic of hoping someone spots your potential and helps you to take that next step? Or would you rather feel in control of your destiny? Figure out what you need to do in order to reach the next step and plan how you’ll make that happen.

Psychological research tells us that high levels of self-belief enhance your confidence, which, in turn, increases your chances of reaching goals. To put it simply, Henry Ford was correct when he said, “If you think you can “or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

NOT BLIND FAITH

This post is not about positive thinking or blind faith only, it’s about the believe in God creating you for a purpose, you finding that purpose & trusting that no matter what, He will see you through it & when all the dust settles, it’s only God & you that will stand. This has been my standpoint & perspective over the years as I got to know God better & discover my calling & purpose. Rom 8:28 is highly instructive for me.

Rom 8: 28 (NLT)And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”.

Once you are rooted in the fact that God is in control of your life & purpose, you must align with it. I love the question in the verse 31, What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 

My faith, spirituality & trust in God sees the light at the end of the tunnel no matter what. I know that God is able to do everything within his power to see me through any situation & come out on top at the other side.

I am also aware of the covenant I have with God the Father made available by the saving Grace of his Son Jesus Christ & powered by the Holy Spirit within me. The word covenant in Greek means “diatheke“, an arrangement where one party is the benefactor & the other is the recipient with each one having roles & responsibilities to play & perform.

This means God has his side to play & I have mine too, everything is not up to God. Once I get to discover my purpose & calling and then align with Him, I discharge my duties & He will take care of the rest to ensure I win all of the time, even when it looks like failure, He can turn it all around for good.

What this means is stretching yourself, believing in your ability to develop and achieve more, but also taking a planned and systematic approach to making it happen, not just believing it will all fall into place. If you believe you have the ability to learn new skills and knowledge, and you can take control of how you develop and grow, both within your personal and professional life, you’re working with a growth mindset.

Allow me drop the anchor here & pick it up later.

Are you an Optimist?

Who do you trust? God or yourself or both?

Can you grow Optimism?

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – Prequel

Hi there Family!!! It’s another great Friday & the month of June 2019 is a few days from becoming history!!

Have you met your goals & target for Q2? What are your plans to achieve Q3 targets & make the end of 2019 fulfilling?

Feel free to reach out to me if you need help & I would be more than happy to add you to the FB group:

Setting Goals that’ll stick in 2019

In which we are building a community of goal getters.

Transforming from ME to WE!!

After I posted the last article on this topic last week, I realized that there is a need to run a prequel to that post just like they do in the movies.

The making of a great team actually starts from YOU as an individual.

You must inculcate the collaborative spirit by transforming your mentality from ME to WE.

This post is aimed at sharing some of the lessons I’ve learnt in managing projects & leading people to successfully achieve the required objectives.

To catch up on the previous post please click on the link below

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

John C. Maxwell published a book in 2001 titled “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork” & last week’s post attempted to highlight the first 2 laws:

 The Law of Significance

People try to achieve great things by themselves mainly because of the size of their ego, their level of insecurity, or simple naivete and temperament. One is too small a number to achieve greatness.

The Law of the Big Picture

The goal is more important than the role. Members must be willing to subordinate their roles and personal agendas to support the team vision. By seeing the big picture, effectively communicating the vision to the team, providing the needed resources, and hiring the right players, leaders can create a more unified team.

WHO ARE YOU?

There is no team without a team member or player & it’s impossible to achieve the required level of greatness without one, so let’s take some time & focus on this individual.

One of the very first principle that I learnt when I was starting out in my career was the ability to know myself. The late Dr. Miles Munroe was very clear about this he says “When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable“. You as an individual must know yourself, your purpose, skills & abilities, if you dont know this, you will be abused as you’ll be in the wrong places, doing the wrong things & become frustrated.

To know yourself, you need to simply conduct a SWOT analysis & highlight your areas of Strengths & Weaknesses while also accessing Opportunities & Threats around you. The aim is to magnify your strengths while aligning them with opportunities, at the same time reducing your weaknesses & guarding against threats. This exercise will really help you to align yourself with your purpose in your career & in life generally.

If you’ve played the Electronic Arts (EA) Sports FIFA Football video game, you will see a player’s card with their specifications like speed, strength, dribbling ability, good in the air, etc. All of these are like SWOT analysis information to make you as the manager select your team.

It will be difficult to select & draft a player to the team if a manager doesn’t have their stats on a card, the same way it’s difficult for your line manager to do the same at work. Now the SWOT analysis is not just about the skills you have (like ability to use Microsoft Office), but also about your attitude & temperaments.

Some people say they prefer to work alone!! When I hear such statements, I know for a fact that the person is dealing with a chunk size of ego & has got some attitude problems that will not flourish in a team. As established before, one is too insignificant a number to achieve greatness.

My usual practice as a Manager when anyone joins my team is to ask the individual to prepare 2 things for me:

A SWOT Analysis: This allows me to see how best to deploy & engage them while working to reduce their weaknesses & threats as well as maximizing their strengths & opportunities.

Goals & Targets for the next 5 years: This allows me to align their goals & aspirations with that of the team & the business at large. I’ve realized over the years that when there is alignment between an individual’s goal & that of the organization, motivation & passion will occur naturally.

People get stressed & frustrated when there is a misalignment.

Does this work all the time? NO!!! Most of the time it works, but not all the time, some team members feel it’s none of my business to know their goals & some say they dont have a weakness to analyze.

Nevertheless, I keep on doing it & i’m encouraged by the results that those who go through the process get at the end of it all.

After the SWOT analysis is conducted, you as an individual now knows your value & what you can do. These can now be deployed by your manager to achieve set targets, goals & objectives.

The Law of the Niche

All players have a place where they add the most value. Essentially, when the right team member is in the right place, everyone benefits. To be able to put people in their proper places and fully utilize their talents and maximize potential, you need to know your players and the team situation. Evaluate each person’s skills, discipline, strengths, emotions, and potential.

How to transform from ME to WE?

Focusing on ME is a great way to start & it’s not bad as already highlighted above – you must know yourself first, understand your limits, your temperaments, skills, etc, but dont just stay there, with the knowledge about your value & what you can contribute in a team, you are now ready to transform ( it’s a process, a journey, it takes time) to WE.

To transform from ME to WE, the below key skills are required:

  1. Humility ( Drop the Ego)
  2. Meekness ( Teach-ability. You dont know everything)
  3. Confidence ( Have the required content)
  4. Empathy (Feel the pain of others)
  5. Listening skills ( You’ve got 2 ears & 1 mouth for a reason)
  6. Collaborate ( Mix your value with that of others)
  7. Accountability ( Be responsible for your actions & own it)
  8. Dependability (Allows others to count on you to deliver)
  9. Self Management (Be self driven!! Know WHAT you need to do, WHEN to do it & HOW best to do it)
  10. Be inspirational ( Let others be motivated to be like you, be a good example)

The list is not exhaustive.

I’ll like to leave you with the Business Dictionary definition of a team:

A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.

Team members:

(1) Operate with a high degree of interdependence.

(2) Share authority and responsibility for self-management.

(3) Are accountable for the collective performance

(4) Work toward a common goal and shared rewards(s).

A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.

Are you still ME focused?

Do you really know yourself?

Have you conducted a SWOT analysis on yourself?

What are your goals & aspirations in life? Are they aligned?

Where are you on the road to transforming from ME to WE?

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

Thank God it’s Friday!!! It’s the penultimate Friday in the month of June & very soon we will be embracing Q3 of 2019!! Wow the year is running away so far. I hope you are doing great & making some progress no matter how small.

I’ve been watching a lot of football ( soccer) lately with the UEFA Nations League won by Portugal, the FIFA U20 World Cup that just finished in Poland ( And Ukraine came tops as champions) as well as the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup competition in France with Nigeria & Cameroon qualifying out of the group stages into the round of 16 & looking forward to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations competition starting today in Egypt. My mind has centered around various teams for a couple of weeks, hence the inspiration for this post.

Let me highlight a couple of points my Mentor ( John C. Maxwell ) always makes when he’s talking about this topic:

One is too small a number to achieve greatness

I’ve checked all through life & this truth holds true. You cant achieve greatness as an individual, you need people around you, working with you to get to that realm of greatness. This is the way God has made things to function in this world – everything that works in life is connected.

No matter the type of sports that is played on earth, there is always a team, from golf to javelin to ice hockey to Formula 1, nobody does it alone. There are coaches, psychologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, trainers, admin,protocol & security personnel who all work to ensure the common goal is achieved for the athlete & the same applies to relationships, marriages, corporate organizations, businesses & life in general.

The earlier you realize that you need people around you to achieve your goals & objectives in life, the better for you. I love another thing that John says when comparing Success & Significance. He says Success is arriving at your planned destination alone, Significance is arriving there with a bunch of people that you’ve connected to & inspired to join in your quest.

Personally, I’ve received individual awards & accolades over the years in my career, but the one I enjoy the most is a team award & today I love to work with teams to achieve greatness & significance. Dont be alone, Ecc 4:10 (MSG) says “It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work” share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough!

Some people pride themselves in saying they are self-made, but when you have a deeper look at it, it’s not true. Someone somewhere helped, gave a leg-up or a boost along the way, so always strive to recognize those people & things that helped you along the way, it might not be positive, it might be a hard or difficult situation, but at the end Rom 8:28 (AMPC) “All things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good“.

Teamwork makes the dream work

” Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team” —- John C. Maxwell

It’s really great to have a team, but what is more important is to have a working team. In most cases you will see just a group of individual stars & not a team. There is this all time debate about who is the greatest football player of our time – Messi or Ronaldo? I drift towards Ronaldo because he has achieve a lot with different teams over the years not just at the club level but even in the national team, Messi has only been at FC Barcelona & really struggling at the national level.

The goal is more important than the role. Members must be willing to subordinate their roles and personal agendas to support the team vision. By seeing the big picture, effectively communicating the vision to the team, providing the needed resources, and hiring the right players, leaders can create a more unified & working team

As I was ruminating on these things, I stumbled on a post by another mentor of mine – SKIP PRICHARD on How to create a powerhouse team & he broke it down into 4 points with the mnemonic code T.E.A.M.

Powerhouse is defined as “a team having great energy, strength, and potential for success.” To build a powerhouse, there are four pillars:

  • Transform
  • Empower
  • Achieve
  • Motivate

There are a lot of points to unpack on this topic, but allow me drop the anchor here & pick it up next week as inspired, however the series on Cultivating A Growth Mindset will still continue in parallel & I have some exciting news to share in the coming days.

Are you going through life alone?

Do you have a team?

Are you a team player?

This is my snippet…….. I AM SHALOMESQ

FAILURE NUGGETS – II

Hello Family & welcome to another fantastic Friday!! We are already in the middle of June & the year is running away so fast.

How are you far have you gone with achieving your set goals for 2019?

The graphic below will be of help to you, it’s still possible to stick those 2019 goals, you can still make it!!.

Today, I will like to continue on our series “Cultivating a Growth Mindset” & conclude on the failure nuggets as promised in my last post on the series.

FAILURE NUGGETS – I

One of the major things to settle while cultivating a growth mindset is the fact that failures will come, life will throw challenges your way & you will make mistakes. The trick to this is to accept it as some form of experiment & quickly learn from it & move on.

Last week I spoke about mentorship & how it’s best to learn from other people’s mistake than making one on your own, the fact is that you really cant avoid failures, it’s part of the success package & how you deal with it determines your readiness to move to the next level.

In John Maxwell’s book “How successful people think“, I discovered that highly successful people think about THE BIG PICTURE. Big-picture thinkers broaden their outlook by striving to learn from every experience. They dont rest on their successes, they learn from them, more importantly, they learn from their failures too. They are able to do this because they remain teachable.

Various experiences – both positive & negative- help you see the big picture. The greater the variety of experience & success the more potential to learn you have. If you desire to be a big-picture thinker, then get out there & try a lot of things, take a lot of chances & take time to learn after ever victory or defeat.

My mantra is “I DON’T LOOSE, SOMETIMES I WIN, OTHER TIMES I LEARN

There are a lot of things to learn from Tiger Woods redemptive story. I took a listen to BBC Sports podcast after he won the Masters & I was amazed at how far he had spiral down the hole.

He had a lot of personal, marital, mental and physical issues to deal with.

Tiger Woods on his part was a sports hero, his legend traveled far and wide until his infamous troubles started. He lost his wife, his career, his friends, his name and reputation. Tiger became a thing of ridicule.

Sports analysts and the media wrote him off, I actually saw a documentary in which some sports analysts said he will never play golf again talk less of winning a major title, but here we are today talking about winning his 15th major trophy & being honored with a presidential Medal of Freedom!!!

Key Lessons to Learn

  1. OWN IT: Never blame anyone for your failure. You will never get out of the rot & make it back to light if you keep finding someone else to blame. Set your mind that it’s your responsibility to turn it around. Tiger never blamed anyone for his issues, he acknowledge that he got himself into it & he will get out of it.
  2. CHALLENGE IT: Don’t be comfortable in that state or address. There is a big different between a pig & a sheep when they both fall into mud. The pig is comfortable & enjoys the mud, but the sheep cries out for help. See the obstacle or failure situation as an opportunity & challenge it.
  3. STAY FOCUSED: Tiger’s issues started with an injury, then got addicted to pain medications after going through a spine surgery, had a car crash, got a mug shot when he was pulled over by a police officer & was charged, then the infidelity issues & addition to sex, went into rehab, etc. But in the midst of all of this he maintained a focused mind to recovery. Tiger was shown videos of sports analysts that clearly said he will never play the game of golf again. Yes he was hurt & he cried, at some point he thought he was done as they said. But he also said he will get come back at some point
  4. HAVE YOUR “CORNER” PEOPLE: Tiger’s road to recovery started with having his “corner” people around him. Corner people are your ride or die folks, those that will stick with you through thick & especially through thin. His mother, doctor, therapist, caddie, girlfriend & kids were the corner people in Tiger’s life. You also need to get your corner people & allow them help & support you. You can’t make it out alone.
  5. STAY HUMBLE THROUGH IT: The road to recovery is long & you need to stay humble (teachable) through the process. Tiger’s nastiness & ruthlessness melted away into pure humility. He became a changed Man, a better Man & things have turn around 180 degrees. His character is now different, he has grown to become a better father,son, lover & golfer.

FAILURE ADVANTAGE PROCESS

The idea is to take these points as a process, almost like a scientific experiment, it helps take the emotion out of it when things don’t go to plan. This provides you with the opportunity to objectively view your efforts as an experiment.

And it can reduce the stigma and emotional response we often associate with making mistakes or even failing. The next time you plan to expand your knowledge and put what you’ve learned into practice, take some time to create your own test experiment process.

First, get really clear on what you’re testing. What skills are you developing? Or what knowledge are you putting into action? And most importantly think about why this is important for you. What do you hope to achieve?

Second, set a review process. Periodically check in and review what has worked well and what hasn’t worked so well. Remember to try and be as objective as possible. Celebrate the successes, but also celebrate the fact you’ve tried if things don’t go to plan.

Third, consider how you can refine your approach. What tweaks could you make? What did you learn in the process that will help you to achieve a better result in the future? What won’t you try again, because it just didn’t work that well?

Finally, plan how you’ll repeat this really simple process again and again. Block out time in your diary. Commit to creating your own review process. Understanding things won’t always go to plan, creating a really strong review process, and treating your growth and development as a scientific experiment will help you to develop a successful growth mindset.

It will also set you up on the path of lifelong learning, helping you to turn challenges into opportunities to learn.

FAILURE IS NOT FINAL!!!

This is my snippet…….. I AM SHALOMESQ

On Giant’s Shoulders

Hello Family & welcome to the month of June 2019!! it’s Q2 already & I do hope you are moving along the set goals & targets for 2019.

It was my birthday on Monday 3rd June & I took the day off to spend time thinking on my life’s journey so far & to thank God for his mercies.

It was during this session that I was reminded of the phrase “On Giants Shoulders” which is attributed to Sir Issac Newton in 1675 when he said “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

I know there is an ongoing series on “Cultivating a Growth mindset” which I will still continue this month, but I just couldn’t help but dust up the draft of this post which I had done like 3 years ago.

God has blessed me with some natural gifts & talents, but I couldn’t have made it this far & be successful if not for the help & support of my mentors  (Giants).

As children, everything we do in life comes with a coach, a teacher, or a parent directing us and helping us along the way.

Words of encouragement are plentiful, and there always seems to be someone looking out for our well-being.

But as adults, this relationship is much more difficult to establish. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone assisting you in life and helping you find satisfaction across the various aspect of our lives?

Why Mentors?

The Journal of Applied Psychology found that people who are mentored and sponsored report having more career success, such as higher compensation, a greater number of promotions, more job satisfaction and a higher level of career commitment.

Mentors are crucial in helping individuals connect the dots between their abilities and their potential, their goals and their successes. They provide the advice, confidence, and the network that allows individuals find their avenue of success while avoiding the pitfalls & failures.

There is a saying “Experience is the best teacher“, but I’ve come to realize that with Mentors, “Other people’s experience is the best teacher

Now there are different formats that mentorship can take, it can be formal or informal, local or remote, etc.

Looking back I’ve received mentorship from a lot of people over the years,some I was directly connected to while I’m yet to meet others, but I’ve read their books or studied their lives.

I have mentors that are older than me, same age as me & even younger than me. It doesn’t matter their age, as long as they have what I want or have accomplished what I’m looking to accomplish, I am open to their mentorship.

I am also constantly looking out for mentorship moments, these are times & situations where there is something to learn from someone in a moment.

It might just be the way they handled a crisis situation, or a comment they made in the face of trouble, etc. I learn how to do stuff & how not to do them when I am in such situations.

The concept is to constantly be aware of these learning moments in my day to day activities & interactions with people.

If you deeply check with those who are really successful consistently, you will notice that they always have mentors who helped & supported them.

Oprah Winfrey was mentored by celebrated author and poet, the late Maya Angelou.

Former Apple Inc.CEO the late Steve Jobs served as a mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Former Morehouse College President, Dr. Benjamin Mays was an outspoken critic of segregation before the rise of the modern civil rights movement and a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Usher saw the natural charisma in Justin Beiber & became a mentor to the young lad.

There are so many examples across various human endeavor. 

Yes you can do well on your own, but your potential for greatness & significance can be effectively multiplied in bigger folds by you working with a mentor & looking out for mentorship moments.

To go fast go alone!! To go far, go with others!!

How to pick a Mentor?

In Dec 2017, while surfing the web, I came across a lady called Remi Owabokun & her book titled Mentorless. I was so intrigued by her story that I quickly bought the book online & devoured the 44 pages in minutes.

I have recommended the book to those that reach out to me for mentorship & the results have been awesome, below are extracts from her book.

More important than having a mentor is picking the right mentor for you. One way to pick the right mentor is knowing exactly what you want to learn and then finding the mentor who has accomplished that or has what it is you want.

At this point, you want to look at what the person does, what the person has visibly accomplished and not what the person says.

One mistake you can make is looking for a mentor when you don’t even know what you want out of life. You need to be as specific as possible, you need to know exactly what you want and the mentor has to know exactly what you want.

This way, you can both agree on what works best in terms of making sure you achieve your goals.

People make the mistake of going to mentors without any goal in mind. They just want to have a mentor, any mentor or have a certain mentor because it seems to be “en vogue” and everyone who has one seems to be making headway in their endeavors.

What they failed to realize is that these people probably knew exactly what they wanted and hence were able to apply the skills & knowledge gleaned from their mentors.

No mentor will take you seriously if you approach them and say “Please mentor me, I don’t know what I want out of life.”

The likelihood is that your request will be declined, not because they don’t want to help but because they genuinely can’t help you without knowing what you want.

It is not the mentor’s job to choose a life path for you, they can only guide and accelerate your process based on whatever it is you are doing. This means you must be on a journey. It does not have to be the full picture, but you do need to have something you are working to accomplish in whatever area of your life.

If you want to accomplish certain things in business, get a mentor who has accomplished that thing you want to achieve.

Don’t just pick a mentor for the sake of it and then pick someone you are not even sure you need, only to blame them later if you achieve nothing.

Exercise

  1. What do you want to learn right now? What do you want to achieve? In what area of your life? Financial, career, business, relationship?
  2. Write a list of people who have accomplished exactly what you hope to accomplish and have proof of this feat. They may be people you know or have connections with, they may be people you have never met and who probably live in a different part of the world. They just need to be people who have the results you want
  3. Now look for a way to reach out to them stating specifically what you want to learn from them & why you’ve chosen them.

Last year, I was nominated & accepted to join the Mentor Africa Project (MAP), Mentor Africa Project is a global village of mentors committed to grooming young African professionals and start-up entrepreneurs to become global leaders.

Apart from MAP, I personally mentor people on career growth & development, spirituality & excellence, marriage & relationships ( this I do with my wife), etc.

The interactions are usually broken down into time frames of 3,6 & 12 months depending on the specifics & I must tell you that it’s real work, but it’s the most rewarding work ever.

These projects are still ongoing & if you are interested, just let me know & we will get you on board.

This is my snippet…….. I AM SHALOMESQ

I”LL RISE UP

Hello everyone, it’s been a month since I last posted & I want to quickly say a big THANK YOU to those that showed a lot of concern by reaching out to me to find out what happened & why I had stopped for this long.

I got calls from far & near, from Australia to the UK, US & of course from my home country Nigeria. It’s comforting to know that in my little corner some form of impact is being made out there.

For those that don’t know my wife & I lost someone so dear to us on Easter Monday April 22, 2019 in a very personal, shocking & traumatic way, but we’ve totally submitted to the will of God our Father who knows the end from the beginning & has our best interest at heart.

We are comforted in the fact that our friend is resting with God & that comfort is what holds the family & friends together as we push on to run our races & hope to end well.

I also want to thank those that tried to encourage me to get back as quickly as possible considering that I’ll be letting down the number of people that read my blog.

We all have our various ways of grieving & mine was to shutdown & deeply think replaying the events over & over again to try & find a logical explanation & to seek for closure.

That process didn’t climax until last night when the phrase I’ll rise up came through my mind with an Andra Day song titled “Rise Up“.

The lyrics were powerful to me:

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousands times again
For you When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, ohh ohhh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousands times again
And we’ll rise up
Rise like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousands times again
For you ohhhh ohhh ohh ohhh ohh (3X)

A few things became more real to me from this experience in the past month:

  1. All man must die. We all have an appointment with Death!! Yes we pray for long life & all that but as Born-Again Believers we are not afraid of death as it’s a horse we ride to switch to the other side. We shut our eyes here & open it in the bosom of our Lord & Saviour. All I can say to it is “NOT TODAY!!!
  2. Life is a vapour: On this side of eternity, our life is transient so make the best of it. Love fully, hug tightly, impact forcefully, live freely & ensure you leave here empty with no regrets.
  3. Leave a Legacy: Stamp your print in the sands of time. No matter how small or large it is, just reach out & touch lives. Let people think of you fondly when you are gone, not for them to say good riddance.

I know my friend will not want me to just shut down forever, so I’ll rise up & continue to do what I know best to do………….

This is my snippet…….. I AM SHALOMESQ

IN ALL THINGS GIVE THANKS!!

We submit to your will Father because we know YOU know best!!

We are not afraid of tomorrow because we know the God who owns tomorrow!!

All of our hopes lie in you!!!

FAILURE NUGGETS – I

It’s Good Friday today, a chance to celebrate Easter once again!! Hope it’s been a good day for you? For me I’ve taken the day very slowly as I’ve taken the holiday to catch up on some pending work, sieved through my social media profiles (Facebook in particular) to remove some folks off my list & to finally write this post.

This topic has been on my mind the whole week & it’s also a continuation of our main series on “Cultivating a Growth Mindset“. You can catch up on all the previous posts using the respective links below & I do hope I’ve been able to inspire & not bore you to death on this one.

This is fixing to becoming one of the longest series have ran in over 4 years.

Cultivating a Growth Mindset – I

Cultivating a Growth Mindset – II

Cultivating a Growth Mindset – III

Cultivating a Growth Mindset – IV

The Talent Trap

The Talent Trap – II

Today, I’ll be talking about FAILURE, there has been a lot of publications & media hype around success stories of men & women all around the world across various fields of endeavor , but few really talk about their failures. I once said It’s a better investment for me to spend my money attending a series of courses on failure than success seminars.

There are a lot of things to learn from failure & this is one of the key areas of a growth mindset – The ability to take advantage & glean nuggets from failure. A few quotes below from my mentors John C. Maxwell & Rev Sam Adeyemi further drives home this point. John has an excellent book I will recommend about this topic titled “Failing Forward”


“Without failure there is no achievement.” -John C. Maxwell


“Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success” – Rev Sam Adeyemi


“Failing forward” is the ability to get back up after you’ve been knocked down, learn from your mistake, and move forward in a better direction.” – John C. Maxwell

Part of any kind of growth is about pushing past barriers and entering uncharted territory. The same applies to developing a growth mindset. You’re entering the unknown. Whenever you take on something new there will be a period of trial and error as you put new knowledge and skills into practice.

A side effect of this is the challenges you may face and the possibility that you may make mistakes, and you feel like you failed.

The good news is you can turn mistakes, failures, obstacles and challenges into your advantage.

It’s all about changing your perspective to see things as part of the process of developing a growth mindset. Of course, learning new information, broadening your knowledge, and developing your skills can create huge rewards.

And this process can at times be entirely smooth sailing. Or there may be a few bumps in the road. The key is to prepare yourself for potential challenges, and accept that you may fail as you start to put new ideas and skills into practice.

You also need to understand making decisions that don’t always pay off are just a normal part of the process. In fact, rather than just accepting mistakes may occur, if you can learn to celebrate failure you’ll create a way of thinking that helps you to thrive.

This means you give yourself the psychological tools to cope with obstacles and learn to turn challenging situations into opportunities to grow.

Learning how to create a continuous development outlook will help you to hone your growth mindset. The idea is to create a process whereby you expand your knowledge, broaden your skills, test new approaches, review progress, and make tweaks to enhance your performance in the future.

One of the biggest stories in the sporting world last week was Tiger Woods winning his 5th Masters title at Augusta making it his 15th major trophy, 24 years after winning it the first time as a teenage Stanford student in 1995.

There is so much to unpack about Tiger’s redemption after falling out of grace with a lot of personal, marital, mental and physical roller-coaster & failures to endure. I will try to do that in the next post.

He won his last Major title in 2008 & no one ever thought there will be an 11 year wait before his next title.

Is life knocking you down? Have you failed before?

What is your attitude to failure? Do you accept it or do you see it an an opportunity to grow?


This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ