Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi

Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi

Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi is an Organisational and Personal Development Consultant, a Life Coach, Author, and Strategist. Her latest book, “The Connection Factor: Unlocking your Individual potential through your Connections,” provides some relational nuggets to individuals who seek to establish meaningful, relevant and fulfilling relationships that can unlock their potential.   Looking at improving your career, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies you can implement today to achieve your goals. E-mail: LinkedIn: Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi.  Mobile: 263 717 013 206

Monday, 23 July 2018 11:24

Wholeness Incorporated Coaching

Wholeness Incorporated Coaching provides a variety of coaching services to assist individuals and teams, to effectively manage relationships and align their career to their life Purpose using a holistic approach.

It almost seems like yesterday when we were exchanging the niceties of “compliments of the new season,” heads held up high with an invigorated and renewed sense of passion to make the best of the New Year. With the passage of time, news headlines, life events and the rigor of making a living - it takes energy, determination and effort to consistently maintain the zeal and drive that we started out with at the beginning of the year. As you cross over into the second month of the year, what do you do when you still have the desire and interest but have started losing the incentive and motivation to pursue your biggest dreams and goals? What do you do when life has poked a hole in your willpower fuel tank? How do you recharge your depleted motivation when you feel like your back is constantly pushed against the wall?

Where did you lose it?

From social rejection, neglect of one’s physical needs, failure, loss, to exhaustion from making too many decisions - the average human being can only take so much and still remain driven or motivated to keep forging ahead. You may have embarked on something new at the beginning of the year which gave you the most exciting, energizing feeling in the world. You were possibly so fired up and couldn’t stop talking about it, at least for a while. Then, inevitably, you may have hit a plateau. Stagnation could have set in and you lost your drive. The important thing is to trace back your journey over the last few weeks and identify where you may have lost it. Was it something someone said? Could it have been the slow uptake of your idea by your intended beneficiaries? Did you lose the support that you counted on the most? Did you experience delays? Were you betrayed or rejected? Was the goal too ambitious and you fell under the pressure and fatigue of daily high level decisions? Were you pursuing something for the wrong reasons? Whatever the state of your current motivation level may be, you need to be able to reflect deeply in order to identify how and when your drive started to get depleted over time.

How do you regain drive and motivation?

Regaining your motivation involves a combination of combatting the sources of its depletion together with determination, courage and effort into taking the first step. So what is a possible first step? You could start by changing your view. This can relate to your current environment and surroundings that have become so uninspiring, making every day monotonous and mundane. It can be simple things like the location of your desk, working area, office aesthetics, home furniture re-arrangement or colour themes that have surrounded you from time immemorial. If you are a regular walker like me, you can change your route and appreciate new, fresh views along the way. As you change your physical views around you, it is very possible that your views and perspectives on life will also begin to shift. With a change of view, you will also need to change your attitude. As you once again garner the energy to envision your “finish line,” you can start working backward to determine what it will take to reach that point. Within the bigger goals you can begin to set small incremental goals for each stage of the process to help you stay focused and keep your mind alert. With a change of views and attitude, another area of change would be in your daily patterns. It was Tuli Kupferberg who wisely noted that, “When patterns are broken, new worlds can emerge.” When you have changed your views, attitudes and patterns, it is a good time to starting reviewing your priorities and taking note of the areas that may need to be re-arranged. In the past few weeks you may have just become so obsessed with your career or project perhaps and relegated important areas of your life such as family, your spiritual development or even neglected your vital social circles! You need to re-visit your priorities and effect changes where necessary. As you re-arrange the priorities in your life you will also need to change your thoughts concerning the things that you believe you can achieve and those things that have looked like impossibilities around you. Do you have the right quality of friends around you? Which contacts in your address book do you need to upgrade or delete completely?

Forced change of habit

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. If you’re not a hundred percent passionate about your work and generally unclear about your life purpose, then it is quite difficult to wake up every day feeling motivated. Not all these changes we have mentioned here are easy, they all require a forced change of habit. This can be made easier when we have a strong spiritual anchor and clarity of our life mission. Our unwillingness to change simply means that as we continue to do the same things we have been doing over the years, we should not expect our results to be any different. Change requires force, determination, discipline and some help from the individuals that you surround yourself with to sharpen the iron in your life. Who do you look up to? Are you deriving maximum benefits from your coach or mentor? Are they still relevant for where you are now and what you are pursuing in the future?

Monday, 23 July 2018 07:47

Do you believe in your own Dream?

All great things start as a dream. We all need to dream before the dream can come true and most importantly, we all need to work for it. Can you imagine what the world we live in today would be without dreams? Every day, life is so much better because someone had a dream they acted on.

The world needs dreamers

The big question is, why bother with your dream? Aren’t there enough ideas and initiatives out there already? Why encourage more dreaming? There are so many reasons why dreaming is essential and why you need to hold on to your dream until it takes flight. Do you realise that without dreamers, we would have no electric light? Thomas Edison dreamed of a lamp that could be powered by electricity. He proceeded to put his dream into action and despite more than 10,000 failures, eventually made light in a completely new way. Do you also realise that without dreamers, we would be stuck traveling by rail, road, and sea? The Wright brothers dreamed of a machine that would fly through the air. They experienced incredible opposition to their crazy idea but because of their stubborn resolve to get off the ground, did in fact do so. Do you also realise that without dreamers, we would be stuck using wires to communicate with each other? Marconi dreamed of a system where we could harness the intangible force of ether to transmit sound through the air instead of wires. Some reports suggest he might have been labelled insane by his friends, but he pressed on and proved them all wrong. Without dreamers, there would be a void of innovation and significant change in the world.

Are you ready to challenge the status quo?

Challenging the status quo is a mind-set shift. When you challenge the status quo, it means that you identify new and better ways of doing things. It also means that you add value, and that’s the very basis for being successful. Challenging the status quo is a mind-set shift which you can bring about by being conscious about how things operate today – and by proposing a new and better way of doing things. One of the best ways of bringing about this mind-set shift is to regularly take a step back and ask a set of insightful questions. Set time aside in your diary and allow yourself to get away from your desk for 30 to 60 minutes. Go to a place where you feel inspired and where you will not be disturbed. Take a “balcony” view and observe it from afar. What is working well and what is not working so well? How could you run it in a more successful and effective manner?

See things better than they are.

Be inspired and imagine what the future would look like if you made use of more simplified processes, new and better technology, were able to build a highly motivated team, had better relationships with your customers, and if you were able to improve the way they do business.

Don’t just think better… think differently

Keep in mind that even if you don’t see an opportunity for massive disruption in your existing or desired space, you can still create a competitive advantage through minor disruption. How can you become more disruptive and challenge the status quo in your industry? Begin with asking why. Asking why repeatedly will lead you to a reason for an action. If the “why” is weak, you are onto something. Searching outside of your industry or even outside of your country offers insight into how others are thinking differently about the same challenges.

Be bold and brave.

To make a difference, to have an impact, and to become great we must do the unorthodox thing. To move from mediocrity to greatness, we must venture out. To build something substantial, we must take a strong stand. To create something meaningful, we must create significance. Nothing great is ever achieved by doing things the way they have always been done. To challenge the status quo, we must take one fearless choice at a time, one brave decision at a time, one courageous action at a time. These choices, decisions, and actions transform challenges into exploration, risk into reward, and fear into determination. Start by asking yourself: What needs to be challenged? What needs to be improved? What is the greatest risk? What can I expect? What can I learn? When we challenge the status quo, we test our skills and we challenge ourselves. The gift of life is to make a difference, and the call of leadership is to say this is not good enough. We have the choice to make things better. When we challenge the status quo, we believe that our abilities will be able to make a difference. What action will you take to challenge the status quo?

Believe that you can do it

Self-belief is paramount to every success. You need to first believe in yourself to get somewhere. If you don’t have self-confidence, who is going to believe in you? If you have often experienced low self-belief, look back at the times when you achieved something, regardless of how big or small it was. From there, build up your confidence and leverage it as you pursue your goals. As you begin to see results, your confidence will increase over time, which will create an upward spiralling effect.

Build concrete strategy and plans.

Every dream that develops into a goal needs a proper strategy and plan for it to come to life. Many people fail in their goals because they fail to follow-through with planning. The bigger your goals, the more important that you invest proper time in building your plan. Once you have set your goals, you need to work really hard. With every success, comes hard work. Without hard work, you cannot achieve results. People who try to find the easy way out are short changing themselves if they think they can achieve excellence without putting in hard work. If you observe around you, the people who seek out ‘get-rich-quick’ methods are also the very people who do not achieve much in their lives. Hard work is the universal quality that will pay off in the long-term. Once you invest the due time and effort, the results will start coming in. As you invest your time and effort, it is important to focus your energy in the few key drivers of success which will lead you to the results you want. This way, you will utilize your efforts more effectively, which can be subsequently channelled into more value-added activities.

Whilst some of the circumstances we find ourselves in are not entirely of our own making, the sum total of our lives is usually a reflection of the decisions we have made. Each time we make a powerful decision, we step more fully into our own unique, authentic expression. We have the power to change our lives with our decisions. If you think your life and its conditions is holding you back, whatever seems to be preventing you from reaching your full potential is more likely your decisions (or lack thereof) than your circumstances. 

Root causes of poor decision making 

In my work as an organisational and personal development consultant, I have looked at 360-feedback data from many leaders and compared the behaviour of those who were perceived to be making poor decisions with that of the people perceived to be making very good decisions. Various factors ranging from laziness, failure to anticipate unexpected events, indecisiveness, remaining locked in the past, having no strategic alignment, Over-dependence, isolation, lack of technical depth and failure to communicate effectively all emerged as the most common paths to poor decision making.

Who is making critical decisions for you in your life?

We all make a myriad of decisions every living day of our lives. Some of these are low level with low stakes results which speak more into our personal preferences and less about impact. This is not the case with powerful decisions. These are the ones that change the course of our lives, requiring us to go way beyond reason and logic, straight into our hearts, to find answers that are truthful, though not necessarily popular or easy. Powerful decisions never lead you down the conventional path. Instead, they provide you an opportunity to honour and advance your values. These decisions are real life enactments of what you stand for and who you are. Who is making this level of decisions for you in your life?

We cannot undo the past

The choices we make and the decisions we take have a long lasting impact on our lives. They make us special, put a bar of distinction between us and everyone else. Whether you feel it immediately or not, your life is being shaped by the choices you are making in the present. Sometimes, we make bad choices and often stoop low with misery and regret when we realize our mistake. That is all part of being human. We cannot undo the past, but we can always learn from it. Choices are the building blocks of our lives and despite all the mistakes one makes, a new day brings with itself new opportunities and a whole new world of choices. The present is a gift you need to make the best of, and the core of your future comprises each and every decision you have ever taken. Sometimes we don't allow our mind to think and we make choices too fast. Other times we just want to follow the crowd or to be a popular in the way we make our decisions. We should allow our minds to think through our decisions. Decisions affect and shape our character because our decisions become our habits and that becomes our character.

Monday, 23 July 2018 07:45

Are you fully in control of your life?

Every decision and every choice shapes your future, from what you eat, to where you work and live and especially the people you spend your time with. Everything in your life, business and personal, exists because you first made a choice about it. Despite our parents making most of our decisions for our better and brighter future when we are very young, we start learning early how to choose between the options placed strategically in front of us and make decisions.

Who is making critical decisions for you in your life?

We all make a myriad of decisions every living day of our lives. Some of these are low level with low stakes results which speak more into our personal preferences and less about impact. This is not the case with powerful decisions. These are the ones that change the course of our lives, requiring us to go way beyond reason and logic, straight into our hearts, to find answers that are truthful, though not necessarily popular or easy. Powerful decisions never lead you down the conventional path. Instead, they provide you an opportunity to honour and advance your values. These decisions are real life enactments of what you stand for and who you are. Who is making this level of decisions for you in your life?

Defending our decisions

When we make powerful decisions we need to be well equipped with weapons to deal with the internal and external resistance that follows these paradigm shifts. We should expect resistance to show up just when we are making progressive strides, so it’s in our best interests to fully invest in our arsenal bank in advance. This calls for self-confidence, integrity and the ability to discern between inner voices that come from fear, and those that deliver messages from the heart. When you make a bold decision, you will undoubtedly find yourself in the uncomfortable place of not knowing what to do next. This should not be wasted because uncertainty in itself inspires brilliance, which helps you to get absolutely clear about what you want and why you want it. When you find yourself in this place, choices and actions appear, steps are taken and a fresh journey begins towards a significant life.

What is Your Excuse?

Is your comfort zone working for you? The decision not to do anything is the easiest decision to make. Sometimes we have a choice that could change our lives for the better, but we decide not to do it because we may feel it is safer to be in our comfort zone. If you want to get to the next level in your life and make changes, then the decision in yours. What are the things in your life, the conditions in which you live, that you claim are holding you back? Have you examined them closely to see if that is really true, or if it’s mostly a lack of decision on your part? Is there anyone who had it worse and is doing better than you? What’s your excuse? More importantly, when will you decide to stop hiding behind your excuses and face your destiny? Decisions, not your conditions, will shape your life moving forward. If your decision is to do nothing, that decision, not your conditions, will define your life.

Powerful decisions are not easy, but making them grants us access to what we most long for—to feel empowered, authentic, and capable of stepping beyond what we believe ourselves to be. What powerful decisions have you made? What did you learn in the process? How have these decisions changed your life? It is our decisions, not the conditions of our lives that determine our destiny.

Who is calling the shots?

Consider the decisions you have made today. From the food you have eaten, the clothes you are wearing, the people you are with, what you are watching, reading and listening to. Did you make those choices and are you happy with them? Do you feel that they are the most excellent for who you are and where you are going in life? My personal power principle says “Let Excellence Be Your Only Competitor.” Sadly, too many times we measure ourselves against limited potential and feel we have arrived when there is always yet a more excellent way. Determine to pursue excellence as you take full control of your life.

All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. So, what exactly are we celebrating on March 8th again? Are we celebrating progress? Are we celebrating the roles of a woman? Are we celebrating the various functions? There are varied forms of abuse and oppression that a woman still tolerates. Oppression is more than not saying NO. It could also mean excessively saying YES, as is the fate of many women who wear multiple hats in today’s world. While today’s woman is juggling between various roles, she is still struggling to find her footing.

The epidemic of overwhelm

Today, most women are juggling several jobs: breadwinner, family caregiver, family health manager, cook, and more. Whilst some men are beginning to contribute more to household chores and childrearing these days, many working women still feel they have to be superwoman and are burdened by an epidemic of overwhelm. So are women more resilient than men? Do we have some inner resource we can call on that helps us sustain? Or do men and women get equally overwhelmed by the pressures of life today? Building a reservoir of resilience gives you the confidence to know you can make it through a potentially stressful situation; it gives you the energy to continue down the road after stress drains you; and it gives you the ability to quickly reset your system to perform in a normal, operational state.

Unmanaged stress is a prime disabler of resilience. Your resilience depletes when you feel resistant or compressed. Your resilience also depletes when you let your emotions spin out of control or add more drama to stressful situations than is helpful. In these changing and uncertain times, inconveniences, impatience and frustration can stack into overwhelm and drain your emotional resilience. This can lead to health problems that further sap resilience. To survive as superwoman or thrive as a balanced human being, we need to build up our resilience capacity.

The unique fabric that unites the family

Women are the fabric that holds families together. The family is the fundamental unit of society. It is the foundation upon which the state is built. The cultivation and promotion of family ethics and values such as love, care, loyalty, generosity, obedience, sincerity amongst others in individual families will gradually transcend and transform the whole nation. Family ethics and values must be cultivated to preserve the important institution of the family. The family is an important structure in the development and moulding of society. It is in the family that one learns how to exercise authority and submit to authority and from the family these virtues are translated to the state. This is why we need women to be whole so that they can competently play this critical role. In life, anything that you want to achieve is going to take time and, most importantly, effort. Time is our most valuable asset and if we are truly invested in something, our efforts and time will be all we have to offer. Nothing comes easy in this world and if we really want something, then we are going to stop at nothing to make it happen. Finding your passion may be the most difficult part of your life, but once you find it, you will stop at nothing to make your dreams come true.

How is your vitality and well-being?

Imagine what your world would be like if you felt deeply nourished in your body, mind and soul. You would undoubtedly be vibrant, radiant, powerful, confident, sensual, energetic, unstoppable and impactful in every area of your life! God has uniquely created women with an innate ability to not only reproduce but nourish life. As women we are often pulled in every direction, stretched well beyond our limits, and expected to keep our emotions – and everyone else’s – under control. And that’s not always so easy to do. But if you can learn to disconnect from the stress of everyday life to invest a few moments in yourself, then you’ll find that you are better able to handle all the curve balls that life throws at you. Nourishing pertains to supplying with what is necessary for life, health, and growth. Women are powerful agents for nourishing as they cherish, keep alive, strengthen and promote others. Sometimes we pour ourselves so deeply into the lives of the people we love around us. We devote so much time to ensure that our children, siblings, husbands, family members, friends and church members are well taken care of. When we look around we may find that there are so many people who are fully dependent on us for their well-being and we have become a primary source of their nourishment. It is praiseworthy for us to be aware of the needs of those around us and for us to respond by carrying each other’s burdens. We should not neglect our duty of nourishing others, however, it becomes unwholesome when we do these acts of service at the expense of our own vitality and well-being.

I challenge my fellow womenfolk across the globe to arise in the knowledge of their authentic personal identity and to take on their positions for the sake of our sons and daughters who are looking and learning from us. We must change our conversation and become relevant to the present and future of our nations. We must move away from the petty level of conversations we have been known to engage and start prioritising high seat issues which add value to the national discourse. We must indeed become impassioned with technology and extraordinary things beyond our comfort zones.

Monday, 23 July 2018 07:41

Are you Really Listening?

When we were children we learned to listen to our parents and teachers because we knew we would be in trouble if we did not listen. But somewhere along the way, perhaps as the number of distractions in our lives increased, many of us are not paying attention as well as we should. With technology replacing many face-to-face conversations and people opting for email over phone discussions, our true ability to listen is deteriorating. This is not just a workplace issue, either. In my work as a Communications consultant in personal and organisational development, I have realised that we don't seem to take as much time to listen to our family or friends in the same way as we used to. In this very fast-paced world where we rarely take breaks from information overload, listening is something that needs to be worked on. As with any skill, if we don't work at it, we lose it.

Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin. Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships, a reason we need to develop our listening skills – they are the building blocks of success. Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for their employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to better customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work.

We listen to obtain information, to understand, for enjoyment and to learn amongst many other reasons. Given all this listening we do; you would think we'd be good at it! In fact, most of us are not, and research suggests that we remember between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear. Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process - it is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively messages can be easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated. The way to become a better listener is to practice "active listening." This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent. Good listening skills have tremendous benefits in our personal lives, including a greater number of friends and social networks, improved self-esteem and confidence, higher grades in academic work and even better health and general well-being. Studies have shown that whereas speaking raises blood pressure, listening brings it down.

Listening is Not the Same as Hearing

Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that - it requires focus. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and understand these messages. Effective listening requires concentration and the use of your other senses -not just hearing the words spoken. Every public speaker has had a moment where they asked themselves, 'Did the audience hear me?' Well, the real question is, 'Are they listening?' and that is definitely a matter of choice. Hearing is an involuntary process that starts with noise, vibrations, the movement of fluid in the ears and sound sent to the brain. Where it gets a little complicated is when the noise actually arrives to its final destination - the brain. This is where listening happens. Listening is a voluntary act where we try to make sense out of the noise we hear.

Are you open minded?

Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. A good listener will listen not only to what is being said, but also to what is left unsaid or only partially said. Effective listening involves observing body language and noticing inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal messages. The human mind is easily distracted by other thoughts. We need to prepare ourselves to listen by relaxing and focusing on the speaker, putting other things out of mind. Practicing empathy will help us to understand the other person’s point of view. It will help us to look at issues from their perspective and let go of preconceived ideas. By having an open mind, we can more fully empathise with the speaker and maintain an open mind to the views and opinions of others. Possibly one of the most difficult aspects of listening is the ability to link together pieces of information to reveal the ideas of others. This also requires patience since a pause, even a long pause, does not necessarily mean that the speaker has finished. With proper concentration, letting go of distractions, and focus this becomes easier. Finally, knowing when to be silent can be a powerful communication tool. Silence allows the speaker to become aware of his or her own feelings, to explore more deeply and to proceed at his or her own pace. Because many listeners become self-conscious with silence, they feel the need to "break" it by talking or asking questions.

Are you listening for understanding or are you focused more on what you are going to say next? As the other person is speaking, is that little voice in your head preparing your next response?

Monday, 23 July 2018 07:40

Innovate or Die

In today's fast-paced economy, a good idea isn't enough. Not only do you have to roll with the punches that modern-day tech is throwing, you have to blaze a trail and hit the market where you don't have competition. Otherwise, you'll end up drowning in a sea of over-saturation. Your life jacket is innovation. The power of the individual versus the power of the collective is a tension that has been around longer than the practice of human resources and talent management as an occupation. While the organization is concerned with achieving success for the collective, too often we forget that the collective is made up of a collection of unique individuals, and that each of these individuals have a collection of unique skills, talents, and abilities that may or not directly fulfil the needs of their role and the organization’s goals and brand promise.

What are you doing about your personal brand?

In my work in the area of communications, personal and organisational development, I have found that there is a common thread that weaves through brands that are neglected. Their end result is obvious and predictable. They simply die and become irrelevant. So often we feel that we have arrived and have no need to further review, refresh, or reinvigorate our brands. It is this feeling within individuals and organisations which is the chief cause for complacency and brand stagnancy. Sometimes we allow our personal brands to suffocate and die at the expense of our organisational brands. It is sad that whilst we may want to remain in the employ of our organisations where we feel a sense of belonging and an undying commitment, our relevance to those same organisations may shift, making us easily replaceable. When we have not taken time to invest in our personal brands, the end of these relationships can be extremely devastating and heart-breaking. While the role of the individual in helping to fulfil the organization’s brand promise is often not considered, it should be, at the same time that the organization considers whether its chosen individuals adequately fill the defined job requirements that the organization believes are necessary to fulfil the collective’s mission to achieve revenue and profits for its shareholders, value for its clients and donors, or benefits for its constituents.

Strategies for building your personal brand

Everyone has a unique personal brand, whether they know it or not. But what we should all be striving for is a powerful, attractive and visible personal brand. Building a recognizable personal brand opens many opportunities. A strong personal brand will impact your ability to get the right jobs, promotions, and increase your ability to attract relationships, talent and capital. Here are some of the tips I regularly share with my clients which can enable you to build your personal brand:

·        Decide on what you want to achieve.

It is vital to have a goal for your branding efforts. Ask yourself how you would like to be perceived. Decide on some goals and align your personal brand in a way that will best help you achieve them.

·        Assess your current reputation.

Understanding how you are currently perceived by your friends, peers, and online communities will give you a realistic assessment of what needs to be done to achieve your branding goals. Try typing your name into Google? What did you find?

·        Decide on a home base/platform.

Would you like to create your own virtual platform.? Your online platforms create a presence for you to share your voice. It's important to decide on a home base online for your brand. Usually, that is a website or a specific social media profile. Then, take a decision on the social media sites you will use to drive traffic to your home base.

Are you harnessing the skills at your disposal?

Most organizations fail to harness the skills, abilities and talents of the individuals they have in their organization to achieve greater performance as a collective. In my mind this is painful, wasted human capital – painful for the organization (lost potential revenue and profitability) and painful for the individual (boredom, stress, and disappointment). handful of more progressive, innovative organizations are trying to do better to harness the passions and the skills, abilities, and talents of their individuals to better achieve the collective’s ability to generate revenue and profits (or other appropriate benefits) by engaging their employees in the innovation efforts of the organization, and allowing their employees to take some of their skills, abilities and talents and apply them to help fulfil other job descriptions. But in the most progressive organizations, they not only provide a way to better harness a more complete set of their employees’ skills, abilities and talents to more than one job description, but they also find a way to harness more of the skills, abilities, and talents that employees are currently realizing outside the organization in their hobbies, volunteer work, or other places.

Harnessing the power of connections

The successful organizations of the future will not stop there. They will also harness the connections their employees have outside the organization to increase the innovation capacity of the organization, and better engage not only partners in helping to fulfil the needs of different job descriptions, but they will also even engage their customers in achieving the work of the organization. Where customer or partner skills, abilities and talents intersect with the job requirements, work can get done, and where customer or partner skills, abilities or talents intersect with employee skills, abilities or talents intersect, communities and connections have the chance to form and be nurtured.

Brands of the Future

Quality and customer service are no longer differentiators. Innovation is what creates a sustainable competitive advantage. Today it’s not enough to create and communicate value. We are in an Age of Transparency and it takes a whole lot more to penetrate hearts and minds. We are living in an interconnected and interdependent world where everyone wants to feel empowered, people need a North Star and a set of guidelines that touch heads and hearts. It’s about creating a crystal clear united strategy and purpose that moves people to fearlessly innovate.

Monday, 23 July 2018 07:38

You can Reconstruct your World

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family - a wife, Anna, and five children. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Two years later the family decided to vacation with friends in Europe. At the last moment Horatio was detained by business, and Anna and the girls went on ahead, sailing on the ocean liner S.S. Ville de Havre. On November 21, 1873, the liner was rammed amid ship by a British vessel and sank within minutes. Anna was picked up unconscious on a floating spar, but the four children had drowned. She was pulled into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote the popular hymn “It Is Well with My Soul” while on this journey.

What do you do when you feel you’ve lost it all?

In my work in personal development, I find that sitting across my desk many times are incredible men and women, whose lives have been shaken by life’s winds and storms. I always applaud their effort as they walk in with a bold, steady and powerful stride into the office. Very often they are well composed with an “all together look”, commanding an air of control around them. This is a rehearsed walk and deportment, they are forced to appear strong and courageous even when they are folding in on the inside. Their subordinates, business partners, customers and families expect this of them. They have to keep holding up as the eyes of those who look up to them seek wisdom, direction and guidance from them daily. They also have a deep cry for the same but often there seems to be no safe space for vulnerability or escape. They have to keep on appearing strong for everyone around them even when they feel they have lost their hope for living. Some have lost their loved ones, for others it’s their reputation, whilst others bleed inside because of broken relationships or lost investments, the list goes on. What do you do when you feel you’ve lost it all? 

As soon as we get the general niceties out of the way and we de-role to get into the crux of the matter, their shoulders become hunched and the eyes teary as they slump back into the chair.  They need answers, strategies and inner strength to go to the next level. I imagine many times that this is what Horatio G. Spafford must have felt when he had to brace himself to strengthen his wife, whilst he himself needed strengthening. He was blessed to have a strong inner man inside of him as he penned away those words of the famous hymn, “it is well with my soul.” Not many have this grace, strength and fortitude. So where do you turn to when you don’t know what to do and when you feel you’ve lost it all?

 The power of Leverage

Have you ever experienced your life falling apart all at once? If you’ve been there or find yourself there right now, you’ll know what I mean. Ancient cultures understood the dark night of the soul as a time of transformation. During such seasons, fair-weather friends back away quickly. Who do you turn to? Instead of community support and wise elders to lean on, we’re left alone isolated by shame. It is at such times that we need to leverage on our strength as well as those things that are still working when everything else has fallen apart. Leveraging your strengths can help you accomplish many goals.

What habits and strategies can you adopt?

·        Get Grateful

Even when life gets tough, take stock in the beautiful things you have going for you. Each morning, develop a habit of thinking of three things to be grateful for before your feet hit the ground.

·        Go out and see something beautiful

When the magnitude of your situation hits you during the day, force yourself to get outside, go for a walk and notice something beautiful.

·        Receive Inspiration

Find something inspirational to listen to or read daily. I may not be able to control the world around you but you can control your inner emotions.

·        Confide in a friend.

Don’t try to go it alone. A supportive friend will do wonders for you. They’ll listen to your woes, empathize and then empower you to get moving.

·        Make a plan.

When your world crumbles, you can be left not knowing what to do next. A plan to get what you need to put your world back together, starting from where you are now (don’t dwell on where you were). Think about which friends to call and help you with the plan.

·        Weigh your options.

Before you take action, spend as much time as you need sorting out the problem and focusing on the possible solutions. If you’re not ready to make a decision, don’t do anything. Wait until the dust settles and you’re absolutely clear about what the necessary next step should be.

·        Slow down and Say “No”

If it’s non-essential to your wellbeing, you do not have to do it. Don’t allow family, community or businesses ties make you feel pressured. You can say no.

·        Get encouragement

Your world might be falling apart in ways none of us can know, you might be struggling for a goal that’s just a fingertip away and all that’s needed are those gentle words of encouragement to fan the flame of courage within.

Seek professional help if you need it. When you’ve done everything you possibly can on your own and you remain confused, mired in indecision, overwhelmed, anxious and/or depressed, it’s time to consult with a qualified professional to help you sort out the problem and help you take the first steps toward moving forward. Life promises new twists and turns in the road, new frontiers, and new horizons. Possibly, what you had once thought absolutely necessary for your life is just a thing of the past. You have the power to reconstruct your world.

Saturday, 21 July 2018 15:24

Reflections on the spirit of liberation

The week that has gone before us marks a significant season which saw the republic of Zimbabwe commemorating her independence gained from colonial rule. Thirty-eight years ago, Prince Charles was there to remove the Union Jack and the Zimbabwe flag was lifted. As the flag of Britain came down physically and symbolically, whilst the new Zimbabwean flag was hoisted up in the air within the emotionally charged atmosphere at Rufaro Stadium on the 18th of April 1980, many hopes were pinned on the statement that the vibrant, multi-coloured flag made in the Zimbabwean atmosphere. The euphoria from there rolled on countrywide to street parties in every town. As we reflect and ponder on the meaning of this liberation to the people of Zimbabwe from socioeconomic and political perspectives, it would be remiss for us to not find occasion to reflect on the true meaning of liberation. Through this instalment I endeavour to inspire us all this week in our individual and corporate lives to assess what true liberation means for our lives and entities.

In what state does liberation exist?

More than four years ago to this date, when I started contributing weekly to this column of the Standard Style magazine, I was deeply moved to share on the subject of being released from the limiting grip of guilt and self-condemnation. There were so many inspirational topics I could have chosen as my maiden article contribution to this paper. I however strongly believed that before individuals could be inspired to move on meaningfully in any area of their lives, they would need to offload the weights that burden their conscience and slow them down from making bold, courageous aims at life. How do you verify the presence of liberation in your physical environment? How do you testify to the existence of real liberation in your body, mind, soul, and spirit? Can you truly stand and proclaim that you are living a fully emancipated life that is free from any form of bondage, oppression or limitation? Is it possible for liberation be touched, felt, seen or experienced? How do you know that you are truly liberated to pursue your vision, dreams and goals?

Can you use your mind to change your mindset?

Many times we engage in various types of warfare on different dimensions in a bid to breakthrough to a higher place where we are not subjugated to domination from an external force. There are many books that have been written on strategy and tactical approaches that help us to deal with third party adversaries. The art of war that we understand often prepares us to look out for the approach of our exploiters and how to disarm them. But how do we wage the war when our enemy is within us? What weapons of warfare do we use and do we understand the rules of engagement? How do we equip our minds to deal with and overcome the enemy within? One of the most challenging things a human being will encounter in their lives is using their own mind to change their mindset. True liberation for any individual can only be realised when they are free from any form of mental or emotional bondage and oppression. The thoughts that we entertain and process, have the power to liberate us or to keep us bound in fear, whether real or imagined. It is possible to overcome mental and emotional bondage. It is once decision away and depends on how badly we want it.

Are you enjoying the spirit of liberty?

As a deeply spiritual person, I have intricately interwoven the transformational power of the spirit of God within my work in personal and organisational development. As an agent of transformation, poised to build value based thought leaders, one of the methods I use to unlock and unleash the great potential that lies in individuals and institutions is through conducting spiritual audits. Some of the shackles that render us limited or immobile are not physical or mental, but rather they require a deep uprooting and breaking of certain elements from a spiritual dimension. Sometimes the things that tie us down are deeply tied in the relationships that we are connected to. In my recent published book titled The Connection Factor, I analyse some of the connections within our lives that hold us back from realising our innate abilities. It is important to regularly conduct an audit of our social and relational circles so that we know which relationships to maintain, promote or demote. Until and unless we identity the root cause of our stagnancy and limitations, we may needlessly expend very expensive armoury whilst targeting the wrong dimension and source of incapacitation.

Have you dealt with your physical limitations?

The essence of true liberation lies in our ability to manoeuvre within and around our physical environment void of weights and obstacles. Some of these are found in our health due to deficiencies or lack of proper fitness and nutrition. Problems that result in lack of fitness can bring untold suffering in our bodies. If our homes and physical environments exist in a state of chaos and poor management, we can never enjoy true liberation to become the best version of ourselves.

True liberation can only be enjoyed on a multidimensional level in the same way that a human being is a multidimensional being. Even organisations who strive to thrive in a competitive environment cannot enjoy the fulfilment of their vision until they position themselves to become totally liberated from those things that threaten their relations with their various internal and external stakeholders. True liberation therefore is a culmination of thorough introspection and wise, decisive, forward thinking actions.

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